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Quote1 I will say--I'm still not entirely convinced Pym is a valuable asset. Quote2
-- Veranke

Appearing in 1st story

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Synopsis for 1st story

In a flashback, Dr. Hank Pym is giving a guest lecture on advanced genetic analysis at Oxford University several months ago. During the Q & A, a female student catches Hank’s eye when she asks him why the Avengers broke up. Hank says that he thinks the team is just taking a break, and that if the world needs them again, they will be there.

That night, Hank is in his home office when he hears the crash of his wife, Janet Van Dyne, coming home from a night out, drunk and slightly disheveled. The two fight about where Jan was - out with friends talking up her fashion design business - and how it was Hank’s desire to move to London, not Jan’s. Jan angrily wonders why she didn’t stay in New York, and Hank says that he wonders that too. Hank wakes up the next morning in his office chair and finds Jan’s closet empty and a note on the bathroom mirror that simply reads “bye”. Janet has left him.

Hank doesn’t wallow for long, however, as he soon finds himself in the bed of the young woman from the Q & A. The woman is unfazed when Hank confirms that he is still married (but separated), and Hank is relieved to learn the woman lives alone so that there is no risk of anyone posting about their affair on the internet. Hank then reveals that he plans on staying in England to continue his research despite the return of the Avengers after the breakout at the Raft. He then asks the woman to dinner.

As the two begin dating, the young woman peppers Hank with questions about his life and the limits of his powers. One night over a pint of ice cream at Hank’s flat, Hank tells the woman about the Skrulls, and she asks if he is bothered by the fact that they could be literally anyone. Hank says it doesn’t, because they have beaten the Skrulls back at every turn. At this, the woman suddenly shapeshifts into a hulking Skrull and beats a stunned Hank unconscious. The Skrull contacts its allies to report that the job is done, but is interrupted by the doorbell ringing. The Skrull assumes the young woman’s form again and opens the door. A disdainful Jan tells the woman to inform Hank that Jan is moving back to America, then tells the woman to “aim higher”.

Sometime later, the young woman undergoes a ritual surrounded by her fellow Skrulls during which she slowly, painfully transforms into Hank Pym. The woman leading the ritual reveals that the Pym-Skrull is now thinking both Pym’s thoughts and its own simultaneously.

Pym-Skrull spends the next few months fully embedded in Hank’s life. When Ultron takes over Iron Man’s armor during the Ultron Initiative, the Skrull realizes that Ultron discovered a weakness in Stark’s tech that the Skrulls can exploit to take down Earth’s defenses. Pym-Skrull shares this with the other members of the Dard’van sect and they agree that it is time to bring in the Skrull armada. In a final act of subterfuge before the invasion, Pym-Skrull gives Janet an enhanced growth formula that will allow her to go from Wasp to Giant Woman “like that”. A perplexed Jan thanks Hank for the gift.

Notes

  • While the entire comic is set in the past, the main story involving Hank Pym being replaced by a Skrull is set "several months ago" in England just after the events of New Avengers #2 while the shorter, but more recent, flashback from "two months ago" involving Ultron, takes place in Mighty Avengers #3 with the Dard'van meeting and Janet receiving her gift occurring shortly after that.
  • The original Criti Noll was replaced by a clone after her treason during the Civil War.
  • The cover art is an homage/Skrull version to the cover of Avengers #213 (November 1981).

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