Appearing in "Of Course You Realise This Means War"
- Hulk (Abandons War Identity)
- Apocalypse (Appears in Flashback) (Impersonates Aten)
- Ozymandias (Appears in Flashback)
- New World Order (Disbands)
- Akhenaten (Only in flashback)
- Merenptah (Only in flashback)
- Alexander of Macedonia (Only in flashback)
- Brian Banner (Illusion)
- Aten (Invoked)
- Black Tom Cassidy (Referenced)
- El-Mudyad Shiek (Referenced)
- "Boy king" (Mentioned) (Merenptah's ancestor) Horemheb (Earth-616)
- Noah (Mentioned)
- Yahweh (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Macedonian Empire (Main story and flashback)
- Flood (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "Of Course You Realise This Means War"
Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten prays to Aten, asking the god to appear before his people once more. Hearing this is the eternal mutant Apocalypse, the man they worship as Aten, gloats about how this king comes to worship at his feet. Hearing this is Ozymandias, who continues to chronicle his visions of the future and finds the prayers of the king above of no consequence to him. Apocalypse considers visiting Akhenaten's people and says that he will visit them soon, but by his own measurement of time as he dwells on the future.
Egypt, the Present Day
Apocalypse has just succeeded in transforming the Hulk into his new Horseman, War. Hoping to stop the Hulk from ruining their schemes, the New World Order had the Absorbing Man recruit Rick Jones and his future granddaughter Janis to Egypt to try and talk sense into the Hulk. They were too late to stop the transformation and the Absorbing Man was shattered into pieces as a result. The New World Order then sent their other agent, the Juggernaut, to face off against the Hulk. Juggernaut arrived and attacked Hulk, and the two are now fighting. As the two battle it out, Rick searches in vain for traces of the Absorbing Man, fearing that the Juggernaut might not be strong enough to defeat this new, more powerful Hulk. This fear becomes reality when the Hulk manages to do something that Cain Marko claimed was impossible for years: He managed to stop the Juggernaut. Shocked by this, the Juggernaut can do little when War wraps his whip around Marko's leg and tosses him away. Watching this from his secret laboratory is Apocalypse, who gloats to Ozymandias about his ability to boost the Hulk's power to be stronger than one of the X-Men's most powerful foes.
Meanwhile, Rick Jones and Janis have managed to gather all the broken pieces of the Absorbing Man, allowing him to reform his body. The villain then grabs Janis' staff, absorbing its properties so he can carry the pair to Cairo where the Hulk and Juggernaut's battle is still raging. The battle is still being watched by both the New World Order and Apocalypse. While the New World Order believes the information they got from Ozymandias will help them defeat their opponent and gain access to the technology Apocalypse outfitted the Hulk with. They are unaware that Ozymandias is still loyal to Apocalypse and has set them up for a fall. While Apocalypse tells Ozymandias not to over-estimate Rick Jones, even though he has no powers to speak of.
This causes Apocalypse to think back to the great battle of Merenptah, who was the sole survivor of the battle. Before his fallen soldiers, he begged Apocalypse -- thinking him to be Aten -- to help. Apocalypse scoffed due to the fact that Merenptah's ancestor had restored polytheism to Egypt during his reign, a large mistake. Apocalypse then walked away, telling the defeated ruler to remember to never discount that there will be those greater than he, and in this world, only the fit will survive.
Cairo, the Present
The battle between the Hulk and the Juggernaut rages on as the people of Cairo flee for their lives. Rick and Janis do what they can to help the fleeing people get away from the debris from the battle as they work their way to the two combatants. By this point, the Juggernaut has been defeated and War uses his sword to remove the Juggernaut's helmet. However, he is too busy gloating over his victory to land the killing blow before the Absorbing Man interrupts him. Furious at the surprise attack, the Hulk easily overpowers the Absorbing Man then impales him with his sword. It's at this point that Janis blasts the Hulk to stop him from killing Creel. Rick then steps in to try and talk sense into the Hulk, hoping their long-standing friendship can overcome what Apocalypse has done to him. However, when the Hulk recovers from the blast he swats Rick aside, sending him crashing into a wall. Janis is horrified by what she has seen and tells the Hulk to take a good look at what he has done. Seeing Rick clinging to life causes the hallucinations of the Hulk's father, Brian Banner, to return. As they mock him, the Hulk begins to lose his temper again and he rips off all the armor that Apocalypse has outfitted him with and leaps away.
With the battle over, the Juggernaut and Absorbing Man recover from the beatings they took. Recovering the discarded sword for the New World Order, the Juggernaut convinces Creel to help him bring Janis and Rick to a nearby hospital as payment for their help.
Fourth Century B.C.
Alexander the Great has just finished his conquest of Egypt and learning that his newly adopted people worship a god other than himself decides to pay a visit to this being. This turns out to be Apocalypse who isn't interested in Egypt anymore. After telling Alexander that he will outlive the ruler long after he is forgotten he begins to laugh. That laugh is so frightening, Alexander and his armies flee the area.
The heads of the New World Order begin examining the sword recovered from the battle in the hopes of obtaining some of Apocalypse's technology. However, the weapon is rigged with a communication device planted by Apocalypse. The immortal mutant then appears in a holographic projection and tells them that they will not be around to prevent him from taking advantage of the Celestial Cataclysm that is fast approaching. When they ask what he means, Apocalypse triggers an explosion that destroys the NWOs facility, killing all inside. After his foes have been dispatched, Apocalypse thinks about the Biblical tale of the great flood and wonders aloud if in this case if he is God or Noah. As he waxes on this, he watches as the Hulk flees from Cairo within the landing gear of a departing plane.
- Rick Jones is crippled in this story. His ability to walk is eventually restored in Avengers: Forever #12.
- The "Celesial Cataclysm" that Apocalypse is referring to is the fact that the Celestial are coming to Earth to judge Franklin Richards pocket dimension in Heroes Reborn: The Return #1-4. With the help of Earth's heroes and the Celestial named Ashema, Franklin manages to prevent the Celestials from destroying Earth and Counter-Earth.
Flashbacks in this story have an effect on the history of the following characters:
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