This takes place1 million years ago. I think 500 B.C is ancient. 1 million years? That's nearly an unfathomably long time. Although we are used to thinking about dinosaurs aren't we? And those giants existed 65 million years ago. Suddenly a million years doesn't seem so long.
In the forefront is Odin. A young Odin wielding Mjolnir - I'm inferring that Thor hasn't been born yet. I'm also fascinated by the fact that Mjolnir predates Thor.
Looking at the others behind Odin: the Hulk-like being is known as the Starbrand; he is a caveman that has been imbued with power. It's nice to know that in today's Marvel some of Jim Shooter's 'New Universe' concepts have survived. The bald girl is from K'un-Lun and is an ancient wielder of the power of the Iron Fist. The Jean Grey lookalike besides Odin is an embodiment of the Phoenix Force. The guy with the animal shroud is the ancient holder of the power of the Black Panther. Way behind is an ancient Ghost Rider. And at the rear is the first Sorcerer Supreme - the famous Agamotto himself.
So what we can see in this panel is a shortlist of really ancient powers in the Marvel universe that exist in the present time: the Phoenix Force, the Iron Fist, the Black Panther, the Sorcerer Supreme, the Starbrand, and the Ghost Rider. The ones who wield them now are simply the current holders of such power and would most likely not be the last.
So Odin is drinking in this panel - probably drunk - and he's mouthing some pretty fatalistic dialogue. 'Deaths for us all' indeed. What's going on?
Before we get to that, there is the matter of Ghost Riders' always having rides. This ancient Ghost Rider just introduced his - a fiery Woolly Mammoth!
This two-page panel explains Odin's despondency and the feeling of strong concern running through the group - they are facing Celestials!
We are witnessing the coming of the First Celestial Host.
From the talk among the group they had already done the near-impossible feat of vanguishing a lone Celestial - although they referred to it as an 'infected' Celestial. Still, quite an accomplishment.
What happens next? How does this group survive? How does the Earth survive? Are the Celestials hostile in the first place? We are left hanging with many questions. For now.
Let's time travel back to the present.
The Avengers' Big Three are meeting sans costumes and instead of me showing you them I'll show you their drinks and you match the Avenger with the drink.
The drinks from left to right: mead, Shirley Temple, and beer.
Did you get it? Mead = Thor, Shirley Temple = Iron Man, and Beer = Captain America.
At this point the Avengers are technically non-existent but these three are toying with the idea of a comeback.
Let's head on over to Earth orbit and Alpha Flight Station.
As detailed in that very complicated dialog balloon Alpha Flight Station has discovered an anomaly.
Alpha Flight Station sends out the beautiful and powerful Captain Marvel to investigate.
Carol finds a gigantic Celestial hand reaching out to her from the anomaly.
Let's segue over to South Africa. Way below South Africa in some underground caverns we meet up with Doctor Strange and the Black Panther.
The cavern is full of giant insect eggs. The Doctor and T'Challa discover that some of the eggs have hatched. The armored giant insects coming from these eggs have burrowed to the surface. Strangely they don't emerge on the surface of South Africa they emerge in the U.S.A.. Unfortunately for them they come into direct conflict with the Ghost Rider.
There is a literally bigger problem than armored insects invading as a seemingly dead Celestial crashes into the Hudson.
This is not the only dead Celestial to crash to Earth, others are hurtling from the anomaly. My God, is this Arishem the Judge in London?
Okay, now we have some live Celestials coming in.
Okay here's my probably-unfair old reader rant. I don't know who designed the old Celestials (Fourth Host)? Was it Kirby or Pollard? Those were better designs. Enough ranting.
Anyway, I'll give these new Celestials a chance to grow on me. We end the issue with a beautiful shot of the Big Three going into action.
They look good. Now if only each of these Avengers were 2,000 feet tall they'd have a chance.