- Huh? Of course it-- Wait a-- Huh?
- -- Hawkeye
Appearing in "In the Meantime, The In-Between Times..."
- Avengers (Earth-9930)
- Thundra (Earth-9930)
- Jocasta (Earth-9930) (Main story and flashback)
- Living Lightning (Earth-9930)
- Black Panther (Earth-9930)
- Killraven (Earth-9930)
- Crimson Dynamo (Earth-9930)
- Captain America (Earth-9930) (Statue)
- Thor (Earth-9930) (Statue)
- Giant-Man (Earth-9930) (Statue)
- Wasp (Earth-9930) (Statue)
- Hulk (Earth-9930) (Statue)
- Iron Man (Earth-9930) (Statue)
- Mourning Prey (Only appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Multitudes of Mourning Prey's insectoid children (Only appearance)
- Jocasta's unnamed baby (Only appearance)
- Two-Gun Kid
- Kid Colt
- Night Rider
- Ringo Kid
- Rawhide Kid
- Lord Immortus (Nathaniel Richards) (Behind the scenes) (Main story and flashback)
- Space Phantoms (Main story and flashback)
- Kang the Conqueror (Nathaniel Richards) (Past version)
- Mutated gila monster
- Mutated coyote (Mentioned) (referred to as "the last one")
- Avengers (Earth-9904) (Mentioned)
- "Skrull Nixon" (Earth-9904) (Mentioned)
Appearing in flashback/hologram apparitions:
- Rama-Tut (Only in flashback)
- Doctor Doom (Only in flashback)
- Human Torch (Android) (Only in flashback)
- Vision (Only in flashback)
- Scarlet Witch (Only in flashback)
- Mantis (Only in flashback)
- "Swordsman" (Cotati Spirit) (Only in flashback)
- Thor (Only in flashback)
- Major Astro (Only in flashback)
- young Vance Astrovik (Only in flashback)
- Machine Man (Earth-9930) (Only in flashback) (First appearance)
- Badoon warlord (Only in flashback)
- Grim Reaper (Only in flashback)
- Captain America's Shield
- Captain America's Uniform
- Hawkeye's Bow & Trick Arrows
- Energy shield (Earth-9930)
- Crimson Dynamo Armor MK IV (Earth-9930)
- Forever Crystal (Only in flashback)
- Mjolnir (Only in flashback)
- Grim Reaper's Scythe (Only in flashback)
- Kang's Sphinx
- Chronospheres (3)
- Black Panther's Cruiser (Earth-9930)
Synopsis for "In the Meantime, The In-Between Times..."
Narrowly escaping a wave of negation erasing the timeline of Earth-9904, the Wasp and Captain Marvel take their Chronosphere back to Kang The Conqueror's Sphinx replica, floating in "non-space" outside the Timestream. As Rick Jones tracks them for docking, a series of images simultaneously appear on the monitors inside the Sphinx as well as outside in the surrounding void.
Arriving on board, the trio confer. Rick cycles through the images, playing like an Immortus "Best Of" clipshow. They theorize that the time-lord's usage of the Forever Crystal necessitating their hasty exodus from the destroyed timeline triggered the montage of his other manipulations. While looking upon the cryptic vignettes as next-level clues to an ever-widening puzzle, the Avengers still remain unclear as to Immortus's master plan...
In wartorn 21st Century New York City, the improbably-pregnant Synthezoid, Jocasta, comes upon despondent time-travelling Captain America kneeling in front of a decimated statue of the Founding Avengers. As she offers him a comforting word, the Black Panther and Cap's investigative partner, Giant-Man, inform them that all is in readiness for their immediate departure to Wakanda. Planning to strip what remains of the super-metal, Vibranium, from his home nation's mines, the Panther seeks to build a small fleet of attack ships and pursue the genocidal invaders to their staging ground on Mars.
Once at the mines, the Avengers encounter a host of tiny golden insectoids with razor-sharp wings. While doing their best to fend off the primal territorial attack, Jocasta goes into unexpected labor as a reaction from attempting to phase through the creatures. As Dr. Pym "giants-up" to clear space for delivery, he creates a shockwave that takes out the insectoids' mama, a non-verbal butterfly woman named Mourning Prey. Collapsing, Cap rushes in on her but is halted in a mysterious trance.
Shifting to the Avengers in 1873 Tombstone, Arizona, Hawkeye and the delusionally-unstable-yet-still-brilliant Yellowjacket argue outside a cave where Songbird stands guard over their three Space Phantom captives. She emerges shortly thereafter, urging they head to town and get their Chronosphere back from the contemporaneously villainous Kang.
