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Builders (Race) from Infinity Vol 1 4 001
Quote1 don't understand... This...this...means...everything dies. Quote2
Thor Vol 6 19 Asrar Variant Textless
Quote1 You first.[4] Quote2


Infinity is split between two different, concurrent stories: the war with the Builders in space and the invasion of Thanos on Earth.

The Builder War is part of the incursion storyline that leads to Secret Wars (2015). Thanos' invasion is mostly standalone and can be read by itself.

Builder War[]

Background Information[]

For more on the Builder systems, see Avengers (Vol. 5) #117.
For more on the incursions, see New Avengers (Vol. 3) #18.
Incursion from New Avengers Vol 3 1 001

An incursion, where two realities overlap at their Earths, destroying both

Unbeknownst to most, the Multiverse was dying due to the incursions, where two realities collide with their Earths serving as the focal point. The Illuminati assembled to deal with these incursions in secret, after they had captured a Black Swan.[5] They reverse engineered the Black Swan's antimatter bomb so they could destroy other incursion worlds, for an incursion can be stopped or prevented by destroying even just one of the Earths.[6]

Ex Nihilo (Earth-616), Aleph (Garden) (Earth-616), and Abyss (Ex Nihilo) (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 5 9 001

Builder systems: Ex Nihilo, Aleph, and Abyss

Captain Universe sensed that the universe was dying (a symptom of the incursions) and chose a "broken" host, Tamara Devoux, to reflect that.[7] Her first "children," the Builders, had created "systems" to help shape the universe. Three Builder creations—Ex Nihilo, Abyss, and Aleph—forced the Avengers to expand after they had flung Origin Bombs to Earth from their Garden on Mars. The new Captain Universe, now an Avenger, ordered Ex Nihilo and Abyss to stop and she destroyed their Aleph.[8]

Kevin Connor (Earth-616) and Adam Blackveil (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 5 9 001

Builder systems: Nightmask and Starbrand, ascended by the White Event

Meanwhile, the incursions caused a wave of destruction across the Superflow, where the Builders had created structures and stations to fire White Events. The last of these stations fired their last White Events in desperation before they collapsed. On Earth-616, this resulted in the ascension of Nightmask (Adam) (a creation of Ex Nihilo) and Starbrand (Kevin Connor). These were newer Builder systems compared to the Gardeners.[9]

Avengers (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 5 17 001

Starbrand, Nightmask, Abyss, and Ex Nihilo as Avengers

Recognizing Earth as the "multiversal fracture point," some of the lifeforms from Ex Nihilo's Origin Bombs sent a signal to the Builders in space: "System failure. Multiversal fracture point. World terminal."[10] The Builders soon began their aggression on the universe. Captain Universe noticed this and told the Avengers that they must get bigger. As per Captain Universe's suggestions, the Avengers recruited Builder systems Ex Nihilo, Abyss, Starbrand, and Nightmask.[11]

Destruction of Galador[]

Caretakers (Builders) from Avengers Vol 5 7 001
Quote1 Unforeseen complications, Builders...this world resists. Quote2
Builders from Infinity Vol 1 3 001
Quote1 They all resist.[12] Quote2
World Killer from Infinity Vol 1 1 001

The Builders' World Killer destroying Galador on their way to Earth

The planet Galador became one of the earliest victims of the Builder Armada during the Builders' campaign. Located 60,000 light years away form Earth, it faced ruthless attacks from the Builders' ground forces, the mechanical exterminators called Alephs. Galador was not undefended and its heroes, the Spaceknights, fought bravely against the invaders. A Curator and a Caretaker reported the resistance to their Builder masters, who simply replied that all worlds resist. After Galadorian children Sanno and Kiru had been saved by the Spaceknights, Captain Universe appeared and told the hopeful youths that it was not enough. The Builders arrived with their World Killer; Sanno and Kiru embraced one last time as their planet was destroyed.[12]

Avengers Leaving the Earth[]

Captain America Vol 6 2 Textless
Captain America
Quote1 Understand, people, this is real, it's headed our way, and it's scary enough to make space empires scramble. Ex Nihilo. These people--your Builders--created you and your sister, Abyss. What chance would we have if they make it to Earth? Quote2
Ex Nihilo (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 5 1 001
Ex Nihilo
Quote1 Captain, the measuring of probabilities is-- Quote2
Abyss (Ex Nihilo) (Earth-616) from Avengers NOW! Vol 1 1 001
Quote1 The answer is none. If that fleet reaches this system, the next step in human evolution is extinction.[12] Quote2
Avengers (Earth-616) from Infinity Vol 1 1 001

The Avengers gathering to discuss the Builder threat

After the attack on Galador, Captain Universe reappeared at the Peak, headquarters of S.W.O.R.D, in a comatose state. S.W.O.R.D. had been busy dealing with a significant influx of potential alien invaders, who were actually nonviolent refugees, and had the Avengers help. Once the Avengers (including Ex Nihilo) were called in about the return of Captain Universe, they were also informed about a Kree open channel distress signal, something they would never normally do. As they watched the footage of a doomed crew from a Kree moon being slaughtered by Alephs and Gardeners, Abigail Brand revealed that the trajectory of the Builders' path of destruction was heading directly to Earth.[12]

