Cover Date: April 2010
Release Date: February 3, 2010
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Penciler: Mahmud A. Asrar
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Bruno Hang
Letterer: VC's Cory Petit
Assistant Editor: Rachel Pinnelas
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Covers Artist: Brandon Peterson
Title: "Riddle of the Sphinx:
The first warriors chosen are Moonstone and Nova. They are sent to the basketball court of Harry S. Truman High School! The jump through time and the sight of his old high school catch Richard Rider off-guard which allows Moonstone the chance to attack first. However, the human hero turns and generates a gravimetric shield which deflects her gravimetric punch. Nova tries to convince the golden villain that she is being controlled by the Sphinx. She refuses to listen and uses her powers to trap Rich in a metal fence.
Back at the Sphinx's fortress, the second set of champions are selected. Namorita and Man-Wolf are sent to the floating fortress of Arisen Tyrk in Other Realm. Man-Wolf attempts to kill Namorita with the Blade of Stargod but is quickly halted by the young Atlantean's own sword fighting ability.
Meanwhile, the next set of combatants are picked by the Sphinxes. Mister Fantastic and Bloodstone find themselves on the volcanic Vanaheim. The gun-toting hunter begins firing his guns at Reed Richards. The hero easily twists around them only to discover the bullets were time-delayed shells which explode behind him. As the slayer of monsters presses his attack, Reed reveals he was faking his injury and quickly disarms Bloodstone. However, the hunter twists around and hits Dr. Richards in the jaw and prepares to cut his throat with a knife!
Elsewhere, the young Sphinx sends Basilisk to Attilan who is quickly followed by the old Sphinx's selection of Black Bolt. The leader of the Inhumans is shocked to find the city in ruins since, in his time, it is a thriving community.
Basilisk takes advantage of Black Bolt's confusion to blast him in the back with an eye blast! The leader of the Inhumans flies to another part of the destroyed area and lands in front of a smashed statue. It turns out to be a monument to Black Bolt himself and he learns of his future fate. However, he also learns that his wife Medusa will perish in an event called The Shadow War!
Basilisk again blasts the silent hero from behind with his power to turn a living being to stone. With Black Bolt immobilized, the green skinned villain shatters his foe with a single punch!
In the Sphinx's fortress, the two Egyptians begin arguing over the ritual. The old Anath-Na Mut points out that his younger counterpart has broken the rules by bringing five champions. The young version angrily explains that he only brought an even number to match the elder's number. The revelation makes Darkhawk, previously unseen to the older Sphinx, visible to the Egyptian. He is shocked to see him and explains that he did not select the armored hero as part of his team. Both Sphinxes transport the last champions to their battlefield.
Gyre and Darkhawk appear at the Fraternity Tree (aka the Tree of Shadows) in Null Space. Gyre explains the tree is where the amulets that give them their powers originated from and is responsible for the Raptor Fraternity. The evil raptor informs Chris Powell that the tree's crystals are finally waking from their long slumber.
He also reveals that he was once the Kree archaeologist that had disappeared on Shard. Darkhawk is shocked to find out that his enemy, Talon, has survived their previous encounter. Gyre taunts Chris that the fraternity will resume their great purpose and create new empires in the name of their masters. Darkhawk quickly grabs his foe's amulet and commands him to leave his armor!
Back on Vanaheim, Reed Richards grabs Bloodstone and slams him into the ground. The blond villain prepares to shoot Mr. Fantastic until he discovers the stretching hero had adjusted the fuses on his time-delay shells. The explosion knocks Bloodstone unconscious! The old Sphinx now leads the contest two victories to one.
Elsewhere, at Harry S. Truman High School, Moonstone presses her gravimetric attack on Nova. She begins increasing gravity on the human rocket with the intent of crushing him to death. As her power reaches 170 gravities, Richard Rider realizes the golden villainess has force but no real skill or control over it. Rich uses his control of the Nova Force to create a compressed grav pulse and knocks Moonstone unconscious!
However, Nova's victory gives the ancient Sphinx the final win he needed! All of the combatants, except Black Bolt, are returned to the Sphinx's fortress. The elder Egyptian reveals the death of the Inhuman to both teams. Suddenly, Darkhawk seems to lose focus and walks over to the young Sphinx. Chris immediately rips out the Ka Stone from Anath-Na Mut's head! The old Sphinx explains that since Chris Powell wears one of the ancient crystals, he is able to easily control him.
Darkhawk walks over to the Sphinx and hands him the second Ka Stone. The magical immortal has now become an all-powerful god!