Brotherhood Assemble is a series within the Earth-Excel universe, featuring the group called The Brotherhood, and it tells the origin story of how they came together. The story mainly focuses on Earth-Excel's most prominent hero, Synapse.
Issue #1"Panic! Trembling in the streets! The world has gone mad! Supervillains are taking over New York! The Avengers have all turned against each other! Synapse is nowhere to be found!" Shouts television reporter McKenzie Dran, right at her camera man for the entire world to hear her ranting. Before she can say anything more, a building behind her explodes, and Spider-Man comes flying out of the large, gaping, fiery hole. Not seconds later, his arch-nemesis, Venom, comes jumping out after him. McKenzie shouts at her camera man as he begins to film the fight.
The two of them battle for a short bit, and Venom manages to jump behind Spider-Man, making him temporarily confused. Before he can turn around, Venom's fist has gone all the way through Spider-Man's chest, spreading his insides all over the ground. McKenzie lets out a blood curdling scream as Venom takes notice of them. He shoots a web that covers the camera, and every television watching the broadcast goes to static."Dammit!" shouts Captain America, as the signal is lost. Iron Man asks Captain America what his plan of attack is, but Cap says he can't do anything as long as Thor and Hulk were tearing up Midtown. Iron Man says he sent in Ms. Marvel to put a stop to it.
The Incredible Hulk rips a large tree out of the ground and throws it at the Thunder God, who quickly smashes it to pieces with his hammer, Mjolnir. "Have at thee vile beast!" shouts Thor as he launches himself at the green goliath. Before he gets a chance to strike him, Hulk has grabbed his head and slammed it into the ground, and he continues to lift up Thor and beat him around as if he were a ragdoll. Before anything else happens, Hulk is blasted in the head by a yellow energy blast. He looks around, but sees nothing. In the next second, Ms. Marvel launches herself into the Hulk's back, clearly shattering part of his spine, people in the next state over could have heard the sound. If that weren't enough, after they stopped, she grabbed him and threw him into the closest building, and he went all the way through, crashing into three more after that. Ms. Marvel looks around and sees Thor in the ground. She offers him a hand, but he denies it and gets up on his own. In the distance he can see the Hulk laughing.
"Is that all you've got?" he says as he begins charging towards them once more. Both Thor and Ms. Marvel prepare their most powerful blast, but when Hulk reaches the closet building, a flash of black passing in front of him, and a second later, green blood is dripping down from his neck. He looks over and sees Black Panther holding his throat. He throws it aside as the Hulk falls over dead. He looks at Thor and Ms. Marvel and says "Things are getting worse. Look." as he points at the sky.Carol and Thor look up as what seems to be an army of fighter jets fly above them. "Where are the jets headed?" asks Carol, and Panther says they are on their way to Asia to drop an atomic bomb on the dinosaurs that had escaped from the Savage Lands. Before any of them could say anything more, an arrow goes straight through Ms. Marvel's heart and another shatters on Thor's skin. The two of them look back and see a woman with a snake's body, holding the bow and arrow of the now deceased hero, Hawkeye. "Medusa." says Thor, with clear disdain in his voice. Black Panther asks who it is, and Thor responds saying she is the most vile creature from the Greek realm of gods and monsters.
Medusa clearly takes offense to this comment and she shoots another arrow at Thor, who quickly grabs it and shatters it. Thor tells Panther to gather the last remaining heroes and rendezvous at the Empire State Building, and Thor would finish up with Medusa. The two of them stare at each other for what seems like an eternity until they each lunge at the other with the intention to kill.
Derrek Gibbons wakes up in the shattered remains of his home. Before he realizes what is going on, he sees the house next to him explode. Jaiden's house. Derrek grinds his teeth as he gets up and runs downstairs. He finds the burned corpse of his mother as he winces and runs outside. He looks around and sees the chaos and pandemonium. A random villain takes notice of him, so Drake looks up at the sky and holds up his hand. A lightning bolt comes careening down, and as it hits him, he did not transform into Synapse as usual. He woke up in his sweat covered bed, breathing heavily.
