Marvel has already wasted its best new villain in decades, Uranos, a bigger and meaner version of Thanos, having him quickly defeated in Judgment Day.
Marvel Comics‘ best new villain in decades, Uranos, was absolutely wasted by getting defeated quickly and ignominiously during the A. X. E.: Judgment Day event. After months of teasing, Uranos, who is Thanos’ great-uncle, made a grand entrance by devastating Arakko, the mutant colony on Mars. At the height of Judgment Day, however, the fearsome villain was defeated in a couple of panels and with a simple trick.
With such a vast and established cast of characters, it’s not easy for Marvel to introduce new ones, especially villains, who should be more threatening and interesting than the company’s most famous ones, including Thanos. In recent stories, Thanos’ heritage as a member of the Eternals was further explored, resulting in the Mad Titan becoming the leader of Earth’s Eternals and finding out about his great-uncle. Uranos is so powerful and dangerous that, after a civil war, his two brothers imprisoned him in the Exclusion, the Eternals’ unbreakable jail. Uranos believes that the best way to fulfill his Celestial directives would be to exterminate both Humans and Deviants, and then imprison the Celestials themselves to start an Eternal crusade. He also has exclusive access to an armory of Celestial-designed weapons of mass destruction, which Uranos used to “purge” Arakko when Druig unleashed him during the war between the Eternals and the X-Men.
After so much buildup, it was easy to imagine that Uranos would have been the final villain during Judgment Day. In issue #4, written by Kieron Gillen with art by Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia, Druig, whose plan to destroy Krakoa to appease the Celestial Progenitor and to consolidate his power as Prime Eternal has just failed, releases his last resort: Uranos. Finally free after millennia, Uranos unleashes his arsenal on Earth and is about to wipe out humans and mutants. Readers would expect one epic final battle at this point, but instead they got a quick resolution to the crisis. Magneto and Storm attack Uranos to buy time for Iron Man to hack into his arsenal and give control of the weapons to Magneto, who turns them against the villain, taking him out in one shot. The whole scene happens over the course of two pages.
Judgment Day has a lot going on, so it’s natural that the story feels rushed. The event, after all, is not about the battle between Eternals and X-Men, which just served as the premise for the awakening of the Progenitor and the judgment of Earth. However, Uranos’ role in the story still seems like a huge wasted opportunity. When the character was introduced back in Eternals: The Heretic, he was clearly presented as a bigger and meaner version of Thanos, who is supposed to be Marvel’s greatest villain. Uranos’ attack on Mars (shown in X-Men: Red #5) was a great demonstration of how powerful and cruel he can be, as it only took him one hour to devastate the planet, using just a fraction of his arsenal, and personally killing two of the most powerful mutants, Legion and Magneto (even if the latter barely survived for long enough to get his revenge).