issue starts with a brief history of the cosmic cube, and the realization that
the cosmic cube might just be a Skrull (they have the power to basically be
whatever they want to be, the next step on the evolutionary ladder). It seems odd, but kind of right that the most
cosmic of macguffins in the Marvel universe is just some random Skrull that
decided one day that he was going to turn into a magical cube.
leads us to New York, where X-51 has come down to Earth to retrieve
Nighthawk. He takes Nighthawk down to
the street where last issue ended and we see Gargoyle asking Mephisto (Mr.
Church) to take back the ability to feel.
It’s a little late for Gargoyle to go all emo, but he hopes to make it
to his friend by sacrificing his newfound ability to not be made of stone. Nighthawk still wants to save him from
Mephisto though, even after his treachery.
a quick aside with Daredevil (who is not actually Matt Murdock, that Daredevil
is dead) being approached by someone that was changed into a regular looking
human by the Terrigen Mists. He wants to
be changed back into…whatever he was before and he asks Daredevil to point him
to Reed Richards because, Reed is the only one that can change him back.
Iceman in New York, he has provided a little reinforcement to the torch as he
has placed a giant, thick wall of ice between the torch and the seething
masses. Of course, that won’t hold
forever as the mutants will stop at nothing to ensure that they stay
mutated. While that madness happens
below, Luke Cage and Marshall Muldoon decry the fact that the Silver Surfer
told them that he would help them keep the torch lit, but has yet to show up,
even though most of the other torches around the world are doused. Daredevil then shows back up amongst the
churchgoers and basically begs to be killed, which they happily oblige
In Wakanda, Marv asks the Black Panther for the cosmic cube. The Panther refuses him, but agrees to put up
Marv and his Merry Mutants for the night in order to hear their argument. We then get a mini X-Men reunion as Beast,
Storm and Cyclops are all in Wakanda. Of
course, it wouldn’t be an X-Men reunion if Scott wasn’t mopey about Jean’s
death. Ten points for consistency!
Latveria, Reed is just now realizing that the Absorbing Man’s head is gone, so
Reed, Sue and the Thing’s two kids head to a vault to find Doom’s time machine
so they can go back and prevent the Tong of Creel from stealing the head. When they get there, though, they see that
the time machine is gone, stolen by the same people that took the head? We don’t know yet. The mutants on the outside of the vault break
in so they can kill Reed and make sure that he never changes them back (they
are lots of fun). Just as they are about
to make their move though, the mutants that want to be changed back to normal
attack, driving back the “evil” mutants.
Next Issue: Have the
good guys won? Can they ever truly
win? Will Reed change the mutant
population back? And what is up with the
begin this issue with a brief history of all things cosmic, including Galactus,
the Watchers, the Celestials and even the Silver Surfer. We then begin the real issue where we ended
the last issue, with X-51 speaking to the Supreme Intelligence. The Supreme Intelligence issues a warning to
X-51, saying that Marv is one piece of the Cosmic Consciousness away from being
all-powerful. This is apparently a
pretty bad thing, according to the Supreme Intelligence. The last piece that he is missing, happens to
be Nighthawk’s eyes, the eyes that can see the future that were given to him by
that segue; we travel to New York, where Nighthawk and Gargoyle are having a
heart to heart, as Nighthawk has accused Gargoyle of selling out everyone to
get his “humanity” back. Gargoyle denies
this and leaves, heading out into the cold, among the throng Immortus’
moon, Marv’s band of merry mutants show up to retrieve the Ultimate Nullifier,
which Uatu was keeping in his vault o’ super weapons. We then find out that the Celestial embryo in
Earth (that was destroyed by Galactus at the end of Earth X) is not the only
Celestial embryo in Earth. Each reality
(and there are a bunch of them) has its own Earth and therefore has its own
embryo just waiting to burst out all Xenomorph style and destroy the Earth. The rest of the heroes, on their way to ask
the Watcher where he keeps his Ultimate Nullifier see him travel through a
portal that basically takes them through history, not as active participants
per se, but more as observers, unable to interact, kind of like Scrooge in “A
Christmas Carol”. They eventually corner
Uatu and he relents, at first threatening to use the Ultimate Nullifier on
them, and then when Marv explains that that would be interfering, he just hands
York, Iceman shows up to help, while Spiderman goes into the holding cell where
they are keeping Spiders-Man (apparently the truce they struck at the end of
the Spidey Special Issue was a tenuous one).
Spiderman first wraps webbing around his eyes so as not to fall prey to
Spiders-Man’s illusions, though, and then he asks Spiders-Man to join them yet
again. In Japan, Xen fails at their job
of protecting the hands of the Absorbing Man from the Tong of Creel, and now
only his head remains until he is made whole.
