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Avengers #42: Review

Mar 2015
Jonathan Hickman, Stefano Caselli

Story Name:

It all comes crashing down

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers #42 Review by (March 14, 2015)
In New Avengers #30 the Beyonders killed loads of celestial beings. This issue has dragged in the major Marvel alien races. Next issue will probably feature a knock-down drag-out fight with the kitchen sink. Unless they're saving that for Secret Wars. I didn't synopsise last issue, wherein the Cabal escaped from the incursing Earth they destroyed in #40 and found themselves on Ultimate Earth. Which is why the Ultimates were on the cover, although they didn't appear within. Cyclops' mutant haven Nation X was seen in #38. There he mentioned that his plan involved a Phoenix egg. The idea that destroying Earth will save this universe is a cornerstone of the incursion problem:- 2 parallel universes meet at their Earths, and destroying 1 Earth will save both universes. The whole point of the Infinity event was that the Builders were out to destroy Earth because without Earth there could be no more incursions in this timeline, and so this universe would be safe in the future. Of course this theory has been negated by recent findings. We have seen several Earths destroyed, and we understand that there have been many more. This should have left many universes safe. (Except that presumably the hastened end of the multiverse would doom them all anyway.) But in NAv#29 we learned that there are less than 2 dozen timelines left. (The drastic reduction is probably the work of the Beyonders.) Rocket Raccoon says there are 5 empires involved in the attack on Earth. The cover shows Annihilus, Brood, Kree, Shi'ar and Skrulls. The armada inside includes the Brood's living Acanti ships and some that look like insectoid ships of the Annihilation Wave.

I haven't followed the Ultimate universe but from what I can piece together the Ultimate Mr Fantastic became a villain, or at least someone amoral who wasn't bothered about the collateral damage of his plans for the good of the world. Amongst other things he created the futuristic City, which was later embodied in an AI of the same name (which was strangely seen last issue under Manhattan). Last issue revealed that Nick Fury has hired Reed to counter threats to the Earth, including the incursions of other Earths.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #42 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The previously page:- Last issue Mentor tells Gladiator, Majestor of the Shi'ar, what he's learnt about the incursion problem, and Gladiator reluctantly decides that Earth must be destroyed. In the same issue the Cabal meet Mr Fantastic of the Ultimate universe. In New Avengers #30 Yellowjacket tells the assembled Avengers that the Beyonders have killed the Celestials in all timelines.

YJ also told them that the Beyonders killed other powerful beings, including the Living Tribunal who fell as a body into each surviving timeline. 4 days ago Amadeus Cho takes him and Beast to the Moon to locate the body in Earth-616's universe. They inform space-suited Captain Britain and Hulk who leap down to it. The idea is that LT's skin will be protection against the death of the multiverse.

3 days ago Cannonball and Sunspot visit Cyclops in Nation X watched over by Sentinels. The ex-X-Men now Avengers try to persuade him to join them in saving the world. But the X-leader has his own plans which involve resurrection.

2 days ago Black Panther shows our Mr Fantastic his plans for a huge spaceship to ferry selected people to safety. This is their response to Valeria Richards suggestion that the Illuminati concentrate on not losing in the multiversal collapse rather than trying to win (#37). Now they're faced with the problem of choosing who to save to carry forward the species.

1 day ago Sam Guthrie has taken Roberto da Costa home to Izzie Dare and their baby, who is currently standing on the ceiling. Smasher answers a call from Gladiator ordering her back to duty in the Imperial Guard on his flagship Lilandra currently on the edge of the Solar System.

On the Ultimate universe's Earth-1610 near the living City, Black Swan confronts Sub-Mariner about how he betrayed the Cabal and was in turn betrayed by the Illuminati (#40). They now agree to do whatever it takes to survive.

Gladiator hears conflicting advice from Mentor and Oracle. (Flashfire, Manta, Starbolt, Titan and Warstar of the Imperial Guard are also present.) Oracle argues that Earth (or at least the Avengers) was a crucial ally in the war against the Builders (in the Infinity event). It would be dishonourable to turn on them now. Mentor agrees but has now realised that the Earth must die to save this universe. He will take all the dishonour upon himself, and commit hara kiri when it is over.

Gladiator says that he is duty-bound to do whatever it takes to preserve the Shi'ar empire. So Earth must be destroyed. And a fleet of warcraft from several alien races has assembled.

Hidden amongst them is the spaceship of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Rocket Raccoon succeeds in decrypting the communications between the armada forces, and they hear that attack is imminent. The Guardians had come to warn Earth to evacuate the planet. But an assemblage of Avengers and Illuminati (Beast, Black Bolt, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Hulk, Manifold, Mr Fantastic, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Steve Rogers and Sunspot) have declared their intention to defend the place.

Stefano Caselli
Stefano Caselli
Frank Martin
Scott Koblish (Cover Penciler)
Scott Koblish (Cover Inker)
Romulo Fajardo (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Scott Summers)

(Clint Barton)

(Bruce Banner)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Cannonball.

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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