Hickman’s Avengers: Who Is the Great Destroyer?

This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics

This is a guest post by Dana Silver.

Dana is a comic and film nerd turned IT nerd. Every day he wakes up wondering if today’s the day he’s going to finally develop superpowers. When that doesn’t pan out he soaks up news like a sponge and plays with his adorable pug and his trouble-making bulldog. And when not doing that he’s playing video games alongside his wife while binge watching shows on Netflix. And when not doing that he’s sleeping. And then he wakes up wondering if today’s the day he’s going to finally develop superpowers…

Most of the fun of comics is in the adventure. The rest is in the speculation. Marvel Comics is preparing for this year’s summer crossover event The Secret Wars and following it with a rumored reboot. If you’ve been reading Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers comics this isn’t too surprising, but the lead-up has had many mysteries slowly unfold. We are left today with only a few, most especially, “Who is The Great Destroyer?”

Looking at Hickman’s run we can see a serious and thorough order being created and torn down for the readers. And judging by his exceptional Fantastic Four run, we know that Hickman makes rules while thinking about the long game. So what does this mean? This means it might actually be feasible this time to guess who is going to be The Great Destroyer responsible for the collapse of the multiverse using everything we know now as a roadmap of sorts.

So what do we have? We have systems, structures, destroyers, and corruption. From The Avengers as a team to the fallen Superflow to the chain reaction of incursions set off by Rabum Alal (The Great Destroyer), everything is an organized group or system that becomes corrupted or is outright destroyed. The Avengers are considered destroyed when Tony Stark is revealed to be the leader of the Illuminati and had Steve Rogers’ brain-wiped. The Superflow has been dismantled by unknown forces, possibly The Great Destroyer, and corrupted when it sent off a broken White Event to Earth-616. And even the incursions are corrupted by the Mapmakers who kill earths early and use their exploding pieces to mark other worlds for them to feed on like mini-adaptoid-galacti.

So what can we extrapolate judging by what we know of the writer and what we know of the content? The Great Destroyer will be someone we know and have seen a lot of. It will probably be a version of a corrupted hero and creator or if we play with reality and time possibly someone we currently know. And this person will be of pure science. We are about 75% or 80% of the way there in the story so there’s only a little more to be revealed. Let’s start guessing:

Who are the black swans really? We know they’re pro-science and extremely practical. The one we’ve seen literally spit at Dr. Strange when she met him. We have seen Hickman bring back elder Franklin Richards twice in this series as well as reuse the concepts of Sol’s Hammer and the Bridge. The one thing we haven’t seen is someone who might be their leader – Elder Valeria Richards. She certainly fits the bill and can be brought in this late into the game without disrupting the flow.

What really destroyed the NewUniversal Superflow? Was it the Great Destroyer? I’m not sure about that. The destruction we see of the red Superflow is by blue energy. Hickman, if anything, is precise. If we stick to blue representation, it would appear the Adaptoids/Mapmakers destroyed the Superflow. This is possibly in response to or to combat The Great Destroyer.

And finally… Who is The Great Destroyer, Rabum Alal? An almost mythical speech from Black Swan early informs that he (we are presuming a male) is either a creator or the corrupted creation run amok… probably both. So really, when we get down to it, we’re left with 2 obvious choices. The Great Destroyer will either be Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) or Tony Stark (Iron Man). Perhaps in response to the breaking of time, one of them tries to “fix everything” and it spirals out of control. Perhaps we’re just seeing Hickman’s take on DC’s Monarch and someone has tried to become a multiversal god. But in the end, only these two fit the mold of creators of systems that get royally botched. And seeing as we just finished watching a couple hundred Reeds botch fixing everything…

My money is on Tony Stark.

We only have a few months to wait, and I don’t know if you could tell but I’m definitely excited and I hope you are too. Who do you think The Great Destroyer is?

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