Issue Date: December 2000
Story Title: Whatever the Cost!
Staff: Kurt Busiek (Plot), Jerry Ordway (Pencils), Will Blyberg, Mark McKenna, Paul Ryan (Inks), Jason Wright and Tom Smith (Colors), Richard Starkings & COMICRAFT’s AD (Letters), Marc Sumerak (Assistant Editor), Tom Brevoort (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief)
With the Omega Codes retrieved from the Citadel, U.S.Agent leads an army of Earth’s heroes, as well as alien prisoners, on an assault on the processing center in space. On Hala, the Avengers Infinity squad find themselves jailed, while the Supreme Intelligence is left free to carry out his nefarious plan. In the end, it is Tigra who is able to escape her bonds and free the others. Quasar quantum-jumps everyone back to Selandiar, where Moondragon telepathically shows the council what they have learned. The council is in disbelief, however, until Cerise sends a video to the council, showing Earth’s heroes fighting the Ruul and what the Ruul/Kree really did to Earth. The council sees that Ego has terraformed over half the Earth. The Supreme Intelligence telepathically appears and tells the council that he has staged the return of the Kree and is leading an army of Kree, who have already retaken Hala and a score of other former Kree worlds. The terrified council, who was drastically weakened by Ego, does not know what to do. Quasar and the others journey to the processing center to help the heroes. In Florida, the Scarlet Witch leads a group of sorcerers against Ego, but they fail. Gambit reaches Reed Richards and gives him the data to compress Ego. The process works, but Ronan the Accuser arrives with an army of Kree. Quasar teleports all the heroes in the processing center to Earth and a massive battle begins. Reed begins to compress Ego into the Surfer, but the Surfer cannot contain him and is left near death. Quasar volunteers to take the Surfer’s place. Ronan goes after Quasar, but U.S.Agent interferes, which ensues into a heated battle. Ronan wins, but is too late to stop Quasar. With his power gone, Ronan is easily beaten and arrested by U.S.Agent. Despondently, Quasar departs to space to serve his exile once more. A week later, after clean up is almost done, the Avengers try to congratulate U.S.Agent on his leadership, but the man refuses to accept the thanks and is angry that Maximum Security even occurred in the first place. However, when Mowat insults the Avengers, U.S.Agent puts him in his place to the other man’s shock.
All is calm on the processing center just past Pluto. In the control room of the station, Sintariis watches over the activities of the technicians, who are in charge of transporting prisoners to Earth via the large semi-spherical transmat bay in the center of the room. Sintariis asks for a status report from one of the Ruul technicians. The technician tells him that all is secure. The barrier is at full strength and the sol system is under full quarantine. Sintariis begins to tell the technician to make sure it stays that way, but he is interrupted by an alarm.
Sintariis is alarmed by the intruder alarm going off. A technician tells him that there is a disturbance at the main transmat station on Earth. Someone is trying to teleport to the processing center from the receiving point. Sintariis is even more alarmed, considering that, after the humans attacked the station on Ellis Island, they tripled the forces there. He orders the technicians to cut off all links to the Ellis Island receiving station and decides to let Ronan the Accuser and the workers at the Citadel to deal with it. Horrified, another Ruul tells Sintariis that the controls have been overridden from the receiving point. The Ruul look at the transport hole, just in time to see a large group of beings appears.
Standing at the bottom of the bay are U.S.Agent, the Avengers (minus Iron Man) and the Scarlet Witch, Captain America, She-Hulk, Hercules, Silverclaw, Spider-Man, the New Warriors, Rogue’s team of X-Men, Bishop, Sunfire, Namor the Submariner, Beta-Ray Bill, Union Jack, Darkstar, Cerise of the Shi’ar and a horde of alien prisoners, including the Blood Brothers. U.S.Agent turns to the assemblage of power and asks everyone if they are ready for a declaration of independence. Wolverine unsheathes his claws and tells U.S.Agent to quit the chat and let the war begin.
A Ruul named Dan-Farr tells Sintariis to call the guard, so they can regain the controls. Sintariis tells Dan-Farr to calm down. The barrier around the transmat bay is impregnable, as the one that surrounds the solar system. The heroes and aliens have no way of getting out of the bay without the Omega Codes.
