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Avengers #5: Review

Jul 2018
Jason Aaron, Paco Medina

Story Name:

The secret origin of the Marvel Universe

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers #5 Review by (July 22, 2018)
The art is split again between pencillers Paco Medina/Ed McGuinness with inks by Juan Vlasco/(Mark Morales + Karl Story). This time I *will* try to identify the pencil pages. I suspect Vlasco did the 1st half and McGuinness took over as Black Panther and Captain Marvel made their appearance.

This issue rewrites Marvel history claiming that the 1st Host of Celestials didn't kickstart humanity (and what about creating the Eternals and Deviants?). It's all because of the Horde infection.

But it's worth bearing in mind this is the history of the new post-Secret Wars III universe - which may be different from the old universe.

And of course it's also worth bearing in mind it's Loki telling the story.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
While the other not-yet-the-Avengers try to fight the Final Host of Celestials and the Horde of giant alien beetles, Loki has taken Captain America to see the dead Celestial he calls the Progenitor. Now he tells Cap the true history of the Earth.

This Celestial came to Earth 4 billion years ago when it was still a lifeless molten ball. He was dying because he was the 1st Celestial to be infected by the space-going Horde. And here he perished and his body sank (to the centre of the Earth as suggested last issue or in the ocean below the North Pole where he is this issue?) where he infected the whole planet. And Loki claims that this infection is the source of all Earthly super-powers, and why the Earth has so many super-beings.

Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes) is listening to all this in his Hell Charger car which can also work submerged. Cap in chains doesn't care what Loki claims - the heroes will still find a way to defeat the Final Host. Loki continues his tale.

In 1 million BC another Celestial came to Earth looking for his pal (who Loki suggests might have been his lover). Zgreb the Aspirant found the corpse alive with Horde beetles - which had now got a taste for Celestial and infected *him*. All this drove him mad which was how Odin and his pre-historic 'Avengers' found him. They believed they had killed him, and buried him in what would become South Africa.

But soon the 1st Host of Celestials came seeking Zgreb. Their combined and healthy might defeated the team (and maybe killed most of them). Odin alone remained conscious and waiting for death (as we saw last issue). But the 1st Host just left him. Loki speculates they might have feared infection. He says he learned all this from Zgreb the Fallen Celestial when he dug him up in Marvel Legacy.

Loki now claims that all the Celestials (who fell dying from the sky in #1) had fallen victim to the Horde infection. Only the Final Host are left. The Horde had not killed Zgreb, now called the Sorrower, they had converted him into the 1st Dark Celestial. Zgreb now created other DC's, the Final Host, and they had fatally infected the other Celestials and brought them to Earth. Now the Horde will feed on their power.

Cap asks what Loki gets out of this. The Trickster God answers that he aided the process in order to put the planet out of its misery. But Ghost Rider is having none of that and strangles the Asgardian with his chain.

Meanwhile Iron Man and Doctor Strange are trying to deal with the disasters the Final Host have initiated on the Earth. Tony Stark gets an update from his AI Motherboard on the status of his GKII - 11 minutes away and nearing Earth orbit. And then he receives a call from Ghost Rider (who says he got the number from Tony's dead adopted father Howard). He's bringing Cap home in his demon car but the Final Host are in pursuit (now shown as including Zgreb the ex-Fallen Celestial). The Host bring the car crashing down in Russia. And Loki's not happy to have been chained up in the boot.

GKII is just 3 minutes out when IM and DrS reach the crash spot and are joined by Captain Marvel and Black Panther who have been in the Alpha Flight space station supercharging BP's suit and Carol Danvers' Kree-hybrid body with Horde energy. They kill all the nearby beetles and say they'll tackle the Horde while the others deal with the space gods. But Steve Rogers informs them that the Host themselves are now walking collections of Horde beetles and wonders if BP and CM could kill *them*. BP says they need to penetrate the Celestial armour.

Then She-Hulk and Thor arrive from their chat with Odin last issue. They've brought with them the egg-like Blood Of Ymir. They eat parts of it and begin to transform. Iron Man tells them his God-Killer Mk II is now here from where he keeps it on Mars. Ghost Rider has rescued some folks on a tractor which has empowered with his demon-flame. Captain America suggests he could do that to something else. So Robbie sneaks into the body of a dead Celestial and animates it with his fire.

Dr Strange keeps Loki from interfering. Panther prepares his tech to recharge himself and Marvel from the dead beetles lying around. And Cap asks for some of that juice. But the main threat to the 4th Host is the other 4:- Ghost Rider now a flame-wielding Celestial, She-Hulk and Thor now empowered giants, and Tony Stark in the Godkiller, a giant robot copied from 1 left over from ancient Celestial wars.

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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.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

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 Laufeyson)

(Jennifer Walters)


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