Marvel Universe: The End #3 Review

Reviewer: Jesse Baker
Story Title: Extinction

Written by: Jim Starlin
Pencilled by: Jim Starlin
Inked by: Al Milgrom
Colored by: Christie Scheele & Heroic Age
Lettered by: Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Quick Synopsis: Doctor Doom travels back in time in order to kill the evil Pharaoh-turned-God, Akhenaten, and take his place. He does this so that when the aliens come and kidnap the Pharaoh (in order to experiment on him, and turn him into a cosmic being), Doom is taken instead. All this despite the knowledge that in doing so, he’ll be captured and stuck in a cosmic gulag, along with every other major time traveller in the Marvel Universe. Meanwhile, the makeshift Defenders team, organized by Thanos, track down the ship that abducted the evil Akhenaten to the “Heart of the Universe”. As the team falls apart, with Hulk and Namor fighting each other, Dr. Strange starts whispering to Silver Surfer to kill Thanos at the slightest sign of him acting out of line.

Good: The Doom subplot, while clichéd in how it ends, works well in how Doom decides to try and stop the mad Pharaoh-God before he gains his powers. The only problem though, is that Starlin writes the plot not so much as a main part of the arc, but as a side-plot that ends with Doom joining the growing list of guys who have fallen to Akhenaten’s might.

Also on the good side is Jim Starlin’s portrayal of George W. Bush as a whiney, murder-happy idiot. This is done in a scene where Bush whines like a little girl to his new cosmic master about how Akhenaten’s decision to blink all known weapons off the face of the earth, and employ Absorbing Man, Klaw, and the Wrecking Crew as his personal army/executioners who answer only to Akhenaten.

Bad: The whole Namor/Hulk feuding is way too contrived and clichéd as it serves only to take up page space and adds nothing to the plot.

Ugly: Spider-Man and Daredevil are casually killed off by Absorbing Man and the Wrecking Crew in a single page, which makes for a rather anti-climatic final fate for them.