Uncanny Avengers (1st series) #8

Issue Date: 
July 2013
Story Title: 

Rick Remender (writer), Daniel Acuna (artist), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), John Cassaday & Laura Martin (cover artists), Milo Manara (variant cover artist), Tom Brevoort & Daniel Ketchum (editors), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Special thanks to Santi Arcas for Color Assists

Brief Description: 

Uriel and Eimin are aboard Apocalypse’s Ship as they watch the destruction that follows from destroying the Peak. However, as fiery debris falls to the Earth, Thor is on hand to destroy as much of it as he can before it harms innocent humans. Uriel and Eimin discuss their plans - which go according to prediction, as they witness Sunfire arrive on Earth to assist Thor. The duo make their way to space, and arrive at Apocalypse’s Ship, to find dead bodies everywhere. The Ship disappears, with Thor and Sunfire trapped inside. Inside the Quinjet, Havok leads Wolverine, the Scarlet Witch, Rogue and Wasp, as Wolverine suggests that they should go to the Metropolis of Akkaba, at the North Pole. Rogue and Wolverine discuss Apocalypse, and Archangel - Wolverine informs Rogue that he is dead. The Wasp is suspicious of her new teammates, however and continues to express this. Meanwhile, Captain America’s escape pod has landed in South Sudan, where he is attacked by local militia. He manages to evade them, though is shot in the process. He finds sanctuary in an old church, and starts to wonder whether his landing here was a set-up. He finds a strange box in the church, with instructions on it for him personally to press a button. He does so, and a recording speaks to him, announcing that their meeting was mandatory, but that if they are discovered, there will be no hope of saving their world. Thor and Sunfire find themselves in the Akkaba Metropolis, where hologram messages from Eimin and Uriel speak to them, giving them a message about the coming catastrophe - or that Ragnarok is now. At the same time, Uriel and Eimin speak to some of the many followers of Apocalypse, who are apparently former mutants - whom they then slaughter. Uriel and Eimin fly off, in front of Havok and the rest of the Unity Avengers - who are then caught up in a massive explosion as the Akkaba Metropolis is seemingly destroyed.

Full Summary: 

Space, specifically, orbit around Earth, where Uriel and Eimin, the Apocalypse Twins, have just used Apocalypse’s Ship to destroy the SWORD station called the Peak. Flaming debris hurl towards Earth, while Eimin remarks ‘This era… it dredges up dark recollections’. Uriel asks his sister what her most vivid memories of childhood are, as he gazes out over the destruction. Sitting at a control panel, Eimin replies ‘Nighttime huddled together in the camps. The moans turning to shrieks. Praying that by morning you would still be with me. Praying Ahab wouldn’t choose you for his Hounds’. Uriel reminds his sister that the camps were a million years ago, before remarking that the Red Skull’s onslaught will not succeed - not this time.

Down towards Earth, Thor is flying over Brazil. His mighty hammer spins, lightning crackles, as he does battle with the falling Debris from the Peak. He takes a breath, and knows he must temper his attack on the mile-wide wreckage hurtling towards Earth. If his aim is off, he will splinter the space station, raining fiery debris on Rio below. The loss of life would be catastrophic. Time is short. There are no perfect solutions. He hurls Mjolnir with all his strength, and smashes a large part of the wreckage in half, causing further explosions in the air. The danger is far from over. Thor knows it. His hammer returns to his hand, Seconds from impact, the God of Thunder calls down a terrible bolt of lightning - and obliterates half of the second remains in spectacular display.

Back aboard Ship, Uriel asks his sister if it is possible that they have gone too far - as not all of mankind fell in line with the Red Skull’s faction. ‘Sweet Uriel, even if we are wrong - and we are not - there is no turning back now. This is the difficult path we walk. We must cause pain to some… but in the doing we will make life better for the many’ Eimin replies, adding that there is the revenge - an equally important piece.
The control panel she sits at is actually an organ or synthesizer, and she is playing music. Synesthesia is the condition in which the senses are mixed. A sound or number has a color - touch evokes emotion. After Eimin’s eyes were taken, by order of Kang, he gave his adopted daughter time-space synesthesia in reparation. To her, it was a curse. Normally, the music transforms into visions, days of futures yet to come - but not today. Uriel asks his sister if the tachyon dam is secure. Eimin replies ‘The door is closed. I am blind’.

Below, Rio de Janeiro prepares for Armageddon. Thor incinerated a large piece of the mammoth station hurtling towards the city - not nearly enough. This leaves him with a decision - the difference between thousands of deaths - and millions. Mjolnir spins rapidly and lightning crackles around the powerful hero, for the bolt he must call down to shatter the plummeting Peak Station could level the city below him. But there is no better solution. He makes his choice. He calls on the mighty hammer Mjolnir to draw forth the Lorn Bolt, the energy of a long dead star stored within - and he thanks his ancestors it is not necessary to cast it - as the atomic might of a solar blast vaporizes the millions of tons of metal plummeting forward.