In the bay, U.S.Agent takes out a device similar to a gun and tells the heroes that the Avengers and X-Men went through much trouble to get them the data they needed from the Citadel, so he hopes they work. Colossus and Rogue watch as U.S.Agent inserts a c.d. into his gun. Colossus tells him that all of them share that same wish. U.S.Agent aims the gun at the top of the barrier above the transmat bay and pulls the trigger. A beam of light is emitted, which is actually a complex harmonic code. The transmat bay accepts the Omega Codes and the barrier is no more!
Sintariis scream for the guards. The Ruul warriors come as a phalanx into the room, as the forces from Earth race to meet them. Sintariis tells a technician to contact the intergalactic council at once. He has no doubt that their guards can contain the Terrans, but he wants more troops just in case. The technician tells Sintariis that he is trying, but the communications are not functioning either.
From an adjacent room, Cadre K, Professor Xavier and the Black Panther watch, as the heroes and Ruul clash. Spunje tells Xavier that is appears the Bishop was able to get to Earth and explain the Professor’s plan to the heroes. Everyone is right on schedule. Xavier agrees and then reminds his Skrull students that none of this would be possible without them. They were the ones who risked being transported to the processing center with the tools to escape hidden inside their bodies and they were the ones who sabotaged the watchtower’s controls. Xavier turns to the Panther and thanks him, for without him they would have likely been discovered. The Panther tells Xavier that it was his pleasure, but he suggests they join their colleagues in battle.
On the planet called Hala, whose buildings appear to have sustained much damage, a group of Avengers sit imprisoned in a cell by the Ruul/Kree. Thor curses the indignity of being trapped by the Ruul, without any chance of escaping. Thor begins to flex his muscles to break his bonds, but is again reminded of the feedback system in the shackles, which uses his strength against him. The others also try to break free of their bonds, but also suffer the same pain as Thor does.
Tigra tells the others that they may have a chance. If the Ruul put so much effort into containing the most powerful of them, then they may have overlooked their least powerful. With her tail, Tigra tries to press the amulet on her chest. Finally, she is able to touch it, which causes her to revert back to her human form of Greer Nelson. Greer assumes that the Ruul did not know she could still turn back human. With a much slimmer, less muscular and much less hairy body, Greer is able to pull her arms out of her shackles. She reactivates her amulet with her hand and uses her strength from Tigra to rip off the shackle on her neck.
Alarms go off as she rips off her neck shackle, but she still hurries to free her companions. She frees them and Quasar tells the others that he can hear troops coming. Jack of Hearts tells him that they are ready this time. Thor and Tigra help a dizzy Moondragon stand up. She tells the two that she will be fine, but to be psychically silenced like that was to be blind or crippled.
The Ruul troops flood into the room and tell the Avengers to surrender or die. Thor laughs at the Ruul’s irreverence and tells the troops that they will stand against them. Starfox begins to support Thor, but Quasar interjects. Thor is surprised, but Quasar tells him that they need to hurry and warn Earth. He has never tried to quantum-jump within an atmosphere but, for the sake of the universe, he has to try. Quasar generates a quantum-bubble, which envelopes the heroes. When the light fades, they are gone.
The commander tells the troops to shift to worker form, so they can track the Avengers. A telepathic image of the Supreme Intelligence appears and he tells the troops not to worry. It does not matter if the heroes escaped. It is far too late for the Avengers, or any one else in that case, to do anything.
Back on Earth, the heroes have been pushed back to Sanford, Florida. Ego the Living Planet continues to expand and threatens to completely consume what may possibly be the last part of the United States! As townspeople flee for their lives, the mutant sorceress known to the world as the Scarlet Witch leads what may possibly the last effort to save the Earth.
As the Scarlet Witch uses her chaos magic on Ego, she tells her colleagues to keep on working together to hold him. Her companions are some of the most powerful mystics on the face of the planet. Agatha Harkness. Dakimh the sorcerer. Mechamage. Margali of the Winding Way. Khalid Inshallah. Jules St. Thomas. These fine sorcerers use their might to try to stop the growth of Ego, but even their great strength combined is strained to the breaking point! Wanda begins to wish that they were able to find Dr. Strange.
