Paradise X (2002-03)

With Death destroyed, Mar-Vell constructs a Paradise in the center of the Negative Zone for the dead to inhabit. However, those among the living find themselves unable to die.

Meanwhile, X-51 decides that the inhabitants of alternate Earths should be warned about the Celestial embryos he believes are growing within their planets. He spreads the alarm across the multiverse by recruiting and dispatching Heralds from alternate timelines such as Bloodstorm (Ororo Monroe, Earth-1298), Deathlok (Luther Manning, Earth-7484), Hyperion (Earth-1121), Killraven (Earth-691), Iron Man 2020 (Earth-8410), Spider-Girl (Earth-1122), and Wolverine (Days of Future Past Earth-811).

After banishing the Watchers of Earth-9997 to alternate worlds with the hope that their presence will lead to the discovery and destruction of each Celestial embryo, X-51 takes his Heralds to his Earth, where he will aid each in achieving his or her wishes. In Mar-Vell's Paradise, the High Evolutionary's equipment transforms the souls of Black Bolt, Captain America, Daredevil (Matt Murdock), Dr. Doom, Giant-Man, Phoenix, and Tony Stark into the Avenging Host, charged with ushering souls from the Realm of the Dead to Paradise. Those who enter Paradise consume a piece of the Cosmic Cube, enabling them to create their own, seemingly perfect pocket reality. But as more souls enter Paradise, it begins to expand and consume entire worlds within the Negative Zone, causing Blastaar and Annihilus to attack the Baxter Building in New York.

Reed Richards, Bruce Banner, the Beast, and several other brilliant scientists convene to discuss a solution to Death's absence. They decide to access the imprisoned Jude the Entropic Man, who can turn others to dust on contact, and synthesize his essence into a chemical to end the suffering of those unable to die. With the chemical complete, Reed, growing suspicious of Mar-Vell's motives, plans to use Pym Particles to slow Paradise's rapid growth within the Negative Zone. But Mephisto frees Jude from captivity, convincing him to go on a massive killing spree. Mephisto then steers Jude to Britain, where Mephisto hopes to find the Siege Perilous, which will allow him to traverse the multiverse. But with the help of Merlin, Doctor Strange, Psylocke, and the sacrifice of a recently-resurrected Meggan, King Britain is able to slay Mephisto with Excalibur. Meanwhile, in Paradise, Reed and a legion of heroes confront Mar-Vell. After Paradise is nearly conquered in the name of the Supreme Intelligence by the arriving souls of the Kree military, Mar-Vell explains to Reed that he (Reed) is to become the new Eternity.

Using his new role as Eternity, Reed is able to put an end to the conflict and free the remaining heroes from their Cosmic Cube-induced dream-worlds, Johnny Storm being the last freed. Once this is accomplished, Mar-Vell explains to Reed that his plan is to build a galactic wall around their universe, preventing any further influence from the Celestials. Feeling that his work is not yet complete, Mar-Vell tells the people of Paradise that he is going to the source of Excalibur, which is strongly implied to be the original universe.


Paradise X (Wizard Special Edition)

Wizard Magazine Promo Special Edition Sketchbook (2001) more info