We’re continuing our coverage of Marvel’s latest event title Infinity. Not much else to say about the book, but here’s what goes into each of our group reviews. Each of the writers/reviews of Comic Bastards will give the book a score of one of the following: Buy, Borrow or Pass. Afterwards they’ll give a short reason for their score and their thoughts in general. Here’s a blurb from Marvel about the issue before we begin: • The Inhumans pay the tribute. • Victory in deep space. • The secrets of Thanos.
Yeah… pretty weak. Anyways on to the reviews!
Kevin R: BUY
Jonathan Hickman’s crazy space adventure continues with technically part four of Infinity, following not only Infinity #1 but Avengers #19 and New Avengers #9. This is all explained via a handy flowchart in the back.
If the last few issues’ new developments were a little too obtuse for you, have no fear- Hickman summarizes the events succinctly and perfectly as they become relevant to us again. Hell, he even spells out what happened in the Avengers books.
To reiterate what I said last time, this is the Marvel event you’ve always wanted, but never got. If you read one event mini-series this year, make it this one. There’s still time! Check it out!
What sets this event apart from its pretenders is that Infinity stands out as a near-perfect culmination, a fully-realized, built-from-within grand stage, rather than just a pointless, money-grubbing clusterfuck. Even though we’re technically only at the second issue of Infinity, it’s as clear as day how minutely, meticulously manicured this story is and will become thanks to its well-planned build. With almost each page, you can almost hear all of the tumblers Hickman has been setting up in Avengers and New Avengers falling into place, and that’s what sets this apart. He even utilizes well those points within books outside of his charge, like Guardians of the Galaxy and Thanos Rising (which I think is WAY underrated, by the by).
As such, this intricately penned, multilateral war drapes itself like a carpet bomb across a frankly dizzying collection of front-lines; and yet, it simultaneously manages to feel intimate, with brief but in-depth character moments set against quite possibly the biggest threat to the Marvel Universe in living memory. The Avengers themselves have never felt more powerful, yet at the same time completely out of their depth. In much the same way, the art from Opena and Weaver is just mind-bogglingly incredible, oscillating quickly between expansive space war laser fights and planet deaths, as well as their sometimes horrendously tender fallouts. All the while redefining how we may come to remember the term “Infinity Gauntlet” and hitting us with a hugely intriguing shock ending, Infinity is already, in my opinion, the best mainstream comic book event I’ve ever read. BUY IT!
Infinity is a blast; plain and simple. Seeing all these characters I’ve grown up with coming together in an event that doesn’t feel contrived or like a cash grab is magic at a primitive level for me. Infinity is the kind of thing I’d make up when I was twelve or something and a friend came over and we pooled our action figures together. It’s a comic lover’s wet dream. It isn’t overly complicated—it doesn’t need to be, it isn’t overly emotional or concerned with itself—and it doesn’t need to be. What Infinity does seem to want to do is provide a fan-servicy good time and tell a good/big story that’s a hell of a ride.
Hickman makes jumping all over the universe feel natural and exciting as every sequence offers new flavor and insight and helps to tie the narrative together as a whole and really illustrate the scope of the whole thing. Though inconsistent, art is for the most part pretty damn beautiful and illustrates effectively what it needs to; though all of it is not created equal. A panel where a Builder kills itself is particularly stunning.
Still, this event seems to be on the right track and is setting the bar for how to make a huge, blockbustery story work without making it feel cheap; its integrity at work. This is how you do an event.
This issue, I thought, outshined #1 by a long shot. It had a lot more face to face time and we weren’t jumping around too often from one area to the next. The story is starting to develop into something real. I only wish Hickman would have spent more time showing Thanos taking over the X-men or Doctor Strange. I get it that Thanos had won before it had even begun, so it proves a strong point. Still I want more, but sometimes that is how a reader is supposed to feel.
Black Blot’s character has proven to be a forefront for best main character. We focus on him a lot which means he will only get bigger as time goes on. I am excited to see how this series goes. With packing in so much action, hence why Hickman had to leave the X-men story alone, it will be intriguing to know the results. Just don’t screw this up Marvel! You have something good here.
Damn Thanos, it’s not like you were paying child support you deadbeat dad. Finally this issue reveals the entire point of Thanos Rising. In that series we saw the one girl who wouldn’t let Thanos pump a hot load into tell him to kill all his bastard spawn. Well he missed one and I’m sure that he can’t get the girl of his dreams until that little bastard is dead. This was the only part of the issue I liked and hey… I should have said spoiler already.
Other than that I’m not a big fan of the flash-forward defeat angle that Hickman chose with this series. Sure it breaks from the event book formula, but the reason the formula work is because it’s the abbreviated “hero’s journey.” If we don’t experience the hero’s humiliation, then we don’t care when they pick themselves back up. Also I’m finding that I don’t give two shits about the “Avengers in Space” section which is really just “Apocalypse in Space” giving it an X-Men vibe.
The art was good and very enjoyable again. Take note DC if you have multiple artists work on a book, make sure they do more than five pages each before switching.
Score: Buy It!
Writer: Jonathan Hickman Artist: Jerome Opena, Dustin Weaver Publisher: Marvel Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/4/13