Wanda begins to get dizzy and realizes the Ego has merged with the Earth itself and is corrupting their power. As she collapses, Agatha calls out to her student. The now free Ego begins this expansion once again and the weakened mystics are right in his way.
Nearby, the Human Torch flies over to the rest of the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, the Silver Surfer, Dr. Bruce Banner and a group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. The Torch tells Reed, who is building a large purple machine with Iron Man and Banner, that the “alakazam” squad has had it. Thing tells Reed that he, the Torch and Sue will cover the evacuation of the mystics. As the three leave, Iron Man curses to himself. He will never get used to magic, but even he was hoping that they mystics would succeed.
Iron Man fits in another piece into the giant construct and tells Reed and Bruce that Earth’s salvation is up to them. Reed takes off his goggles and agrees with Iron Man. He tells the two that they cannot waste any time. Reed thanks Bruce, who begins to cough, for coming considering his health problems. Bruce, still coughing, tells Reed that it is not a problem considering the situation. However, he is stuck. The physical apparatus is sound, but the bio-compression protocols elude him. If he had more time, he could figure out the process.
Suddenly, Gambit leaps over the S.H.I.E.L.D. guards and tells Reed that he needs to speak with him. The agents call Gambit an intruder and tell Reed that they will take care of them. Reed tells the guards to put their weapons down. Though his entrance was unconventional, Gambit is a friend. He then asks the X-Man what he has for them. “Perhaps nothing,” says Gambit, “but perhaps not.” He takes out a c.d. from his coat and tells Reed, Iron Man, and Bruce that he recently acquired this data-disk recently. He was told it contained information on the process likely used to compress and imprison Ego on Earth.
Quasar and the rest of the Avengers near the planet of Selandiar in the quantum-bubble. Quasar tells the team that this is as close as he can get them, because q-jumping into an atmosphere could get them stuck in a mountain. Starfox tells Quasar that it won’t matter, because the welcoming committee has found them. Sure enough, the Quantum-bubble is suddenly surrounded by a multitude of hostile crafts.
Shortly, in the great council chamber, Lilandra stands at her podium with Avios and Gladiator in the same chamber that was used to condemn Earth in the first place. The once black Judgment Gems hang ominously over the ground. In the speaker’s podium stand the Avengers, Earth’s last hope against the Maximum Security program. Photon speaks on behalf of the team and thanks Lilandra for agreeing to see them on short notice. However, they have grave news.
The ambassadors do not give Photon a chance to talk and begin to protest that a human has no voice in the council. Lilandra tells her fellow delegates that they must have order. She has granted the humans the right to be heard. She asks the delegates if they are afraid of what the Avengers have to say. Before anyone can say anything, Lilandra tells Photon to continue.
Photon thanks Lilandra and continues to explain to the delegates that they have uncovered the truth about the decision to quarantine Earth. Moondragon stops Photon and tells her that the delegates will not listen to mere words. She has a more direct method. Using her telepathy, Moondragon taps into the memories of the Avengers and then projects their story into the minds of the delegates.
The council learns of how the Supreme Intelligence gained the Forever Crystal and used it to evolve the Kree and how they gained the ability to personally evolve themselves. They learn how the Supreme Intelligence guided Ego out of the bio-verse he was trapped in and how he sent the planet onto a mad rampage. They learn how he sent the Kree, disguised as the Ruul, to gain power and to imprison Earth.
Even though the council learns the truth, many delegates call the Avengers liars. Thor is surprised that they do not believe. Moondragon rubs her aching head and tells Thor that they do not want to believe. However, they will force them if necessary.
Avios gains Lilandra’s attention and gives her a handheld monitor, for she has received a call. Lilandra takes the call and thanks Avios. She turns her attention to the councilors and tells them that they need to see what she is seeing. Lilandra transmits her feed to the main screen in the chamber and shows them all the fight occurring at the processing center outside Pluto. The delegates are horrified to see the humans loose and watch as the X-Men and Avengers win against the Ruul. In the foreground in the image are Professor Xavier and Cerise.
