[After The Orb exploded the Watcher’s eyeball and unleashed its secrets, I found myself being telepathically contacted by my counterpart in universe Earth-616, who now possessed co(s)mic awareness.
These are the co(s)mic observations of the world around him.]
Rogue Bugle #1 – Time and Tide
Attention, fellow citizens of the Multiverse:
Time is broken, our damnation is nigh.
I fear the fault originates here, on Earth-616.
While it was Doctor Doom‘s decision to make use of his time-platform for something as seeking trivial sexual favors from the witch Morgan LeFay or to steal a pirate’s gold treasure, it was Benjamin “The Thing” Grimm who then took on the identity of the historical Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, and it was the meddling of a variety of Avengers teams that ended with Morgan LeFay in caveman times.
It’s easy to blame the likes of famed entrepreneur Norman Osborn and his so-called Dark Avengers for every one of our troubles (especially with the non-stop barrage of tragedies in Broxton/Asgard so fresh in our minds), but the breaking of time is everyone’s fault.
The temporal relocations of Rachel Summers, Cable, Bishop. The many idiotic and contradictory schemes of Kang/Immortus/Rama Tut/Iron Lad/whatever name he’s going by at any given time. Katherine Pryde’s mission to save Senator Kelly. Legion’s Folly. The multiversal transgressions of Earth-295’s scientific terrorist Henry McCoy. Young Franklin Richards’ well-meaning wish in the wake of the Onslaught’s strike.
Hero and villain alike contributed to the mess we’re now in, stressing our universe to a breaking point that threatens to undo all existing worlds.
While some believe the “recent” (is it still recent if time is rewritten so it never happened?) conquest by oedipally homicidal A.I. Ultron to be the fracture point of the timestream, the biggest time-crime in recent history –and the potential true fracture point in the timestream involved the first outing by Steve Rogers’ Avengers in a post-Osborn political landscape.
This event, while understated, caused more devastation than either Wanda Maximoff’s House of M rewriting of reality, and its emotional crime against those who remembered its altered history; or Legion’s Age of X debacle (or even his well-meaning –yet misguided– re-re-writing of the timeline to exclude his existence); or even when Doctor Strange (who should know better by now) rewrote the latest Defenders team-up out of existence in the wake of the The Serpent’s War.
With Osborn’s mental illness forcing his ousting and rebuilding efforts underway in Broxton/Asgard, Steve Rogers’ re-formed Avengers found themselves in what can only be described as a cluster#&$% involving instigated by future Avengers children known as The Next Avengers; add Kang The Conqueror, Ultron, dinosaurs, Killraven, Future Hulk, and Tony Stark imparting too much knowledge of what’s to come to present-day Tony Stark, and you have the recipe for a time-crime that should’ve been prosecuted in The Hague. The ensuing uncanny brawl between Kang & many generations of Avengers fighting side by side was “cleaned up” by even more time-travel, but by this point, the damage was irreversible.
The Age of Ultron might have finally ripped Time to shreds, but it was heroic meddling that damned us.
Yet, that isn’t the biggest transgression I lay at the feet of our so-called heroes.
Like foolish climate change deniers, the superhuman community of Earth-616 continued their flagrant abuses of the timestream as if nothing had changed.
After the world-wide catastrophe caused by the Phoenix Five, Doctor Hank McCoy, brought his past self and those of Professor Charles Xavier’s first class – mere children, mind you- to the present in an effort to… what? Shame his childhood pal Scott Summers into being a better person? For a world-renowned authority in both mathematics and the sciences, this surely is pure idiocy.
To his credit, he tried to send them back when he realized his folly, a mere…
Has it been months? Weeks? Years? Time flows oddly here, probably from a side-effect from being broken. Most people don’t notice, possibly as the result of some cognitive bias instilled into our minds to prevent them from breaking.
Just as complicit in McCoy’s time-tinkering is Cyclops; let’s not forget that he’s the one who set McCoy on the path of time-travel research when he sent X-Force into the future on a wild goose chase after Cable, who in protecting the young baby mutant Hope and eluding Bishop’s pursuit caused his own share of time-damage.
