THE HEROIC AGE IS HERE! Who are the Secret Avengers? Are they a covert team of heroes working the darkest corners of the globe to stop disaster? Are they part-spy, part-superhero? Are they XXXXXXX’s newest idea to save the world...or are they all of the above? A new era begins as Marvel's hottest team takes a 21st century twist!
Black Widow, Valkyrie, and Steve Rogers recover an artifact assumed to be the Serpent Crown from a Roxxon executive in Dubai. Another group is pursuing the artifact. The artifact is not the Serpent Crown, but Beast notes that the tentacles on it are uncoiling at an undetectable rate, “as if between moments”.
Ant-Man and Moon Knight infiltrate Roxxon Headquarters for intelligence on the artifact. Beast analyzes the Roxxon data, noting that the corporation had bought mineral rights to Mars and that their mining operation was terminated around the time rumors began that they had a Serpent Crown. Beast also notes that all employees from the digging operation vanished from Roxxon’s records. Steve Rogers dispatches Nova to check on the situation in Mars.
Rogers gathers the team to inform them they will be traveling to Mars and that the mission is now a rescue mission because Rogers lost contact with Nova. Flashback to Nova on Mars being pursued by Humvees whose weaponry the Worldmind determines is “pre-celestial” in origin. Nova seeks cover in a mountainside containing an artificially formed cavern housing what appears to be the Serpent Crown. Nova sees the Crown and approaches it. The Worldmind implores Nova to stop as he casts aside his helmet. Back at the roving headquarters, Sharon Carter is knocked out by a member of the other group in pursuit of the artifact, who appear to be lead by Nick Fury and are associated with a group called the Shadow Council.