|Secret Avengers #4
Cover Date: October 2010
Release Date: August 18, 2010
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Mike Deodato, Jr.
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Production: Mayela Gutierrez
Associate Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Artist: Marko Djurojevic
Variant Cover: Mike Deodato, Jr.
Title: "Secret Histories Part Four"
In the distance, a group of workers attempting to dig into the surface find themselves attacked by energy tentacles coming from the ground! The mind-controlled Nova tells them to ignore the energy and to continue working.
Meanwhile, the WorldMind prepares Steve Rogers for the influx of Nova Force his body is about to absorb. Steve points out they have no more time to get ready and they have to do it now. Commander Rogers's body convulses in pain and begins to glow brightly!
At the same moment, Nova falls to the ground as his powers are drained away. Steve Rogers rises from the ground wearing a modified Nova Prime uniform and reminds the other Secret Avengers to follow the plan they developed earlier. The energized hero flies into the air and collides with an angry Richard Rider who retains the powers of the Dark Child!
Back on Earth in the Shadow Council Citadel, Director Thorndrake orders Nick Fury oversee the destruction of the Mars facility. He informs Nick that he will be showing the Serpent Crown they took from the Secret Avengers to a group of other people.
Meanwhile, deep in the Citadel at the Vanishing Point, Sharon Carter explains to Ant-Man that he is the only hope the team has of stopping the Shadow soldiers from nuking the Martian facility. Eric finally agrees, shrinks down in size and jumps into the portal unnoticed.
Back on Mars, Commander Rogers is getting beaten by the possessed Nova. At the same time, the energy tentacles from the ground are trying to grab War Machine and Valkyrie. Steve smashes Rich into the ground and desperately tries to reach the hero's true personality. The crown-dominated Richard Rider blasts the leader of the Avengers with a full energy beam!
Meanwhile, inside Vanishing Point, Ant-Man decides the soldiers have to be stopped at all costs. He fires a wasp sting blast at the first combatant's nuclear device. The energy burst cascades across the chests of the other soldiers and sets off their devices. As Eric jumps through the Vanishing Point portal on Mars, a massive nuclear explosion levels the Martian facility! At the same time, the citadel on Earth begins to collapse from the blast!
With the crown's link to Earth broken, the Dark Child's power is severely weakened and Nova falls to the ground in pain. Commander Rogers takes advantage of the situation and rips the Serpent Crown from Richard Rider's head!
However, the power of the crown begins to search for a new host. Steve silently stares at the glowing artifact until Archon urgently asks him for it. After handing the Serpent Crown to the construct, Steve Rogers asks him if the battle is over. The ancient protector confirms that the Awakening has been stopped for now and he will hide the crown somewhere safe.
The leader of the Secret Avengers checks with the Beast about Rich's condition. Hank McCoy is happy to inform him that Nova's vital signs are strong. Unfortunately, the Shadow Council soldiers aren't so lucky as they all died when the crown's power was lost.
As they prepare to leave Mars, Steve Rogers searches for Ant-Man. Eric O'Grady appears in front of the team unharmed. When War Machine asks him where he's been, Eric replies that he's been busy saving the team. However, Rhodey and Valkyrie don't believe him! Ant-Man tells them that Sharon can confirm his claim.
On the way to their ship, Nova approaches Commander Rogers. He tells Steve that he doesn't have any recollection of the last few days. The former Captain America promises to give him the details. As they continue walking, Rich asks the leader of the Secret Avengers if he can have his helmet back. Steve Rogers is more than happy to oblige.
Later, on board the Avengers' starship, Sharon Carter and Steve debrief each other on the situation. The commander explains that after the WorldMind transferred the Nova Force back to Rich, the young hero received a distress call from the Guardians of the Galaxy and left.
Steve isn't sure if Nova will be available on a consistent basis as a Secret Avenger. Sharon asks if Archon would be interested in joining the team. He replies that the construct has already disappeared with the crown but gave them a good amount of information on the other Serpent Crowns before he left.
Sharon Carter informs Steve Rogers that she has been going over the satellite footage sent to her from Ant-Man while he was inside the Shadow Council citadel. She reveals to the team's leader that one of the people seen on the video is their old friend Nick Fury!