SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Marvel Legacy #1, on sale now.
Marvel Legacy has had people since its release last week, but are they talking about the wrong thing? While it’s cool to have regular age Logan back among the living, and it’s very exciting to see hints of the Future Foundation’s return, those are just small parts of a larger story that stretches back billions of years to the dawn of the Marvel Universe.
The crux of Marvel Legacy hinges around a rabid Celestial known as The Fallen which arrived on Earth billions of years ago hunting for something and was defeated and buried by the very first team of Avengers. Now, Loki has discovered The Fallen despite Starbrand’s efforts to keep it buried and The Fallen is preparing to summon The Final Host, but what are Celestials, what is The Final Host, and what might this mean for the future of Marvel, both in comics and on the big screen.
What Is A Celestial?
The Celestials are some of the oldest beings in the universe. Created by The First Firmament — the first incarnation of the universe, before there was even a multiverse — The Celestials rebelled against their creator due to their desire for evolution and progress, whereas The First Firmament would rather things stayed exactly as they were. The Celestials went to war with their brothers, The Aspirants, and billions of lives were lost on both sides until The First Firmament fled reality itself along with its followers, essentially leaving The Celestials in charge of things.
As followers of evolution, The Celestials “seed” worlds that are just beginning to show life, separating the dominant species into three societies to observe them grow over thousands of years. Eternals are essentially gods among their people, bless with powers and extremely long lived lives. Deviants are their dark opposite, cursed as monsters, with a vicious nature and prediliction for conquest. The third group is left largely untouched as a control group in The Celestial’s grand experiment. In the case of Earth, that would be pretty much everyone on the planet — although the rise of mutants and superheroes in general has been linked to Celestial meddling on occasion.
The Celestials return to planets to judge whether their experiments are worth continuing in what is called a “Host,” where they may once again meddle or just straight up scrap the whole project and start from a new blank slate. Up until recently, The Celestials were on their Fourth Host, having visited Earth on several occasions including one notable clash with the various religious pantheons of the planet during their Third Host, which saw Thor go toe-to-toe with the space gods in an attempt to stop the eventuality of a Fourth Host.
What Is The Final Host?
Recently, in the pages of The Ultimates, The First Firmament returned, and with his Aspirants and other followers, was able to kill off The Fourth Host of Celestials. They were eventually resurrected by The Never Queen — the multiversal personification of all possibility — as The Fifth Host. If the Celestials have reincarnated as a new Host, that means a new judgement of Earth may be nigh, and who knows whether the Earth will measure up to The Celestials’ criteria. After all, while the planet is full of superheroes, mutants, Inhumans, super-geniuses and plain old weirdness, The Eternals are rarely seen these days. The Fifth Host might see this, determine it goes against their plans for Earth, and deem it more productive to start all over again — after all, what’s 4.5 billion years to an immortal, unchanging space god?
However, is The Fifth Host also The Final Host, or is that something separate entirely? The Fallen came to Earth a billion years ago for a reason, only to be stopped by the ancient Avengers, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to stop looking for what it came here to find. Now, with Loki working alongside it and the threat of a Final Host of Celestials, while the Infinity Stones have been reformed and are anyone’s for the taking, all signs point towards a major event in Marvel’s future.