Appearing in 1st story
- Illuminati (Main story and flashback)
- Elektra / "Sheriff Eva" (Elektra Natchios) (Only in flashback)
- S.H.I.E.L.D. (Only in flashback)
- Baron Helmut Zemo (Mentioned)
- Avengers (Mentioned)
- Mentallo (Marvin Flumm) (Only in flashback)
- Bushwacker (Carl Burbank) (Only in flashback)
- Black Talon (Samuel Barone) (Only in flashback)
- Blizzard (Donnie Gill (Only in flashback)
- Night Phantom (Travis Hoyt) (Only in flashback)
- Thor (Jane Foster) (Only in flashback)
- Dormammu (Invoked)
- Mad Thinker (Julius) (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Humans (Main story and flashback)
- Mutants (Only in flashback)
- Human-Inhuman Hybrids (Only in flashback)
- Robots (Only in flashback)
- Earth (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for 1st story
The Absorbing Man, along with many other captured super villains, had been imprisoned in a new S.H.I.E.L.D. facility codenamed Pleasant Hill that used Kobik to give them new identities and appearances, rewriting their memories in the process. The former villains then lived their new lives in a picture-perfect American town while being none-the-wiser of what had happened to them. The Absorbing Man was transformed into "Harold," a man who worked at the local ice cream parlour. Here he lived a happy, if somewhat mundane, life where he had a crush of the town's sheriff (actually Elektra) and was best friends with "Scotty" (actually Whirlwind). The Absorbing Man, Whirlwind and Elektra, along with the rest of the incarcerated villains "woke up" when Baron Zemo launched a coordinated assault on the facility. Angry at having had their minds tampered with, Creel and Whirlwind began attacking S.H.I.E.L.D. agents while Elektra tried to stop them due to the residual effects of the mind-tampering which had turned her into Pleasant Hill's sheriff. At the same time, Titania and the Hood teleported into Pleasant Hill in order to rescue Creel, taking Whirlwind with them as well.
Back at the Hood's House of Hell, Creel revealed to the Hood what had been done to him and the other inmates by S.H.I.E.L.D. and said that it was the happiest time that he could ever remember, even if it wasn't real. Titania overheard the conversation and was hurt that the happiest Creel had ever felt was without her. Creel then agreed to join Hood's Illuminati, saying that they should round up all of the villains who had their memories tampered with at Pleasant Hill, and together they would make S.H.I.E.L.D. pay for what they did to them.
A STANDOFF tie-in!
• S.H.I.E.L.D. has trapped Absorbing Man in a new prison and only the Hood and Titania can save him…
• But does he want to be saved?!