This week’s Avengers #10 doubles as the landmark #700, an oversized issue that sets the stage for the future of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – and the entire Marvel Universe.
Read on to find out what’s ahead for the Avengers – and to learn about the two big returns that take place within this issue.
Spoilers ahead for Avengers #700.
Following a confrontation between Captain America and Thunderbolt Ross in which Cap refuses to put the Avengers under the command of the U.S. government, Ross activates a secret agent who has his own super team.
It’s revealed that the agent, whose identity is kept secret throughout the issue, is Phil Coulson, apparently back from the dead following his murder by Deadpool in Secret Empire. Along with Coulson, it’s revealed his team, designed to take the place of the Avengers as the U.S.’ proprietary superhero team, is the Squadron Supreme – now dubbed the Squadron Supreme of America.
For the uninitiated, the Squadron Supreme are a team of Silver Age Avengers foes from another reality – but behind-the-scenes, they’re also thinly veiled homages to classic members of the Justice League. The team shown in Avengers #700 consists of Hyperion, Warrior Woman, Doctor Spectrum, the Whizzer, and Nighthawk – characters based on Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash, and Batman, respectively.
Meanwhile, outside of the mainstream Marvel reality, Loki confronts the Celestials in “the far reaches of space.” At first attempting to speak to the Celestials, he quickly encounters Wolverine – seemingly the mainstream Wolverine, though he says he’s been alive for “eons” – who tells Loki he’s there to make a deal with the Celestials. However, Wolverine plans to doublecross the cosmic giants.
Popping his claws, Wolverine bursts into a massive storm of flames. As the fire spreads across the Celestials, visions of the future appear – including images of Namor and his Defenders of the Deep, Malekith, Moon Knight leading an army of zombies, Punisher wearing what looks like medieval armor, Iron Fist fighting the Hand, and eight different raised hands bearing Starbrand emblems.
Following the visions, Loki and Wolverine flee – presumably to reunite in February’s upcoming Wolverine: Infinity Watch.
Finally, somewhere in Transylvania, Janet Van Dyne/the Wasp infiltrates the imposing façade of Castle Dracula – apparently on a recon mission in her capacity as an “Agent of Wakanda.” However, Janet says she’s not good at just looking around, and decides to blast a bunch of vampires. Working her way through the castle, she finds her apparent destination – the castle’s dungeon.
Inside, she finds the man she’s there to rescue – none other than Blade, chained in captivity. “Hey Blade,” she says. “How’d you like to join the Avengers?”
”Bring me my swords,” he responds.
The story continues in December 12’s Avengers #11.