Hours after the distress signal, S.W.O.R.D. picked up military chatter from almost all members and space empires of the Galactic Council. Smasher, a Superguardian of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, confirmed that she had been recalled and noted that the order included all Subguardians to be on standby, meaning heavy losses was expected. After Ex Nihilo and Abyss had confirmed that Earth alone stood no chance against the Builders, the Avengers decided to stand alongside the other worlds in space, though Tony Stark stayed behind.[12]

War Council on Nomad[]

Empyre Vol 1 3 Kree Skrull Variant Textless
Quote1 I have received grave news, fellow warlords...the invaders have claimed another world. Two hundred billion souls...gone. Quote2
My'rl (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 5 18 001
Quote1 And did you summon us here to prattle while Skrull warriors die...or are we going to meet them in battle? Quote2
Empyre Vol 1 3 Kree Skrull Variant Textless
Quote1 You think I run from glory, My'rl? If there was glory to be had, I would surely beat you there. No, you are here because...there is going to be a gathering. A war council on Nomad. Word has spread of this invading fleet. I wish for us to go in the hopes we can...prevent what looks inevitable.[13] Quote2
Galactic Council (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 5 18 001

The Galactic Council rallying together against the Builders

As the Builders continued to terrorize everything in their path, an assembly was called for war on the Citadel of the Galactic Council, located in the neutral territory of Nomad. Although the former great Skrull Empire had fractured into warring factions, Kl'rt the Super-Skrull managed to convince most of the Skrull warlords to unite under him and presented himself to the Council for admittance. Among the council leaders were Gladiator of the Shi'ar Empire, the Supreme Intelligence and Ronan the Accuser of the Kree Empire, and J'son of the Spartax Empire. Even historical enemies such as the Brood Queen and Annihilus of the Negative Zone had agreed to join forces for the Builder threat was bigger than them all.[13]

Representatives from hundreds of thousands of worlds gathered, including the Avengers of Earth, but even with all of this, the Council did not believe they could challenge the Builder fleet in direct combat. The Super-Skrull showed the Council footage of the Skrull warlord Dm'yr's victory against a small advance fleet by catching them by surprise, though at the cost of the Skrulls' lives. The Council decided to do a surprise attack of their own at the Corridor, which lay in the Builders' path.[13]

Battle at the Corridor[]

Realm of Kings Imperial Guard Vol 1 5 Textless
Quote1 NO!! Quote2
Supreme Intelligence (Earth-616) from FF Vol 1 11
Supreme Intelligence
Quote1 Probablility of survival approaching zero if we do not withdraw from this theater. We've lost a third of the fleet in under a minute. Quote2
Annihilation Ronan Vol 1 2 Textless
Quote1 We have to retreat. Now! Run! RUN! RUN![13] Quote2
Council Armada from Avengers Vol 5 18

The Council ambushing the Builders at the Corridor

The allied Council Armada hid among the dense circling asteroid belt of the singularity at the Corridor. The plan was to pin the Builder fleet between the black hole and the allied forces. After lying in wait for three days, they detected the enemy Builder fleet passing by and launched a massive ambush. In the midst of the intense fire fight, Ronan the Accuser alerted the allied armada that the Supreme Intelligence had deduced the identity of the Builders' command vessel, based on the observed movements. The Council Armada focused their attack on the ship and destroyed it.[13]

Council Armada (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 5 18 002

The Builders decimating the allied forces

However, just as the allied worlds believed that they had won, the actual Builder fleet uncloaked themselves and completely overpowered the Council Armada in a sudden, decisive attack. Within just a minute, the Galactic Council lost a third of their entire fleet and was forced to retreat. Manifold managed to teleport half of the Avengers out of the battlefield, but a ship containing the remaining Avengers was caught in the explosion of a destroyed Shi'ar cruiser. They were captured by the Builders.[14]

Last Words of a Gardener[]

Jerran Ko (Earth-616) from Infinity Vol 1 2 003
Jerran Ko
Quote1 Well, when I die, I will be gone forever. And it seems in death, our masters see fit to make a mockery of all that I have done and all I am. Quote2
Aleph (Garden) (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 5 3 001
Quote1 Declarative: Triumph before all, Jerran Ko. Declarative: Complete your maker's defeat, at the very least, we wound. Quote2
Jerran Ko (Earth-616) from Infinity Vol 1 2 003
Jerran Ko
Quote1 I remember a time when this symbol on my chest meant life. Record my words for the code, Aleph...tell everyone that Jerran Ko said those were better days...and that they are now long gone.[15] Quote2