It just so happens that his head is under the care of the one-armed Reed
Richards in Latveria. We journey to
Latveria at that point (Krueger does a phenomenal job throughout the entire
series of threading things together so that we go seamlessly from one location
to another as the action demands, and while this may seem like something
mundane and not really worthy of praise, I’m giving it to him because there are
so many damn locations in this series that he could easily confuse the
the realm of the dead, the heroes fight on against the minions of Thanos and
Death. Marv explains yet again that
Thanos is not special, that everyone eventually gets a kiss from Death (she’s
apparently pretty slutty, raise your standards Thanos!). Marv explains that he will eventually be
strong enough to kill Death, his whole reason for the fetch quest in the land
of the living it appears. Back in the
land of the living, Mr. Church is confronted by Gargoyle, who refuses to help
him anymore, to fuel his religion and the hatred and violence it creates. We then get the big reveal that Mr. Church is
in fact Mephisto, the devil, lord of lies, etc.
Next Issue: So, the devil has been pulling the strings, got
it. Now what?
begin this issue with the history of Moon Knight, and quickly transition to New
York, where Gargoyle can now feel things, as in human senses, it’s apparent
that he already had human emotions if he desired to feel things. Nighthawk then accuses him of something sinister,
as apparently, Mr. Church is using the information he is gathering from the
pages supplied to him by Gargoyle to lead the Tong of Creel to all of the
pieces of the Absorbing Man. The odd
thing is, Gargoyle is speaking to someone that can see the future, and yet
Nighthawk still told him everything that he needed to know. Maybe Nighthawk couldn’t see that far into
the future, to the actual consequences of the actions until they were upon him,
but still, you would think someone that had a secret like Gargoyle apparently
does wouldn’t try to hide it from someone that can see the future.
Latveria, the Tong of Creel is closing in on the piece of the Absorbing Man
that Reed Richards is keeping safe, while in Canada, Sasquatch and Guardian,
or, the head of Guardian, to be more specific, realize that they are being
overrun by Wolverine-looking mutants.
Egypt, Marv and his band of merry heroes arrive to find Moon Knight fighting
against the Sons of Set yet again. The heroes aid Moon Knight and then go to
retrieve the statue they came for. Once
they retrieve that, not only do the perpetually regenerating Sons of Set fade
into dust, but so does Moon Knight, finally able to die and rest in peace.
Latveria, everyone is fighting the mutants that are trying to douse the “human
torch” while Mr. Church enters Doom’s castle to find the piece of the Absorbing
Man. In Japan, Marv has come for the
Mandarin’s rings, the next item on his quest, and leaves with the rings and the
hands they came on.
realm of the dead, the battle continues between Marv’s dead heroes and Thanos’
dead army. Moon Knight shows up, which
adds another body to the fight, but doesn’t do much else at this point. On the Moon, X-51 is carting around the
Supreme Intelligence who warns him that Marv must be stopped for the sake of
all of the multiple realities.
York, Immortus, now locked out of Limbo, begins to mutate, which sends him into
a mental tailspin. At that moment Mr.
Church walks in, asking Immortus to address his flock. In his current state, Immortus can’t do that,
he’s going crazy as it is, so he puts that on Mr. Church, who gladly accepts.
the normal series, we begin issue five with the origin of Prince Wayfinder and
his sword, a sword that created the entire world of Subatomica, a world within
our world. The magical sword lay dormant
after the death of Wayfinder, but came back to “life” to find Wayfinder’s
descendant, Arcturus Rann. Rann held the
Enigma Force, which he added to as he was in a state of suspended
animation. While this was happening, a
portal was created to Subatomica known as the Prometheus Pit. A villain appropriately named Psycho-Man
tried to invade Earth from Subatomica but was soundly defeated by all the
superheroes, so he turned his attention to Subatomica instead. Psycho-Man used his suggestion device to
cause Rann’s own wife to kill him. The
Enigma Force essentially died with Rann, ending up in the realm of the dead,
where it transferred to Captain Marvel (the adult version in the land of the
that was a mouthful. We open the action
on the funeral for Cap. If you read the
special issue directly preceding this one, you would know that Cap died
protecting Marv. If you didn’t bother to
read it because, well, it’s not part of the series proper, then you missed out
on one of the central characters in the series meeting their untimely
demise. This is quite the odd thing to
do, in my opinion, but, speaking as someone that picked up everything to do
with the series, I’m not sure why anyone would skip out on the special
issues. Many of the heroes assembled
pledge to help Marv complete his quest, while Wyatt Wingfoot is none too happy
with Marv for leading Cap to his death. Thor
chases Loki away when he tells her that she can be whatever she wants, that her
destiny as a God of Thunder is not set in stone. Marv then makes the proclamation that all of
the heroes are going to Hell. Like,
literally going to Hell, not in some vague, you cut me off in traffic kind of
Britain, the Tong of Creel attacks Captain Britain’s home to steal another
piece of the Absorbing Man, and of course they succeed. All of these heroes in the world and they
still can’t keep pieces of a dead man secure.
back with Marv and his merry band of heroes as they head to the Prometheus
Pit. It appears that, in order to
prevent anything from crossing into the real world, Man-Thing sacrificed himself
to plug the hole. We get a brief history
from the Micronauts Proton and Neutron along with the glowing visage of Rann’s
wife. Basically, Psycho-Man won in his
attempt to enslave Subatomica. The only way he was beat was through the help
of Man-Thing who, when he clogged the Prometheus Pit, he lodged Psycho-Man’s
suggestion device within himself and released his fear burning tendrils into
Subatomica. Rann’s wife seems to be
speaking to everyone from the land of the dead, and of course, that causes
Scott to ask about Phoenix. He is told
that she is with him, that the dreams he has of her is actually her reaching
out to him. Marv then retrieves the
suggestion device from Man-Thing and they go about their merry way.
with X-51 talking to Uatu on the moon about Galactus, and about how Wayfinder’s
sword was not a sentient being as he once thought it was, it was the star that
Wayfinder shoved his sword into that was sentient, and the only sentient star
out there is Galactus. We then see X-51
walk over the containment unit of the Kree’s Supreme Intelligence (the hive-mind
like creature that acts as the Kree’s governing body).
