- The Serpent is malevolence given form; he is terror given shape. ... His avatars carry with them weapons more mighty than any found on Earth. And they are driven by dire purposes we cannot fathom beyond the most simple: Spread fear! Spread terror! The Serpent has no interest in war -- his strategy is slaughter. And slaughter he shall. Again and again. And the minds of men will warp and break. Their very faiths will shatter...and their icons will fall...
- -- Odin
Appearing in "World on Fire"
- New Avengers
- Secret Avengers
- Juggernaut (Cain Marko) (Possessed by Kuurth, Breaker of Stone)
- Gray Gargoyle (Paul Duval) (Possessed by Mokk, Breaker of Faith)
- Hulk (Bruce Banner) (Possessed by Nul, Breaker of Worlds)
- Sin (Sinthea Shmidt) (Possessed by Skadi)
- Attuma (Possessed by Nerkkod, Breaker of Oceans)
- Titania (Mary MacPherran) (Possessed by Skirn, Breaker of Men)
- Absorbing Man (Carl Creel) (Possessed by Greithoth, Breaker of Wills)
- Thing (Ben Grimm) (Possessed by Angrir, Breaker of Souls)
- Thule Society
- Serpent's seer (First appearance)
- Serpent's troops (First appearance)
- Broxton residents
- Atlanteans (Corpse)
Races and Species:
- Magneto's Helmet
- Cyclops' Visor
- Hammer of Kuurth
- Hammer of Mokk
- Hammer of Nul
- Hammer of Skadi
- Bleeding Edge Armor
- Black Widow's Gauntlets
- Captain America's Shield
- Winter Soldier's Bionic Arm (Destroyed)
- Hammer of Nerkkod
- Mockingbird's Battle Staves
- Hawkeye's Bow
- Hammer of Angrir
Synopsis for "World on Fire"
Thor returns to Earth in Broxton, Oklahoma, where he is greeted by a mob of people angry at him and the rest of the Asgardians. After being told to move on by a mad resident, he flies away. Onboard the Quincarrier Tony Stark, Natalia Romanova, and Nick Fury stand over Bucky's dead body. Natalia questions Tony and Fury about what they know about the Serpent, who Bucky mentioned to her in his final moments. Thor arrives and tells them that the Serpent feeds on people's fear and grows stronger from it. Not only that, he tells them that Odin has plans to destroy Earth and the Serpent along with it. Nick Fury tells Tony and Thor to go get Steve Rogers, who resumes the title of Captain America in Bucky's stead.
Steve asks for the rundown on what's happening. Tony tells him about the Worthy's hammers and is told to come up with counter weaponry. Thor explains to Steve that the Serpent is a being similar to his father and feeds on the fear of others. He also tells him of a prophecy involving him slaying a serpent and dying at its hands. Steve asks him to speak to the Serpent.
Maria Hill asks Steve to come see something. Meanwhile, a boy fishing by himself in British Columbia sees several Atlantean bodies come to the surface. This is because of Nerkkod, Breaker of Oceans, which is what Attuma has become.
This gives the Serpent all of the power he needs to reach full power. His staff becomes a hammer, which he uses to raise his citadel. Maria Hill, Thor, Steve, and Tony witness it's rise from Maria's computer monitor. Shortly after, they head off in different directions. Thor heads to Antarctica to confront the Serpent, Tony heads to Oklahoma to speak to Odin, and Steve lands in Manhattan to join the Avengers and fight Skadi's forces, who have entered New York.
The Serpent becomes aware of Thor's arrival and sends in his troops. Tony, in hopes of getting Odin's attention, sacrifices his sobriety by drinking the bottle of wine given to him by H.A.M.M.E.R. Industries as "congratulations" for being able to rebuild Asgard.
As Thor continues to wipe out the Serpent's soldiers, the Serpent shows his face. In Manhattan, Skadi spots Steve from a rooftop and rejoices in the opportunity to kill Captain America a second time. Tony's sacrifice does not go unnoticed and he manages to get an audience with Odin. Skadi jumps off of the rooftop and attacks Steve with her mighty hammer.
The Serpent tells Thor about how he was the first king of Asgard and Odin is his brother, making Thor his nephew of his. The Serpent offers him a chance to work with him to defeat Odin, an offer Thor refuses. He then attacks the Serpent, only to be sent to New York, where he must instead face Nul, Breaker of Worlds and Angrir, Breaker of Souls.
The blockbuster Marvel event of the year continues! AFTERMATH: the heroes reel in the wake of last issue's shocking finale. Thor finds himself unwelcome in two homes. Steve Rogers makes the decision of a lifetime. And Iron Man prepares to make the ultimate sacrifice. Every move the heroes make just serves to make The Serpent stronger-- and the feat he accomplishes in this issue will rock the Avengers.
- The bottle of wine Tony drinks is called "Démon dans une Bouteille", a reference to Iron Man #128.
- On the cover of the issue, the Serpent is shown to have become younger in appearance. This is most likely the result of our world becoming engulfed by fear, thus making the Serpent stronger.
- In this issue, Steven Rogers once more assumes the title of Captain America in order to fight the Serpent and his minions.
- Salmon Arm, British Columbia is in fact NOT a coastal town but 800km inland, centred in the middle of the Rocky Mountains.
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