Scattered, the Shi'ar retreated to the rendezvous point, the agri-world Whaan Prime. With the Avengers' Quincarrier damaged beyond all repair, they boarded the Shi'ar flagship, Lilandra. Smasher noted that all communication networks went dark right after they had retreated. Meanwhile, Gladiator discussed next steps with his councillors but they were interrupted by the sudden appearance of four Builder crafts. Gladiator rallied the Shi'ar, and with help from the Avengers, they defeated the persuit fleet.[15]

Jerran Ko (Earth-616) and Whaan Prime from Infinity Vol 1 2 001

Jerran Ko being ordered by the Builders to kill himself and poison Whaan Prime

Whaan Prime and Council Armada (Earth-616) from Infinity Vol 1 2 001

The Shi'ar and Avengers watching the spoils of their first "victory"

However, in defeat, an Ex Nihilii named Jerran Ko and his Aleph went down to Whaan Prime, a harmless, helpless farming world. While happy to see a garden, Jerran Ko knew the task his creators ordered him to perform and asked his Aleph if it believed in the afterlife. Aleph revealed that it would live on in the code and reminded Jerran Ko to wound the enemy if defeated. Jerran Ko asked the Aleph to tell the others that the days when the Gardeners meant life were better and were now long gone. He commited suicide and poisoned the entire world of Whaan Prime. The Shi'ar and Avengers could only save a few lucky hundreds of thousands of refugees, while everyone else died from disease and decay. It was worse than just death.[15]

Attack on the Behemoth[]

Builders from Infinity Vol 1 3 001
Quote1 What we want is the preservation of our universe. What we to destroy a world. Earth. Quote2
J'son (Earth-616) from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 1 001
Quote1 What? I knew it! All of this...over a useless, backwater...I...I could give you Earth. I believe I could do that if it means you would leave my empire alone. I would do that if it would stop this war now. Quote2
Builders from Infinity Vol 1 3 001
Quote1 Oh, you insignificant creature...this is not a war, it is a cleansing...[16] Quote2
Behemoth (Planet) from Avengers Vol 5 19 002

100,000,000 refugees at the Behemoth to escape the Builders

The broken Galactic Council converged at the ringworld Behemoth, located in trans-galactic space. 100,000,000 refugees and counting were gathered there, having fled their home worlds to escape the Builders. Some of the rufugees came from plague worlds such as Whaam Prime, overloading the already stressed medical teams. Guilty for all the pain and suffering his creators had wrought, Ex Nihilo provided the ringworld with thousands of gardens and encouraged them to continuously yield food. Many refugees tended to these gardens to distract them from what they had lost.[16]

During the Galactic War Council meeting, J'son and the Supreme Intelligence revealed the true strength of the Builder armada: 17,000 light cruisers, 3000 carriers, 2000 heavy cruisers, 600 worldships, and 12 World Killers. Furthermore, that was only the main fleet and there were smaller ones tearing through clusters at the edge of Council space. Outnumbered, outgunned, and outmatched, the Council debated whether or not to surrender and live or to fight to their almost certain deaths. When Gladiator noted their ignorance of their enemy, Captain America offered the Council to see Ex Nihilo. However, Ex Nihilo was confused as much of what he saw in the war, especially Jerran Ko's suicide, went against everything he had been taught; he believed that there was something wrong. Nevertheless, Ex Nihilo provided the insight that the Builders were efficient, direct, and linear, and the Supreme Intelligence realized that the true target of the Builders was Earth.[16]

Meanwhile, on the Builders' command vessel, the captured Avengers were visited by Ex Nihila, the Builders' aide. Ex Nihila decided to bring the Kree-human hybrid Captain Marvel to her Builder masters, who explained to Carol that they were not destroyers by nature and in fact much of the universe was cultivated by them, either directly or through their systems. Among the captured Avengers were several of these systems: Starbrand, Nightmask, and Abyss, whom the Builders and the Ex Nihilii were surprised to see as they had thought all the Abyssi had died out. Even more surprising was the still-comatose Captain Universe among them, the Builders' Great Mother. The Builders' interrogation was interrupted by a messenger linking to J'son of Spartax.[16]

Behemoth (Planet) from Avengers Vol 5 19 003

The Builders attacking the Behemoth

Behemoth (Planet) from Infinity Vol 1 3 001

40,000,000+ refugees dead in a single attack

Behind the backs of the Council, J'son pleaded to the Builders for a truce and asked the Builders what they wanted. The Builders revealed that they simply want to perserve the universe, which could only be done by destroying the Earth. J'son offered to give the Builders Earth and end the war, but the Builders did not even see it as a war, only a cleansing. They thanked J'son for giving them the Council's location, as the signal was tracked. Realizing what he had done, J'son tried to warn the other Council members, but it was too late. The Builders sent two ships to crash into the ringworld, obliterating the sanctuary. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees escaping from now-dead worlds, over 40,000,000 died.[16][17]

Battle Over Hala[]

