Issue One: The Incident
In Harlem, an Inhuman named Tyrone Powers is sick of all the crime in his neighborhood, so he begins playing around with his power, which is opening a black hole in his torso. He dons a blue cloak, which he names himself after, and, as Cloak, heads down into the streets. He sees two men assaulting a lone woman, so he runs after them. He punches one of them, but the two manage to knock him down with ease. They start stomping on him, so he unleashes his full power, and everything starts to get sucked into the black hole on his chest. It gets to the point where Cloak can't stop it, and countless innocent people die. The crisis continues, and no one knows how to stop it, and so the mutant hero team X-Force, who started out on a reality TV show but have since decided to take crime-fighting seriously, arrive on the scene. Psylocke tries to generate a force field around the black hole, but it keeps getting bigger with everything it consumes. Magik begins teleporting nearby civilians to safety, as the Avengers arrive as well. Iron Man, Beast, Yellowjacket, and Cypher try to devise a plan, but an unknown sniper from the rooftop just shoots Cloak in the head, stopping the black hole. The heroes look to see who the gunman was, but they already got away. The incident causes tons of controversy around the world, with the general public turning against super-powered vigilantes, as well as Inhumans. There are protests outside of Attilan Towers, an Inhuman-owned and Inhuman-welcoming apartment building. Blake Boltagon and Madelyne Amaquelin, along with their dog Lockjaw, are trying to get into the building but struggle to make it through the huge crowd of protesters. Madelyne tells Blake that she suspects this is the beginning of something awful.
Issue Two: Tremors
A young Inhuman girl, Daisy Johnson, is being pursued by authorities for accidentally leveling a building with her powers. She is cornered in an alley, so she uses her powers, causing an earthquake that distracts the police as she climbs into an abandoned building and takes cover. Blake and Madelyne see a news report on the incident from their apartment at Attilan Towers. Madelyne's sister, Crystal, flies in through the window and tells them that she was just chased down by SHIELD agents who wanted to interrogate her. SHIELD agent Clay Quartermain busts down the door, and tells them that the US government would like to have a few words with them. They all hesitate, but Clay Quartermain tells them if they don't go willingly, they will be forced. At the SHIELD Triskelion, Nick Fury tells the three Inhumans, and their telepathic dog, Lockjaw, that due to the now famous court case between Blake and Madelyne and their Inhuman-hating landlord, as well as Crystal's celebrity status, they are the faces of the Inhuman equality movement. Nick Fury reveals that the United Nations plans to sign a Superhuman Registration Act, where all Inhumans, genetic mutants, or any other kind of superhumans or vigilantes will have to reveal their identity to the public, and any who wish to remain active in the superhero community will have to become an official agent of SHIELD in order to do so. Lockjaw sends a telepathic message to Blake, Madelyne, and Crystal, telling them not to do this. Fury smirks, and tells them that they can't hide any secrets from him. Jean Grey steps into the room and tells them that she's telepathically linked all of them with Fury. Crystal recognizes Jean Grey as Marvel Girl, of the X-Men, and asks why she'd ever be on board with this. Jean tells them that she's learned of a virus she has, the Phoenix Virus, which means she could go out of control at any moment, and she's just more comfortable knowing that there's the government to constantly keep her in check. The next day, the Avengers are helping to clean up the damage caused by Cloak, and Captain America and Iron Man discuss super-powered vigilantism, and Iron Man suggests thinking up a solution to keep vigilantes in check. Meanwhile, the Superhuman Registration Act is passed, and overall it is very well received by the general public. Superhumans everywhere begin registering, and SHIELD reveals their new anti-registration task force, the New Ultimates. The New Ultimates consists of Viper, Giant-Man, Hawkeye, Wonder Man, Tigra, the Phoenix, and their newly registered Inhuman members... Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal, and Lockjaw! The New Ultimates' first mission is to find Daisy Johnson, the runaway Inhuman from the beginning of the issue. They arrive in Daisy's hometown, Chicago, where the Phoenix (Jean Grey) uses her mental powers to scan for Daisy. She locates her in an abandoned building, where she's been hiding out. Black Bolt, Medusa, and Lockjaw go in to talk to her, and they're able to get her trust, but suddenly the others barge in, scaring Daisy and causing her to accidentally create another earthquake. The building comes crashing down over them, but Jean Grey uses her telekinesis to stop the rubble from crushing them. Hawkeye shoots a knock-out dart at Daisy, and they take her away to the Triskelion. Medusa, Black Bolt, and Lockjaw have a mental conversation, and Medusa says she has some doubts about this. Jean interrupts their conversation, and asks them if they need anymore convincing.
