The Masters of Evil (now joined by Chemistro, the Grey Gargoyle, and the Living Laser) prepare for a full-scale invasion of Earth...and unless the Avengers can stop them, the legions of the Nine Realms are coming to Earth.
Introducing characters: Karnilla
Synopsis for "This Hostage Earth"
The Enchantress and Executioner attack Karnilla, the Norn Queen in her stronghold. Although she is a powerful fighter in her own right, she is attacked from behind by the Gray Gargoyle who turns her to stone. The trio then recover the legendary Norn Stones of Norse mythology for the Masters of Evil but Gray Gargoyle did not survive the encounter. It seems Baron Zemo and Enchantress haven't been idle since their last defeat, and have added two new members to their ranks: Living Laser and Chemistro, and Zemo proclaims that this is the day they become The Masters of Earth.
Meanwhile, there is joy in the Avengers Mansion as Stark and T'Challa unveil an device they have been working on that should be able to open portals between dimensions, allowing Thor to return to Asgard. The catch is that they have to use it somewhere where the veil between worlds is already weak. Cap pipes up that It's Been Done. He then recounts the story of how he and Bucky stopped HYDRA from opening a portal and summoning mythological monsters to Earth and T'Challa reasons that the old castle would be an excellent place to test out the device. Suddenly, JARVIS starts detecting flares of dimensional energy at each of 8 such points across the world, aside from one that is inside an active volcano. Seven points, Seven Avengers.
Hank still feeling incredibly guilty, and still thinks he no longer belongs on the team. Wasp tries to reassure him that Thor's back and things worked out in the end, but Hank reasons that he's strayed too far from what he once believed in and appears to leave on ant back.
Of course, this is all a trap by the Masters of Evil to divide the Avengers and it worked perfectly. Wasp discovers one of the Norn Stones at her location and is ambushed by Abomination. Ditto Iron Man with the Living Laser. Cap battles the Crimson Dynamo and Hawkeye gets to go up against Chemistro. At his objective, Black Panther finds Wonder Man and tries to reason with him again, offering to help him with Wakandan science. Executioner keeps the Hulk busy. Finally, Thor is met by Baron Zemo and the Enchantress, who brought the Norn Stones to Earth in order to tear down the veil. In fact, it has already begun. Over the course of their fights, Norse creatures begin to appear all over the world as the nine realms merge together.However, there are greater plots at work, as Zemo betrays the enchantress, hoping to claim the creatures of the 9 realms for his own army.
The Avengers gradually rally and repel their respective foes. Hulk tosses the executioner away, claiming his ax, Cap shatter's Dynamo's dome, Hawkeye binds up Chemistro, Iron man shoots living laser into space, and Thor takes down Zemo and The Enchantress. Wonder Man fled the scene after Black Panther gave him an armor-piercing question, and even Hank shows up to rescue Wasp from Abomination, having stowed away in her Quinjet. On Thor's instruction, the avengers proceed to destroy the Norn Stones, severing the connections between the realms. Unfortunately, it also causes the Avengers to vanish into these other realms. Thor ends up in Asgard, where Loki taunts him from atop Odin's throne.
- In an inside joke, as the team separates to go to different parts of the world, Iron Man says "Avengers Assemble! Well, Avengers Disassemble!" in a reference to the storyline from 2004.
- As Hawkeye is battling Chemistro, he acts like he doesn't know who Chemistro is an calls him "Paste Pot Pete" and the "Hypno Hustler"
- The title is based on the Science Fiction movie, "This Island Earth".