Ex Nihila (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 5 19 001
Ex Nihila
Quote1 You must leave as well, Creator...this ship will not last long against the great weapons. Quote2
Builders from Infinity Vol 1 3 001
Quote1 We have been stung here is an insult I will not forget. Scuttle the ship. Then join the third wing in the battle. Make your end mean something, Ex Nihila.[17] Quote2
Builders (Race), Centaurians, Kymellians, and Kree from Infinity Vol 1 3 001

World after world, including Hala, surrendering to the Builders

The catastrophic loss at the Behemoth greatly diminished the hope in the universe. It was a message, and one that the Builders would repeat to all worlds in their path in the weeks that followed: "You cannot run from us." "There is no place in this universe you can hide."[17]

In a surprising turn, the Builders offered terms to the remaining resistant worlds. They may live, so long as they completely and utterly submitted to the Builders. Proud, ancient worlds decided to pick life and surrendered. The Centaurians of Centauri-IV and the Kymellians of Kymellia were the first to bend the knee, and then a hundred more desperate worlds followed. When the Builder Armada closed in on Hala, the Supreme Intelligence conceded that they could not win.[17]

Builder Armada (Earth-616) and Council Armada (Earth-616) from Infinity Vol 1 3 001

The Council luring out the main Builder forces at Hala

Upon Hala's surrender, Ronan the Accuser and his forces were recalled despite his wish to stay and fight. The Kree had represented a fourth of the remaining Council Armada, turning an already hopeless situation critical. The Spartax Empire also withdrew shortly after; before leaving the Behemoth ruins, J'son informed the remaining Council members and the Avengers that the Builders were keeping the Avengers lost from the Corridor battle as prisoners, which he knew from his failed negotiation with them. For the rest of the Council, Captain America devised a plan to defeat the Builders at Hala.[17]

World Killer from Infinity Vol 1 3 001

The Council capturing a Builder World Killer and using it against the Builders

The following day, Ronan and the Kree fleet returned to Hala to publicly lay down arms in front of a single Builder. The Builders thought themselves as great teachers to humble entire empires with merely a single member. However, just as the ceremony finished, the Council fleet arrived at Hala to attack the Builder fleet gathered there. As Captain America expected, the Builders counterattacked; the Council fleet was merely a diversion and bait to lure away the bulk of the Builders' attack vessels, leaving behind only their command ship and their World Killers. The teleporting Avenger Manifold sent an elite team of Avengers and Shi'ar Imperial Guard members to take control of one of the World Killers and used it to fire against the others. Thor and the Skrulls soon captured another World Killer and caused massive damage to the Builders' fleet.[17]

Kevin Connor (Earth-616) from Infinity Vol 1 3 002

Starbrand signalling the Council's first major win against the Builders

With the World Killers turned against them and the command ship damaged to the point that it could not escape, the Builders bitterly called a retreat for the majority of their forces, except for their third wing. Before teleporting away, the Builders ordered Ex Nihila to scuttle the ship and join the third wing in battle, asked her to make her death "mean something," and then abandoned her.[17] Manifold transported a rescue team to the Builders' main vessel and freed the captured Avengers. They were discovered by Ex Nihila, but instead of attacking them, she decided to turn away and left them alone.[18] The now-freed Starbrand, who had accidentally gotten his power from a defective White Event, resolved to use the Brand's power and destroyed the leftover Builder forces. For the first time ever, the Council defeated and scattered the Builder armada.[17]

Liberation of Hala[]

Annihilation Ronan Vol 1 2 Textless
Quote1 There are hundreds of Council ships in orbit around Hala. Ships that defeated your fleet. Ships contained by great warriors who certainly see the military significance of this empire and are not afraid to act on it. Why do you stay? Quote2
Builders (Race) from Infinity Vol 1 4 001
Quote1 Because this is my world. Because you bent the knee. And you do not realize your position...Supremor. Tell your Accuser how beaten we Builders are. Tell him what happens next. Quote2
Supreme Intelligence (Earth-616) from FF Vol 1 11
Supreme Intelligence
Quote1 Based on observed behavior...99.7% chance that the scattered Builder fleet reassembles. Reassembly a certainty, there is a 72.5% chance that the Builder fleet continues on along their previously projected path. There is a 27% chance that the Builder fleet returns to deal with the remaining Council armada. Such a conflict would result in Council defeat in 83.2% of simulated battles. Quote2
Builders (Race) from Infinity Vol 1 4 001
Quote1 Yes. And under all of these scenarios, what is the projected percentage that you Kree remain under Builder control? Quote2
Supreme Intelligence (Earth-616) from FF Vol 1 11
Supreme Intelligence
Quote1 Assuming natural attrition of insignificant worlds and prioritizing the significant world groups...70.1%. Quote2
Builders (Race) from Infinity Vol 1 4 001
Quote1 I stay...because this world is mine.[18] Quote2

