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Avengers: Celestial Quest #5: Review

Mar 2002
Steve Englehart, Jorge Santamaria

Story Name:


Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers: Celestial Quest #5 Review by (August 1, 2020)
The inking this issue was by 2 Scott's - Hanna and Koblish.

I'll keep reminding you that the Thanos in this series is a Thanosi.

An editorial comment says we've been seeing the darkness blotting out the stars since #2, and Mentor noticed it. Looking back I do find 1 panel in #2 with half the starscape empty, but no more after that. And nothing about Mentor's apps in #3-4 connects with this.

That's it for the Cotati Swordsman until he turns up again in Empyre: Avengers #0.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers: Celestial Quest #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Mantis and Vision have gotten naked again, this time in a sylvan glade, but Mantis is struck by a telepathic distress call from here son Quoi. They hurriedly dress and run/fly to help. They meet Quoi's father, the Cotati in Swordsman's image, on the way. But when they get to Quoi's grove the Cotati plants there say he just vanished. In Vision's opinion stealth isn't Thanos' way, the mad Titan would just have fought his way in.

And he's right. Quoi has been taken by the saurian Raptra using the cloak of invisibility she stole from Thanos last issue. But Raptra did it to keep the Celestial
out of his clutches. However she does wonder why someone who is supposed to be the Messiah for the whole Universe is only a hybrid of plant and humanoid. What about us saurians? Whatever, she now she reveals her real plan. She contacts Thanos and offers him the unconscious Quoi in return for a promise of immunity. But Thanos refuses, saying he'll take Quoi *and* kill her for interfering. He sends after her the 2 beings he upgraded to 'gods' last issue:- Primo the firebeing and Reptyl, another saurian. He wants both targets alive so he can kill them personally.

Mantis and Vision have gathered the rest of their team together (Avengers Scarlet Witch, Silverclaw and Thor plus ex-Squadron Supreme Haywire) to discuss what they should do next. But the voice of the telepathic Cotati commune speaks to them angrily. The plant-beings no longer trust the humanoids who have failed to defend their 'greatest treasure'. Swordsman tries to stick up for his friends but the Cotati bring him back into the fold. And now suddenly *they* control the only Cotati who can move around, and they use his body to attack the heroes. The Avengers try to avoid harming him until Vision knocks him out.

But now the plant-planet assaults them with gas and tangling vines. The gas takes down Wanda Maximoff (a human, even if mutant) and Thor (because as an Earth God he's an archetypical human) but not Vision (because he's an android), Haywire (supposedly because he's from another universe), Lupe (when she shapeshifts to a jaguar-form to escape vines) and Mantis (because she's now part-plant?). The vines respond by growing thorns. Silverclaw doesn't shift to an avian form because she wouldn't be able to fly through the thicket. Vision could go insubstantial but doesn't want to leave the others.

Mantis suggests they split into pairs and try separately to reach the quinjet. Whoever succeeds can pick up the others. Haywire and Silverclaw set off together, but bickering as usual. Harold Danforth uses his tanglewire like a machete. Lupe tries stealth but at 1 point has to expand into a llama to break out of some vines. Vision carries limp Thor and Wanda while Mantis does the fighting for them. Except Vizh can also use the solar beam from the jewel in his forehead.

Thanos is brooding. He wants to kill the Celestial Messiah, slowly, because they are opposites - death and life. He remembers the 1st time he saw Lady Death. He was 8 and had just killed a cat. He has loved her since then, and hated all other women including his mother. When he was grown he led an invasion of aliens to kill all other Titanian Eternals, especially the women. Some few Eternals survived, but not his mother. But now he has rejected even Death. He now kills because he wants to.

Remembering his family makes him wonder why his father Mentor wasn't involved when his brother Eros and the other Eternals attacked his Sanctuary spaceship last issue. Was the attack a feint and Mentor is the real menace? And we see Mentor entering into a dark region of space where the darkness is blotting out the stars. And once inside the Eternal starts to fall to pieces (literally).

Quoi wakes up and Raptra tells him she kidnapped him from the Cotati and the Avengers to save him from Thanos. But the villain has now ignored the Cotati planet in favour of chasing *them*. She says that Thanos is an evolved ape (like the Avengers) and Quoi is an evolved ape crossed with evolved alga. He and Thanos are fated to fight for supremacy because that's what apes do. But she's an evolved dinosaur and thinks differently. She's taking them to the Rot, a part of space pirates can hide in.

Mantis and Vision have a pause in battling through the undergrowth. Carrying the other 2 Avengers seems to have reminded Vizh of the 2 sons he and Wanda had. Mantis knew nothing of this (even if her 'ghost' in West Coast Avengers may have). He explains that Billy and Tommy were created by magic, but later the magic failed and they no longer existed. Wanda grieved at the time, but he didn't have the chance because by then he had been stripped of his personality and emotions. So now he and Mantis share the grief of lost children. Another bond, like the fact that they are both now effectively immortal.

Haywire and Silverclaw have the quinjet in sight, but their way is blocked by a valley of very large thorns. Harold lays a tanglewire blanket as a road over them, but he also makes the way smooth for Lupe to walk on. Meanwhile mutual sniping continues. Then some plants shoot acid at them which dissolves the tanglewire, so Lupe turns to bird-form and airlifts Harold the rest of the way. She only has the energy for this short hop.

Haywire opens the quinjet door with a remote control, despite the vines trying to hold it shut. They dive inside and Lupe impulsively kisses him. Harold pushes her back reminding her he's committed to his dead girlfriend Inertia (he hopes to persuade Death to bring her back). Lupe thought their constant arguing meant they fancied each other (she's been watching too many romcoms). Harold calls her a teenager, she calls him a jerk.

The rest of the team make it in to the quinjet and they break free of constraining vines to zoom off into space. SW and Thor recover. Mantis can sense the awakened Quoi and that he's headed into the dark area of space (where Mentor went). And Raptra confirms to Quoi that that is the Rot she referred to.

Jorge Santamaria
Scott Hanna
Jorge Santamaria (Cover Penciler)
Scott Hanna (Cover Inker)
Hi-Fi (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Paul Tutrone.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)


Plus: Cotati, Haywire, Mentor, Quoi (Sequoia), Raptra, Reptyl, Silverclaw (Maria de Guadalupe Santiago), Swordsman (Cotati).

> Avengers: Celestial Quest: Book info and issue index

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