After the events of Age of Ultron #10, Galactus was transported to the Ultimate dimension. There, he combined with the Gah Lak Tus swarm and became incredibly powerful. Last issue, Captain Marvel, the Silver Surfer and Rick Jones fought Galactus, protecting Hala. Captain Marvel died, so Rick Jones put in his helmet, becoming the new Captain Marvel!
On Hala, Rick Jones is being transformed by Mahr-Vehl’s helmet, which he put on last issue. Once the alteration is complete, Rick is sporting the whole Captain Marvel uniform. He hovers up to Galactus, asking his armor to use the Gah Lak Tus Killer that Mahr-Vehl invented. But once he hears that this would kill 32,000,000 people, he decides against it.
A swarm of Gah Lak Tus surround Rick, but he easily destroys them with his newfound power. While a horde of Gah Lak Tus charge towards an arc of people evacuating Hala, Rick orders Surfer to help. Meanwhile, Galactus swats Rick away as soon as he swoops close. Surfer is having complications protecting the arcs, so Rick decides to concentrate on assisting him. He orders for arc 2 to disengage its engines and Surfer to fend off the swarm.
Rick manages to teleport the entire arc away from Galactus, but he is damaged. Galactus picks him up while easily defeating a Kree battleship. Surfer swoops by Galactus, obviously fed up with the destruction and fuming. But Galactus responds by driving a mighty force against the Kree ships and Surfer, disabling them. Then, he calls his swarm to gather around Rick Jones and “consume” his energy.
Rick’s armor tells him that there is no other option than to use the Gah Lak Tus Killer, but he ignores it and decides there must be another way. The Watcher disagrees, explaining this is the moment he was made for. Rick, ignoring it, teleports Galactus to a place where no one would die but him. Surfer shouts at Rick about how there must be alternate approach, but Rick says goodbye.
Rick teleports with Galactus to an uninhabited part of the galaxy that he had explored earlier in his quest. Galactus exclaims, “You cannot stop the inevitable. This is destiny.” Rick declares that there is no place for him and activates the Gah Lak Tus Killer.
On Hala, the Surfer senses that the Gah Lak Tus swarm has been eradicated. Ro-Nan, beside him, asks about the Devourer, which Surfer tells him is “far away”, no longer a threat to them. Then, he reunites with his wife and children.
At the scene of Gah Lak Tus’ death, Rick Jones is lying on the ground of a red planet. The Watcher informs him that he has destroyed Gah Lak Tus, but only prolonged that dimension’s demise. He has blown a hole between universes and is outside known reality. Lastly, and most important of all, the Watcher tells him that Galactus is still alive and is heading toward the most energy rich world in his dimension, Earth. But it explains that it is no longer his problem. Rick enquires what is next and the Watcher says he will see.
Behind him, the Watcher is being infested with damaged Gah Lak Tus.
So…wow. Where to begin…? I’ll just start with my initial analysis of Hunger’s conclusion. I thought it was a fair enough conclusion. Rick used a device to kill Galactus in an uninhabited part of space? It’s nothing ground-breaking, really. I’m sure Fialkov could have come up with something slightly more creative, but I won’t argue with it. The device provides an interesting internal conflict for Rick Jones, daring him by testing how many lives he is willing to risk for the endurance of the universe.
It’s apparent during this miniseries that the main villain is the Gah Lak Tus swarm. Really, the heroes of the universe are obviously more fretful about the swarm than Galactus himself. Seriously, I don’t give a crap about a bunch of flying robot-bugs. “If it’s mechanical, it will fail” is my motto for comic book villains, but this is still a solid story. I assume that Galactus himself will be the main villain in Cataclysm: The Ultimates’ Last Stand. Luckily, you are stuck with me reviewing that miniseries too. (-;
Otherwise, Fialkov treats this issue as a conclusion of sorts, even though the story obviously isn’t over. Personally, I believe that he hit the target of what Hunger was aiming for. It was meant to set up Cataclysm, where the real meat is, and provide an entertaining cosmic battle with characters that don’t nearly get enough attention. This conclusion serves as a resolution for Rick Jones, Silver Surfer, and Ro-Nan’s small cosmic battle with Galactus and builds the world-eater up as a threat. (Not that he really needed to be built up…)
Leonard Kirk’s artwork captures the cosmic vibe that the script is obviously aiming for gorgeously. The large panels are drawn capably, with no tedious blank areas or confusion. The flow of the story is dexterously executed and depicts the scale of the story well. Jesus Aburtov’s colors also add a layer of depth to the art, adding detail that the line work is lacking in parts of the story.
A solid enough conclusion that depicts an interesting cosmic battle. This was an intriguing script with gorgeous art. I have no major problems here. (Amazing! I know!)