Appearing in "The Clock is Ticking"
- Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway
- 🢐 John Jameson 🢒 (Appears in Flashback)
- 🢐 Lewis Utz 🢒
- 🢐 Chas Kilpatrick 🢒
- 🢐 Man-Thing (Ted Sallis) 🢒
- 🢐 Richard Rory
- 🢐 Ducktor Strange (Simon Strange)
- Magistrati (Only in recap)
- Qyre the Watcher (Main story and recap)
- Uatu the Watcher (Only in recap)
- Zoma the Watcher (Only in recap)
- 🢐 Hawkeye (Clint Barton) 🢒
- 🢐 Living Tribunal 🢒 (Only in flashback)
- 🢐 Eternity 🢒 (Only in flashback)
- Iron Man (Tony Stark) (Mentioned)
- Starfox (Eros of Titan) (Mentioned)
- Thing (Ben Grimm) (Mentioned)
- Leader (Sam Sterns) (Mentioned)
- Giganto (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Watchers (Only in recap)
- Recluses (First full appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
- United States of America (Main story and flashback)
- New York (Main story and flashback)
- United States of America (Main story and flashback)
- Earth-791021 (Only in flashback)
- Duckworld (Only in flashback)
- Titan (Only in flashback)
- Star Chamber (Only in flashback)
- Other Realm (Mentioned)
- Mainstream Universe (Main story and flashback)
- Ultimate Universe (Only in flashback)
- Two-Gun Kid's Colts (Main story and flashback)
- Cloak of Levitation (Only in flashback)
- Eye of Agamotto (Only in flashback)
- Hawkeye's Bow & Trick Arrows (Only in flashback)
- Jupiter Suit (Only in flashback)
- Moonstone Pendant (Only in flashback)
- Sword of Stargod (Only in flashback)
- Southpaw's Gauntlet
- House of M (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "The Clock is Ticking"
At the offices of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg and Holliway, Arthur Zix notes that he only has two hours of time left. With Lewis, Chas, and Ditto subdued, Zix decides to call in the rest of the staff. Outside of his office, Mallory Book is being congratulated for the not guilty verdict in the Leader trial, while Jennifer Walters is dealing with John Jameson who has given up his guise of Stargod to try and get Jen to come back to him. Jennifer is not interested starting over and forces John to sign an annulement of their marriage. Zix then informs them that he needs to talk to Mallory, Jen, John, and the Two-Gun Kid in his office. Once there, he erects an energy barrier and disarms everyone before Zix reveals that he is Rigel Unit Zeta 9. He shows them a clock with a little over an hour left. He tells them that this meeting will be of cosmic proportions and if he cannot resolve the issue they will all be destroyed. Jennifer asks where Stu Cicero is and Ditto tells her that he had been banished elsewhere.
Meanwhile, in the middle of the Florida Everglades, Stu Cicero returns to his home through the Nexus of All Realities. His arrival draws in the Man-Thing and as Stu tries not to be afraid the creature is warded off by its long time associate Richard Rory. When Richard asks how he passed through the Nexus and got there, Stu explains how his employer Arthur Zix had banished him to Duckworld. There he quickly tries to disguise himself among the population and quickly finds Ducktor Strange, that realities Sorcerer Supreme. Although the Ducktor is incredibly drunk, Stu convinces the mage to cast a spell to send Stu back to his home reality. Richard offers to give Stu a lift, but after confirming his past history with both She-Hulk and John Jameson he decides to take his van and leave him behind.
Back in New York, Zeta-9 explains that he has been enlisted by the Recluses, the alien beings that Jennifer presided over against the Watchers in order to maintain their anonymity. In that case, Jennifer decreed that the Watcher named Zoma be silenced for all eternity. However, the Recluses feared that Jennifer might reverse the decision forced Zeta-9 to watch over her to ensure she didn't. To this end, Zeta-9 created his Arthur Zix identity to do so and Holden Holliway gladly gave up his chair at GLK&H to Zix so he could focus on tracking down his granddaughter, Southpaw. He explains that he has been watching their every move, which upsets Jennifer and John as even their private moments together. Zeta-9 then explains that he must resolve some lingering questions before time runs out in order to complete his program. The first question Zeta-9 has is regarding how Jennifer once attempted to alter history by warning Hawkeye of his impending death. Jennifer points out that she failed to do that as Hawkeye still died.
