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The Avengers Will Soon Fight Their Newest Villains: The Ashen Combine

*Contains spoilers for "Avengers" #1, 2, & 3 by Marvel Comics*

Marvel's newest Avengers team is close to assembling in an all-new series, but before Earth's Mightiest Heroes officially band together, a new collection of menacing villains has been revealed: The Ashen Combine.

Marvel has showcased the strange group of monster villains who are set to take on the Avengers in the upcoming "Avengers" series from Jed MacKay and C.F. Villa. The forthcoming Avengers roster will closely resemble the MCU's main heroes, with Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Captain America, Vision, and Iron Man making up the next team. They face quite a challenge ahead, as Kang the Conqueror's looming presence and ongoing quest to find a moment in time he can't access (previously seen in the "Timeless" one-shot) hanging over the heads of the heroes, the Ashen Combine will make their debut in "Avengers" #3. 

Thanks to the actions of Kang, The Ashen Combine will rise, with the "cityslayers" hunting down heavily populated areas for their own pleasure with seemingly no regard for human life. With the five Ashen Combine members trying to destroy Earth, The Avengers will be forced to split up to cover more ground while defending their planet from potential annihilation. In the process, they will try to prevent Tribulation Events, a series of potentially deadly future disasters across the Marvel Universe, from occurring,

The Ashen Combine are a different kind of threat for the Avengers

The Ashen Combine doesn't appear to be motivated by cosmic balance like the Mad Titan Thanos, nor do they seem driven by their thirst for knowledge like Kang the Conqueror. Instead, the monster team appears to be causing destruction across the Multiverse simply for their own sick joy. The team has five members: The first is Lord Ennui, a three-armed foe with a giant spiked scepter who wears a veil and crown. Idol Ablaster is a big head with wings who desires to be worshipped at seemingly any cost. Citysmith is the group's insane architect, as the eyeless creature has a sinister smile and robotic legs. The Dead is the most human looking of the bunch but sports a frightening mask and glowing arm that allows him to raise the dead. Finally, Meridian Diadem might be the most terrifying of them all, as she's described as an all-consuming entity whose chest and mouth can be opened to show a pocket dimension inside of her.

The Ashen Combine is said to come from Impossible City, which connects to "Timeless" #1. In the one-shot, Kang the Conqueror's mission to find The Missing Moment led him to end up briefly in the first Tribulation Event, the Citysmith's attack on Toronto. Kang was chased by Myrddin and the Twilight Court, a group who also sought out the moment in time. He ended up in multiple other Tribulation Events, including The Death Moon and the Cannibal Culture, the latter of which saw Myrddin nearly kill Kang before sending him to a place outside of time. Kang was last seen on Nowhen and Nowhere as Myrddin continued his search for the Missing Moment.

The Avengers quest continues despite the powerful forces ahead

The Avengers appear to have little clue about the grand Multiversal fight they're about to take on. The Ashen Combine are teased as legitimate threats to any area they want to use their incredible, destructive powers. Coming to Earth, even the Avengers might need reinforcements. 

Was Impossible City ground-zero for the creation of the Ashen Combine, and did its own destruction shown in the Tribulation Event inspire them? That's speculation, but their true connection will be fascinating to see unfold. Regardless of the villains' actual origins, the Ashen Combine will be a significant problem for Earth's Mightiest Heroes as the Multiverse-spanning new epic from the "Avengers" is going big when it comes to ideas with its soon-to-be-released title.

The Ashen Combine will make their comic book debut in "Avengers" #3, by Jed MacKay and C.F. Villa. However, considering the new villains already had a presence in the "Timeless" one-shot from Marvel Comics and their story technically starts in "Avengers" #1, the Ashen Combine are proving to be a real threat before they even officially appear. 

The first three issues of "Avengers" featuring cover art by Stuart Immonen arrive in comic book stores on May 17, June 21, and July 26, respectively.