Thanks to intel gathered by the Shi'ar, the Council learned that the Builders had lost all of their World Killers in the recent attack, meaning they could no longer destroy planets on a whim. However, the Council only had half of their fleet remaining. The Brood Queen birthed many new Brood drones to serve. Meanwhile, Annihilus gathered a new Annihation Wave and Mentor confirmed to Gladiator that they could convert three Stargates to access the Negative Zone. Captain America suggested to use the recent victory to talk to the Builders.[18]

On Hala, the sole Builder emissary stayed as he knew the Builder loss was only temporary. To prove it to the Accuser Ronan, he asked the Supreme Intelligence to calculate the chances of Builder victory against the Council armada, which was 83.2%, and the chances of the Builders retaining control over the Kree Empire, which was 70.1%. The lone Builder declared Hala his. Soon after, he received a message from Gladiator to discuss a parley. The Council seemingly agreed to surrender to the Builders.[18]

Thor Odinson (Earth-616) and Builders (Race) from Infinity Vol 1 4 001

Thor killing a Builder in front of the universe

Thor Odinson (Earth-616), Supreme Intelligence (Earth-616), Ronan (Earth-616), and Accuser Corps (Earth-616) from Infinity Vol 1 4 001

The Kree Empire rejoining the war against the Builders

After the emissary had discussed with his fellow Builders, the Builders agreed to drop their interference on the communication networks so they could broadcast the surrender to the universe. The Builder on Hala ordered Ronan to gather all Kree of any political, societal, and militiary importance to witness "the finest day in the history of the Kree Empire." When the Council diplomat, Thor, arrived, he threw Mjolnir to the heavens to appear unarmed. The universe watched as Thor knelt before the Builder, who agreed to spare all worlds except for Earth; however, the universe also watched as Thor recalled his mighty hammer and slayed the Builder in front of him. Before dying, the Builder warned that their resistance would result in everything dying. Thor and Ronan rallied the Accuser Corps and the liberated Kree Empire rejoined the war.[4]

Last Gambit[]

Annihilation - Scourge Alpha Vol 1 1 Lim Variant Textless
Quote1 Hssssssss! Quote2
Realm of Kings Imperial Guard Vol 1 5 Textless
Quote1 The drones are attacking one another. I can't believe...that was...that was it...our last gambit. Our final effort. All we had left. Mentor, summon my son. Rally all the Super- and Subguardians. Quote2
Mentor (Imperial Guard) (Earth-616) from Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 480 0001
Quote1 Majestor-- Quote2
Realm of Kings Imperial Guard Vol 1 5 Textless
Quote1 No. Not Majestor...I will die as I lived. As Gladiator, praetor of the Imperial Guard. This is the end, my friend...unless saved by some unforeseen miracle, we die...and I would face it head-on.[19] Quote2
Galactic Council (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 5 21 001

The Council fighting back against the Builders

Against the will of the Supreme Intelligence, who knew that the Council was still outmatched and preferred to survive by remaining subservient to the Builders, Ronan led the Kree Empire's armies into battle once more. Ronan's Accusers launched a surprise attack on Kymellia III, destroying the Alephs there and freeing the Kymellians, who rejoined the war. Meanwhile, the surviving Spaceknights from Galador helped liberate Centauri IV from the Builders, and the Skrull warlords managed to save Korm Prime but with a heavy cost to themselves. However, none of them paid as heavily as the Shi'ar.[19]

Annihilation Wave (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 5 21 001

The Council unleashing the Annihilation Wave

Builders (Race) and Annihilation Wave (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 5 21 001

A Builder extinguishing the Council's last hope

The Shi'ar forces and the Avengers fought alongside each other at the hottest battlefields: Rigel, Formuhaut, and Chize. Across all of them, they suffered heavy casualties; Formuhaut was a stalemate but they were not going to hold, and they lost the battle for Chize. Despite the successive outbreaks of victory, the Council was losing momentum and it became apparent that they were still going to lose. As one last resort, they reluctantly opened a portal to the Negative Zone via a Stargate and unleashed the Annihilation Wave, which had ravaged the universe previously. Annihilus commanded his drones to kill all Builders, but a Builder noted the simple hive-mind nature of the drones and manipulated them into wiping each other out. With the Annihilation Wave decimated, the Council ran out of options and Gladiator prepared to meet his end head-on, barring some unforeseen miracle.[19]

Captain Universe's Return[]

Avengers Vol 5 6 Textless
Captain Universe
Quote1 Why? When did death become your way, my child...? Even when you stopped worshipping me, you revered life...why this? Quote2
Builders from Infinity Vol 1 3 001
Quote1 Because the universe is dying. Quote2
Avengers Vol 5 6 Textless
Captain Universe
Quote1 I know. Quote2
Builders from Infinity Vol 1 3 001
Quote1 All the universes are dying, and there's only one way to save this one. Destroy the axis point...and perhaps save them all.[19] Quote2
Gardeners from Avengers Vol 5 20 001