Thor averts his gaze from the brilliance of the blast over Rio, where a long-forgotten champion - Shiro “Sunfire” Yoshida rises once again. Using his communicator he informs Havok that the situation has been dealt with and that there were no causalities on the ground, thanks to him. He drops down to where many civilians have gathered. They cheer and wave at him as they approach him. ‘No, please. No need to thank me, Rio - thank the Avengers for having the foresight to beg Sunfire to join!’ the arrogant Shiro declares. Thor flies towards Sunfire and tells him that there is no time for adulation, pointing out that those who did this are still up there, that Apocalypse has returned. ‘Not Apocalypse -’ Sunfire begins, while, in Ship, Uriel looks down at the Earth, ‘They’ve stopped it. And it as Shiro, as your predicted. So be it’ he remarks, before deciding ‘There are other ways to convince her to aid us’. Sunfire and Thor fly back towards space, through the remaining small amounts of debris floating about, as Sunfire adds ‘- at least not any we’ve faced before’.

Realizing Sunfire is able to fly through space without any aid, Thor asks his new teammate ‘Through what devilry do you burn in the vacuum of space, Shiro’. Sunfire explains that he was once a Horseman of Apocalypse, and that through his augmentations, he secretes a bio-oxygen to feed his lungs and flames. ‘Tell me then, former Horseman, what do you know of this new foe?’ Thor inquires. Sunfire tells Thor that Apocalypse has passed, and that his successor is unknown to him, by this vessel is his Celestial home, and that the threats awaiting them inside should not be taken lightly. ‘Obviously’ Thor mutters, while Sunfire suggests that they might consider waiting for assistance, but Thor tells him that they cannot spare a moment, as the threat is graver than he can know.

Thor explains that the axe that is being wielded Jarnbjorn, Wrecker of Worlds, and that it must be claimed and destroyed. As they hover in front of Ship, it opens for them. Sunfire informs Thor that the vessel is sentient, and that it was once his home. ‘It knows me…and perhaps it desires our aid’ Sunfire suggests as they enter Ship, and see bodies of Clan Akkaba warriors and servants lining the blood-splattered corridors. ‘Odin’s eye - it is a slaughterhouse!’ Thor declares, suggesting that they turn back, retreat this tomb, as they have walked into a trap - but, before they can leave, Ship vanishes, and all that remains, is the small mounts of debris from Peak Station, floating aimlessly in space.

Meantime, in the Quinbird, Wasp is piloting the jet, while Wolverine and Havok are at various consoles. The Scarlet Witch and Rogue are seated behind them. ‘Earth’s first line of defense along with it Captain America, was jettisoned away with the rest of the SWORD agents… still no word from him’ Havok reports. Havok continues, informing the others that Sunfire reported in and he and Thor managed to destroy the debris before anyone was hurt. The Wasp comments that this all feels premeditated. ‘Like every move we make -’ she begins, before Wolverine tells her to pack it in with the clichés, and points out that obviously the Heirs of Apocalypse are not going to make a move like this unless the board is set in their favor. A hologram of the Earth is displayed and Wolverine points to a location, stating that it is there best bet where to find them.

Havok asks Wolverine what is at the North Pole, and Logan explains that it is a city - the Metropolis of Akkaba - an entire society dedicated to serving Apocalypse. ‘Why do I have the rotten feeling you’re holding something back?’ Alex asks his friend. ‘Who? Our resident psycho?’ the Wasp jokes. ‘Heaven, I won’t believe it’ Wanda deadpans, while Rogue tells everyone that if they are looking for secrets, from the look on Thor’s face when he saw that axe, she would say he is keeping a dandy.
Alex remarks that Cyclops was possessed by Apocalypse - so no one knows more about this than he would. ‘Maybe if we could work together -’ Alex suggests, but Wolverine reminds him that Cyclops doesn’t play nice with other kids no more. ‘Hell with him. We’ll figure it out’ Wolverine declares, adding that he has had plenty of experience with Apocalypse. ‘Yeah. Can I have a word, Sugah?’ Rogue asks.

Wolverine and Rogue go to the back of the Quinbird, as Rogue points out that the twins who butchered the Celestial looked an awful lot like Archangel, and she asks Wolverine what he is hiding. ‘The truth. Now’ she tells her long-time teammate. ‘Truth? It ain’t Archangel’ Wolverine replies. Rogue asks him how he can be sure, and Wolverine reveals that Archangel is dead. Lot of dead these past few months’ he remarks, assuring Rogue that he will catch her up later, but for now, she has to promise him - no one dies. ‘No matter what, we find another way to deal with this’ he tells her. Rogue and Wolverine shake hands, and Rogue promises, at least for her part. ‘Promise what? Promise to reinforce my instinct that you X-Men types are keeping secrets?’ the Wasp asks as she walks over to them. Rogue tells Janet that it isn’t like that. ‘Whatever’ Jan replies, before telling them that Alex needs them up front, as they have a call from Abigail Brand - Captain America is missing.

