Avengers #1: Review

May 2018
Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness

Story Name:

The final host

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #1 Review by (May 12, 2018)
I notice that the Marvel corner box has a little LGY#691 under the 1. I guess they're holding on to the option to use the Legacy number #700 when they get there.

The Avengers on the cover are arrayed similarly to the 1,000,000 BC Avengers on the splash page. The relevant Ghost Riders and Black Panthers occupy the same positions. Thor obviously stands in for Odin and Dr Strange for Sorcerer Supreme Agamotto. She-Hulk is lined up with the hulking caveman Starbrand. Less obviously Captain Marvel replaces Lady Phoenix and Captain America's position and stance mimic the female Iron Fist. Poor Iron Man is the only 1 with no analogue, except 1 of Starbrand's hands reaches across to approximately where IM's is.

This gathering is like the Heroic Age Avengers after Dark Reign where Cap, Iron Man and Thor returned to the team after 'death', brain-death and death. But it's also like New Avengers after Disassembled where apart from Cap and Iron Man the other characters weren't part of the previous team. (Except in that case none of them had ever (or hardly ever) been Avengers before.) And like that reassembly the team is chosen by happenstance.

The Ultimates2 series added an older layer to the Celestials saying that they existed in the 1st Cosmos which was a single universe and carried on into the 2nd Cosmos which was the 1st multiverse. They then survived through the 3rd to 8th Cosmoses which were the 2nd to 7th multiverses.

In the 7th multiverse, which was the Marvel multiverse up until Secret Wars III, the Celestials genetically advanced species and judged their performance. They did this by visiting a planet in groups called Hosts. In this issue we see Earth's 1st Host 1,000,000 years ago. Subsequent chapters in this story may modify this, but currently it is held that the 1st Host created the Eternals and the Deviants and started apes on the road to mankind. The 2nd Host caused the destruction of Atlantis and Lemuria around 16,000 BCE. The 3rd Host was confronted 1,000 years ago by the head gods of Earth's pantheons (in Thor #300). The 4th Host arrived in the 1st Eternals series.

The Beyonders killed nearly all the Celestials as they destroyed the 7th multiverse but some survived into the current 8th multiverse after Secret Wars III. But in Ultimates2 they were reduced to just 1 who the Queen of Nevers saved and used to recreate the Celestials. She called this the 5th Host, which doesn't fit well with the use of Host numberings on a planetary basis.

But now we have the Final Host, but whether this only applies to the Earth or to the universe or the multiverse we'll have to wait and see.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue opens in 1,000,000 BC (approx) where Odin suggests his compatriots drink to their forthcoming heroic deaths. They are Agamotto the 1st Sorcerer Supreme, the 1st Black Panther, Ghost Rider and (female) Iron Fist, an apeman marked with the Starbrand and a woman possessed by the Phoenix Force referred to as Lady Phoenix. We met them in the Marvel Legacy #1  (one-shot, also by Jason Aaron) where they brought down a mad Celestial (known as the Fallen). Now the 1st Host of Celestials has come for revenge. Agamotto thinks they have no chance of defending Earth against the Host. But he also wonders if they should try - he has a feeling the proto-humans around them may become a great danger in the future.

Panels sample #2

In the present Steve Rogers (no longer in the thrall of Hydra in Secret Empire),  Thor (Odinson) with his replacement for Mjolnir (destroyed in the last adventure of Thor (Jane Foster)) and Tony Stark (no longer in a coma since loads of people Searched for him) have met in a bar (Tony's drink is non-alcoholic of course). Steve wants to restart the Avengers. Tony thinks they should leave it to the newer heroes. But Thor says that after all they've been through recently they must regain their destiny.

Tony sarcastically asks if they should just wait for a big threat to turn up that will gather a new team around them. At which point his Motherboard AI announces multiple massive energy fluctuations 200 miles up.

Black Panther has brought Doctor Strange to see the contents of a deep cave below South Africa where archaeologists have been killed by radiation. There are markings on a wall including a panther head and a shape like Strange's Eye of Agomotto. Stephen Strange detects that this place had been sealed and protected by Agamotto's spells and he reasons that the spells failed when the Empirikul destroyed all Earth's magic in the 2015 DrS series. And whatever large thing was kept here has now gone. Meanwhile there are very deep holes leading further down which T'Challa wants to investigate.

(This also harks back to Legacy where we saw this cave unearthed. The wall there also had symbols for the Phoenix, Starbrand and Iron Fist, Ghost Rider's head and Thor's hammer Mjolnir which Odin wielded at the time. And the archaeologists were killed by the Fallen Celestial who summoned the Final Host. And later in the issue Loki came and found the Celestial who obviously isn't there now.)

In Hillrock Heights in East Los Angeles where the latest Ghost Rider (since the 2014 All-New series) Robbie Reyes is still trying to come to terms with the latest twist. Unlike previous GR's he wasn't possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance but by an evil ghost. However in Legacy he unleashed to SoV's Penance Stare when he fought the current Starbrand when they were both drawn to the South African cave area. Starbrand wanted to stop the freeing of the Celestial.

In Manhattan Jennifer Walters gets rid of unwanted attention by showing her She-Hulk face, but is desperately trying to keep her alter-ego under control. (She-Hulk is green again not grey since her Legacy issues #159-163, but still big and angry.)

Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) flies out from Alpha Flight space station to investigate the energy anomalies and finds a giant Celestial hand emerging from 1 of them. At the same time Motherboard detects the spike in energy as the Avenger trio fly around in a quinjet. Thor wants to go up to investigate but Stark says the thing is coming down to them.

Strange and Panther find a cavern full of pods which start to open. Robbie Reyes sees large alien beetles emerge in LA and starts to fight them as Ghost Rider. And in the South African cave more of the beetles hatch out.

Panels sample #3

The Celestial that Captain Marvel saw turned out to be dead and fell towards Manhattan. She just manages to steer it away from Times Square and into the Hudson River.

Panels sample #4

The Avengers join her in time to hear that more dead Celestials are raining down on Earth. (We see 1 next to the Pyramids and 1 across London Bridge amongst others.)

Stark wonders what could kill Celestials. The answer arrives in the form of some alive giant figures which are editorially labelled the Final Host. Tony suits up as Iron Man and Steve pulls on his Captain America costume and declares "Avengers assemble!".


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Preview Pages
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Ed McGuinness
Mark Morales
David Curiel
Ed McGuinness (Cover Penciler)
Mark Morales (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

(T'Challa)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
She-Hulk
She-Hulk

(Jennifer Walters)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Agamotto, Black Panther (1MBC), Celestials, Final Host, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Ghost Rider (1MBC), Iron Fist (1MBC), Lady Phoenix, Starbrand (1MBC).