"Crazy huh?" says Psyche, the mutant hero from another reality. "Ten pop tarts before bed'll do that to you." Derrek looks around and sees the only other members of the so-called "Brotherhood", Ultimatum and Paradox. Derrek asks if they have been stalking him. Ultimatum stops Paradox from punching him and explains that they've been looking out for him. When he asks why, Paradox tells him that Psyche had a vision of Synapse's death, with an unknown girl crying over him. Drake chuckled at their idiocy and says "Cut the bullcrap. I know you're here to try and recruit me." He turns around and looks out his window. "Forget it. I work alone. Now get out of my house." But when he looks back, they are already gone.
Derrek was still half asleep when he opened his locker to grab his history book. All he could think about was his dream, and what Ultimatum had told him about Psyche's so-called "vision" of his death. But his train of thought was interrupted when Amber attacked him with a hug from behind. The two of them had only officially began dating about a week ago, but Derrek didn't mind. In fact, he was glad she was taking his mind off of the Brotherhood.
Derrek wished he could talk to Amber about it, but she was still completely unaware of the fact that he is Synapse. At the end of the day, Derrek was hoping one of his villains would blow up the school in search of him just so he could get away from life and fight, so he could do anything but think. But that never happened. At the end of the day, he kissed Amber goodbye and decided he would walk home instead of taking the bus like usual. He immediately realized this was a mistake, and he remembered how far his house is from school.
Eventually he realized what he was doing and decided to just fly home, but he couldn't fly in the huge crowd of people, or change into Synapse without making a giant lightning bolt shoot down from the cloudless sky. He was getting desperate, he did not want to walk another two miles. He looked around, almost begging for a distraction. He got what he wanted, though not exactly the way he would have expected. He saw a grenade flying towards the giant crowd of people he was in. He shouted "Everybody get down!" but in the large streets of Kingdom City, no one would listen to what a sixteen year old kid said. The grenade went off, but of course Drake wasn't hurt. With the dust cloud surrounding everything he held his hand up in the air and looked expectantly at the sky.
The second the dust cloud started clearing, the lightning bolt finally shot down, transforming Derrek into his older self, Synapse. He uses his lightning powers to clear the dust and he floats up, looking around. Before he finds anyone, a bullet hits the back of his head, but does nothing except irritate him even further. He turns around and sees the android he had fought only once in the past, the Caucasian knock-off of Nick Fury. Synapse asks it what it wants, and the android says he has a message for Synapse. When he asks who it was from, the android says he will find out soon enough, as he fires his second gun, which did not shoot a bullet. Rather a tranquilizer beam, manufactured by Oscorp. Synapse nearly panicked, but he quickly created a shield and knocked the laser aside. Synapse appeared inches away from the android in less than a second. He grabbed the gun and bent it towards the android. Synapse once again demands to know who the message is from. But the android presses a button on the back of his neck and a voice similar to his own, but a little different says "Transferring intelligence to back-up body". "Dammit!" yells Synapse before he electrocutes his own fist and punches a hole through the android's head.
Synapse flies back down and assures the people that they will be alright but one of them yells at him to look out. When he turns around he sees the assassin Hellstorm, who he had also only fought once or twice, shooting a fiery bullet straight at his face. Synapse quickly used his accelerated vision to survey the scene and he saw the bullet was made of Vibranium, the only metal capable of penetrating his skin. Synapse also saw that at the speed the bullet was going, he might not have enough time to get out of the way.
When time went back to regular speed, Synapse had no idea what to do. Before he could react, a blur of red appeared in front of him and the bullet was gone, and Hellstorm was on the ground. It didn't take long for him to realize that Paradox had intervened. Synapse grimaced when he came into focus. "I didn't need your help." says Synapse. "My accelerated vision says otherwise." Synapse constantly forgets that Paradox has that power as well.
"Look, why do I have to keep telling you this? I'm not interested in joining your long underwear club." says Synapse, clearly trying to offend Paradox. "And why do we have to keep telling you this.." says Ultimatum, as he and Psyche make themselves visible. Synapse should have known they would be here. "The Brotherhood is a valuable team. We help people when they need it, whether they ask or not. That's the exact same thing you do on your own. So why don't you join us? We'd be a pretty kickass team with you on board." Synapse and Ultimatum stare at each other for what seems like an eternity. "I'll think about it." says Synapse before he launches himself into the sky.