Even recently, photographs have been unearthed of Deadpool in his present day garb gallivanting around the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and even the forbidden ‘90s. Hell, he’s even been spotted in present day New York alongside a time-lost disco Dazzler (or so I assume; I like to believe that Miss Alison Blaire, lately of SHIELD, has better sense than to be wear such a dated fashion-crime in public.)
Just as bad was Thor’s pursuit of the cosmic serial murderer Gorr The God Butcher across the time stream. While the Thunder God’s cause was noble, it’s said that it took no less than three temporally-displaced Odinsons and even his potential granddaughters to stop Gorr from damning us all!
Even eternal pest Kang has besieged the Avengers Unity squad as of late, while meddling with Apocalypse’s dark legacy. This latest bother by that time-terrorist cockroach has led not only to a Celestial judging the Earth and finding us unworthy, but to a mutant-repatriated planet disappearing from the history books by yet another rewriting of the timestream.
And how many Spider-Men roam the streets of New York? The original version and the web-spinner of the year 2099, and even the Superior Spider-Man had his run-in with a time-machine, the repercussions of which have yet to be seen…
And let’s not forget those events where alternate presents have over-written time in: House of M, Infinity Gauntlet, AoA, Age of X, the meeting of the Justice League & The Avengers, the Multiversal murder-rampage of Earth-12101’s Deadpool.
Along with these flagrant abuses of Time, these transgressions against the Multiversal walls also contribute to the weakening of the walls of reality. Just recently, an alternate (but eerily similar) Earth fended off none other than our own universe’s Galactus, an earth that the Spider-Man from Earth-616 had visited before to stop Mysterio from trolling two universes.
Even the Asgardians report that the walls to a previously unknown Tenth Realm of Yggdrasil have now tumbled, spewing forth a long-forgotten angelic retribution upon Odin’s people.
Even smaller reality glitches and “continuity mistakes” have been recorded, such as the current Thor being seen both investigating The Watcher’s demise, Mjolnir in hand… all the while, halfway across the moon, Thor was witnessed attempting to lift said hammer. Another side-effect of broken time, perhaps?
Rumors even have it that Tony Stark reformed the infamous Illuminati in an attempt to stop a Multiversal phenomenon known as “Incursions” that will inevitably lead to the destruction of all Earths.
Coincidence? I think not, and I think it foolish to believe that time abuse has nothing to do with the demise of the Multiverse. Heroes, villains, and those in-between: when will they learn? They have all damned us to whatever consequences Time will wreak upon us.
Time is broken, irreparably and irredeemably.
Will the next temporal mishap on Earth-616 be what causes the multiverse to crumble?
Will the next abuse be what finally blinks existence into oblivion?
When time runs out, what then?
[After the Watcher’s eyeball unleashed its secrets, I found myself being telepathically contacted by my Earth-616 counterpart, who now possessed co(s)mic awareness.
These are his observations.]
[Comics/Storylines referenced : Dark Reign, Dark Avengers, Siege, Dan Slott’s Mighty Avengers, Fantastic Four (1961) #5, X-Men: Days of Future Present, The New Mutants (1983) #87, Uncanny X-Men (1963) #282, Avengers (1963) #8, X-Men: Days of Future Present, Legion Quest, Age of Apocalypse, Onslaught, Heroes Reborn, Age of Ultron, Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers Vol 1.-one of the inspirations for this, House of M, Age of X, Matt Fraction’s Defenders, Fear Itself, Avengers vs X-Men, All New X-Men, Messiah War, Duane Swierczynski’s Cable, Brian Posehn & Gerry Duggan’s Deadpool, Jason Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder, Uncanny Avengers, Infinity Gauntlet, JLA/Avengers, Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe, Deadpool Killustrated, Deadool Kills Deadpool, Hunger, Cataclysm, Guardians of The Galaxy (2013), Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm, Original Sin, New Avengers (2013)]
Notes: Following the events of New Avengers 23, both of Johnathan Hickman’s Avengers books will jump forward 8 months. When the rest of the Marvel publishing line catches up in 8 months, we will all find out what happens when… TIME RUNS OUT.]