Characters Appearing: Captain America, Deathcry, Dum Dum Dugan LMD, Hawkeye, Henry Pym, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Teen Tony, Thor, Wasp
Issue(s): Avengers #396
Teen Tony uses the last of his chest plate's energy to activate the Zodiac ship's device that punches a whole in the barrier, letting the other Avengers in. Naturally, this results in Henry Pym falling all over the place with his usual competence. Thor uses the opportunity to change out of the horrifying thing he was wearing last chapter, so he's just back to being shirtless again.
Pym has to help Tony, but the barrier is closing again, threatening to catch some people in the middle of it. So Wasp uses her new power of horrifying people to chase them away from the barrier.
The crowd turns against the Avengers because they feel they trapped them in the barrier. So Quicksilver searches New York for the Zodiac base while the other Avengers retreat. After skipping away to a subplot with Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye (see below), we return to the attack on the Zodiac base already in progress (in other words, how the Avengers deal with the crowd or what they do while waiting for Quicksilver is not shown).
In addition to the goons we've been seeing all along, they also fight a new Libra (his density/destiny bit makes me think he's a Spaceballs fan).
Pym finds some random thing and smashes it without knowing what it is (that expression, though!).
That stops the barrier, and Libra causes all of the goons all over the city to explode with a Poom. Then he leaves himself (i like to imagine that he's just slowly floating away while the Avengers don't bother to stop him).
This insanely anticlimactic end to this non-story is obviously meant to be the intriguing beginning to something larger (it was only the First Sign, after all). But as noted above, we're just a few issues away from Onslaught and i don't think anything specific about this story survives that (i mean, the Zodiac will of course appear again, but not this specific Libra, for example). Just a weird waste of four issues; especially annoying as an interruption to the Waid/Garney Cap run. Like, people, try to come up with a plot before you engage in a four title crossover, please.
A subplot shows Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye flying a Force Works ship through the Grand Canyon. They're unable to reach the Avengers (due to the Zodiac anti-tech barrier) but they're contacted by Dum Dum Dugan and asked to deal with a problem involving the Hulk. They try to respond but are attacked by a helicopter.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is the final part of First Sign. Dum Dum Dugan asking for help with the Hulk means that this is taking place concurrently with the beginning of Hulk #437-440, but Thor appears in that story after his appearance here.
Crossover: First Sign
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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