Synapse crashes through the clouds and hovers around for a bit, not knowing what to think about. His mind wandered to Fury and Hellstorm. The whole attack seemed planned to fail, and Hellstorm was sloppy. He didn't even crack an offensive joke before he fired the bullet, which he always does. Somehow his thoughts wandered to Amanda. He loved her, he really did, but he couldn't stop thinking about Bree either. In frustration, he blasted a lightning bolt forward and shouted. He realized it had been nearly two hours until he had been home, and his mother would be worried sick, so he hurried off back to his house.
The doors to the Brotherhood's headquarters are slammed open by Ultimatum in frustration. "Well that sucked." he says as he takes his seat at the table. "Hey he said he'd consider it." says Paradox, trying to cheer him up. Psyche joins in the conversation. "Come on, we know Synapse. He's arrogant, big headed, and he hates all three of us. With him, "maybe" always means "no". There is no way he'll ever join this team."
After Psyche is done talking, he is shot in the back of the neck with a tranquilizer beam, and he falls onto the table, completely unconscious. "It always is best to take out the telepath first." says Hellstorm as he steps out of the shadows. Ultimatum and Paradox are each confused and Paradox says "Hellstorm? But we took you out!" "Come on, fast and furious. Don't you keep up with modern technology? No one's who they say they are these days. Especially Synapse." says the assassin as he blasts Ultimatum, he barely dodges the blast and shoots one of his own at Hellstorm. He bends backwards and the beam blasts into the wall. "Nice shot, wannabe. But not as good as this one." Ultimatum becomes confused as Hellstorm does not raise his gun, but he is blasted from behind as Nemesis steps out of the shadows. "I hate using guns. I cannot believe they have replaced blades." Both Nemesis and Hellstorm look at Paradox and aim their guns at him. He holds his hands up and they both fire, but at the last second his vibrates all of his molecules and the beams go through him. In the next second, he disappears. "Whatever. We've got the one the Master requested." says Hellstorm, looking at Psyche.
Psyche's vision comes into focus and he sees that he is in a large, dark room. he can hear two voices talking. One that he recognized as Hellstorm, but the other voice was unfamiliar. It was lecturing Hellstorm for not capturing Paradox, but Hellstorm gets angry and claims all he requested was Psyche, and he should be glad that Ultimatum was also captured. There is a long pause until the doors of his cell open and this mystery man steps in.
Derrek lays in his bed looking at his phone. His thumb hovering over Amber's number. He was tempted to call her and tell her everything. He didn't know why, but he pressed call and waited. After about a minute or two, it goes to voicemail. He decides not to leave a message and he is about to call Jaiden, but he hears his mother scream. He appears downstairs in less than a second and he asks her what is wrong. She points at the TV and he looks to see the news broadcast.
"It has been confirmed that two teens in the resident area have gone missing. Once again, their names are Amber Dane and Jaiden Paris. After interviewing family members it has been confirmed that the two are friends and they both have connections to former Synapse suspect, Derrek Gibbons. Search efforts have failed, but they will continue."
Derrek balls his fists and says he is going out to look for them. The second he slams the front door closed, he holds up his hand. He doesn't care who is around or who sees him. He transforms into Synapse and flies to the Brotherhood's headquarters. He knows if anyone can help him find them, it would be Psyche. He slams the doors open shouting for them to help. He looks around and sees the mess of their headquarters. He looks around and uses his accelerated vision to see what went down not 24 hours ago. He knows that Paradox is still out there somewhere, and he would be looking for his teammates. But he didn't have time to find Paradox. he flies away once again and goes to Avengers Tower to talk to his former mentor, Iron Man.
When Jarvis greets Synapse, he blasts a lightning bolt at him, which shuts him up and immediately opens the door. He ignores greetings or protests from any of the Avengers and he kicks open the doors to Iron Man's lab to find Ms. Marvel and Jessica Drew kissing. He doesn't even bother reacting and he demands to know where Iron Man is. It takes a second for the two of them to understand what is going on and Jessica says he is in the Assembly Hall, but before she can finish Synapse is gone.
