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Quote1 I once made a study of your art of cinema. Apparently one starts with the attention-grabbing scene before progressing the plot. Quote2
-- Magister Karnak

Appearing in "The Flaw In All Things, Part 1"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • I.D.I.C.
    • Numerous unnamed agents (First appearance)

Other Characters:

Races and Species:




Synopsis for "The Flaw In All Things, Part 1"

In a monastery in the middle of nowhere, a hooded monk is called to a telephone. Afterward, he calls his fellow monks together, and announces that he needs to briefly depart the Tower of Wisdom. He leaves them with two instructions. First, to meditate on the nearby stone cairns, which will outlast them all and yet possess no intelligence, and before which they are, to the universe, nothing. The second instruction is to remember to clean the latrines.

A Quinjet arrives and swiftly carries him to an installation in Svalbard, Norway, above the Arctic Circle. Here, he is greeted by Phil Coulson and Jemma Simmons, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. They have been told to refer to the monk as Magister Karnak. They have also been warned not to smile at him, as he will take this as an insult. Karnak, noting their restraint, smiles at them, then asks why he has been brought here. As he walks in, Coulson concludes that Karnak was trying to insult him.

As they enter, Coulson explains the meeting is taking place here due to recent security issues. In an office, Karnak is introduced to William and Sarah Roderick. Their son Adam underwent a traumatic Terrigenesis after the Builder War, and was recently kidnapped to an unknown location. Coulson wants to hire Karnak to recover Adam, in an apparent repeat of an arrangement they have had before. Karnak agrees, setting the condition that he has to train the boy before he lets him back into society. He asks a million dollars to find the child, to be made payable to his monastery, to aid in building. The price of the training; however, is that the Rodericks to give him the one thing which makes them believe the world is kind. As the Rodericks pause, Coulson calls Karnak outside.

In the hall, Karnak explains that he is doing this to the Rodericks because he is a teacher, trained from childhood to perceive the world as a collection of things - and people - that will fall apart if you hit them in the right place. His is a worldview that has no place for human frailty, and if he can make them see that, they will be better for it.

Changing the subject, Coulson lays out the facts: Adam Roderick was kidnapped by a terrorist group called I.D.I.C., "International Data Integration and Control". An A.I.M. splinter faction, they fell off S.H.I.E.L.D.'s radar in recent years. They have claimed responsibility for the kidnapping via a video delivered to S.H.I.E.L.D. from a proxy server. This breach of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s security was what prompted the move to the Svalbard facility. However, the current legal directive to S.H.I.E.L.D. with regards to Inhumans is that they can take no action to arrest or detain, as Inhumans are not human and therefore not subject to human laws. Thus Coulson's need to hire Karnak. Karnak regards the entire situation as ridiculous, and Coulson agrees with him.

Karnak walks back into the office and demands that the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent standing behind the Rodericks put his weapon down. When the agent instead draws his weapon and fires a bullet at Karnak, the magister hits the bullet in the exact fashion which breaks it in half and robs it of all horizontal momentum. Before the agent can fire again, Coulson enters the room and shoots the gunman in the right shoulder.

Karnak explains that he knew the gunman was a traitor because he smiled at him, and then demands the name of the gunman's I.D.I.C. contact, before attacking the gunman with a series of precise strikes which destroy the gunman's liver and kneecap. The gunman acquiesces, saying he knows too little but begging for mercy. Karnak prepares to strike a killing blow, but Coulson holds him back, saying that medics have arrived. Karnak stands up, stating that he wants the address of the gunman's contact and then transport to that location. He also says that he will not tolerate Coulson holding him back again.

Later, in Berlin, Karnak walks up to a rundown factory and punches in a steel loading door. Beyond it, a terror cell of men in gas-masks are startled by this, and reach for their weapons. They have no idea who they now face...

Solicit Synopsis


“My curse is that I see the flaw in all things. Systems. Philosophies. Structures. People. Everything. Never forget who I am. I am Karnak of the Inhumans.” You may not know who Karnak is now, but you will when Warren Ellis (MOON KNIGHT, Planetary) and Gerardo Zaffino are done with you. Phil Coulson goes to Karnak to help with a SHIELD case with Inhuman implications and what he’s going to find will terrify you.

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