Abyss and Ex Nihilo finding the other Gardeners, who have left the Builders

Back when Abyss was freed during the battle at Hala and Ex Nihila decided to abandon her post, Ex Nihila telepathically communicated with last Abyss: "Come find us." Abyss had informed her brother Ex Nihilo of this when they reunited and they ventured away from Builder War to find Ex Nihila. Abyss' psychic link to Ex Nihila enabled them to track her to a faraway planet where they were greeted by the Gardeners, who had left their Builder masters.[18]

Abyss (Ex Nihilo) (Earth-616), Gardeners, and Enigma Force (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 5 21 001

Abyss and the Ex Nihilii restoring Captain Universe

The Gardeners gathered around the last Abyss and explained to Ex Nihilo that all of their Abyssi had died and the Builders had recalled them following the creation of the newuniversal superstructure. In turn, Ex Nihilo revealed that he did not stop creating life, making it apparent that the Abyssi's deaths were tied to the Ex Nihilii being forbidden from creating life-giving gardens, their entire purpose of existing. No longer willing to be expendable servants for the Builders at best, or killers of worlds at worst, Abyss and the Ex Nihilii banded together and restored Captain Universe, bringing forth a miracle.[20]

Finally awake from her comatose state, Captain Universe boarded the Builders' command vessel and asked her first children why and when did death become their way, as they had always revered life before. The Builders explained that all universes in the Multiverse were dying (from the incursions) and the only way to stop this was to destroy the "axis point" that was Earth. Still, Captain Universe would not let her children do that and killed one of the Builders, who did not believe that she was going to stop them. The other Builders retaliated and she was forced to kill the rest of them. One Builder survived and departed Earth-616 to another universe. Before doing so, he activated the "black band command" to have the Alephs destroy everything.[19]

Incursion on Earth[]

Builders from Infinity Vol 1 3 001
Quote1 You must know by now that the Earth is the axis point for the death of must know what conclusion must be drawn from this fact. Quote2
Reed Richards (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 4 1 cover
Reed Richards
Quote1 No, that's not true. The cascading effect of other dying universes is increasing. The rate of all things dying. Killing a single Earth is like comparing a pebble to a planet. You're thinking too small. Quote2
Builders from Infinity Vol 1 3 001
Quote1 Oh, I agree. Incrementalism is a waste a time, but ask yourself...what if we killed all the Earths? All of them. We believe that would save everything, and if not save it, then at least prolong it, perserving a more natural end to our existence.[21] Quote2
Illuminati (Earth-616) from Infinity Vol 1 3 001

Incursion between Earth-616 and Earth-13131

Back on Earth, another incursion started where the Earths of Reality-616 and Reality-13131 began to collide, threatening to destroy both realities unless one of the Earths was destroyed. With the Avengers off fighting the Builders in space, Earth had been under attack by the Mad Titan Thanos and his army, including the Black Order, but the threat of the incursion was far greater than any of that. The Illuminati assembled once more to the site of the incursion: the Twelve Apostles, Australia.[17]

As the Illuminati discussed destroying the other Earth, a seemingly friendly Aleph suddenly appeared from the other universe and requested them to come with it. They arrived at the World Killer of the other universe where they met that universe's Builders, as well as its peculiarly red Ex Nihilii, one of whom extracted Ebony Maw's Mind Web from Doctor Strange's head. The Illuminati learned that the Builders used to freely travel across the Multiverse through the Superflow, the space between universes, but the incursions collapsed it and the Builders pledged to stop the end of everything.[21]

Earth from New Avengers Vol 3 11 001

The Builders of Earth-13131 destroying their Earth to stop the incursion

The other universe's Builders informed the Illuminati that the local Builders of Earth-616 had been defeated. They knew this from a captured Builder, who was actually the same Builder who withdrew from Earth-616 to escape Captain Universe; he had landed in this universe due to its extreme proximity as the result of the incursion. Before sending the Illuminati home to their universe, the Builders revealed that they planned to destroy all Earths to preserve the Multiverse, but their World Killers were too big to travel through the incursion point, so they urged the Illuminati to destroy their own Earth. When the Illuminati returned home, they watched as the Builders' World Killer destroyed the other Earth, ending the incursion.[21]

Avenger Worlds[]

Sybil (Oracle) (Earth-616) from Mighty Thor Vol 3 17 001
Quote1 Take a look. Quote2
Captain America Vol 6 2 Textless
Captain America
Quote1 Whose idea was that? Why would-- Quote2
Sybil (Oracle) (Earth-616) from Mighty Thor Vol 3 17 001
Quote1 Why? This war was not won by an empire, ours or any other. It was not won by the Council, who broke. No, every time the battle turned, it was you Earthers, you...Avengers...that won the day. You held at the turned the World Killers on their masters over Hala...and then you broke the enemy with a single man and a hammer that was thrown around the sun...we rallied to you, good Captain. We rallied to your standard...Dockrum VII is free again...and it is an Avengers World.[22] Quote2
Dockrum VII from Infinity Vol 1 5 001

