Isaac Christians has been chronicling the prophesies of Kyle Richmond. Viewing the past, present, and future, the two work to record the events transpiring three years after the lighting of the first Human Torch which so far include the resurrection of the Invisible Woman and the journey of Captain America and the newly reborn Captain Mar-Vell to collect various artefacts of the Marvel Universe. The quest ultimately leads Cap to his death.
Under the guise of Mr. Chruch, Mephisto begins to make his move as he seizes the followers of the Church of Immortus and uses Kyle's prophesies to help the Tong of Creel find all the pieces of Absorbing Man. Peter Parker, in an effort to preserve New York's Human Torch, offers Spiders Man a chance to join his side. Mar-Vell's has plan has also been revealed, he wants to kill Death.
We open with a recount of the Cosmic Cube's origin and that it may not be an artificial construct, but rather one of the formless aliens who was convinced into thinking it was an object of incredible power. All of this is revealed in a conversation between Machine Man and Kyle Richmond before they head out to find Isaac. The find Isaac grovelling at the feet of Mephisto who still remains under the guise of Mr. Church.
Daredevil is confronted by a man who doesn't appear to be mutated. He asks him where to find Reed Richards and Daredevil tells him that Reed is in Latveria. Later, Daredevil confronts Mr. Church is and is torn to shreds by the angry mob being manipulated to douse the torch burning the Terrigen Mists.
Peter Parker has apparently convinced Spiders Man to fight for their side as they view the mob attempting to smash through Iceman's barricade. Bobby works his hardest to ensure that the wall will hold, but the torch is working against the wall as well as the mob.
In Wakanda Mar-Vell confronts the Black Panther and asks for the Cosmic Cube. He's refused as the Black Panther wishes to keep the promise he made to Captain America to never let it fall into the hands of another, but since Cap was willing to die for Mar-Vell's cause, he's at least willing to consider the request.
In Latveria, the combined mob of the Tong of Creel and the Church of Immortus continue their rampage through Castle Doom. Reed, Sue, Buzz, and Chuck are cornered in Doom's safe when they learn that the time machine has been stolen. When the mob looks ready to overtake them, the man who met Daredevil earlier arrives with a host of other people who have been mutated for the worse. They begin to fight, tearing the castle around them apart.
This may be the first issue in the series that really felt like filler. The plot is moving forward, and in a sense the story is giving the reader time to catch their breath, but compared to other issues it lacks the quick turn of events that has made it an exciting as well as entertaining series. It should also be noted that in spite of a slowed pace, it's still quite entertaining.
The asides that acknowledge the past of the Marvel universe, such as Luke Cage being a member of the Fantastic Four briefly, seem a bit more distracting this time around. They seem superfluous, though considering the careful construction of the series, it may be better to give it the benefit of the doubt.
It seems like the biggest turn in this issue is the meeting of Aaron Stack and Kyle Richmond. They've fought together in the past as Machine Man and Nighthawk, but this is the first meeting since moving into their new roles as observers to the fate of the Earth, acting when possible. It seems as though these two will be guides for the rest of the series and considering they were the more favourable ones of their respective duos, it should make the final issues enjoyable ones.
It's a bit of a drop, but sometimes issues like these make it seem like the arbitrary requirement of a 12 (or in this case 14) issue series. Still, it is enjoyable.