Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Worlds Apart


Name This Marvel Villain??

At first glance, you might mistake Abraxas for one of the Metrons who were stirring up trouble in the classic Star Trek episode, "Arena"--but he would argue that he's far more powerful and dangerous, and he may be right on both counts. For instance, we can probably agree that anyone who is able to decapitate Galactus and send his skull in a fiery descent to Earth as a warning of their coming is someone to be reckoned with.

When the Fantastic Four investigate, they discover that these remains are not from the Galactus who died near the Shi'ar homeworld, but from the Galactus of another universe. Unknown to anyone at the time, Galactus' death in our reality allowed Abraxas to break free from his imprisonment within the entity known as Eternity, and he proceeded to cause disruption across countless alternate universes while slaying the Galactus of each universe.

But just who is Abraxas, and what's his ultimate goal? We'll let Roma, guardian of the Omniverse, give us the 411:

I've never been clear on Roma, or her assistant, Saturnyne--then again, I can say that about a good many of Chris Claremont's creations. As we'll see in this story, she isn't much of a guardian; she mostly seems to be around to explain the nature of a universal threat and gather elements/people that will help to put things right.

Along with Galactus' skull, his former herald, Nova, appears as well--and the mystery only deepens when the FF travel to Earth's moon to make inquiries of the Watcher, only to find that someone has beaten them to the punch.

Finally, it's revealed that Abraxas is after the Ultimate Nullifier, a weapon of mass universal destruction that Galactus once had in his custody and which the Human Torch, sent by the Watcher, retrieved to ward off Galactus upon his first arrival on Earth. It now appears the Watcher took the precaution of hiding the Nullifier and placing the knowledge of its location within the mind of Johnny Storm in three different universes.

It's clear that Abraxas is going to keep storming his way through alternate realities and wreaking havoc in his search for the Nullifier--so in order to reach it first, the FF narrow down which realities to search, and split up to investigate all three in order to extract the information from each world's Johnny Storm--while our Johnny, along with Nova, head out into space to await the results; as each set of coordinates is retrieved, the information is transmitted to the Torch and allows him to make his way closer to the hidden location.

But at the moment when the Nullifier is retrieved, it's discovered that Nova has only been playing along with the FF--and that her true allegiance belongs to their enemy. And the repercussions will follow to Roma's sanctuary.

It turns out that, with each Galactus that Abraxas has slain, he has recruited and corrupted that universe's Nova to group together and act as his "angels" as he travels. And now, with the Nullifier in hand, his last stop is our own reality, where the FF prove helpless to stop either Abraxas or the many Novas who serve as his foot soldiers.

But Franklin Richards, and his sister, Valeria, have done some investigating of their own--and Franklin makes use of Valeria's connection with Roma to return to their reality one who might yet turn the tide against Abraxas.

Abraxas makes a fair point. Even if he didn't have possession of the Nullifier, he's capable of slaying this universe's Galactus just as he had the others. But the Nullifier holds the key to Abraxas' defeat--in the right hands, that is.

It turns out to be quite a few resets made with this "rebirth"--a word which, in one case, would have literal implications. Thanks to the Nullifier, all the universes been put back as they were... Galactus has been restored in this reality... Franklin's powers are gone forever... and Roma and all the rest of the deaths attributed to Abraxas' scheme never happened. In addition, Sue's second pregnancy, which had resulted in a miscarriage, has also been corrected, with a very pregnant Sue greeting everyone on the roof.  This thing is certainly called the "Nullifier" with good reason, eh?

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