Universe X #12

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 and create heaven.

Reed Richards is confronted by those who were mutated by the Terrigen Mists to more horrific ends than most others. They pledge their support to continue his work to burn away the mists. As Isaac dies in Kyle's arms, Mar-Vell arrives to take him and Machine Man into his group.

Story Details

  Universe X #12
Summary: Peter Parker & Venom Cameos, Silver Surfer
Editor: Mike Marts
Co-Plot/Cover: Alex Ross
Writer: Jim Krueger
Pencils: Doug Braithwaite
Inker: Bill Reinhold, Robin Riggs

Our recap this time around focuses on the Cosmic Consciousness and the Celestials. Rather than something created by Chronos on Titan, the Consciousness is said to have been discovered by him instead. A perfect knowledge that disappeared from the universe once the Celestials began to tamper with the planets in a fashion that would bring about a universal collapse. As beings that exist as monstrous forms of energy, the Celestials needed to implant their embryos in planets order to procreate. Their manipulations are what eventually gave birth to the Earth in the Marvel Universe presented in the X series. Of course, this is all old news by now, but the information regarding the original universe and their evolution is appreciated.

Mar-Vell's army in the land of the dead begins to crumble to nothing when the unexpected arrival of Black Bolt begins to turn the tide.

The Silver Surfer's struggle is in vain as Absrobing Man strikes him down with ease. Absorbing Man continues to rampage as Spiders Man uses an illusion to convince him that the Surfer still fights. Vision arrives, the only one who has ever defeated Absorbing Man since his merging with Ultron.

Adam Warlock confronts Ronin who's revealed to be Wong with a bizarre mutation which has made him two torsos joined at the waist. The evil half apparently works for Mephisto and turned Clea against Dr. Strange. Adam kills them both as is reunited with Her, now going by the name of Eve.

Iron Maiden finds Reed Richards to tell him of her power to manipulate Vibranium which could be used to fill the hole left by the missing Celestial embryo. Reed explains that there isn't enough Vibranium left on Earth to do that, but Loki appears to tell him that there is more than he assumes.

Back in New York, Magneto arrives with Black Knight and the Iron Avengers to help in the fight against Absorbing Man. Kang nearly uses the time machine with Mephisto goading him on. Mar-Vell, Kyle, and Machine Man arrive to reveal the truth of Mephisto's manipulation sending Kang into a rage as he destroys the time machine. Mar-Vell then reveals the truth to Mephisto, that his existence is the biggest lie of all.

General Comments

Mephisto being revealed to be a manipulation of the Celestials is a logical, although disappointing one. Rather than a new adversary, it appears that the threat in Universe X is once again traced back to the manipulations of the Celestials. While they are still worthwhile villains for such a large epic, it still feels a bit like a bait and switch, especially with the earlier clues left by Uata in Earth X being undermined when his entire position is brought into question.

The tides are turning quickly in Mar-Vell's favour. Because of that, some of the tension is lost, but at the same time, the final issue still looks as though it could be a compelling resolution. Mar-Vell has yet to find a way to defeat death, but with Kyle's eyes in hand, he will soon be aware of how that can be accomplished.

Overall the series seems to be heading towards a satisfying conclusion, but in contrast to the promise held in the earlier issues, it's a bit disappointing. That isn't to say it isn't an entertaining comic, but there still seems like there should be more to the story. I guess that's where Paradise X comes in though.

Overall Rating

Here's hoping issue X is even better.