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Avengers #4: Review

Jul 2018
Jason Aaron, Paco Medina

Story Name:

A battle that was lost a million years ago

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #4 Review by (July 7, 2018)
Once again Paco Medina & Juan Vlasco handle most of the art chores with Ed McGuinness doing a bit only inked by Mark Morales this time. I can't be bothered to try and figure out who did what.

As usual in these apocalyptic tales characters make cryptic pronouncements, some of which still won't make sense when we're finally told what's going on.

Odin being around for more than 1,000,000 years clashes with the idea that the Marvel Norse Gods keep getting wiped out by Ragnarok and then a new cycle of Gods is born. According to Thor #293 the previous Ragnarok occurred at about the time of Christ. The Ragnarok that ended the 1998 Thor series supposedly broke the cycle of death and rebirth, so that when the Asgardians returned in the 2007 series they remembered that previous life.

Alpha Flight's database suggests that this Horde of insects is the same as the 1 that attacked Earth previously in the 2008 Eternals series. In #9 they defeated that Horde with the help of their Uni-Mind, the Dreaming Celestial and a mysterious cosmic being called the Fulcrum.

I'm guessing that the GK II that Tony Stark mentions will turn out to be a new version of the Godkiller armour left over from a Celestial War as seen in Iron Man (2012) #12-16.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
No sooner did all the will-be Avengers gather together in 1 place last issue than they split up again (in Captain America's case against his will) to find out more about the threat of the Final Host of Celestials.

Thor took She-Hulk to Old Asgard to confront Odin about what happened a million years ago. The All-Father tells them about the super-team he was part of:- Agamotto the 1st Sorcerer Supreme; the 1st Stone-Age wielder of the Starbrand; the 1st Ghost Rider, a demon-possessed boy; the Panther, the 1st to harness some of the power of vibranium; an avatar of the Phoenix Force, who Odin will have a long relationship with; the 1st Iron Fist from K'un-Lun. Odin himself was still young and learning to control the hammer Mjolnir. He claims they saved Midgard many times before their clash with the Fallen Celestial.

Thor wants to know how they defeated that Celestial. Odin says it won't be any help. That Celestial was dying of 'cosmic corruption'. The Final Host are much stronger and their armour is proof against the Odinsword (ineffective against normal Celestials in Thor #300) and Thor's enchanted axe Jarnbjorn (which killed the normal Celestial Exitar in Uncanny Avengers (2012) #21).

Thor asks if there is *anything* in the Asgardian armoury that will be useful. His father replies that there *is* something which won't kill the Celestials but *will* make the battle more 'spectacular'. He leads his son and She-Hulk to a massive chained door, which Shulkie rips open. Inside is a chamber filled with ice which the duo have to smash their way through.

But we leave them there for the moment and join Doctor Strange and Iron Man who have come to Olympia on a Greek mountain to consult the Eternals. This race was created by the Celestials 1 million years ago and are arguably the Earthly experts on them. However the Eternals appear to all be recently dead, possibly by group suicide (we see Sersi, Thena and many others).

Tony Stark says that the Eternals were created to watch over the development of proto-humans (which is news to me), including the genetic potential for superhumans. Stephen Strange can't understand how this connects with the horde of huge insects hatching in the centre of the Earth from egg sacs which he somehow deduces have been there for *many* millions of years. He wonders if the Eternals committed suicide because they learnt something unbearable when their Celestial creators rained down dead upon the Earth in #1.

Then they find Eternal Ikaris not yet quite dead who confirms that idea with his dying breath. He tells them that his people discovered that they weren't here as mankind's protectors. Instead they were to raise humanity as a pathogen useful to the Celestials. But of course he doesn't get round to telling us what that means. Instead he warns them not to let the Final Host unleash the Horde, and advises that only the Uni-Mind can stop them. As he dies he touches Stark's face (which makes Tony cry out in pain) and tells him "Only *you* can be the cure".

Black Panther and Captain Marvel have taken a dead insect to the Alpha Flight Space Station for study. The galactic database identifies it as a member of the Horde, a cosmic swarm that devours solar systems - and an enemy of the Celestials. T'Challa comments that Tony Stark's readings on the Final Host in #2 suggested each was a colony of multiple beings. And a comparison of the readings indicates that they are similar to the Horde creature. Carol Danvers adds that Horde insects have been seen emerging from the bodies of the dead Celestials who fell to Earth (it seemed like that happened to Eson in #2).

The Final Host themselves are at the North Pole. Loki and captive Captain America went with them, and the Asgardian took Cap down a hole to the centre of the Earth to see the giant body of the Progenitor. Loki claims that the story of the Celestials experimenting with proto-humans 1 million years ago is a lie (or since he's the God of Lies maybe not). This Progenitor Celestial came here to die 4 *billion* years ago (ie not long after the planet was formed). The Final Host is here to destroy the world as a 'mission of mercy'.

Last issue the 'Avengers' left the current Ghost Rider behind as inconsequential. But Robbie Reyes took a fragment of Dark Celestial and used his Hell Charger car as a bloodhound to locate the Final Host at the Pole. The car suddenly goes into submarine mode in an attempt to sneak up on them.

She-Hulk and Thor have finally broken through to the centre of the ice room where they find a floating, glowing egg/jewel that the Thunder God recognises as the Blood Of Ymir, the 1st Frost Giant. But now he succumbs to the cold and tells Shulk to take the gem. She-Hulk instead says "Hulk warmest 1 there is" and kisses him to share that warmth.

Meanwhile alone in his throneroom Odin remembers more of the story we saw in #1. After defeating the Fallen Celestial in 1 million BC Odin's Avengers were faced with the 1st Host of Celestials who they assumed were here for revenge. The team fought that Host with no chance of success, just as the new Avengers will fail to stop the Final Host.

Iron Man asks his AI about the GK II and is told it's just leaving Mars orbit. Panther and Danvers are about to try an experiment which might turn her into an insect. Loki tells Steve Rogers that humanity (or maybe just superhumans) were a mistake. Ghost Rider is still driving underwater. She-Hulk and Thor have returned with the Blood Of Ymir. And Odin remembers sitting exhausted at the feet of the space gods with the rest of his team dead around him.


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Paco Medina
Juan Vlasco
David Curiel
Ed McGuinness (Cover Penciler)
Mark Morales (Cover Inker)
Jason Keith (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)
Loki
Loki

(Loki Laufeyson)
She-Hulk
She-Hulk

(Jennifer Walters)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Final Host, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes).