Appearing in 1st story
- She-Hulk (Jen Walters)
- War Machine (Col. Jim Rhodes)
- Ulysses (First appearance chronologically)
- Captain Marvel (Col. Carol Danvers)
- President Barack Obama (Shadow only)
- Director Maria Hill
- Unnamed agents
- Doc Samson (Returns)
- Latverian rebels
- Jonathan Powers (Death off-panel)
- United States Marines (Mentioned)
- Tony Stark (Mentioned)
- Michelle (First appearance)
- Alpha Flight (Mentioned)
- A-Force (Mentioned)
- Ultimates (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- United States of America
- New York
- Washington, D.C.
- White House
- Situation Room
- Oval Office (Mentioned)
- White House
- New Jersey (Airspace only)
- Dover (Airspace only)
- United States of America
- Hell (Invoked)
Synopsis for 1st story
In the New York City Court, Jennifer Walters talks to the jury during a case defending the retired super villain Jonathan Powers. Powers had been arrested after an undercover federal agent and a paid informant entrapped him to talk about his desire to go back to his criminal career. Jennifer claims that her client can't be imprisoned for his thoughts, and the people in the country should be allowed freedom of thought, specially if they have yet to do anything actually criminal.
In Latveria, War Machine shuts down a group of Latverian rebels. After the mission, he's called to the White House's situation room to talk to the President privately. The President wishes for Rhodes to initiate in a political career, starting with becoming the new Secretary of Defense, in order to ultimately aim for Presidency. The President has predicted a future involvement of super heroes in politics, and he thinks that if any of the heroes was to run for President, the best choice would be Rhodes.
The scene moves to Ohio State University. A young student named Ulysses approaches his crush, a fellow student named Michelle, and tries to start a conversation to ask her out. The attention of the other students in the campus, Michelle, and eventually Ulysses shifts towards the Terrigen Cloud that has become a part of the Earth's atmosphere and travels with the wind currents. The Terrigen Cloud looms in the horizon, moving towards the college. It ultimately engulfs the campus, leaving both Ulysses and Michelle wrapped in cocoons, undergoing Terrigenesis.
Back to New York City, Captain Marvel arrives at the Triskelion. Her subordinates report to her, but her routine is interrupted by the arrival of a visitor waiting for Carol in the communications room. The visitor is Doc Samson, who acknowledges the fact that he was supposedly dead, and he begins to chat with Carol. She reveals her worries about the world they live in, and that her work with the Ultimates allowed her to realize that the world lives in constant danger of the threats of the like her team proactively stops before they happen. Carol ultimately realizes that Samson's visit is no coincidence, and that he was sent to evaluate her. Even though she's initially irritated, she continues opening up, and mentions that with everything that she has experienced, and the constant sense of danger, she wishes for there to be something that could help protect the Earth from all corners. While Samson argues that the super hero community is said thing, Carol questions what would happen the day that is not enough.
On a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier over Dover, New Jersey, She-Hulk meets up with S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Maria Hill. When Hill brings up Powers' case, which Jen has lost, She-Hulk mentions that she plans to appeal against the conviction; however, Hill interrupts Jen to inform her that Powers was killed by a guard during a scuffle with two fellow inmates while he was in custody. She-Hulk highlights that he was innocent, and that he was imprisoned before actually committing any crime. Hill tries to console her, telling her that Powers would still have backslid either way.
Back in Ohio, the zone swept by the Terrigen Cloud has attracted the press, bystanders, and authorities. While one of the students is being interviewed, Ulysses comes out of his cocoon, without any superficial changes. Michelle comes out of her cocoon almost immediately thereafter, having being turned into an enraged red-skinned beast with wings and a tail. When people begin to react to her new appearance, Ulysses' eyes turn red before blacking out. When he wakes up, he finds himself in a war-torn Manhattan, and begins to panic.
From the creative team that brought you House of M and Siege comes a blistering first chapter in Marvel’s new explosive event. Watch as the players are introduced and the table is set for a storyline that fans will be talking about for years.