Lilandra tells the delegates to calm down and introduces Cerise to the assemblage. She explains that she sent Cerise to investigate the situation on Earth on her behalf. Lilandra tells Cerise that the council has learned that the Ruul may not be what they appear and asks the woman if there is validity to this statement. Cerise tells Lilandra that the Ruul are not what they appear and things on Earth have gone totally differently than what the council was told. Earth was meant as a prison, nothing more. Cerise then tells the delegates that she is going to send them an image of Earth’s present condition.
The delegates look on in complete and absolute horror to see that more than half of the planet has been terraformed into Ego! Xavier tells the delegates that they sent Ego compacted into a carrier being as a prisoner. However, the council was tricked. The true mastermind had no interest in making Earth a prison. He only wanted to convert it to Ego and then control him. The prisoners have told them the truth. Power-conduits have been placed around the globe. They only serve to siphon power from Ego.
Suddenly, Xavier is cut off by a malicious laugh. An image of the Supreme Intelligence hands between Lilandra and the Avengers. He laughs and greets his once former colleagues in the council. He asks them if they have no greeting for one who used to stand in power among them and the one who will by their inevitable conqueror.
The Supreme Intelligence tells the delegates that they are fools. The Kree have neutralized Earth and will claim the power of Ego, making them the most powerful force in the civilized universe. Better yet, the Kree did it right under the nose of the council. Already, they have taken back Hala and scores of other former Kree worlds. Fleets have been launched that were built in secret. Soon, he will have his empire back. Also, now that the Kree are not longer hindered by genetics, they are free to fulfill their destiny. Everyone shall fall and the Kree will rule the universe. The Supreme Intelligence chuckles one more time and then his image vanishes.
The councilors sit in shock until one skinny green alien with large eyes speaks up and reminds the councilors that Ego already shattered their defenses and fleets. Now the Kree are coming at them at full strength. He asks the council what they are going to do. U.S.Agent comes to the monitor and tells “pop-eyes” that it is the council’s problem. The heroes could have helped them against the “worm heads,” but right now Earth is a little busy. The council tried to destroy their planet and now the heroes are going to save it. U.S.Agent tells Thor and the others that he is in charge of the Avengers for the duration of the crisis and orders them back to Earth immediately.
Thor tells Lilandra that U.S.Agent is brusque, but he cannot argue with him. Under different circumstances, they could have offered the council help, but their first duty is to Earth. They must go. Embarrassed, Lilandra tells Thor that they understand. As the Avengers turn to leave, Quasar tells Lilandra that since the imprisonment of Earth was the council’s fault, he would like to ask for a favor.
In Florida, the Fantastic Four, Gambit, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Silver Surfer and the mystics watch the three men continue to work on their construct. The Thing wonders why they need Iron Man at all, since it is Tony Stark who is the “big brain.” The Human Torch reminds Thing that Tony Stark can see everything Iron Man sees and hears. “Besides,” says Johnny,” look at him go…”
Banner gets up and tells everyone that they are done and are ready for a test. Iron Man tells everyone to stand back and turns on the construct. The machine sends out a wave of energy, which hits Ego. Suddenly, the Ego mass begins to shrivel and contract itself. Gambit cheers as Ego begins to compress itself. Reed tells the others that the data Gambit brought worked, but it is only temporarily. They need to leach Ego into a host for. Reed turns to the Surfer and tells him that he knows that the cosmic being has volunteered, but he must understand that the process could kill him. The Surfer tells Reed that he knows and that he is ready.
The Scarlet Witch suddenly notices a light in the sky and tells everyone to look. Ronan the Accuser appears above the heroes and tells them that he cannot permit them to tamper with his power source. Ronan explains that he has been in league with the Supreme Intelligence since the beginning. The whole time he was only pretending to be a lackey of the Shi’ar. With that said, he aims his hammer to the ground and teleports an entire Kree army to Earth!