Issue Three: Declaration of War
Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, has yet to register, and doesn't yet know if he wants to reveal his true identity to the world. While walking home, he sees a group of protestors calling the Registration Act an invasion of freedom and privacy. Just as he goes to cross the street, the Ghost Rider speeds by on his flaming motorcycle. He is being pursued by Wonder Man, Crystal, and Phoenix. He uses his chain, and tosses it back at Wonder Man, wrapping it around him and pulling, slamming him into the ground. He makes a sharp turn around the corner, dragging Wonder Man behind him. Crystal summons a lightning bolt, and hits the back of Ghost Rider's motorcycle, sending him flying up into the air. Phoenix stops him in midair and throws him through the side of a building with her telekinesis. Some debris falls down towards the civilians below, but Spider-Man swings down out of nowhere and saves them. Phoenix smirks, and tells Crystal that now is their chance to kill two birds with one stone. Crystal flies to Spider-Man, and talks to him about registering, Spider-Man says he'll sleep on it, and swings away. Phoenix flies after him, leading into a lengthy chase, until Phoenix eventually catches him with her telekinesis. Spider-Man and Ghost Rider are brought to the Big House, a miniature superhuman prison where the prisoners are shrunk down to be brought inside. Ghost Rider is kept in a fireproof pit, along with Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, another unregistered superhuman. Spider-Man is unmasked, and Clay Quartermain tells him that they will reveal his identity, along with the identities of all the other unregistered superhumans they've captured, in an upcoming press release. In his cell, Spider-Man is distraught over the whole situation, when he sees Black Bolt, Medusa, and Lockjaw walk past. He yells out to them, begging for help. He explains he's just a kid from Queens, and if his real name is revealed, his loved ones will be endangered. Medusa feels sorry for him, but says there's nothing she can do. Lockjaw begins thinking about the Registration Act, and as he thinks back to the moment that he and his owners were first informed of the Registration Act, he unlocks a repressed memory of Jean Grey using her telepathy to force them into cooperating, as Nick Fury told her they need them on their side. Lockjaw informs Black Bolt and Medusa, and they suddenly come back to their senses. Black Bolt telepathically tells the other two to stand back and cover their ears, and they do. Black Bolt slowly opens his mouth, and whispers, "Don't worry", emitting super sonic frequencies that destroy Spider-Man's cage, freeing him, but also inadvertently deafening him. Lockjaw brings Spider-Man into their telepathic link, and tells him that they have to free all the prisoners, starting with one that can help them. They rush down the cell block, and Spider-Man shoots webs at the cell window, using his enhanced strength to pull it out, freeing the prisoner inside, who turns out to be the X-Man known as Elixir, with healing powers. Lockjaw tells him they're breaking him out, but first he has to heal Spider-Man's ears, giving him his hearing back. Guard droids come rushing down the corridor, and attack them. Black Bolt hums, emitting a less dangerous frequency that is still powerful enough to destroy the robots. More attack them from behind, so Medusa uses her hair to tear them apart. Lockjaw tells them it's best if they come back later, so they escape, going through the Big House's special gate that shrinks people going into it and grows people coming out of it. Normal-sized, they are surrounded by Shield agents, led by Nick Fury. Nick Fury tells them that if they go through with this rebellion, they'll be starting a war. Black Bolt smirks, and loudly exhales, sending all the Shield agents flying back. They go up to the roof of the facility, and hijack a Shield jet. They fly away, and Spider-Man says that if they want to win this war, they're going to need an army.
Issue Four: First Blood
After the Registration Act was started, several super-groups were divided. The New Warriors' Ms. Marvel, Night Thrasher, Speedball and Namorita went Pro-Registration, while Sun Girl and Vermin refused to register and went into hiding. Meanwhile, Black Bolt and Medusa's new rag-tag group of unregistered superhumans (themselves, Lockjaw, Spider-Man, Elixir) are using the New Ultimates' files on unregistered superhumans that Black Bolt and Medusa had access to before going rogue. They gather together Sun Girl, Vermin, Daredevil, Havok, Kid Omega, Wasp, Elektra, and the Inhuman fish-man Triton. Medusa tells them all that they're going to attack the Big House facility and free the other unregistered superhumans. Elektra is revealed to be a spy for Shield, who was listed as unregistered so she could help find real unregistered superhumans. Shield agents attack, leading to a battle. Daredevil asks Elektra how she could possibly support the Registration Act, and Elektra asks him how he could possibly be against it. In the midst of the battle, Elektra inadvertently kills Elixir by impaling him with her sai. Elixir realizes that while he can heal others, he cannot heal himself, and he dies. Havok, angered by the loss of his friend, unleashes a huge energy blast, blowing away all of the Shield agents. The other heroes escape, as Havok destroys the building, seemingly killing both him and Elektra in the process. At the Triskelion, the Avengers (excluding Wasp), who have all agreed (most of them reluctantly) on registering to keep the team together, are coming into conflict after learning about the deaths of Havok, Elektra, and Elixir. Captain America and Iron Man nearly get into a fight, with Captain America saying that the Registration Act is basically leading to a superhuman holocaust. Scarlet Witch breaks up the fight, telling them that this is exactly what they wanted to avoid. Iron Man flies off, and the team goes silent. Finally, Thor decides that he shouldn't get caught up in the conflicts of man, and takes off as well. Yellowjacket sarcastically asks if anyone else would like to leave now. Off in Wakanda, T'Challa walks down into a subterannean facility. He talks to one of the Dora Milaje, the Wakandan royal servants, who tells him they had to go through a lot of trouble for "this". T'Challa walks over to a hospital bed in the middle of the room, which Havok is resting on. Havok wakes up, and sees T'Challa, who puts on his Panther mask, and tells him that he's ready for war.