Earth X #11

Background

X-51 and Reed Richards have confronted Uatu on the moon and it looks like the Black Bolt is off fighting against the Celestials. Back on Earth Captain America and his forces are fighting the Skull's army only to be defeated quite easily. As the last issue closes, we see Captain America making one last attempt to get to the Skull to finish him off.

Story Details

  Earth X #11
Summary: War Against Red Skull, Spider-Man (PP) & Venom Appear
Editor: Polly Watson
Co-Plot/Art: Alex Ross
Writer: Jim Krueger
Pencils: John Paul Leon
Inker: Bill Reinhold, John Paul Leon

Reed Richards asks Uatu to explain the background of Alicia Masters because it seems that Richards believes that she sees everyone the way they would be without the seed that was implanted within them. And he believes she had two seeds within her saying something about her being both parts of twins or something. The first seed was manifested when she became blind from the explosion that also killed her mother, the second when the Terrigan Mists were released.

Alicia, after the first seed manifested itself, could see everyone without the hostility that was a result of the Celestial seed in them which gave everyone their powers. She even saw some good in Dr. Doom, the man who would eventually kill Susan Storm, the Invisible Woman. Uatu cannot believe that Richards can feel compassion for the man that killed his wife, but Richards declares that he only hates one thing now, the Celestials' and Uatu's plan for Earth. He believes that everything on Earth that has ever happened, all the battles fought, win or lose, was a part of the Celestials manipulation of the Earth's populace.

Richards then goes into Norrin Radd's story, the story of the Silver Surfer. Apparently there was a Celestial seed within Norrin as well, leading Richards to believe that Zenn-La, the home planet of the Surfer also had a Celestial growing inside it and that it was Galactus who came to Zenn-La a second time to destroy it. It was Galactus' mission to halt the over-population of the Celestials throughout the universe, which is why Galactus came to Earth and why Uatu gave Richards the Ultimate Nullifier to stop him.

With New York in the Skull's control, the Skull has board casted his victory over the airwaves. With Tony Stark and the Vision watching, the Vision asks if they should do something, but Stark believes they are completely safe within the armor, but the Vision says that that wasn't what he was talking about. Also watching the broadcast we find a fat, ugly Logan in his lounge chair with Jean, carrying her bags, leaving him. Before she goes she tells Logan that she wasn't really Jean at all, but she was, in fact, Madelyne.

We learn that after Captain America made his last attempt to stop the Skull from the last issue, it was Spider-Man who stopped him and swung him away to safety. Peter reveals that its not power that brings responsibility, but "it's responsibility that brings power. It's knowing what needs to be done that brings strength. And courage." Captain America now has a plan to use Alicia Master's clay Marvels to get to the Skull because he cannot control them seeing as how they have no mind at all.

Back on the Moon, as Black Bolt appears to be battling the Celestials, Reed asks Uatu why his race feels the need to watch over the planet with the Celestials' young inside and Uatu tells him his race is bound to the Celestials because of an indecision that happened before the universe even existed but he doesn't go into detail about what that might have been. Uatu tells Reed that the Black Bolt cannot hope to defeat the Celestials, but Reed reveals that it wasn't Black Bolt's plan to stop them. He only wanted to be able to call out, with the only voice on the planet that could, for help. Black Bolt is quickly destroyed by the Celestials but not before fulfilling his mission.

Back on Earth, Captain America makes one last attack on the Skull's forces with Spider-Man, the Thing and all of Alicia Master's Marvels. The clay statue of Captain America gets close enough to the Skull and grabs him from the back around his neck. In the struggle, the Skull, kicking and grabbing at his attacker, reveals the real Captain America underneath the clay but it is too late. Captain America drops the lifeless body of the boy at his feet as all involved in the fight look up at him, now no longer under the Skull's control. It looks like the battle is over, but then everyone looks to the sky as small pieces of rubble fall.

Reed contacts Tony Stark and tells him everything about the Celestials and that its all over, that he couldn't come up with a way to stop the Celestials fast enough. He then goes on a long soliloquy about how he always looked up to Stark and that they always did their best. Stark asks the vision to leave him as he activates some panels on his console. From outside we see the ground shake and then the largest iron man suit ever bursts from the ground and soars straight up.

General Comments

After being saved by Spider-Man, Captain America finally comes up with a plan to use Alicia Master's clay figures of the Marvels of the golden age. Hidden inside the Captain America statue is Cap himself who finally gets close enough to the Red Skull and quickly puts a stop to the battle by killing the young boy.

On the moon, Black Bolt appears to be battling the Celestials but is in fact calling out for help to the sky. It looks like his call was sent but it's not known to whom it was sent to. The Celestials quickly destroy Black Bolt and Reed's hopes for saving the Earth with him.

With their hopes gone, Reed contacts Tony Stark to say his goodbye, which finally inspires Stark to join the fight if only to buy the world a little more time. Using the giant Iron man armor he nows lives in, he flyings up into the sky to confront the Celestials.

Overall Rating

I actually liked this story. I thought it was great how the final battle with the Skull took place, with Cap disguising himself as a lifeless clay statue to get close enough. And when he finally does get close, he doesn't hesitate to do what is needed by strangling the boy. I also loved that Spider-Man finally turned himself around and decided to fight for what is right.

I also found the best line in this issue, which was spoken by the Thing as he looks upon Spider-Man. "So when were you bitten by a radioactive spare tire?"

Footnote

"One day the giant came back." - The Selfish Giant, Oscar Wilde.