Next Issue: What does the Supreme Intelligence have to do
with all this? Better yet, what does
Galactus have to do with all of this?
Can the heroes actually hold on to a piece of the Absorbing Man, or are
they the worst heroes ever?
Cap-centric comic would be complete without a brief overview of Cap’s
history. This issue is no
different. We start with Cap’s origin,
which I’m sure everyone knows by now.
After that prelude, we catch up with Modern day Cap and Marv, who are
still on their fetch quest. Why this is
taking place in a “special issue” is one of the great mysteries of this
series. You would think that the special
issues wouldn’t really hold anything too pertinent in case someone wanted to,
or had to skip them for monetary reasons (though the special issues are only
fifty cents more expensive than the regular issues, so I can’t imagine cost
would be that much of a concern).
Cap and Marv are in Washington DC, a special place for Cap, naturally, that is
now reduced to ruins. They are currently
looking for Mason Harding’s Dimensional Doorway. They find him and he explains that his
dimensional door is on Mount Rushmore.
They use the cloak to travel there, but as they do it, it gives Cap some
creepy nightmares. They arrive at Mount
Rushmore and are met with a deserted old timey town that had monster stuck on
poles, Vlad the Impaler style in a field next to it. The monsters are the inhabitants of the
dimension that the Dimensional Doorway leads to.
admire the local handiwork, the natives show up to attack Cap and Marv. They are obviously a little leery of visitors,
and considering the fact that by their clothing they are stuck in the
1700s. Cap and Falcon apparently stopped
by to help these individuals control their monster problem at one point, then
they got busy saving the rest of the world and couldn’t be everywhere at
once. Well, these people apparently hold
quite the grudge, as Cap is greeted with
pointed flaming sticks. Luckily, Marv
has his cloak at the ready and they disappear as the disgruntled citizens strike.
trip through the cloak means another creepy nightmare for Cap. This one shows that the Super Soldier
program, the very one that birthed Cap himself, was nothing but a vehicle for
the Third Reich to dominate. I guess it
wasn’t a coincidence that they chose Cap, with his blonde hair and blue eyes,
as the original test subject. This sends
Dream Cap into a rage and he pummels the Red Skull, which is apparently okay
with him as the Skull believes that if he is going to die, dying at the hands
of his country’s greatest representation of the Aryan race is noble. Then we get a nice shot of a bunch of Germans
saluting Cap…and he comes out of the cloak.
They are outside on a roof, not too far from where the teleported from,
and quickly find the Dimensional Doorway, which is in a basement. Cap helps the citizens, even though they
tried to kill him, against the monsters emerging from the Doorway. Marv collects the Doorway, and makes sure to
mention to Cap that Death is in the room.
The citizens prevent Marv from teleporting away and knock Cap out,
causing him to have another fever-dream.
This one causes him to see the past, a past where he failed the Avengers
by not being thee when they needed him most.
We get a brief history of Cap in the Earth X series, and then Cap wakes
up in shackles. These shackles are
special though, as in the interior of the shackles, pressed against his wrists,
are metal spikes designed to slice his wrist and kill him if he removes
prevent Marv from being killed though, Cap slices his wrists and removes the
shackles, saving Marv and hiding out in an abandoned schoolhouse. Cap comes up with the idea to make a run for
it, to get out of the town before the citizens can kill them, because they are
on their way, and that’s definitely what the citizens plan on doing. Cap does just that, bursting through the line
of people as they shoot at him with Revolutionary War replica weapons. He keeps pushing on, until the amount of
bullets in him prevents him from going any further. Cap dies as Death herself looks in on him,
and we realize that Death was not there for Marv at all.
a small group of heroes assemble to save Marv and bury collect Cap. Then Cap, like many of the other heroes
before him, goes to the land of the dead, and his fight continues.
a quick aside before we wrap up, while Krueger remains strong as the writer on
this issue, the artwork by Thomas Yeates is rough. There is very little weight to the art itself
and what really gets me is the layout choices.
On practically every page there are overlapping panels and just a
general lack of flow. Overlapping panels
are okay every once in a while for a change of pace, but to do it through much
of the book, and not have strong, striking visuals to counteract it seems like
an experiment for the experiment’s sake.
Next Issue: Back to the regular series and Marv’s fetch
quest continues. Who will help him now
that Cap is gone? Who wants to help him
since he seems a lot like Batman with his sidekicks?