Dockrum VII declaring itself an Avengers World

With the Builders gone, the World Killers destroyed or captured, and the Ex Nihilii defected, only the Alephs remained of the Builders' once-great military. Inspired by the Avengers and the public slaying of a Builder at Hala, the rest of the universe rebelled against the Builders' leftover forces. Once the Avengers and Shi'ar helped liberate the planet Dockrum VII, its grateful people decided to erect a giant "A" symbol as a monument to their saviors. Before Captain America could protest, Oracle of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard reminded him that the Galactic Council by itself fell apart; every victory they had against the Builders to turn the tide was thanks to the Avengers and Captain America's strategies. Dockrum VII was free and was now an Avengers World.[22]

Avengers (Earth-616) from Infinity Vol 1 5 001

Builder-controlled worlds becoming Avenger Worlds

World after world raised the Avengers banner as they retook the universe from the Builders' Alephs, and at the end, they were all Avenger Worlds. However, the Council's great celebration was cut short when Gladiator got word from the reestablished universal communication network that Earth had fallen under attack by the ruthless Thanos. To repay the Avengers for defeating the Builders, the Galactic Council was more than willing to devote a portion of their armada to reclaim Earth from the Mad Titan.[22]

The Council offered what they could spare, took Titan, and made their way to Earth, but Thanos' fleet was greater than anticipated while the Council's fleet was extremely battle weary from the Builder War. Furthermore, Thanos' forces controlled the formidable defense station known as the Peak. Gladiator, Ronan, Super-Skrull, and Annihilus personally helped the war heroes take back the Peak, Ronan executed Black Dwarf of the Black Order, and the Council fleet broke through the enemy barricade, enabling the Avengers to go save their own world.[23]

Builder War Epilogue[]

New Avengers Vol 3 4 Roux Variant Textless
Black Swan
Quote1 And just how did you solve this incursion, Reed Richards? Quote2
Iron Man Vol 6 1 Brooks Variant Textless
Iron Man
Quote1 We didn't have to. Quote2
New Avengers Vol 3 4 Roux Variant Textless
Black Swan
Quote1 You're making my point for me. Quote2
X-Force Vol 6 6 Textless
Quote1 Actually, it's interesting...they were a multi-universal, ancient civilization called Builders. Who it seemed-- Quote2
New Avengers Vol 3 4 Roux Variant Textless
Black Swan
Quote1 HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! The Builders, you very ominous. That is indeed some threat. Quote2
Iron Man Vol 6 1 Brooks Variant Textless
Iron Man
Quote1 I don't think you understand what we're talking about. Perhaps you don't know what all we--and our friends--have just been through. Quote2
New Avengers Vol 3 4 Roux Variant Textless
Black Swan
Quote1 System-creating, universal migrants. Creators and Engineers...more than capable of destroying worlds. Did you not find it strange that they were limited in how they moved throughout your universe? That a race so advanced was limited to traveling in what was essentially a straight line? It's because their vessels were not built for traveling great distances outside of their Superflow. See...they invested heavily in their conduit, and now without it, they are trapped and unable to elude Rabum Alal--just like you, just like me. Tell me, I sound like I know what I am talking about? [...] Are you aware that these Builders are confined to under five thousand realities? Who worries about a kalbi when facing an idimmu? [... "Who worries about a dog when facing a demon?" ...] Quote2
Reed Richards (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 4 1 cover
Reed Richards
Quote1 I understand. There are worse things out there. Quote2
New Avengers Vol 3 4 Roux Variant Textless
Black Swan
Quote1 No, you haven't been listening at all...there are worse things coming. You fret Builders...but what if it had been the Mapmakers? Not just their Sidera Maris...but the masters themselves? What if it had been the Black Priests? And what if it had been the Sinnu Sarrum? The Ivory Kings? What would you have done? All of children...playing. What you just went only had the appearance of finality--it lacked the effect. That ends now.[24] Quote2
Gardeners from Infinity Vol 1 6 001

The Gardeners healing the universe devastated by the Builder War

In the aftermath of the Builder War, the Gardeners gathered around Whaan Prime to mourn Jerran Ko. Newly reformed, they went around the universe to rejuvenate the worlds ravaged by the Builders and returned to their original purpose as a force of life. Elsewhere, the Galactic Council went back to their worlds; Gladiator expanded the Imperial Guard and the Skrull Empire was united once more, with Kl'rt being crowned emperor. However, Annihilus captured the Stargates from the war that linked to the Negative Zone and turned Praxis-2 into Annihilation World.[25]

Yabbat Ummon Turru (Earth-1365) from New Avengers Vol 3 12 001

Black Swan warning that there are threats greater than the Builders involved in the incursions

Meanwhile, after Thanos' defeat on Earth, the Illuminati returned to their captured Black Swan, who offered them her counsel. Thanks to her incursion sensor, she knew about the recent incursion and laughed at the Builder involvement. As the Builders were one of the factions in the incursions, she possessed great knowledge of them. The Black Swan revealed that the Builders were hindered by the collapse of the Superflow, which was why it took them so long to get to Earth in the Builder War. To the Black Swan, the Builders were just dogs and there were even greater threats, such as the Mapmakers and the Black Priests. Worse was coming.[24]

End of the Builder half.