Hearing this, Two-Gun reveals that Hawkeye has since returned from the dead. He tells how Hawkeye read Jennifer's note and decided to send out video recordings to all his friends in the event he died. Since he is now back, Clint enlisted the aid of the Two-Gun Kid to stop the delivery before they could get sent out. While they manage to stop the mailman from delivering the majority of them, the one that went to She-Hulk went out. Because it was a video of Hawkeye professing his love to Jennifer, Hawkeye was too embarrassed to say anything to her afterward. Hearing this elates Jen because she believed her plan worked. However, the Two-Gun Kid points out that it was actually something called the "House of M" that brought Hawkeye back from the dead. This causes Jennifer to lament how her actions never effect any change. This leads to angry recriminations from Mallory Book, who points out that their whole situation is because of her actions. Zeta-9 then turns his attention to John Jameson to ask what happened on Titan before they left, as he was unable to record that as well.
John explains that when he and She-Hulk met alone to discuss their marriage, he told her that he would renounce his Stargod powers if she stopped being She-Hulk and focus on their marriage. She-Hulk had explained that their marriage was a sham perpetuated when Starfox used their powers against them. When he says the real Jennifer Walters wouldn't say that, She-Hulk reverts to human form and insists that their marriage is over and she is done with it, handing him back her ring. John tells Zeta-9 that from there he went into space and had some adventures before eventually renouncing his powers and returning to Earth. Because the Recluses want to be sure that John will never become Stargod nor try to resume his marriage with Jennifer, he agrees to sign the annulment papers. Meanwhile, in Florida, Stu's ride breaks down, but now that he is back in cell range he manages to call the mail room at GLK&H and has Whiz Kid pick him up. As they zip back to New York, they pass by the Awesome Android who has shed all trace of his Awesome Andy persona. He soon arrives at the hideout of the Mad Thinker and is reunited with Southpaw, who has been hiding there since she escaped the authorities. The Mad Thinker goes over the Android and explains that it erased all of its memories of the past and traced him back by locking onto his brainwaves. He then tells Southpaw that they now have to begin planning for his next scheme.
Back in New York, Zeta-9 then has Jennifer confirm that Tony Stark had stripped her of her powers. She also mentions how she was retired from the Magistrati after helping the Living Tribunal decide if he should destroy their universe in favor of a newer more "ultimate" reality. Jennifer convinced him that this universe, regardless of how complicated it was, is still a fun place to be. This finally convinces Zeta-9 that nothing will reverse her decision regarding the Recluses and speeds off into space where he can harmlessly explode. Although Jennifer and her friends believe that everything will be okay, things are far from safe. On the world of the Recluses, Zeta-9 was destroyed by a strange armored being who has slaughtered the Recluses. With all possibility of the blind eye on this world being removed, he begins plotting the Reckoning War.
- Twenty issues of secrets and mysteries... ...and here's where we let you peek at the answers!
- Is She-Hulk still married? What's Mallory's master plan? Who has Mr. Zix been talking to? Where's John? Awesome Andy? Pug? Southpaw?!!
- BIG returns, BIGGER reveals, and THE BIGGEST SURPRISE OF ALL! All this, and a giant-size Man-Thing.
- Jennifer and John Jameson got married in She-Hulk (Vol. 2) #9 after being exposed to the powers of Starfox in She-Hulk (Vol. 2) #6.
- Stu Cicero recognizes Duckstor Strange from Howard the Duck (Vol. 2) #6.
- Richard Rory explains that he was once a regular character in Man-Thing comics. He was a regular supporting character from Man-Thing #2–22. He also mentions his relationship with both Jennifer Walters, which ran from Savage She-Hulk #13–25, and his association with John Jameson happening specifically in Savage She-Hulk #13–14.
- The trial for the Magistrati between the Watchers and the Recluses happened in She-Hulk #7.
- At the time of this story, Hawkeye had recently died in Avengers #502. Jennifer attempted to warn him of this fate in She-Hulk (Vol. 2) #1–3. However, Hawkeye was brought back to life during the events of House of M #1–8 his continued existence after the House of M reality warp was confirmed in New Avengers #26.
- John mentions the times he got powers, such as when he briefly had enhanced strength in Amazing Spider-Man #41–42 and the first time he turned into the Man-Wolf in Amazing Spider-Man #124.
- The end of this story alludes to the start of the Reckoning War that was glimpsed in She-Hulk (Vol. 2) #3. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #2 has delegated this as a possible future indexed as Earth-6232. This will eventually happen on Earth-616 via Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #40-44.
Flashbacks in this story affect the chronology of the following characters:
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Page 15 Panel 4 to Page 17 Panel 1: