Paradise X #8

Background

Mar-Vell has killed Death and built a heaven for all the fallen heroes. X-51 has made every alternate Earth aware of the Celestial embryo dwelling within it. Set some time after the events of Universe X, the world seems to be in a state of stability and the dead are finally being granted their reward. However, even paradise has a price.

Mar-Vell's new Paradise is composed of antimatter and resides in the Negative Zone. The guardians he has appointed ensure its expansion is met with little resistance. However, some of its residents don't quite trust Mar-Vell's newly created world and the faith of his guardians has become shaken and they plan to rebel against him.

Those still living on the Earth are cursed with immortality and forced to live with grievous wounds being inflicted upon them by Mephisto. King Britain is being asked to choose between Meggan, his old wife, or Medusa, his new wife. The Guardians of the Galaxy, The Law, and several residents of the Negative Zone have joined together as an army of sorts for Reed Richards. He may need that as Jude, the Entropic Man, has been freed by Mephisto and plans to bring Sue Richards back to the Realm of the Dead.

Story Details

  Paradise X #8
Summary: Peter Parker & Both Mays Cameo
Editor: Mike Marts
Co-Plot/Cover: Alex Ross
Writer: Jim Krueger
Pencils: Doug Braithwaite
Inker: Bill Reinhold

Hank Pym's origin is used as setup to re-evaluate the origins of various heroes. X-51 surmises that rather than 3 stages of mutation, it's more like a learning curve of mutation. Radioactivity and situational forces are key components to the origins of characters like Spider-Man and the Hulk. Rather than these mutations being specific to the circumstances, they're instead explained as how each respective character comes to understand the Celestial seed that they're unconsciously made aware of. Much like the formless aliens, the people of Earth were also shaped by the world around them. So being bitten by a radioactive spider would make Peter Parker believe he has spider powers, therefore develop them.

As they run from Jude, Reed learns that Mephisto has been posing as one of the Daredevils and he has destroyed the machine used to entrap Jude. Reed uses the force field he made for Sue and stretches an arm through her to knock Jude down with an uppercut, giving them time to escape.

Thanos continues to attack Captain America in the Realm of the Dead. He refuses to allow him to use the Skull to convince the dead that they no longer live. Their fight is interrupted by 4-D Man, Kyle Richmond, and he tells Cap that he may be required to become a king in order to ensure that equality can truly be attained.

Dr. Strange prepares Loki, Thor, and Surtur for their upcoming invasion into Asgard to cause Ragnorak (to be dealt with in the Ragnarok two parter rather than the Paradise X series itself).

Iron Maiden leaves with the Iron Avengers to help rescue the Eternals frozen in Vibranium who float through space. She says her farewells with a special one reserved for the Jade Dragon. Meggan confronts Medusa and asks her to leave. Medusa agrees and warns her of the difficulty of taking the role of queen, and how the unending love Meggan expects may be denied her.

Jude travels through the hospital in Latveria, granting death to all those suffering. As he wrecks havoc there, Reed prepares to travel to Paradse to confront Mar-Vell.

General Comments

Mephisto was one of the multitude of Daredevils, not the original Daredevil himself. Let's just get that out of the way. It was difficult to deduce this based on the comic alone, and if it were not for the appendix I still wouldn't know. That's the type of detail that can occasionally be lost in a large scale series, and it's unfortunate it has happened in this one as well.

Spider-Man shows us once again how he's seen it all when he takes one panel to deduce not only specifically what time period the Guardians of the Galaxy are from, but also why they've come back in time. It's a funny little scene, and makes me wish he was a little more prominent in this series.

Overall, this was a good issue. It's serving as a nice build up to the conclusion.

Overall Rating

Sadly, it's the small details holding this back from a higher score. But even so, 4 out of 5 is still a pretty good score for the overall package.