In South Sudan, soldiers gather around some wreckage, ‘What is it?’ one of them calls out. ‘A drone - an American spy plane?’ another declares. Cap hears the angry voices outside and decides that they are Sudanese militants, and supposes that it is incredibly unlikely that this is the location Brand intended to send him to. ‘Kill the pig inside! The vessel holds the real value!’ one of the soldiers orders. Another asks how they can be sure that it is American. An instant later, the door to the pod is slammed open by Captain America who bashes it with his shield. Cap decides that his escape capsule was sabotaged, and leaps past the soldiers, who open fire. ‘There’s a deep game underway’ Cap realizes. He tosses his shield at the militants, knowing that the deeper game is a problem for another time, that he needs to focus on the more immediate dilemma - breaking through the militants’ line. Several of them are knocked over by the shield.

Cap grabs his shield when it returns to him, and he races into a building as the militants continue to fire at him. He realizes he must find an extraction point and avoid an international incident. More militants open fire, but he blocks their fire with his shield. ‘Survive a sunny afternoon in Southern Sudan…while dressed in an American flag’ he thinks to himself, leaping through a window, sending glass shattering everywhere as he knocks a militant out the window at the same time. The militants don’t let up. A slug whistles past his ear - its more accurate companion bites his left arm. He knows that word will spread - that hundreds more will be swarming, hunting a target of high value - alone and injured. Cap can’t imagine what the local branch of Hydra would pay for his head. He is sure his new “friends” have.

Cap comes across a demolished church, and a long forgotten basement, locked off by a chain. ‘Some luck’ he thinks to himself. He makes a trail of blood twenty feet away to a bombed-out building, then re-attaches the chain when he returns to the church basement, hoping that it should buy him some time. The basement smells badly of mold, as if no one has been down here for years. He knows he has to stop the bleeding, and to think this through. Cap sets down, his torch lights up the corner of the room, while recalling that Sunfire pushed him into his escape capsule, and wonders if someone wanted to drop him here instead - or if it is something else. ‘Something calculated, set up by someone who knew if the situation were reversed, I’d have thrown Shiro into my escape pod…someone who wanted me here’.

Suddenly, Cap hears a noise - a KLEKK - and he sees a strange box up ahead, with “Captain America Push Here” engraved on it. He presses the button, and a blue light fills the room, as a recording states: ‘Greetings, Captain America. I’m sorry about your arm. But discretion in our meeting was mandatory. Should they discover I’ve contacted you… there will be no hope of saving our world’.

Meanwhile, at the strange Akkaba Metropolis, Thor and Sunfire walk down a bridge. Bizarre creatures swim alongside them. Thor tells Sunfire to stand ready, as they will be expecting them. ‘Sunfire is always read. Worry about yourself’ Shiro retorts. ‘Do your require a hug to sort out your disposition?’ Thor enquires. ‘Would you risk hugging the core of the sun itself?’ Sunfire responds. They pass two large, imposing statues - one of Apocalypse, the other of Archangel, while Thor replies ‘Should I be forced to adventure with your further, yes, it sounds preferable’, while Sunfire asks Thor to forgive him, explaining that this place brings unpleasant recollection. Thor tells Sunfire that he understands, and adds that he is vexed also. ‘You should know, centuries back I made a grave error - my axe -’ he begins, before a voice calls out ‘It isn’t your axe any longer, God of Thunder…it is a tool in the hand of the universe’. Projections of Eimin and Uriel appear, as Eimin announces that they have a message: ‘You and your misguided band of integrationists have all contributed to the coming catastrophe…and you will each suffer greatly for it’.

At that moment, Uriel and Eimin are elsewhere, walking past people who bow before them. ‘How different our lives would have been had Kang left things as they were intended’ Uriel remarks. Eimin tells him that if the road had been softer, so too would they. ‘The pain was required to make us who we are’ she tells her brother, adding that Kang will soon know the price for his meddling. Examining his surroundings, Uriel comments that it is a beautiful city, though - the cold blue, the misty ice rivers. ‘And a hundred thousand follows eager to serve the Apocalypse’ Eimin declares. ‘You. Tell me - are all human here?’ Uriel asks one of the worshippers. ‘Yes, your liege. All robbed of our great gifts by the Witch, daughter of Magneto - but we remain to serve the evolutionary caretaker. We are blessed by your return’ the woman replies. ‘All human’ Uriel tells his sister. ‘Then they are blessed… and it is time to reward them, brother’ Eimin replies.

