The following contains major spoilers for Defenders Beyond #5, available now from Marvel Comics.
The Defenders have traversed what seems like every landscape and era in their latest quest to protect reality from unseen threats, but none of them could have ever imagined where their journey would ultimately bring them. After crossing through the Cosmos and coming face to face with the all-powerful Beyonders, the heroes have reached the pinnacle of existence in the Marvel Universe. Of course, just because the House of Ideas is farther than most could dream of traveling doesn’t mean it is the end of all things. This also doesn’t mean the Defenders are going to find out what lies beyond its bounds any time soon.
After facing off against the Beyonders within the Engine Room of Creation and against the Phoenix Force within the White Hot Room, the eponymous heroes of Defenders Beyond #5 (by Al Ewing, Javier Rodriguez, Wilson Moss, and VC’s Joe Caramagna) have reached the next stop on their journey. At the top of an impossible staircase beyond all understanding lies a simple, unassuming door. What lies on the other side is anything but, most of all because the House of Ideas is quite literally the highest plane of existence there is for the Defenders to reach. That doesn’t mean that there is nothing beyond it, however, and that is exactly what the heroes are about to discover in no uncertain terms.
What is Marvel’s House of Ideas – And How Does it Affect the Defenders?
The House of Ideas as it was first properly introduced in the pages of 2019’s Avengers: No Road Home #7 (by Jim Zub, Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Paco Medina) is in effect just another name for the realm of Heaven that the Fantastic Four discovered 15 years prior. When Marvel’s First Family wandered into this realm, it presented itself as an otherwise ordinary home inhabited by a manifestation of God, or One Above All. This God came in the form of legendary Marvel Comics creator Jack Kirby. In spite of all the various realms and gods that had long been a part of the Marvel Universe, the House of Ideas exists beyond its bounds as most would understand them.
This made the House of Ideas in the comics an obvious stand-in for the very real House of Ideas, which has been the nickname for Marvel Comics for over eighty years. The concept of a font of all creation isn’t anything new, but the House of Ideas solidified it as something more tangible. In doing so, the House of Ideas has also become an indelible part of the overall structure that is the Multiverse or rather has come to help define what that structure is. As single universes are bordered by Superflows and Neutral Zones between them, the Multiverse becomes a tapestry of realities, whereas what exists outside its bounds is more of a patchwork of individual places. They are both inherently disconnected from and inextricably tied to the rest of reality.
What Lies Beyond Marvel’s House of Ideas
As such, it only makes sense that there is something further than even the House of Ideas, White Hot Room, and every other realm that of their ilk. On the other hand, it is almost unfathomable that any of the Defenders could perceive that truth, even when they are residing within the House of Ideas for themselves. Luckily, the fact that they can, means that they are right on track to continue defending every corner of every reality from the mysterious threat of the Enigma that is said to be encroaching upon it all.
The likes of Blue Marvel and Taaia are undoubtedly among the greatest heroes that any iteration of the Marvel Universe has known, but their abilities are still defined in what are ultimately simple terms. When it comes to the House of Ideas and the beings and concepts which surpass its own echelon of existence, being defined at all is something that is still impossible. When the One Above All is incapable of answering the Defenders’ questions regarding the battles to come. The only thing that they can be sure of is how little they really know, and how much there is left to discover in the beyond that awaits them.