Paradise X #9

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. 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. 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 and they prepare to enter Mar-Vell's Paradise. They have to work quick though because Jude, the Entropic Man, has been freed by Mephisto and plans to bring death to all those on Earth.

Story Details

  Paradise X #9
Summary: Peter Parker & Both Mays Cameo
Editor: Mike Marts
Co-Plot/Cover: Alex Ross
Writer: Jim Krueger
Pencils: Doug Braithwaite
Inker: Bill Reinhold

Ghost Rider's origin is recounted as another example of how Mephisto's manipulations have influenced the mutations of others in conjunction with their own explanation of the Celestial seed within them. After telling this story to Deathlok, X-51 shows him the new body he prepares for him.

Reed Richards enter the Negative Zone with his team and finds closest the allies who aided Mar-Vell in the Realm of the Dead. They're shown to Paradise and Cyclops reveals that the entity he's been in contact for so long has always been Phoenix and not Jean Grey.

Mephisto convinces Jude to travel with him through Cloak's magic cloak to England. Upon their arrival Mephisto turns into Grey Gargoyle, apparently the same Grey Gargoyle who had restored the petrified members of Excalibur. Jude tells Mephisto that he's deduced his scheme to obtain the Siege Perilous in order to travel between realities now that his old method of going through Asgard has been taken from him thanks to the efforts of Loki, Thor, and Surtur*. Mephisto asks Jude what any of that matters to him, to which Jude replies that it is no concern at all and disappears.

King Britain tells Meggan that he plans to honour his marriage to Medusa for the greater good of all his subjects. Meggan runs off in tears as Mephisto watches on under the guise of the Grey Gargoyle.

Arno Stark agrees to help the Guardians of the Galaxy in their own time by using radiation to trigger the mutations for the humans living in their time. However, this deal may be more than they bargained for as Arno had done the same thing in his timeline to infect millions with radiation poisoning.

Captain America, 4-D Man, and Thanos travel through the Realm of the Dead to find The Skull. Cap restores his memories which restore his personality. Enraged, The Skull beheads his own father and breaks Cap's neck. Apparently, he isn't too keen on aiding Cap in his plan to bring the souls of the dead to Paradise.

General Comments

There are about five issues left in this series and the build up seems relatively slow compared to Universe X. Mephisto's plan is more about self preservation, though it a rather clever one. In a sense I guess that's what every one of his plans have been about by creating the alternate realities.

Mar-Vell remains as unreachable as ever, which gives him little opportunity to explain himself. The problem with that is that it increases the chance that Mar-Vell isn't really at fault at all, and all the supposed problems are part of a much grander plan that those without omniscience can't see. That would be a rather disappointing resolution, and one that seems to directly contradict the recurring theme within the work of tearing down the gods attempting to manipulate beings of a lower stature.

Overall Rating

Good, but I'm waiting for the excitement to ratchet up.

Footnote

* Loki, Thor, and Surtur crashed the illusion of Asgard in the Paradise X: Ragnarok two part series.