Happy Halloween, everyone! Today, the internet will be chock full of spooky posts and ghoulish lists of particularly scary or horror themed comics. Draculas, Man-Bats, Frankensteins and Sons of Satan will be plentiful and we’ll all take a look at the fun that can be had with things that go bump in the night.
But here at the Fifth Color, we’re going to take a different route! No no, no real monsters will be ventured, but what I like to hope are the more theoretical ones. Monsters that still lurk in the shadows!
Do you dare venture back in time, eight months back to some of the biggest news Marvel still has yet to give peep one about? Especially with this week’s release of Annihilation Conquest: Quasar #4? True Believers, the most dangerous items to cross the Marvel Universe are in the hands of th five most powerful men possibly on the planet. And right now? They are in a whole mess of trouble.
(NOTE: Big Spoiler for Annihilation Conquest inside! Read at your own peril.)
So, back in February, we all got to be shocked and suspensed by New Avengers: Illuminati #2 wherein the title group of characters follow Reed Richards in a quest to gather the Infinity Gems. They do, each are given a gem to watch over and they all swear they won’t use them. And… that’s it. That’s all. Not a word after.
Let me say this again: five of the most powerful and influencial heroes, men that shape the world around them, are given nigh-godlike items of infinite power (thus the name of the gem set and several wars, crusades, etc.) and we’re just supposed to assume that they nodded in agreement and then just put them away. Tony Stark swore he knew the way the world was headed and, with Reed’s help, shifted public policy and the idea of heroism in the Marvel Universe despite the outcry of his peers and you expect me to believe that he didn’t look at the REALITY GEM he’d been given and didn’t think, for even just a minute, wonder if he could make this whole transition a lot easier? Namor’s mini-series seems to be shifting from the moment of Now and the moment of A Few Days/Hours Before and it’s just curious enough a trick that I have to wonder about the Time Gem in his care.
I could go on, but you get the general idea. These gems are serious plot-points and could easly be used to move the Marvel Universe to the whim of the character and the author. Problems could be popped out of existence or fixed on a whim, so obviously these gems couldn’t be used or else stories would jst get ridiculous and we’d all be wondering why they’re bothering with a World War Hulk and not just use the Space Gem back on the moon and send him back to the planet the Warlord Hulk came from. Or Mind Gem him into a calmer state. Or … you get the point. The gems simply can’t be brought back into the comic conciousness.
On the other hand… why tell that story in the first place? Why not say the Watcher takes the gems or have someone float on by from the Infinity Watch and come gather them up so any Reed, Tony and Blackagar can’t come snatch them up? Why not only leave them in the hands of the Illuminati, but expect us to believe that ultimate power won’t corrupt absolutely? This isn’t just becoming a hero under your own power, this is part of a lonely god in the palm of your hand. I can follow Doctor Strange being able to swear off manipulating people’s souls because he’s the Sorcerer Supreme and probably has a good handle on the more astral and metaphysical aspects of power but the man did recently ingest one of the most formidable mystic entities in existence.
I find it strange that such a huge moment has gone untouched for all these months, not to mention suspicious of any major act they might have been used in. Annihilation Conquest might be taking care of both for me soon as with the last issue of Quasar, Adam Warlock has been brought back in all his full page glory. Mind you, I’m well aware he’ll be very busy with the Phalanx and the Kree and everything, but after six-issues of Conquest, who’s to say he won’t be popping by Earth to remedy a situation long in need of some attention.