Ronan is about to tell the heroes to surrender or die, but he is cut off by another flash of light behind him in the sky. As the light fades, Ronan finds all of Earth’s heroes who traveled to the processing center behind him and ready to fight. Beta-Ray Bill, too, has come, though the alien prisoners are still at the processing center. U.S.Agent tells Ronan that time is up and that the cavalry has arrived.
Quasar rubs his head and thinks to himself that he has never tried anything like that before. Using the council’s astrogation systems, the Jack of Heart’s computer mind, Moondragon’s telepathy and his Q-bands, he was able to make a double quantum-jump to pick up the others and come to Earth. However, the process has strained him.
Unimpressed, Ronan threatens to kill them all. U.S.Agent welcomes him to try. In the name of the Earth and the United States, he orders everyone to get Ronan. Namor, Thor, Beta-Ray Bill, Colossus, She-Hulk, Thing, Wonder Man, Hercules, Warbird and Goliath all go for Ronan, while the rest of Earth’s heroes collide with the Kree army.
Ronan tells the heroes that he has the power of Ego, which means he has more power than any god or the Supreme Intelligence himself. He blasts Thor away with his hammer and knocks Beta-Ray Bill, Hercules and Namor away. He then slams Wonder Man with his hammer and tells them that no one can stop him.
While U.S.Agent fights along side Spider-Man and Rogue, he thinks to himself that, once again, it comes down to force against force. Again, it is the ordinary folk who are caught in the middle and pray that the costumed heroes have what it takes. However, one day, they are going to realize that their future hangs on a thin thread. U.S.Agent just hopes that that day is not today.
The Thing, Human Torch, Invisible Woman and Scarlet Witch return to Reed, Iron Man, Banner and the Silver Surfer. The Human Torch tells the four men that Ronan is tossing everyone around and that they don’t have much time. Thing says that they could take him, but Reed tells him that he need them here.
The Surfer stands in the middle of a ring that stands up vertically. He straps his feet into the ring and holds onto the top with his hands. Reed tells the Surfer that he does not like the readings, but they have to give it a go. They begin the transfer of Ego into the Surfer, who begins to suppress a scream. Ego flips out and begins to violently shift its mass everywhere. He releases a group of people that he absorbed, but quickly takes them back in to him.
Ronan suddenly feels weaker. Rogue leads another charge against Ronan and Thor tells the heroes to fight until the threat is over. However, nearby, the Silver Surfer continues to scream and his hard skin begins to crack to the horror of Iron Man. The three scientists realize that the Surfer cannot contain Ego and they shut down the machine. The Surfer breaks free from the ring, but tells the men that they need to try again. He then falls to the ground, unconscious.
Nearby, Quasar fights some Kree warriors all the while thinking about how he has not been home in some time. He is overjoyed to be home and begins to notice the sweet air, the warm sun and the feeling of fighting for something he genuinely loves. Before he can think any further, he looks down and notices Reed and the others and wonders what is going on. Banner tells Reed that the Surfer is barely alive. The Surfer cannot contain Ego. Reed begins to say that they should have never have tried, but Iron Man tells him that they had not choice and he did volunteer. He then wonders where they are going to get another host form.
Quasar hears all this and realizes what the men are doing. He also realizes what they need. He takes one last look around his surrounding of the Earth and takes in everything that he missed since his long exile into space. He then flies to the three men and tells them that he is what they need. Quasar explains that the Surfer could not handle it, but the Quantum-power is more adaptive. He will take the Surfer’s place.
Reed is amazed and begins to tell Quasar about the risks. Quasar stops him and tells him that it will be way too easy to talk him out of it. Quasar is strapped into the ring and the ring is activated. The process is worse than with the Surfer and the smell of oily smoke floats in the air. Banner begins to hold his head and tells the others that he needs some air and desperately needs to stay calm. Quasar is hit by excruciating pain, but he only holds on tighter to the ring.
Ronan knocks Thor, Rogue, and Sunfire away and realizes that his power is being sapped again. He walks past the fallen heroes and notes that this time the drain feels smoother and more dangerous. He cannot let it continue. The Thing notices that Ronan is shrinking and also doesn’t look happy about it. Ronan tells Thing that he is hardly happy and charges at the heroes.