He opens the doors to the Assembly Hall and sees Iron Man looking at a hologram of Loki. When Iron Man notices Synapse, he quickly shuts down the hologram and asks Synapse what was wrong. He doesn't bother talking and he brings up a hologram of the broadcast confirming Jaiden and Amber as missing. After Iron Man finishes watching he asks Synapse what he expects them to do. He says he expects them to use their extremely hi-tech tracking systems to find them. Iron Man tells Synapse to calm down, and they will do everything they can. Synapse sits down and begins breathing heavily. Iron Man says he will have an update on their location in a day, but for now, Synapse needed to relax. Synapse pretended to agree with Iron Man, but after he left he began searching for Paradox, who might have answers.
Back in Psyche's cell, the lights are activated and he can see a man wearing a large white robe, which made him look like a king. He was followed by a much smaller man, wearing a similar outfit which made him look like his assistant. Psyche asks who he is and why he was brought here. The larger man says "You may call me the Master. I am the leader of the Regime, and we acquired you so that you would be incapable of locating Amber Dane and Jaiden Paris."
"What do you want with Amber and Jaiden?" asks Psyche. The master replies "They are the two most important people in Synapse's life. We do not want him tracking them to our base, not yet. He will find his way here in time, but we do not need to rush things. That is all you will get for now." He addresses his assistant and the two of them leave, as the room goes black again, leaving Psyche all alone.
Issue #4After feeling several waves pound against her, Amber opens her eyes and notices she is lying on top of Synapse, who is unconscious. She looks around and notices the two of them are on a beach, which looks beautiful. She gets up and takes a large sigh of happiness. She glances at Synapse and thinks to herself "He looks familiar, but I can't quite put my finger on it." She leans down and tries to shake him awake, but it is useless. He won't budge. She then shrugs and decides he will wake up when he wakes up. Deciding she will wait, she takes off her clothes and goes into the ocean for a swim, hoping he will join her.
In a different corner of a different world, Jaiden wanders about the battleground, twisting and turning at every second to make sure no one is about to kill him from behind. He hears a gun fire and the bullet whizzes past his face. He turns around and sees his good friend, Carl Fray, pointing a gun at him. Jaiden is frightened and he tries to reason with Carl, but he seems to not hear him. He then fires two more bullets, which Jaiden dodges the first one, but the second hits him in the shoulder. Jaiden falls to the ground, and as Cole begins walking closer his image shifts to one of Jaiden's ex-girlfriends, Grace. She appears over him and aims the gun at his head, but before anything else happens, a different bullet crashes through Grace's forehead and she falls over dead. Jaiden backs away and sees that the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, Black Widow has come to his rescue. She shouts "Jayden! Are you alright? I was so worried about you!" At first he is confused, but she runs up and kisses him, which surprises him even more.
In a lab, the so-called "Master" and his lieutenant stare down at the sleeping bodies of Amber Dane and Jaiden Paris, each of them being held in containment pods. The Master asks what they are dreaming of, but his lieutenant says it is hard to differentiate their dreams, as the machine they are hooked up to has begun melding them together, making things worse. He also mentions something about Jaiden's dormant mutation altering Amber's dream to match his, which worries the Master.
Synapse is flying all across the country in search of Paradox, the only member of the Brotherhood who is still free. Eventually, he decides to return to the Brotherhood's headquarters, but finds nothing. Before he can leave, Paradox shows up at the exit. The two of them begin shouting at each other, but Synapse slaps Paradox and demands to know where Jaiden and Amber are. After recovering, Paradox says he has located the island of the Regime, which is where Jaiden and Amber are being held. Synapse then begs Paradox to take him there, but Paradox says he has a plan. They need to lure out one of the Regime agents to fight them, and they must throw the fight in order to be taken to the island. At first Synapse is against the idea, but they are sent a psychic message that sounds strained, it tells them to do whatever is necessary, so Synapse agrees to Paradox's plan.
