|Infinity #1 cover by Adam Kubert|
By Brett White
On Wednesday, August 14, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will take to the stars in INFINITY #1, plunging forward into the biggest event of the year.
The Avengers stand as the last line of defense for Earth against the Builders, an ancient and powerful interstellar race bent on judging civilizations and razing those found wanting. Taking a pro-active stance, Captain America selects an elite group to head the threat off before it can reach our world.
Before INFINITY kicks off, get to know the Avengers who will stand on the frontlines with in-depth bios informing of both their histories and present state, with additional insight provided by Marvel Unlimited.
Nothing lasts forever, but in INFINITY, the Builders will learn what it takes to face an Avengers World.
Many in the past have filled the role of Captain Universe. Whoever wields the Uni-Power assumes the mantle and can access the cosmic consciousness, matter and energy manipulation and flight powers. The Uni-Power finds people in need and rewards them, remaining just long enough to see the recipient through their hardship.
Over the years, the Uni-Power has bonded with everyone from the Hulk to a paraplegic Operation: Desert Storm veteran. The cosmic energy field currently resides in Tamara Devoux, a woman left in a coma for 10 years following a car accident that took the life of her daughter. Captain America recruited Captain Universe to join the Avengers as part of his and Tony Stark's plan to increase the team's scope. The expanded team came together to deal with the threat of Ex Nihilo and Abyss, alien siblings determined to raze the Earth to grow something new.
Captain Universe traveled with the assembled Avengers army to the surface of Mars, where Ex Nihilo and Abyss had made a home. Following a brutal battle, the antagonistic pair immediately surrendered upon learning of the Uni-Power's presence among the heroes.
Not sure of exactly what they had allowed onto the team, the Avengers had Shang-Chi attempt to communicate with Tamara and find out why the Uni-Power had chosen her. Tamara's amnesia complicated matters, until her Captain Universe persona took over and explained that it chose this host because it too was dying.
To make matters more ominous, the artificial human that Ex Nihilo created on Mars' terra formed surface began speaking in a strange tongue, one that Tony Stark could not decipher. Captain Universe assisted Iron Man by translating, revealing that the Avengers had the Nightmask in their midst.
Marvel Unlimited Spotlight: MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #9
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Clint Barton joined a travelling circus at a young age, following the death of his parents. There, he learned how to become a master archer, a skillset that would soon come to define him. He took on the name Hawkeye and toured in his own carnival act. When he became aware of Iron Man, Barton decided to get into the super hero business.
Hawkeye’s initial forays didn't go over well, with Iron Man mistaking him for a criminal. Barton then got swept up in Black Widow's plot to steal Tony Stark's weapons, bringing him once again into conflict with the armored Avenger. After making the conscious decision to try harder to be a hero, Hawkeye saved the Avengers' butler, Edwin Jarvis, from a mugging. The grateful Jarvis introduced Barton to the Avengers, who accepted him into the rank. Clint became a stalwart member of the team, despite constantly clashing with Captain America and his leadership style.
The archer became a mainstay, even striking out to form the West Coast Avengers. He later took the Thunderbolts under his wing, giving them guidance after their split with the evil Baron Zemo, and assumed command of the Secret Avengers from Captain America himself.
In the wake of the epic battle between the X-Men and the Avengers, Clint Barton decided to focus more on his personal life. He did this by purchasing his apartment building in Brooklyn from a mafia group he nicknamed the Tracksuit Draculas. Barton's meddling has attracted the attention of every crime boss in New York City. He's also taken on Kate Bishop as his partner.
Barton remains a premiere Avenger, however, and fought Ex Nihilo and Abyss on Mars' terraformed surface, preventing them from destroying all life on Earth. Since then, he has been stationed in the Savage Land where a new breed of genetically perfect humanoids has emerged from the crash site of one of Ex Nihilo's evolution bombs. Together with a group of Avengers, Hawkeye protected them from the High Evolutionary.
Marvel Unlimited Spotlight: HAWKEYE (2012) #1
While testing a radioactive gamma bomb's detonation, the brilliant scientist Bruce Banner rushed to save a trespasser's life, shoving him to safety while being caught in the explosion. The gamma radiation altered Banner's genetic code, leaving his existence split between that of a mild-mannered scientist and, when angered, that of a raging, unstoppable green monster called the Hulk.
The behemoth helped form the Avengers, but left after their inaugural battle with Loki, his temperament proving a poor match for the team. Banner then spent the majority of his time as a fugitive on the run from General Thunderbolt Ross, who wished nothing more than to destroy his monstrous alter ego. Over the years Hulk fought super villains just as readily as he fought himself, hoping to cure himself of his anger-induced affliction.
Trying to prevent more of the Hulk's bouts of mindless destruction, a cabal of super heroes secretly banished him to outer space where he crash-landed on the planet Sakaar. There he fought in a gladiator-style arena until he finally broke free and overthrew the planet's mad king. As Sakaar's new ruler, the Hulk finally found peace, until a cataclysmic event destroyed his kingdom and sent him back to Earth.
Captain America approached Hulk to help the Avengers win their war against the X-Men. The jade giant rallied alongside his former team, securing them a victory against the Phoenix-possessed mutants. His measured performance in battle led to him being included on the new Avengers roster during their fight with Ex Nihilo and his sister Abyss.
When not serving on the Avengers, Banner has taken his own legacy into great account. Fearing that fellow geniuses like Reed Richards and Tony Stark have outperformed him in scientific advancements, Bruce agreed to turn his massive power as the Hulk over to S.H.I.E.L.D. to use as a cannon, aiming it at the threats they want obliterated. In return, Banner has received the funding, tools and support staff necessary to make giant leaps in science.
Marvel Unlimited Spotlight: INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #1
While many Hyperions from alternate universes have traveled to the Marvel Universe, only one has held the distinct honor of being an Avenger.
The last son of a dying Eternal home world, the child that would become Hyperion crash-landed in an alternate reality Earth. Named Marcus Milton by the man who found him, he learned strong morals while being raised as a human.
But Hyperion's Eternal genetic code gave him powers beyond that of normal human beings. He has exceptional strength and stamina, can resist most all known physical attacks, and fly. He also possesses enhanced senses and what he calls Atomic Vision, which allows him to shoot energy beams from his eyes that reach temperatures of 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Upon discovering his powers, Hyperion became a hero on his Earth, fighting alongside a team of heroes called the Squadron Supreme. But for all of his strength and power, he could not stop the Universal Incursion event that slammed his reality into a neighboring one, destroying his entire world. Hyperion became the sole survivor, floating in the resulting void.
A.I.M., a terror group comprised of rogue scientists, plucked Milton from the nothingness and brought him into the Marvel Universe, where he remained weakened and a prisoner until Captain America, Iron Man and Thor rescued him. They put him to work against Ex Nihilo and Abyss on Mars, where he defeated them and rescued the captive Avengers.
Since then, he has been stationed in the Savage Land where he watches over a new breed of genetically perfect childlike humanoids that has emerged from the crash site of one of Ex Nihilo's evolution bombs. Trapped in a new world, Hyperion has found purpose in protecting and teaching these new children.
Marvel Unlimited Spotlight: AVENGERS (2012) #2
Tomorrow, get caught up with Iron Man, Manifold, Shang-Chi and Smasher