Iron Man, the Human Torch, the Thing and the Scarlet Witch charge and Ronan. The Thing tells him that they only way he can get to Quasar is to go through them and he is betting that the alien cannot. Ronan easily plows through the four and tells them that he is not helpless. Even the tiniest portion of Ego’s power is more than enough to defeat them.
Reed wraps around Ronan, but Ronan simply sends waves of energy through him. Bruce begins to transform into the Hulk and warns Ronan to back off or suffer the consequences. Ronan laughs at the idea and blasts Banner unconscious before he can complete his transformation. He then aims his hammer at Quasar and prepares to kill him, which will lead Ronan to have more power to rule than the Supreme Intelligence.
From behind, U.S.Agent hits Ronan in the back with his energy baton and wounds the alien. He tells Ronan that he still has to deal with him. Ronan tells U.S.Agent that he is not match for him. U.S.Agent does not care and uppercuts Ronan with his shield. He tells Ronan that he may not be as powerful as the others, but Ronan is getting to Quasar over his dead body!
Ronan disagrees and tells U.S.Agent that he will get to Quasar with no concern for the agent at all. He then grabs U.S.Agent by the arm, but the man swings around Ronan and smashes his shield into Ronan’s back. Ronan is irked now and tells U.S.Agent that if he wants the condition to be over his dead body, then he will get his wish. He then blasts U.S.Agent point blank with the energy in his hammer.
To Ronan’s dismay, U.S.Agent is not dead. U.S.Agent is on his knees in front of Europe almost completely naked except for a few rags on his body from his former uniform. He taunts Ronan and tells him that he must be getting weaker, because he is still in his way. Ronan kicks him and tells U.S.Agent that he is courageous. Ronan tells U.S.Agent that there are only a few seconds left and then sends a blast towards Quasar, but it is blocked. Shocked, Ronan asks how his attack could be deflected. Disappointed that Ronan did not figure it out, the Invisible Woman comes over and reminds him that her specialty is invisible force fields. Sue then tells Ronan that those “few seconds” are up.
There is a rush of air and a crack of sound in the sky. Across the world, Ego blackens and shrivels in seconds. He turns into a dust. Quasar moans a moan that has never come from a human and then, just as suddenly as it began, it is over. Quasar falls free of the ring and onto the ground.
Thor, Captain America, Warbird and Colossus come up behind Ronan and Thor tells the man that it is over. Ronan tells them that he will just reverse the process, but Colossus tells him that they will not allow him too. Sue helps U.S.Agent up, but he goes towards Ronan and tells Colossus that Ronan is his. Ronan laughs at U.S.Agent and tells him that he amuses him to the end. U.S.Agent tells Ronan that this will be a riot then and tells him that he is under arrest. He then punches the Kree in the face. Ronan hits the ground, unconscious. U.S.Agent looks out to the field of unconscious heroes and aliens and tells everyone that it is over.
Soon, Goliath and Reed aid Quasar, who asks if the process worked. Reed confirms this, but Quasar tells him that he can “feel” the Ego-essence in him. Quasar tells them that he better go, because he cannot risk letting Ego break loose again. He also cannot let him out is space. That means he is an exile again. Reed promises Quasar that they will work out a solution. Goliath tells him that he will be free in no time. Quasar looks into the sky and says, “Yeah…I guess.” However, he knows that Reed and Goliath are just saying that to make him feel better. With that, Quasar flies off to space.
A week later, the last of the alien prisoners are rounded up and extradited. Most of the humans absorbed are shaken and traumatized, but alive. The nightmares will fade. Earth has survived and is rebuilding.
As Shi’ar troops load up the aliens, Lilandra speaks to Cerise via monitor. She tells Cerise that he council is embarrassed by their gullibility and is now preoccupied with the Kree. It will be some time before any one brings up the topic of Earth again. However, the war is going badly and is fiercer than she expected. Without Ego they are still a formidable foe and the council needs all its strength, including Cerise. Cerise tells Lilandra that she will leave within a day-cycle. Cerise looks at Xavier and Cadre K and asks Lilandra if she wants to speak to anyone else before the end of the transmission. Lilandra tells Cerise that she did what she had to do, but she is embarrassed as well. It will have to wait for another time.
