SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for "Ultimates 2" #3, on sale now.
Since the reformation of the entire Marvel Universe following the conclusion of "Secret Wars" in 2015, the cosmic hierarchy has been thrown off balance. Al Ewing and Travel Foreman's "Ultimates 2" has documented the struggle between cosmic beings as they try to make sense of the new universe -- and it's not going well.
Galactus No Longer Hungers...
First, Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds, has been transformed into the Seeder of Worlds by the superhero team known as the Ultimates. Now instead of destroying worlds to sate his hunger, Galactus replenishes dead worlds with new life. In his duties as the Lifebringer, Galactus noticed one terrible thing: Eternity, the embodiment of all that is, has been placed in chains by a mysterious captor. Wishing to free Eternity, Galactus recruited the Ultimates to serve as his new heralds of life.
But Galactus' career change didn't sit well with the cosmic beings known as Master Order and Lord Chaos. Galactus' evolution upended the hierarchy, so Order and Chaos took Galactus before the Living Tribunal to be judged. When the Living Tribunal decreed that the restarting of the universe meant a rebooting of the hierarchy, Chaos and Order took it upon themselves...to kill the Living Tribunal. After all, if there are no rules preventing Galactus from being a lifebringer, then there are no rules preventing Chaos and Order from murdering the Living Tribunal.
Al Ewing and Travel Foreman's "Ultimates 2" #3 deals with the aftermath of that act and the escalation of tension as Order and Chaos continue to rewrite the rules of cosmic order. First, the two beings decide to take matters into their own "hands" and use their combined power to revert Galactus to his former, hungry self.
Their attempt at an extreme makeover doesn't work, though, because the death of the Living Tribunal also killed the notion of cosmic rules. As a result, when Galactus refuses to change back, Chaos and Order can't overpower him.
As Order explains, "If there is no longer a law -- no longer a hierarchy among the cosmic beings -- then we have no less power than the rebel Galactus, but no more either. We cannot permanently impose our will on him. That will not do. A new hierarchy must be created -- and maintained." Since the old hierarchy didn't serve their purpose, Chaos and Order set out to create a new one -- one where they will make the rules.
Enter: the In-Betweener
The In-Betweener is a cosmic being created by Chaos and Order to embody endless opposing ideas all at once in one being. As Ewing explains, the In-Betweener's main task is to "personify -- and maintain -- the delicate balance between order and chaos."
Enter: Order and Chaos
Order, notably deranged, confronts the In-Betweener and explains that the cosmic entity will serve as the catalyst for Chaos and Order's merger. Now, where there was once three cosmic beings, there will now be one -- one that will serve as the replacement for the all-powerful Living Tribunal in the new cosmic order.
It's possible that Logos is named after the Greek philosophical idea of the same name, which is used to define the specific logic that backs up an argument. More likely, however, is that the being is named after the Christian theological concept of Logos, which is the belief that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all equals and that Jesus is himself God. Since Marvel's Logos is also made up of three combined cosmic beings, that definition seems apt -- and also ups the expectations considerably for this new God-like cosmic being.
Of course, there's also the possibility that the character is the official replacement for the Living Tribunal, another character who has always been presented with a three-faced head, each face representing a specific concept (Equity - visible face, Vengeance - partially covered face, and "Necessity - fully covered face).
What we know for certain is, a mere three issues into the second volume of Ewing's "Ultimates," the landscape of Marvel's cosmic order has been drastically changed. Galactus is the Lifebringer, Eternity is still in chains, the Living Tribunal is dead, and Order, Chaos and the In-Betweener have all merged to form a new lawmaker called Logos.
On top of all that, there's the matter of the Inhuman precognitive Ulysses, who ascended from his Earthly origin into something beyond comprehension at the conclusion of "Civil War II" #8. Ulysses' new role in the cosmic order remains unclear, but he was recruited by Eternity. Where he fits into this new hierarchy, or if he will even appear in "Ultimates 2," remains unknown.
"Ultimates 2" #4 arrives in stores on February 15.