|Secret Avengers #1
Cover Date: July 2010
Release Date: May 26, 2010
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Mike Deodato
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Associate Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Artist: Mike Deodato
Variant Artists: Marko Djurdjevic
& David Yardin
Title: "Secret Histories Part One"
She begins to get angry and the brunette quietly speaks into her communications earpiece requesting extraction in ten minutes. The women reveal themselves to be the Black Widow and Valkyrie! The two heroines easily defeat the executive's security men. They turn to find themselves facing a dozen more men who are heavily armed. The leader of the team tells the first group of soldiers to secure a package that is in the room while ordering the other team to kill the two women.
Valkyrie and Black Widow begin taking out their attackers while dodging a hail of bullets. Suddenly, Steve Rogers comes crashing through a nearby window! The former Captain America immediately fights his way through a wave of soldiers in an effort to secure the package from the security team. Carrying the large box containing a green glowing object, Steve and his female Avengers climb aboard their transport vehicle and escape into the night.
As the ship flies away, two figures dressed in black with a dragon/serpent style symbol on their chests radio to another companion that their artifact has been taken and they will begin tracking the ship's heat signature.
Later on the Avengers aircraft, the Beast informs Steve Rogers that the artifact they've taken is not the Serpent Crown but it is similar. His analysis indicates the crown behaves as if it is alive but Hank cannot see it move. It is simply in one place at one moment and another the next. Steve speculates that perhaps this crown and the actual one are part of a set. Hank McCoy replies that he doesn't want to think about that possibility. The former Captain America tells his old friend that it is good to have him back on the Avengers.
The leader of the Avengers goes to the front cabin of the ship and talks to Sharon Carter. The two discuss how well Steve has taken to his new role as leader of a covert team. Steve Rogers reveals that it it similar to how the Invaders functioned during World War II. They embrace and kiss each other.
Meanwhile, at Roxxon Corporate Headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, two security guards are taken out by the team of Moon Knight and Ant-Man. Moon Knight confirms that Ant-Man has taken out the security cameras. He tells him that he has disabled them and disappears into an air vent in order to get around a locked door.
Moon Knight recalls how, two weeks ago, Steve Rogers had approached him to join the Secret Avengers. Despite his reservations, he agreed to join after Steve offered to help him change his ways. Ant-Man reflects one the previous week when Rogers made his one time offer to him. Steve's strong attitude convinces him to join.
The two heroes locate the computer they were searching for and Ant-Man inserts a transfer chip into it. The data begins transferring to the Beast's computer. The former X-Man informs Commander Rogers and War Machine that Roxxon bought mineral rights to Mars and had been running a dig site until recently.
However, he can't find any reason why it was shut down. Hank points out it was at the same time the Serpent Crown was rumored to come into their possession. He also discovers that all the Roxxon employees who worked on the Mars dig have completely vanished from the company's payroll. Rogers tells the Beast he'll have someone check it out.
Two nights later at a former HAMMER storage facility, the assembled Avengers are informed by Commander Rogers that they are going to Mars. He leads the team to a Kree warship which has been modified so Rhodey can fly it. Jim Rhodes asks Steve why they are going to Mars when he had someone already checking on the red planet. The former shield slinger tells War Machine that he lost contact with their teammate in the morning and they are going on a rescue mission.
Earlier in the day on Mars, Nova enters the planet's atmosphere to begin his reconnoissance for Steve Rogers. He quickly finds himself under attack by vehicles on the surface! Richard Rider asks the WorldMind for any available data on their attackers and why he can't absorb their energy blasts.
The artificial sentience informs him that their weapons array was designed millions of years ago and is likely of a pre-Celestial origin. The human rocket confirms the vehicles are being operated by humans.
Rich avoids the energy attacks and blasts his way through a Martian mountain. The WorldMind locates an artificial cavern three hundred feet ahead of them. Once inside the cavern, Nova discovers an altar which a glowing Serpent Crown in the center! The power of the crown overpowers Richard's mind and causes him to discard his helmet along with the protests of the WorldMind.
24 hours later on the Avengers' Kree starship, Steve Rogers communicates with the Earthbound Sharon Carter via a viewscreen. She regrets that she didn't go with them. Steve reassures her that she was needed on Earth to coordinate things with the other Avengers' liasons.
After they disconnect their call, Sharon turns to see a shadowy figure running through the airship. Suddenly, she is knocked unconscious from behind. Her attacker is revealed to be Nick Fury and he is wearing the dragon/serpent uniform of the Shadow Council!