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Avengers #6: Review

Aug 2018
Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness

Story Name:

Planet of pathogens

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Avengers #6 Review by (September 8, 2018)
This time Ed McGuinness & Mark Morales are listed as main penciller & inker with Paco Medina & Juan Vlasco helping.

We seem to have forgotten about Zgreb the Fallen Celestial who was with the Final Host last issue.

The zombie/resurrected Celestials seem to include Arishem, Eson, Nezzar, Tefral and Ziran.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #6 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The affects of the attack by the Final Host of Celestials and the Horde is felt around the Earth and beyond. On the Moon the Unseen is worried (but we don't get to see *him*). We *do* see Man-Thing, the guardian of the Nexus Of Realities, howling a warning. We don't see the Starbrand, helpless without a host (killed by Ghost Rider in Marvel Legacy), but we do see Gladiator, ruler of the Shi'ar, watching helplessly from distant space. We are told that the boiling seas aren't good for the Atlanteans, and Jean Grey is affected by fiery visions. We see Iron Fist fighting Horde 'insects' in K'un-L'un. It is mentioned that Wakandans pray to their Panther God, in Egypt priests make bloody sacrifice to the Fist Of Khonshu, and Mephisto laughs in Hell, but we are shown Odin brooding in Asgard over the results of his actions 1 million years ago (when he and his 'Avengers' killed Zgreb the Celestial).

Meanwhile in Russia the nascent Avengers battle the enemy. 4 of them are now giant-sized and tackle the Final Host directly:- She-Hulk and Thor ate the Blood Of Ymir to get that way, Tony Stark is inside his Godkiller robot with its atomic reactors pushed to the max, Ghost Rider inhabits the body of a dead Celestial which now has his flame power. Captain America, Black Panther and Captain Marvel fight the Horde beetles, their powers enhanced by the beetles' own blood. And Doctor Strange engages Loki in mystical battle.

Stephen Strange taunts Loki by saying his scheme is failing just like his attempt to take over the role of Sorcerer Supreme did (Strange's Legacy issues #381-385). At that time Loki claimed he was only forcing Stephen to up his game in preparation for forthcoming threats (like this 1 and Infinity Wars?). Now he says that he wanted the mantle in order to reveal the truth that this event has uncovered - that the human race is an infection caused by the death of a Horde-contaminated Celestial.

The battle rages and Ghost Rider comments that Iron Man, She-Hulk and Thor have just knocked down Obliteron (the 1 on last issue's cover). It turns out that inhabiting the Celestial body is giving him its knowledge. The 1 with the scythe that he's currently holding while the Godkiller punches is Callus the Void. The Final Host member encased in green flames is Valknar the Exhumer. Callus chops off 1 of the Godkiller's arms, which crushes loads of beetles as it falls. But loads more pour up out of a crevasse from their nest in the centre of the Earth.

Meanwhile the Horde beetles continue to ravage other parts of the globe. We see Captain Britain fighting them in London. Others are scurrying over a fallen Celestial. (We learned earlier that the Horde, helped by Loki, had infested all the Celestials. A few survived to become the Final Host of Dark Celestials, but the rest died and fell to Earth. So these insects might be scurrying *out* of the Celestial.) More beetles attack Dr Strange, allowing Loki to escape.

Obliteron is up again and takes on She-Hulk. Ghost Rider and Valknar trade flames as GR's mind is flooded with many of the things I mentioned at the start. Tony Stark/Godkiller plans to take Callus into space and self-destruct hoping to take the Celestial with him. But giant hands reach out and stop him - many dead Celestials have returned as zombies! (Maybe related to the beetles/Celestial in the previous paragraph.)

The voiceover mentions:- Dinosaurs in the Savage Land wailing at their immanent extinction. The Hellfire Club going out with an orgy. Hand ninjas committing ritual suicide. Dracula afraid. Black Knight's Ebony Blade bleeds. And in a Gulag Ursa Major laughs.

Captain Marvel despairs and orders Alpha Flight to prepare escape pods to evacuate the Earth (they're going to need a hell of a lot!). But Black Panther is sure there must be a solution. Thor starts to shrink, but She-Hulk seems to remain a giant for a bit longer. Tony Stark exits his Godkiller as Iron Man and leaves it to self-destruct amongst the zombies.

Mind-blown Ghost Rider continues to babble about the Eternals being dead, and repeatedly saying "We are all god's vomit". This reminds Cap of Loki's claim that life on Earth is due to a dying Celestial, the 1st ever to be infested with the Horde. Panther conjectures that this explains superheroes. Thor and Iron Man wonder why the Celestials didn't destroy the Earth long ago if the Horde are so deadly to them. Carol Danvers thinks it was because they foresaw the chance that Earth beings would be capable of defeating the Horde for them. Dr Strange likens it to a live virus vaccine - we have evolved into a cure. Panther calls us a planet of living pathogens.

Loki congratulates them on reaching the conclusion he's been shouting at them all this time - humans are bacteria living in rot. But he has the cure for *them*! However we don't learn what that would be because still-giant She-Hulk stomps on him and a bunch of beetles. (And a bit later she's joined Thor in being normal-sized.)

T'Challa thinks the answer is to use the method he devised for himself and Captain Marvel to use the Horde's own energies to boost the pair's powers. But Tony Stark suddenly remembers what the dying Ikaris of the Eternals told him (#4) - "Only the Uni-Mind can stop them". He tells the others about the Eternals' method of combining their energies.

Panther rigs up a machine. Marvel powers it. The Avengers' combined power is focused through the Celestial inhabited by Ghost Rider, whose hands seem wrapped in sorcery. He emits a powerful blast and all the bugs drop dead. Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider is no longer inside the dead Celestial. Strange has Loki wrapped up in chains.

But the Horde inside the Final Host (and powering them) are still alive. The Avengers have to attack again, but this time they have the aid of the no longer zombie Celestials who have been somehow resurrected. Short work is made of the foe.

The voiceover tells us that:- Black Bolt sighs in relief in Attilan. Man-Thing fades back into the swamp. Odin looks at a statue of the 1 million BC Avengers and says their 1st sin has been redeemed - but he hopes the new Avengers don't discover the rest of their sins. The Wakandans and priests of Khonshu give thanks to their gods. The Ebony Blade calms down.

And Loki in chains laughs with pride! And says "Welcome back, Avengers".


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Ed McGuinness
Mark Morales
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: Celestials, Final Host, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Horde.