A recuperated Z’cann hugs the Professor and wishes he was coming with them. Xavier tells her that he will miss her too, but his place is on Earth for now. They must carry on the fight without him. They do not need him. Fiz tells him that maybe they don’t, but he will always be with them in spirit. Fiz thanks him for sharing his dream as Cadre K boards their ship and take off.
Nearby, the Avengers meet with U.S.Agent, Agent Magruder and Agent Mowat. Captain America tells him that he kept everyone together, focused and he led well. He did a good job and, on behalf of the Avengers, he is thanking him. Cap offers his hand for a shake and U.S.Agent, who has a broken arm, is about to let go of his shame and anger, but he suddenly tells Cap that he does not need his approval nor does he want it.
U.S.Agent tells him that Maximum Security should never have happened. He does not want to be apart of their costume party. They endanger everyone by making cosmic enemies with their unsupervised dilettante games. He cares about the little guy. They are the people who shouldn’t have their lives interrupted and threatened by all the super-violence without warning.
U.S.Agent, Mowat, and Magruder walk away and U.S.Agent tells the Avengers to keep their congratulations. He is just going to do what he is doing, which is to make sure the “super-crooks” are subject to the same laws as everyone else. He is going to make sure that they and the Avengers are nothing special. “NOTHING AT ALL!” he screams.
U.S.Agent tells Mowat and Magruder to find the Black Mariah and to get out of there. Mowat congratulates U.S.Agent for saying what he did to the Avengers. He smiles and tells U.S.Agent that the Avengers are a bunch of “self-appointed, self satisfied yahoos…” Angrily, U.S.Agent grabs Mowat by the collar and shoves him against a jet. He tells the man that he never wants to hear that kind of talk about the Avengers ever again.
U.S.Agent drops Mowat onto the ground and leaves. Magruder goes to Mowat, who asks her what that was all about. Magruder tells him that she does not know and it is probably better not to ask.
Agatha Harkness, Dakimh the sorcerer, Jules St. Thomas, Khalid Inshallah, Margali of the Winding Way, Mechamage (various sorcerers)
Bishop, Colossus, Gambit, Nightcrawler, Psylocke, Rogue, Thunderbird III (all X-Men)
Black Panther, Bruce Banner/Hulk, Captain America, Hercules, Namor the Submariner, She-Hulk (all former Avengers)
Darkstar (member of Winder Guard)
Fiz, Nuro, R’tee, Spunje, Z’cann (all Cadre K)
Goliath, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Silverclaw, Triathlon, Vision, Warbird, Wasp, Wonder Man (all Avengers)
Human Torch II, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (all Fanstastic Four)
Jack of Hearts, Moondragon, Photon, Quasar, Starfox, Thor, Tigra (all Avengers Infinity)
Professor Xavier, Sunfire (former X-Men)
Magruder, Mowat, U.S.Agent (all S.T.A.R.S.)
Imperial Majestrix Lilandra Neramani
Ego the Living Planet
Ronan the Accuser
Various alien prisoners
Various S.H.I.E.L.D. agents
This story is the conclusion of the company-wide Maximum Security crossover. It continues from Avengers (3rd Series) #35.
The Ellis Island receiving station was attacked by the X-Men in X-Men (2nd Series) #107.
The X-Men and Avengers retrieved the Omega Codes in X-Men Unlimited (1st Series) #29. This is the first time they are referred to as the Omega Codes, though.
The Black Panther passed through to the processing center in Black Panther #25.
Cadre K, Professor Xavier and Bishop were captured in Maximum Security #2.
The Avengers Infinity squad was captured in Avengers (3rd Series) #35.
Gambit retrieved the data-disk in Gambit (3rd Series) #23.
Cerise was sent to find the X-Men and investigate Earth in Uncanny X-Men #387.
The Supreme Intelligence’s complete plan is detailed in Avengers (3rd Series) #35.
Issue Summary written by: Redguard (Mandeep Jangi)