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- We thought the Hulk and his alien bugs were gonna kill the whole planet. But now that it's all over, all the blood's on our hands. I'm not a hero for hire anymore... I'm just a killer.
- -- Misty Knight
Appearing in "After Smash!"
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Synopsis for "After Smash!"
The Hulk has been defeated and World War Hulk has ended, now those deeply affected by the conflict are now left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath. The newscasts of the day focus on Tom Foster's condemnation of Earth's heroes for their involvement in the death of his uncle, the hero known as Goliath, and how he accepted the Hulk's domination. When media pundits suggest that Foster and other Hulk followers to "suck it up", it causes Foster to think. While down below, SHIELD agents are rounding up the remaining refugees from the planet Sakaar. Among them is Misty Knight who is still disturbed by the deaths of the aliens that were caused by her group, the Heroes for Hire, something that she personally blames herself with. Despite this, the SHIELD operatives send her to another area where the aliens have been spotted. While not far away, the Warbound are being loaded into a SHIELD prisoner transport. Elloe Kaifi insists that they break free and fight back, but Hirohim refuses to use his Old Power to free them. He points out that they were deceived by one of their own, Miek, and that they have no other reason to fight after the Hulk was defeated.
High above the city aboard a medical helicopter, Tony Stark oversees the recovery effort, coordinating SHIELD, Damage Control, and various superheroes. He is then contacted by Amadeus Cho and Hercules, who are not calling to surrender for their involvement in the war, but to warn Stark that the chasm on Broadway is expanding, threatening to crack the island of Manhattan in half. Meanwhile, at Avengers Mansion, Damage Control are setting up operations there. There one of the technicians finds Tom Foster using a device to replicate Henry Pym's growth serum. Before she can stop him, he removes the formula and ingests it so he can grow to titanic size. At that moment, Stark discovers the cause of the widening chasm, the Death's Head Guard brought to Earth by the Hulk. Unable to hack into the robots himself, Tony summons his Iron Man armor and leaves the chopper. While at the chasm, Hercules tries to hold it together while Damage Control calling in the Thing, Spider-Man and Luke Cage for help.
Inside the SHIELD prison transport, the other members of the Warbound question Elloe to see if she knew about Miek's plot to destroy Crown City. They learn that she wasn't, but allowed herself to give herself into the rage caused by the blast that killed her mother. Elsewhere, Misty Knight is swarmed by Sakaaran natives who blame her for the death of some of their hive. She is pulled free from her attackers by Iron Man. When Misty blames herself for the deaths, he reminds her that they were caused by Humbug. Suddenly, they are attacked by Tom Foster, who wants revenge against Iron Man, who he blames for everything. With no time to waste, Tony knocks down Tom and flies off. Tom is cheered by the Sakaaran Natives who cheer him for following the Hulk. However, the scene turns bloody when an army of Sakaaran Imperials begin slaughtering the Natives because their leader was responsible for the destruction of Crown City.
As this fight spills around the chasm, the Thing, Spider-Man, and Luke Cage begin preparing to get into the middle of the scrap. However, it is then that the Warbound break free from the SHIELD transport. Thinking that the Warbound are trying to escape, the three heroes attempt to subdue them. Meanwhile, Iron Man and Misty go into the chasm to stop the Death's Head units. As the units have developed a means of preventing Iron Man from hacking them through his Extremis Armor, he downloads applications into Misty's bionic arm and tells her that she can hack into them by making contact with one of the unit's CPUs. Learning that these robots are somewhat sentient makes Misty apprehensive to harm the robots because she doesn't want to kill again. Up above, the heroes fail to stop Elloe Kaifi from getting past them. She rushes out in between the two waring armies to try and convince them to stand down, that they are all Warbound now, she is impaled with a spear. Seeing one of the Hulk's allies struck down shocks the aliens into ceasing their conflict.
Down below, Misty manages to take control of the Death's Head units and learns of all of the people they have killed themselves. Taking control of them, she helps Iron Man dispose of the last bomb. However, the damage was still sufficient that Manhattan is still at risk of splitting in half. Hirohim begins trying to use his Old Power to seal the hole, but needs more power. Both Korg and the Thing offer their stone bodies to channel more power, and the trio succeeds in repairing the damage, saving Manhattan. In the aftermath of the battle, the Warbound managed to escape. However, Tom Foster and the aliens from Sakaar surrender. Soon the effort to rebuild New York City begins, Tom Foster is put to work helping repair the damage he once encouraged.
- Tom Foster's uncle Gloath was killed by the Thor Clone in Civil War #4.
- Misty Knight was horrified over the lives lost during her involvement during World War Hulk, these events were chronicled in Heroes for Hire Vol 2 #12-14.
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