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New Avengers #4: Review

Mar 2013
Jonathan Hickman, Steve Epting

Story Name:

World eater

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

New Avengers #4 Review by (March 24, 2013)
The Ultimate Nullifier ia an extremely potent device capable of wiping out any target, up to and including an entire alternate universe. It debuted in #50 of the original Fantastic Four series, where the FF found it in Galactus' Worldship and used it to force him to leave Earth alone. Galactus took the Nullifier back at that time, but it seems the Watcher has had it since FF(1998)#49. I don't know how Reed Richards has it now, unless they didn't give it back to Uatu in #544. But disturbingly Reed refers to his as '*an* Ultimate Nullifier' as though there are lots of them around. A Dyson sphere is a theoretical idea by Freeman Dyson to surround the Sun with a spherical barrier to capture the output from the Sun for use as energy. One version of the idea is a solid spherical surface, which is the type Stark is building part of. The caption on the site of the incursion actually says Ellis Island but the accompanying image is of the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. For some reason the team don't think of getting someone from the other Earth to use the Infinity Gems for them. The Marvel timeline has its own version of Terrax, who became Herald of Galactus in FF#211, but has since left his master. That version is more villainous than this one appears to be.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Avengers #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The previously page shows Black Swan predicting that the group will have to do extreme things to deal with the incursions. Captain America used the Infinity Gems to stave off an incursion last issue, but lost the Gems in the process. He objected to some of the team's drastic proposals, even as last ditch failsafes, because he knew that once such options are prepared it's too easy to use them. So Dr Strange caused him to fall asleep and forget all about this situation. (He woke up in his bed in Avengers #1.) Thus the New Avengers team are now Black Panther plus 6 Illuminati (Beast, Black Bolt, Dr Strange, Mr Fantastic, Iron Man and Sub-Mariner).

As we have learned in the past issues an incursion is where 2 universes collide, signalled by another Earth appearing in the sky. The incursion is only visible in a small area on each Earth. After 8 hours both universes will self-destruct, unless 1 of the Earth's is destroyed beforehand. (Cap used the Infinity Gems to avoid this problem, and push the universes apart.)

The group are working on ways to destroy the other Earth.

They have the device Black Swan used to destroy another Earth in the 1st incursion in #1. Mr Fantastic and Black Panther have worked out that it is a trigger for an antiproton sling, and have built such a bomb. They are a few days away from getting it ready.

Black Panther says the antiproton bonb took longer to make because he and Reed Richards had a disagreement over the design. Reed wanted a precision strike and T'Challa wanted a more overkill instrument. Presumably the underkill version would have a similar effect to the next proposal.

They have also designed a vibranium barrel fitted to an Ulimate Nullifier, which should just vaporise the incursion site on the other Earth and a small (100 sq miles!) site around it. This may be enough to stop the incursion. But the user would die.

Tony Stark gives them Shi'ar omnicaster helmets which take them (virtually) to the far side of the Sun. He shows them Shi'ar contractors building part of a Dyson sphere. In a month's time 2% of the sphere will be complete, which Tony figures will give him enough solar power to destroy an intruding Earth. Reed Richards suggests calling it Sol's Hammer.

Dr Strange's servant Wong finds him studying a dangerous book, the Blu'dakorr or Blood Bible. To use a spell in this book requires the death of 40 bad men and 1 good one, and will also kill the spell-caster. Just to read the book stains the soul.

An Illuminati signal embedded in Strange's hand tells him that another incursion has started. He leaves his Sanctum and takes the book with him. This incursion is on Liberty Island. This time it's not just the New Avengers who are within the incursion and see the other Earth in a pink sky.

Namor scornfully detects the fact that the team haven't come up with a good way of defeating the incursion. 2 of the proposals aren't ready, and 2 of them require a suicide mission. But Beast has another idea. The Infinity Gems worked once to separate 2 universes. Maybe they could find the other universe's Gems. But they also know that Infinity Gems only work in their own specific universe. So the user would have to operate from the other Earth, and be stranded there.

They decide to try Henry McCoy's suggestion, but use Dr Strange's plan if they run out of time before they find the Gems. They cross over to Liberty Island on the other Earth, where they find the Statue of Liberty is replaced by one of Magneto. As they start to discuss where to look for the Gems, Black Bolt snaps his fingers to draw their attention to something more important. On the Manhattan skyline is Galactus and his world killing machine.

Mr Fantastic's 1st reaction is that they have to go and stop him. Panther agrees, but the others don't seem so ready to concur. (After all they have been contemplating destroying that world themselves.)

But before they can voice their opinions they are interrupted by Terrax. His master, spelt Galaktus in this universe, is going to kill this world to save the rest of the universe (and incidentally the New Avengers' universe as well).

Terrax tells them that Galaktus has learnt of the the threat that the NA know about, that is terminating universes throughout the multiverse. There is a Galaktus in each universe, who is destined to be there at the (natural) end of that universe. The Big G sees it as part of his job to ensure that his universe lasts to its proper conclusion. And because the multiversal catastrophe was started by an event on an Earth, it is only fitting that Earth be sacrificed to save this universe.

Terrax tells the heroes to go home. But despite their mixed views they all attack the herald of Galaktus.


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> New Avengers: Book info and issue index

New Avengers #4 cover


Steve Epting
Rick Magyar
Frank D'Armata
Mark Simpson (Cover Penciler)
Mark Simpson (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Beast
Beast

(Hank McCoy)
Black Panther
Black Panther

(T'Challa)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)