But I’m getting ahead of myself, there’s still the matter of those death-crazed Alephs to deal with, but in the end, they are actually dealt with fairly easily, as the Avengers have now inspired the galaxy to fight back and win. It’s here that Hickman brings back the concept of an ‘Avengers World’ with the pretty awesome image of a bunch of aliens hoisting up a giant ‘A’, Iwo Jima style. Hickman started using this phrase in #1 of Avengers, and of course, there’s a new series using that name starting up, and man, after reading this issue I am much more excited for that series, especially if it’s this grand in scale. Of course, it’s not all just the Avengers inspiring people, we do still get to see the Hulk smash an Aleph. I suppose there is an issue here with how easy the Alephs were defeated, but I’m not sure we’ve seen the last of them and The Builders. So, after saving the Galaxy and inspiring billions of aliens, Cap, Thor and the rest stop for a part and a drink, only for Gladiator to spoil the mood and tell them that, in their absence, Earth has been conquered by Thanos.
I'm pretty sure that we haven't seen the last of The Builders, as they popped up in New Avengers during the Infinity crossover.
Most of this issue was focused on the Earth-based side of the story, so I loved it, and we got some very interesting developments. Ebony Maw captures Thane, but not after giving him a costume to control his powers. We’ve not seen too much of Thane so far, but he seems like he could be a great addition to the Marvel Universe, and man, Ebony Maw is just a fascinating villain, you’re not sure what he’s up too, and he could very well be moving against Thanos here. Speaking of Thanos, he’s deep in the heart of the Illuminati’s secret base, trying to gain access to the WMDs they created in order to destroy other Earths in the Incursions. It turns out Black Bolt is still alive (yay!) and that’s how Thanos gains control of the bombs, as Supergiant reads his mind. We also finally see Thanos come face to face with Thane, and whilst it is kind of silly that the only motivation for this whole story is because Thanos wants to kill his son, I do like how crazy it makes Thanos seem, and from Avengers #22, it’s clear that this is Hickman’s intention, plus, it does link nicely with Jason Aaron’s recent mini-series.
It isn't too crazy. In Greek mythology, Chronus overthrew his father Uranus as ruler of the Universe. He then proceeded to eat his children as soon as they were born, so as to stop them from doing the same to him. His wife Rhea his their youngest child, Zeus, to protect him from a similar fate. When Zeus grew up he made Chronus drink a potion that causes him to vomit up his other siblings (The Olympian gods Posiedon, Hades, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia, all magically grown up inside Chronus' stomach). They overthrew Chronus and his Titan siblings, and Zeus became ruler of the Universe.
Zeus himself was wary of one of his kids overthrowing him someday. He ate Athena's mother, whom he tricked into turning into a fly when she was pregnant. Athena was born inside Zeus, and mom spent her time creating armor for her to wear, causing Zeus headaches. Finally the headaches got so bad that Hephaestus has to split open Zeus' head, releasing a fully-grown Athena.
Obviously, it's this cycle that probably inspired Hickman. Thanos is, after all, from Titan.