Appearing in "... And All That's Left is Ashes"
- Illuminati (Main story and flashback)
- Black Panther (T'Challa) (Main story and flashback)
- Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) (Main story and flashback)
- Captain Britain (Brian Braddock) (Main story and flashback)
- Beast (Hank McCoy) (Main story and flashback)
- Doc Green (Bruce Banner) (Main story and flashback)
- Black Bolt (Blackagar Boltagon) (Main story and flashback)
- Iron Man (Tony Stark) (Only in flashback)
- Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange) (Mentioned)
- Amadeus Cho
- Sunspot's Avengers
- A.I.M. agents
- Annihilation Wave
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
- Wakanda (Only in flashback)
- United States of America (Main story and flashback)
- Earth Orbit
- The rogue planet
- Panther Habit (Main story and flashback)
- Future Foundation Uniform (Main story and flashback)
- Endo-Sym Armor (Only in flashback)
- War Machine Armor Model 8
- Black Widow's Gauntlets
- Captain America's Shield
- Hawkeye's Bow and Trick Arrows
- Exospex (Main story and flashback)
- Planetkiller (First appearance) (Destruction)
- Pod Undersuit (Behind the scenes)
- Sol's Hammer (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "... And All That's Left is Ashes"
Two weeks ago, in the Wakanda Necropolis, the Illuminati had gathered at the cage of Tony Stark. They had been debating what to do, as Steve Rogers and his S.H.I.E.L.D. Avengers would be arriving in a few hours, and Tony might have been a point of contention. Tony demanded to be let out, as he was no worse than them, but Reed disagreed - they had kept faith, while Tony had tried to walk his dangerous path. Namor and Stephen had followed him. Tony stood up, admitting to his fault, but demanded that he be allowed to die for a purpose. The Illuminati agree, and let him go.
Two hours ago, the heroes of Earth had a dire problem: the Galactic Council had finally worked out that the threat of the Incursions was centred on Earth and had come to destroy the planet. In a message to everyone on Earth, Majestor Kallark acknowledged that their world has saved the universe more than once, and so he would give them two hours to make their peace. Seeing this, Steve Rogers wanted people presenting counter-attack plans in half an hour.
On the roof of S.H.I.E.L.D. Station Golgotha, Mister Fantastic confronts Steve Rogers. Tentatively, he brings up Tony Stark, and says that some people are very easy to read. For Reed Richards himself, his motivation is simple: love of science and love of family. For Steve Rogers, it is even simpler: a desire to do good things. For Tony Stark, however, the motivation is a desire to get to the good bits in the future while skipping over as much of the deplorable present as possible. This is bolstered by the ability to quietly multitask. He has been helping the Illuminati for months while fighting his own fights, but even then, he found the time to plan ahead against such a moment as this.
Steve and Natasha boot up the device Reed gave them. In deep space, cosmic engines cycle up, while Steve thinks of what Reed told him: that Tony Stark hacked together and installed a remote computer control system for the Builder warship the Avengers had captured... in his spare time.
Smasher, Superguardian and Avenger, refused Kallark's order to leave Earth, and he respected her. But now she wants to reconsider. Sunspot, her fellow Avenger, says he has a plan to save the world. She agress, but she and Pod have a plan: in the event of a failure, Pod will take Smasher's child, Josiah, to safety between universes. Sunspot's underling explains that the plan is hideable until they turn the machine on. Sunspot says to start, as in Earth orbit, satellites boot up and form a ring. Together, they focus power from ground stations, using the nickel-iron core of the planet like a nickel-iron rechargeable battery to power a colossal thermal cannon.
Before Kallark can respond, the Builder vessel ambushes them, and the fleet is caught fighting on two fronts. The Earthmen suppress their glee... until the planet-based system overclocks. Now only fighting on one front, the fleet deploys is mightiest force: the Annihilation Wave. The Builder ship is destroyed. The remaining ships form up to blow up Earth.
Months ago, the Avengers, along with a visitor from the future, trapped a rogue planet out of phase but perfectly synced with Earth's gravity well. This was orchestrated from a device called the Control Disc. Now, as a tactic of last resort, the Illuminati use the disc to flip the arrangement, so that Earth and its people are out of phase, while the rogue planet appears under the alien ships.
It is revealed that large chunks of this plan were worked out in advance by Tony Stark. As soon as he heard about the fleet, he left Earth for Sol's Hammer...
IN TWO MONTHS…TIME RUNS OUT!
- The original issue by Adam Kubert featuring the Multiversal Avengers marching forward was changed for a cover by Stefano Casseli. The original cover will be used for New Avengers (Vol. 3) #32.