While most Marvel fans may never actually wonder why so many superpowered people are born on Earth, the Avengers explained the shocking truth.
Marvel’s version of planet Earth is home to far too many superheroes to count, be they Avengers, Mutants, Inhumans, or any other fantastic beings. And while most fans may never think to ask why Earth spawns so many superhumans, Marvel has revealed the secret (disgusting) reason there are so many who call Earth home.
The unexpected answer arrives in The Avengers #5, by writer Jason Aaron (Southern Bastards) and the artistic team of Ed McGuiness (Superman/Batman) and Paco Medina (Fantastic Four). Believe it or not, the true reason so many superpowered individuals exist on Marvel’s Earth stretches all the way back to the ancient Avengers of the Stone Age… and the Celestials who shaped the universe as we know it.
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Jason Aaron’s Avengers run has been a ride through Marvel history, showcasing elements as diverse as vampires, the strangest Starbrand hero ever, and even Marvel’s greatest Devil, Mephisto. That deep dive into the Marvel Universe began in his first arc. The Avengers, currently disbanded, must come back together to stop infected Celestials from destroying the Earth. Heroes as diverse as Captain Marvel and Ghost Rider answer the call, and the team is successful in turning back the Celestials. But not before readers learn that the first of the diseased Celestials is actually the reason so many superpowered people exist on Earth.
Recounted in flashback by Loki, readers learn that the first infected Celestial came to die on Marvel’s Earth, his infection seeping into the primordial soup. And yes, all the superpowered beings on Earth are the result of this infection. The Stone Age Avengers fought the infection, called “The Horde,” the first time it manifested itself. It is later revealed the Celestials let Earth live despite the infection, so that one day the heroes would rise up and stop the infection once and for all. Given the heroic nature of Marvel characters, the fact all of them resulted from bile spewed by a dying god seems anticlimactic at best, disrespectful at worst; the Celestials leaving humans alive in order to fight the infections is proof we have rose above being simply a disease.
Marvel has hinted in the past that experiments in the distant past conducted on humanity’s ancestors by Marvel’s mysterious Celestials were responsible for human evolution, but it was mostly related to mutants. Now, Aaron has extended this to all of Marvel’s superpowered humans, be they Avengers or supervillain, born from the remnants of Celestial sickness millions of years in the past. Who knew?
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