Movie Reviews

Marvel's Greatest Secret Wars Villain Is Back (And He's Terrifying)

Warning: SPOILERS for All-Out Avengers #5One of Marvel’s most terrifying enemies finally reappears in a brand-new Avengers storyline, and this time he has a sinister agenda. While Marvel often introduces multiple crossover events every year, Secret Wars in 1986 was their first and one of the most well-known. In All-Out Avengers #5, the all-powerful Beyonder reappears, but this time his plan has moved to Earth and affects an all-new Avengers roster.

The first Secret Wars crossover involved a group of Avengers, X-Men and a myriad of supervillains transported against their will to Battleworld: a patchwork planet perfectly suited for battle between rivals. “I am from beyond!” cries a voice from the ether; it commands all assembled to slay their enemies to obtain whatever they desire.

This voice comes from the Beyonder, a being of Godlike power who wishes to understand the concept of desire. Through various twists, including Spider-Man obtaining his classic black suit and Doctor Doom becoming the villain of the piece after taking the Beyonder’s power, the story ended with the Beyonder retreating to his own realm and the heroes departing to Earth. Secret Wars II would involve the Beyonder discovering humanity, but this story is not as well-received as the first.

Related: Avengers 5 Writer Explains How Endgame’s Time Travel Affected Kang Plans

In All-Out Avengers #5, written by Derek Landy with art by Gren Land, the Avengers rest after fighting with Spider-Man (the hero was trying to save the team from itself as the Avengers’ memories were scrambled and turned against the hero). But Captain America suspects a greater power lies behind their many adventures in the series. He overhears the Beyonder (who has yet to appear in the series but serves as the narrator) and finally points directly at the front of the panel while saying “And I’m coming for you, Beyonder.” The preview image for the next issue suggests the Beyonder will indeed make a physical appearance.

Bringing back the Beyonder makes perfect sense when one remembers the previous stories in the series. Seemingly separate events occur with no warning – and no beginning (the stories begin in the middle of the adventures rather than at the start). Captain Marvel is attacked by the “Dark Tide”, Doctor Doom is split into good and evil counterparts, and endless clones of the Red Skull attack Captain America. The Beyonder is clearly manipulating reality, just as he did on Battleworld.

But why would the Beyonder manufacture battles when he could simply talk to the Avengers themselves? In the aftermath of the original Secret Wars, the Beyonder is a known entity, albeit a little-understood and phenomenally powerful one. All-Out Avengers #6 may shed light on why the Beyonder is using the Avengers…and what in the universe could possibly threaten him.

More: One Avengers Comic Accidentally Spoiled Secret Wars Before It Even Started

All-Out Avengers #5 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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