One half of the Avengers is in the present battling a bunch of baddies who have arrived due to a time being "broken". Meanwhile, another team, led by Iron Man have travelled to the future to try and fix the break.
Last issue ended with Maestro and a future Iron Man forcilbly peeling off the present day's Iron Man's armour... which is painful now Tony has the extremis tech that basically makes the armour part of his body...
The issue starts with the present day Avengers being overwhelmed by the enormity of their situation, fighting Galactus and multiple threats, but ultimately realising they are fighting a losing battle.
We then cut to the future and Tony Stark wakes up without his armour and covered in blood. Future Stark reveals he shut down the armour to prevent Ultron interfering. Some of the plot is ironed out. Basically, it's revealed that furture Tony, Maestro and co. are trapped in there current time, in a groundhog day type of situation. Only Kang is able to time travel out of the situation. The break in time has been caused by Kang, who in his quest for battle, has been creating armies from the timestream to face Ultron at the pinnacle of his power and losing. Each time Kang loses, he again gathers a new army and faces Ultron again, etc. This has broken time. It's also revealed that Kang did the bidding of Maestro and future stark by travelling back in time, but he chose to tell them the story he did, which ticks Maestro off.
Time starts to fold in on itself and future Stark quickly explains that present day Stark that he has to travel to a point just before Kang starts all the circular battling and somehow prevent it from happening. Time then gets folded and Iron Man and his team are transported back to when the Avengers were battling Apocalypse and his horsemen. Iron Man and his group break away from the battle and travel to point of time they need to go. They face off with Ultron and Tony says they are there to ask Ultron a favour. Ultron replies, "That is interesting."
This issue is probably the best issue of the Avengers relaunch so far. All my problems with it becoming convoluted and there being too much meaningless padding, plus bad characterisation, seem to have disappeared. There's still alot of talking and not heaps of action, but it is interesting and engaging. I particularly liked the interactions between future Tony, Maestro and Kang. The tension in these scenes and the way Kang acts are great!
The plot is cleared up. Though I'm a little annoyed at the magic time "reset" button. I find with most time travelling stories, its very hard to tell how good it is until the end. So I'm hoping next issue doesn't do an even bigger reset and basically nullify the previous five issues
Once again, John Romita Jr rocks on art with some very memorable images, including Thor plowing into Galactus' head.
Pretty good stuff.
This issue includes a timeline made by future Tony that shows significant events. Lots of comic bloggers, including Bleeding Cool, believe this an indication of future Marvel storylines.