Thanos' Invasion[]

Quote1 Yes... We all know of that Earth, But this... this is an Earth more flavorable than accustomed. An Earth changed... We have word of discord in the house Inhuman, schism between mutant schools. And now the most flavorable news of all... Brothers. Sisters. Sharpen your teeth, prepare to consume a great meal. Earth, you see... She has no Avengers. Quote2
Corvus Glaive[src]

When the Avengers departed Earth in order to face the Builders, an ancient and powerful race with the objective of destroying Earth, Thanos and his Black Order took advantage of the absence of Earth's Mightiest Heroes from the planet in order to raze it.[12]

Thanos' army invaded Earth, and the Black Order confronted the Illuminati, as one of Thanos's minions had gathered the information they had on the Infinity Gems. Black Panther managed to force Black Dwarf to withdraw, while Doctor Strange was embarked in a mental fight against Ebony Maw. Beast and the X-Men fought Corvus Glaive and Supergiant. Proxima Midnight confronted Namor in the ruins of an Atlantis where its inhabitants were annihilated by an attack from Wakanda, part of a conflict caused by Namor's attack on Wakanda during the conflict between the Avengers and the X-Men. However, the Black Order left their different locations as soon as they discovered the Illuminati didn't have the Infinity Gems. Black Bolt was visited by Glaive in order to demand a tribute, the heads of Inhuman younglings between the ages of sixteen and twenty-two, or face the annihilation of Earth's inhabitants. Meanwhile, the Avengers allied themselves with the Galactic Council and their first battle against the Builders proved a disaster, as numerous Avengers were captured in the process. Back on Earth, Black Bolt used the Inhuman Codex to discover Thanos used the tribute demand as a cover for his true mission, to kill his secret Inhuman-descendant son whose identity and location were unknown even to his father.[15]

When the Illuminati headed to numerous locations around the world where Thanos' son might have been, Doctor Strange found the boy in a secret Inhuman town in Greenland. But as he had been under the influence of Ebony Maw, Maw remained in the location and forced Strange to forget about the discovery, and to leave, now freed from Maw's control.[26] In Attilan, Black Bolt is confronted by Thanos himself, and the Inhuman city is destroyed during the battle. During the destruction of Attilan, Black Bolt took the opportunity to activate an Inhuman Bomb which spread the Terrigen Mists upon the entire face of Earth.[17] As millions of Inhuman descendants suffer from Terrigenesis across Earth, including Thanos' son, Thane, Thanos defeated Black Bolt in combat in the ruins of Attilan.[4]

After the Avengers won the Builder War, the Galactic Council informed the Avengers that Earth had fallen to Thanos' invasion. In Greenland, Maw posed as an ally and offered Thane a suit to control his powers, but also captured him in a containment field, followed by Maw alerting Thanos about the discovery of his descendant. Thanos and the rest of the Black Order arrived to Wakanda, following Namor's declaration that the Infinity Gems were there when he was forced to surrender by Proxima Midnight, and found in Necropolis the Illuminati's hidden headquarters, along with the antimatter bombs, which they planned to use to destroy Earth by activating them using Black Bolt. After the Black Order except Supergiant departed Wakanda to go to Greenland, the Illuminati arrived with the help of Maximus and Lockjaw and started fighting back Thanos' army. Meanwhile, the Avengers and their numerous allies begun approaching Earth.[22]

After breaking thrown the barrier settled by Thanos' army around Earth with the help of the Galactic Council, the Avengers managed to arrive to Thanos' location and fight him and what was left of his Black Order and free Thane, the son of Thanos, who his father had captured. When the Illuminati arrived to Necropolis and the room where the antimatter bombs were, they found themselves against Thanos' general Supergiant, who defeated them by mentally controlling Black Bolt. When Supergiant activated the bombs, Maximus appeared with the trigger. He triggered the bombs, but also used Lockjaw to transport the antimatter bomb along with Supergiant to a distant uninhabited planet where she died in the explosion. Back in the battle of the Avengers against Thanos, Ebony Maw double-crossed the Mad Titan and freed Thane to let him fight his father. Thanos, Proxima Midnight, and Corvus Glaive's glaive were trapped by Thane in an amber construct which left them in a state of "living death."[25]

The following days, the Avengers helped rebuild the damage caused by Thanos' invasion around the Earth. Iron Man convinced the Avengers to let him keep Thanos, as he would supposedly take care of him, but secretly placed him in the Necropolis, where he and the rest of the Illumianti went about planning for the universe's coming end.[25]




See Also

Links and References