Universe X #9

Background

Isaac Christians has been chronicling the prophesies of Kyle Richmond. Viewing the past, present, and future, the two work to record the events transpiring three years after the lighting of the first Human Torch which so far include the resurrection of the Invisible Woman and the journey of Captain America and the newly reborn Captain Mar-Vell to collect various artefacts of the Marvel Universe. The quest ultimately leads Cap to his death.

Under the guise of Mr. Chruch, Mephisto begins to make his move as he seizes the followers of the Church of Immortus and uses Kyle's prophesies to help the Tong of Creel find all the pieces of Absorbing Man. Peter Parker, in an effort to preserve New York's Human Torch, offers Spiders Man a chance to join his side. Mar-Vell's has plan has also been revealed, he wants to kill Death.

Story Details

  Universe X #9
Summary: Mar-vell Child Kills Supremor, Venom Cameo
Editor: Mike Marts
Co-Plot/Cover: Alex Ross
Writer: Jim Krueger
Pencils: Doug Braithwaite
Inker: Bill Reinhold

Limbo and Kang the Conqueror are explained as the source of alternate realities. Through Mephisto's manipulations, the various timelines created by frequent time machine usage enable him to explore various realities at his will. He does this to prevent the end of time, to ensure that he will continue his existence as he knows it, to continue as the devil.

Isaac dies in Kyle's arms, Mephisto's gift of feeling twisting his body to a mass of red welts. In Britain Black Bolt's son agrees to become the new Black King and in Canada Sasquatch is escorted to safety by a group of people who have all mutated in the same fashion; Wolverine-esque.

In Japan, it's revealed that the hands of Absorbing Man were taken by Loki of all people. Thor reminisces about what happened on the Moon when they confronted the Supreme Intelligence. Supremor reveals to Mar-Vell that the reason the people of Kree aren't in the realm of the dead is that he has absorbed every Kree, not just the elite as was previously believed. He also tells Mar-Vell that the Kree were responsible for making the Skrull warlike as they were already becoming the shape shifting formless aliens. It was the warlike disposition of the Kree people that reshaped them. Enraged, a tearful Mar-Vell uses Thor's hammer to kill Supremor and release the Kree people.

In Latveria, the disfigured mutated humans speak with Reed Richards of their faith in him. Namor arrives to tell Reed to expect even more followers and he takes the chance to apologize to Sue for killing her brother.

The Kree people assemble in front of Mar-Vell in the realm of the dead and his army reaches completion. His old love, Una, confronts Mar-Vell and he confides in her the final phase of his plan; to build heaven.

General Comments

Well, things have certainly kicked into gear. The space in time involving Mar-Vell's time on the moon is filled and the final phase of his plan is revealed. It appears that Absorbing Man may not be appearing as soon as was once assumed. And the nature of multiple timelines is explained. I guess there can't be any complaints about filler.

Mephisto seems like a great choice for a villain, and by tying him to alternate realities, his threat level increases dramatically. Existing outside of time as a villain whose abilities and methods are never quite concrete create an opposition that can be as close to eternal evil (or selfishness) as one can get. However, I wouldn't call such a simplified explanation for Mephisto conclusive as I'm sure a revelation of his origin is still to come. But from the perspective of Mar-Vell and the other heroes, he presents a challenge that's even greater than that of the Celestials.

As the wild card out there, Loki's presence is felt, but unfortunately not made known. While with so much going on in the issue, it's understandable as to why there was no need for more. I suppose it's a rather good sign if you're left wanting to read even more of it though. Hopefully we'll get some more Loki in the issues to come.

Overall Rating

Maybe it's the juxtaposition between this and the last issue, but this is what the back end of a large event should feel like. Lots of build up and the definite promise of a satisfying conclusion.