From the moment Billy Kaplan—who at the time was possessed by Moridun, a creature from a universe before the universe before this one—declared that he would like to start calling himself the Demiurge, I began to look forward to new issues of New Avengers with great anticipation.
It isn’t that I hadn’t been looking forward to New Avengers already, but the introduction of a Demiurge story line convinced me that I had made the right choice about which post-Secret Wars Al Ewing title to pick up. (He’s currently writing three: New Avengers, Contest of Champions, and Ultimates. And I’m not made of money.) I chose New Avengers largely on the strength of the presence of Billy Kaplan and Teddy Altman (a.k.a. Wiccan and Hulkling). I’d fallen in love with the characters during Kieron Gillen’s Young Avengers run, and I knew that Ewing was more than up to the task of taking the seeds planted in a Gillen story and growing them into something incredible. He did it with Loki: Agent of Asgard.
Billy Kaplan’s potential transformation into the Demiurge is a major component of Young Avengers. He first learns of it by happenstance before being called upon to attempt the transformation in order to save the world from a multidimensional parasite; throughout the course of the story there are hints that Billy’s becoming the Demiurge is not necessarily a good thing for Billy. Loki Laufeyson explains the Demiurge as “a singular multidimensional messiah,” but in a flashback of America Chavez’s we learn that being the messiah—unsurprisingly perhaps—has permanent consequences.
Billy’s powers often put a target on his back. Loki tried to manipulate him into giving up control of his abilities; the multidimensional parasite tried to consume his raw power. Most recently, Moridun tried to hollow Billy from the inside-out. In the end, Billy Kaplan’s transformation into the Demiurge remains somewhere in a diaphanous future, the place where the seeds of all good stories wait for their right storyteller. My only complaint is that this story line finished so quickly (no doubt to make room for the upcoming Standoff! crossover, in which New Avengers will play a part); I would have liked to see a more leisurely deterioration of Billy Kaplan under the influence of Moridun and a more difficult resolution. But maybe that’s yet to come…