In Tombstone, the Two-Gun Kid gathers a gang of costumed gunmen in his alter ego's law offices. Assessing it's up to them to do something about the trance Kang's placed the townspeople in, they ride out guns a-blazin'. Before long, they come across an entire main street's-worth of the mesmerized, trying not to harm the innocent horde. Coming onto the scene from the opposite angle, Hawkeye and Yellowjacket's first response is to help the Old West heroes but Songbird cautions otherwise, reminding them that assistance will be lent by another group of Avengers.
Taking advantage of the distraction, Songbird leads them around the revealed side of "Kang Hotel Saloon"'s futuristic citadel facade. The men begin to grow suspicious as Songbird's schematic knowledge of their foe's domicile exceeds any protocols known to the two veteran Avengers. Standing in the Chronosphere hangar bay, Yellowjacket puts an unspoken hypothesis to the test as he makes a blatant romantic pass at Songbird. As she responds uncharacteristically in kind, the younger Dr. Pym backhands her unconscious; Hawkeye looking on in shock!
Cut back: As the Avengers close in on Cap and Mourning Prey, Thundra fires off a chain attack that Rogers repulses with his shield. He then compels his comrades to lower their arms and gather as Mourning Prey telepathically conveys her origin. While the Panther realizes that through Immortus's manipulations, Mourning Prey's children are dependent on the Vibranium for life, Giant-Man informs him that Jocasta is suffering seizures that can also be alleviated by the wonder-metal's unique properties. Cap succinctly puts it to Earth-9930's leader that he has a literal world-changing life-and-death choice on his hands...
Tombstone: Hawkeye comes down on YJ, retaliating for the grotesque brutalization. Calming the Marksman, Yellowjacket explains his gamble, revealing with a bolt of his bio-blast that "Songbird" has been a Space Phantom since the cave. As the real Melissa Gold rejoins them, the Avengers board the Chronosphere and depart. Outside, the Space Phantom pleads pathetically about his failure to carry out his master's agenda.
Wakanda, Earth-9930: Applying strips of raw Vibranium to Jocasta proves successful in easing her spasming. After a bit more effort, Giant-Man delivers the first-ever baby of two artificial beings through "natural" childbirth. Outside, Cap and T'Challa remark about the "convenience" of the entire unfolding scenario. Surfacing from the mines, Pym joins their conversation. The visiting duo call forth their Chronosphere as they implore T'Challa to go inside and rejoice in that he chose life this day, despite suffering such tragically bizarre machinations.
Back at the Sphinx, the reunited Avengers share their respective findings. As Songbirds fends off Yellowjacket's advances anew, Giant-Man and the Wasp put forth a proactive initiative: storm Immortus's fortress in Limbo head-on! In unison, both Rick Jones and Captain Marvel express ill feelings about this course of action...
The "Chronoflash" images appearing in this issue are originally seen in/inspired by:
- Fantastic Four Annual #2 (The meeting of Doctor Doom and Rama-Tut)
- Fantastic Four Annual #4 (Immortus splitting Human Torch (Android) into 2 duplicate bodies with one becoming the Vision. This all occurs behind the scenes between the end of the F4 Annual and the Vision's first appearance in Avengers #57. This is all greater detailed in Avengers Forever #8)
- Giant-Size Avengers #4 (Immortus "officiating" over the double-wedding of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch and Mantis and the spirit of the Cotati Elder possessing the reanimated body of the deceased Swordsman)
- Thor Vol #282 (Immortus tricks Thor into draining Mjolnir's time-travel properties, believing it is the only way to save the Space Phantom's "homeworld". The reality behind this play is also explained in Avengers Forever #8)
- Marvel Two-In-One #69 (Evidently Immortus played a secret behind-the-scenes hand in Guardians of the Galaxy's futuristic Major Astro seeking out his younger self, manipulating the deep-space man-out-of-time into advising that past-Vance pick a different life choice)
- Avengers #106 (Seeding a subplot began in Avengers #102, the Grim Reaper offers the Vision a chance to become human in the body of Captain America, it is later revealed the the Reaper was partnering with the Space Phantom. The Phantom in turn had been working a byzantine behind-the-scenes campaign against Cap since Captain America #111. The entire scenario comes to conclusion in Avengers #108)
- While there is no known documentation of Immortus meeting with warlords of the Badoon, it is entirely possible that he struck an accord with them to reign intergalactic tyranny, given their prevalence in the 30th and 31st Centuries of Earth-691. Also, given the history of that particular timeline (dubbed "War of the Worlds") and its similarities to Earth-9930 in this issue, it is quite possible that the Badoon and Immortus are actually the greater architectural backers of centuries-worth of attacks perpetrated by others as well.
- The wedding of Machine Man and Jocasta of Earth-9930 is an all-new image. Closest thing to source material is their brief romance in Marvel Two-In-One #92.
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