Synapse is floating in midair in the middle of town. He speaks into his communicator, saying this is the stupidest idea ever. Paradox tells him to be patient. He then takes a large sigh before being blasted in the back by a laser which burns through his costume. He shouts and crashes into the ground. he looks up and sees the alien Glowstick Man towering above him. Synapse wipes the blood off of his chin and blasts a lightning bolt at him, but he absorbs it and redirects it. Synapse dodges it and shoots another. He is then hit in the back by a wind gust and turns around to see Whirlwind as well. He hears Paradox saying that the plan is working. In the next second, he is there, punching Whirlwind in the face, sending him flying into a wall. Paradox helps out Synapse, quietly reminding him to throw the fight.
Out in the ocean, Amber is swimming, shouting at Synapse to wake up. His eyes open and he tries shouting at her, but no sound comes out. she doesn't notice the shark fin getting closer as Synapse dives in to get to her.
The real Synapse gets blasted straight in the face by Glowstick Man, which nearly knocks him out. He staggers backwards, bumping into Paradox, who gets kicked in the chest by Whirlwind. The two of them each fall over and Glowstick Man blasts one of his largest lasers at them, and Whirlwind turns it into a tornado to contain them, and the four of them exit Kingdom City, leaving the citizens in shock.
Jaiden breaks away from Black Widow demanding to know what is going on, but she gets an arrow through her chest and Hawkeye shouts at him for stealing his girl. He shoots another arrow, but Jaiden holds up his hands and a shadow shield appears and breaks the arrow. He stares in awe as Hawkeye gets caught in an explosion. He turns around and begins to run.
Synapse and Paradox are seen within the energy vortex getting closer to the island.
Amber laughs as Synapse gets closer and closer. She feels something brush against her leg, which frightens her. She is yanked underwater and Synapse screams.
In the pods, Jaiden's eyes open and he screams, shadows bursting from every part of his body, destroying the entire lab.
Shadows dance around the entire base, destroying everything they touch. The Master demands that the shadows be destroyed at once, but his assistant said it cannot be done. Eventually, the shadows reached the cells. They scraped the doors of Psyche's cell, but not enough for him to set himself free. However, the shadows kept going, and they completely broke down the door to Ultimatum's cell. He thought it would allow him an escape, but the shadows pelted Ultimatum back into the cell, and they soon filled up the entire room.
As Jaiden's screams were drowned out in the shadows, Hellstorm managed to recover and he shot Jaiden in the neck with a tranquilizer dart. He fainted, and the shadows retreated. The Master recovered and he order that Jaiden be placed in a Maximum Security Cell at once. His assistant obeyed orders and took his body away. The Master walks over to Amber and says "This one is a different case. She will-"
An agent comes rushing in saying he has urgent news. When the Master demands to know what it is, he says they have captured Synapse and Paradox. The Master grins evilly. He demands that Paradox be put in a cell, but he wants Synapse for himself.Before the Master gets a chance to do anything, a laser is blasted into his room, and it blasts him in the face. When he regains focus, he sees the Avengers standing in the room. Iron Man tells him to give up, but he presses a button on his wrist gauntlet, and he tells them that they are about to be at the mercy of the Regime
It isn't long until every recognizable enemy of Synapse has entered the room. Iron Man says they are in for a good time, but Captain America tells him to be serious. As they battle ensues, Synapse regains consciousness, and the first thing he sees is the Master, towering over him. He quickly swipes his hand under the Master's feet, making him fall over. He then flies up and taunts "Catch me if you can!"As the battle moves itself all across the island, Psyche's cell is damaged even further. He discovers that the security system has been shut off, so he uses his psychic powers to rip apart his chains and blow up his cell after he managed to escape. He then vowed he would find the Master and make him pay for what he has done. When he joins the battle, he is quickly pre-occupied after being attacked by Twixt.
Synapse believes he had gotten away from the Master, so he looked back and nothing was behind him. But he was not paying enough attention, and he slammed right into a metal wall, which seemed to be implanted onto one of the many mountains. He punched his hand through it, and ripped it open, attempting to hide himself. But what he found made him throw up. he gazed in horror at the dead body of Ultimatum