Paradise X: Heralds #3

Background

With the Celestial embryo removed from the Earth, X-51 (aka Machine Man) has learned that there have been a multitude of alternate realities whose Earths aren't quite as fortunate. With Mephisto no longer capable of creating those alternate realities, X-51 decides to take action and remove the embryos from the alternate Earths. X-51 has assembled a group of heroes from various time periods to complete that task. After some mixed results, the heroes return to the moon to find Uatu surrounded by a group of Watchers who plan to kill him.

Story Details

  Paradise X: Heralds #3
Summary: Spider-Girl Appears, Officer Parker & Venom Cameos (Viewscreen)
Editor: Mike Marts
Co-Plot/Cover: Alex Ross
Writer: Jim Krueger
Pencils: Steve Pugh
Inker: Steve Pugh

Another recap of the events of Earth X and Universe X is given and the other Watchers begin to make their move on Uatu. X-51 decides to stand against them, not wishing any harm to befall Uatu. They take Uatu through the Watcher's citadel with various historic scenes playing the in the background. Spider-Girl's spider sense blares a warning as the other Watchers eventually surround them. Killraven arrives through a portal to no avail. The Watchers trap all the heroes in energy spheres and X-51 then hatches his plan. He breaks everyone free and summons various portals to alternate realities to transport all the Watchers away.

Unlike Uatu, the Watchers of the other realities never made themselves known to the residents of Earth. However, as Uatu sends them all to the surface of the worlds they watch, their presence is known and the knowledge of being watched will eventually lead each world to know the truth of the Celestial embryo. Apparently X-51's meddling had always been an attempt to coax the other Watchers out of hiding. He also acknowledges that in a way, Uatu was actually the Earth's saviour when he made himself known to them.

X-51 takes his heroes to Earth to receive their promised rewards. Wolverine is in a world that still has X-Men, Bloodstorm may be cured of her vampirism, Spider-Girl is reunited with her father, Killraven can learn of the end of his war with the Martians, Arno Stark has a chance to step out of his uncle's shadow, and Deathlok may accomplish his goal of becoming whole again. However, Hyperion's feelings had not changed, as hoped by X-51, and he still wishes for his death.

General Comments

There's quite a bit of symbolism to delve into with this issue. The line of "Judge not lest ye be judged" is obviously a biblical reference, and considering the previous instances of these kind of references, there looks to be a pattern appearing regarding an end of days scenario. The Superman reference is also another deification and the story seems to be very much concerned with the concept of super heroes as gods, or at least replacement gods. The Watcher's very presence, coupled with the scientific law that observing something will change its nature, also brings about the notion of an omniscient deity observing all that we do.

It's not totally clear how this will have an impact on the new heaven built by Mar-Vell, but at the very least, this story appears to be one about tearing down the gods. In a sense, that's a large portion of what Marvel comics has always been about. Every hero has had a period where the public turned against them, and for this to truly be the final story of the Marvel Universe, they must all be torn down.

Overall Rating

A great improvement over the last issue and it definitely primes me for Paradise X.