Interludes upon Interludes
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this issue is its position in the Avengers history and future, augmented by its own self-awareness of its position in that spectrum. The old Swordsman is back, apparently, though he is unstable and antagonistic to his former team, just as old friends are back: Crystal has joined recently, Sersi is back, and Thor has recently been born anew in Eric Masterson, soon to be Thunderstrike, bridging the past and the future. As Dane is confronted with part of his past, so too Sersi is also suffering from an identity crisis. Even in the Avengers' kitchen, past and present collide as Jarvis's cooking and authority is questioned for the first time by Marilla in an amusing (if not familiar) comic relief break during the danger and uncertainty the other Avengers are experiencing simultaneously. The issue presages the storyline of Proctor and the Gatherers, though we aren't sure of their connection to Sersi until several issues later - a conflict that affects the Avengers for some time (until the confusing age of reboots in the late '90s). The self-awareness of the issue is most overtly seen in the three interludes (though one of the interludes is at the end of the issue, and should probably be an "epilogue" or "postlude") sprinkled throughout, hinting at terrible and catastrophic things just over the horizon (and closer than we think). You know you are in trouble when Uatu shows up and gets worried. What worries him, we now know, is the arrival of one of the greatest crossovers of all time: Operation: Galactic Storm.