- Over the past months we have all paid. But while you were playing hero, we were playing God. Our costs were much, much higher.
Appearing in "8 Months Ago..."
- Illuminati (Main story and flashback)
- Black Panther (T'Challa) (Main story and flashback)
- Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards) (Main story and flashback)
- Captain Britain (Brian Braddock) (Main story and flashback)
- Doc Green (Bruce Banner) (Main story and flashback)
- Beast (Hank McCoy) (Main story and flashback)
- Black Bolt (Blackagar Boltagon)
- Amadeus Cho (Only in flashback)
- Yellowjacket (Hank Pym)
- Sunspot's Avengers
- Black Panther (Shuri) (Ghost)
- A.I.M. (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom)
- Molecule Man (Owen Reece)
- Cabal (Mentioned)
- Arishem (Only in flashback)
- Galactus (Only in flashback)
- Mapmakers (Only in flashback)
- Captain Britain Corps (Only in flashback)
- Franklin Richards (Only in flashback)
- Tony Stark (Mentioned)
- Rabum Alal (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Humans (Main story and flashback)
- Celestials (Only in flashback)
- Ivory Kings (Beyonders) (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Multiverse (Main story and flashback)
- Beyond (Mentioned)
- Panther Habit (Main story and flashback)
- Fantastic Four Uniforms (Main story and flashback)
- Captain Britain Corps' Uniforms (Main story and flashback)
- Black Bolt's Suit
- Captain Marvel's Suit
- Hawkeye's Suit, Bow and Trick Arrows
- Black Widow's Suit and Gauntlets
- Bridge (Mentioned)
- Doctor Doom's Armor
- Cosmic Cube (Only in flashback) (Destruction)
- Yellowjacket's Suit
Synopsis for "8 Months Ago..."
The Illuminati gather at the Necropolis in Wakanda, where they have not been for months. They see the remains of a holding cell, one which had contained Iron Man, stained with blood and broken from the inside, and think on the death of the Cabal.
Later, Reed Richards and Black Panther stand at the graves outside the Necropolis. Reed muses that even after all the things they have had to do, something worse is coming in the short time between now and the end. Black Panther, who can see the ghosts of his ancestors, agrees with him.
S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Avengers and Sunspot's Avengers have arrived, and Reed plans to tell them everything. He points to a circular shape in the air, almost invisible to the naked eye, and says that domes just like it have occurred at the site of every single Incursion. The Cabal had convinced the governments of the world to keep quiet about them, but with the Cabal dead, Sunspot was able to use A.I.M. resources to bribe someone for access.
Steve Rogers angrily asks if Reed got everything he wanted out of their last meeting in Cadiz: his comrades dancing where he wanted them, and Namor dead. Reed defends himself, stating he hadn't planned Namor's death. Hawkeye asks if Black Panther got what he wanted. Black Panther responds by remembering him how they were standing in the smoking ruins of Wakanda's capital, still suffering from Thanos' invasion, still reeling from the Phoenix Five Incident. He has not gotten anything that he wanted for quite some time.
Black Widow gets the conversation back on track. Reed explains that he had a mobile version of the Bridge, which he has moved from secret base to secret base, studying the Incursions. He used it to arrange the meeting in Cadiz, using the looming Incursion to prevent his being arrested. But since then, the data has changed. Before, the number of extant universes was hundreds of thousands. Now... only a few dozens remain.
Somewhere beyond time and space, Doctor Doom and the Molecule Man drop into existence. Doom regards the endless white of this place as disconcerting. Molecule Man says that it is nowhere now, but it used to be somewhere, and that some part of him lived here. Molecule Man concentrates, causing the outline of vast metal construct to appear above them. He says he can show the path, but Doom needs to walk it. Doom causes the device to come fully into existence: one of the Builders' Superflow Satellites responsible for White Events. It fires down past them, and they follow the path of the beam. All the way down.
In Wakanda, the room has gone quiet. Black Widow and Manifold want to know what it could mean that only a few dozen universes remain, but Captain Marvel shoots that down, asking instead for Reed Richards' plan. Black Panther says that they had a lot on their mind for the last few months, running from S.H.I.E.L.D. The data now says that the number of potential Incursions has dropped to almost none. They will only undergo one more Incursion; the Final Incursion. What happens after that is unknown. Steve Rogers asks why Reed and the rest of the Illuminati haven't been trying to fix this.
Black Panther explains that, while she was their prisoner, Black Swan gave them some data. Working from that, they brainstormed some ideas that were both humane and achievable. They first tried to use a Cosmic Cube to create new worlds around other suns, to which they could send Earth's inhabitants, then destroy the Earth, and so try to solve the problem without contributing to multiversal heat death. Unfortunately, a star they encountered underwent an early death, and in the course of the nova, they lost the Cube. Next they tried asking the Celestials for help, using Galactus as a mediator, but in the middle of the interview, the Celestials simply teleported away. They tried recruiting the Captain Britain Corps, to disastrous ends. Reed even tried hooking up Franklin Richards to a machine in an effort to access and utilize his full reality-warping potential to no avail. The Illuminati have tried to solve the problem using every unconventional method at their disposal. All they have gained is failure and heartbreak.
Sunspot asks if they have any ideas about what caused these disasters. At that exact moment, Reed's Illuminati device beeps, showing a friend who wants to talk. This is a surprise to Reed, as this friend was someone who went looking for answers on the origin of the Incursions eight months ago and was never heard from again.
Energies swirl, and Yellowjacket falls out of a portal. Reed rushes to him, asking him if has found anything about Rabum Alal. Yellowjacket answer with a negative, but say that out beyond time and space, he found the next best thing: the Ivory Kings of Time and Space - the Beyonders!
IN 4 MONTHS…TIME RUNS OUT!
- Despite not being in the issue, the cover features the Beyonder, referencing his involvement in the original Secret Wars.
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