After setting up a trap for the Squadron Supreme by attacking New York City using robots, the team freed themselves and defeated the villanous outlaw Iron Man. During his escape, Stark blasted Doctor Spectrum's hand, which caused the stone he was holding to cause a rift in reality. This rift offered Stark a glimpse ofan alternate reality in which he worked together with other known criminals. Familiar memories of this other life motivated him to assemble Black Widow, Captain, Falcon, Hawkeye, Hulk and Thor to investigate this event. As the Avengers, they came to the conclusion the Squadron Supreme had used the Reality Gem to alter reality into their own image, making the Avengers criminals.
Squadron member Nighthawk pinned them down, in order to kill them, as they feared Stark's knowledge of the truth would affect their plans. Nighthawk planted a bomb in the Avenger's Aven-Jet, but Iron Man sacrificed himself to prevent the plane-turned-bomb from crashing into the city by taking the explosive and flying away. The surviving members decided to carry on Iron Man's plan, and stop the Squadron. They succeeded, and brought reality back to normal.