At that moment, the holographic representations of the Apocalypse Twins continue to speak to Thor and Sunfire. Eimin introduces herself as the Eternal Sleep, while Uriel explains that he is the Light of the Cosmos. They tell Sunfire that they have been awaiting him, and asks if he is prepared to serve as Famine. ‘The only thing I plan to serve is your head!’ Shiro responds. One of the twins tells Sunfire that they are not his enemy, and tells Thor that he has served them well. ‘Lies’ Thor replies. An image of the axe, Janbjorn appears, ‘Your enchanted Janbjorn. In the future where we were raised, father Kang used your axe to crack the Celestial armor and kill any who ascended to the throne of Apocalypse’. He explains that, thusly, the mutants had no protector and were nearly wiped out. ‘You ensured the Kang Dynasty - ensured the decimation of my peopled. But we have found a way to use the axe to undo this crime’.

Eimin announces that there are others to share Thor’s blame - Wolverine, mongrel traitor to his people. ‘His clandestine X-Force assassinated the last candidates to ascend to the station of Apocalypse. First the child En Sabah Nur. Then our father, Warren Worthington - murdered in his prime. Leaving behind a fraud in his shape’ Eimin declares. Uriel tells Thor and Sunfire that their companion, Wolverine, is an executioner of children and a craven betrayer of his closest friends. ‘And a reckoning is now upon you all!’ he adds.

Back at their true location, Uriel and Eimin stand before their worshipers. ‘Hear us, Akkaba - we empathize with your, the long years of waiting, the dedication of your very lives. But it was folly’ Uriel tells them, explaining that they have no use for a hundred thousand former mutants - no matter how servile. ‘But fear not…evolution will succeed without you’. Suddenly, brilliant energy pours from Uriel, as he covers his acolytes in artificial time. A hundred years pass in an instant. Their flesh turns to dust. Screams are cut short. And whether the victims know it or not - it is an act of mercy.

‘I will hear no more of these corrosive lies!’ Thor booms, stating that Logan is an honourable warrior, not a killer of babes. ‘Ask him. He will know our wrath is retribution for his deeds’ one of the Apocalypse Twins replies. Thor raises his hammer towards their holograms and declares ‘Threats upon threats! Enough of it - speak to us as men - what is your aim?’ ‘Our aim will be apparent soon enough, arrogant interloper’ one of the twins replies, warning Thor to prepare himself for catastrophe. ‘To phrase it in the language of your people… Ragnarok is now’.

‘You have shown them a great love today, brother’ Eimin tells Uriel as they stand amongst the remains of the dead. ‘They were once our people, Eimin. They did not deserve to suffer what come next’ Uriel replies. They take flight, as Uriel tells Eimin that they have shattered their foes’ fragile union, that the Witch will see the light of the cosmos, that the rapture is ensured. ‘All with worlds, as you foretold, sister’. Eimin replies that no other weapon holds such destructive power.

‘No go, failed Horseman and god of arrogance. Live to see the wound you have inflicted upon this world!’ the projection of Uriel tells them. Thor and Sunfire look anxious, while, at the same time, ‘This must be the place…I’m picking up a giant energy source under the ground’ Havok announces from inside the Quinbird. ‘There! That’s them!’ Wolveirne calls out as he sees Eimin and Uriel fly past them. Uriel and Eimin climb higher, as Uriel tells her brother that the words spoke nto day have begun the fracture that will ultimately splinter their “unity”. ‘Words twist the soul. Words erode faith. Words shatter alliances and bring great armies to their knees. Words cause old friends to mistrust’ Eimin tells Uriel.

‘Be grateful for their simple weakness, brother. For it our foes were actually capable of setting aside their base instincts…if man and mutant were actually capable of such a union…our plans wouldn’t stand a chance’. With that, the Quinbird flies closer to the Akkaba Metropolis, as a bomb explodes with devastating fury. The explosion resonates around the Quinjet, and the heroes are caught up in its destruction. Then, there is simply nothing.

Characters Involved: 

Captain America, Havok, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, Sunfire, Thor, Wasp, Wolverine (all Uncanny Avengers)

Eimin & Uriel

Akkaba warriors
Akkaba worshipers

Story Notes: 

The Peak Station was destroyed last issue by Uriel and Eimin.

Sunfire was transformed into Famine IV by Apocalypse in X-Men (2nd series) #182-183.

Cyclops was possessed by Apocalypse in X-Men (2nd series) #97 and in the X-Men: Search for Cyclops miniseries.
Cyclops not playing nice anymore refers to his team of renegade X-Men as can be seen in Uncanny X-Men (3rd series)

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