Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Johnathan Hickman
Art by: Jerome Opena and Dustin Weaver
Released: September 4th, 2013
Infinity is shaping up to be a huge event at Marvel. I know they always say it’s gonna be huge. I know the taglines and advertisements promise world-changing events. This time I think Marvel hit the nail on the head. All the big guns in the universe are out along with their respective armies and powerhouses in tow. This is the crossover geeks have dreamed of for years. Entire battle fleets of alien races and organizations are formed up with Earth’s Mightiest for this battle. It really is all-encompassing.
This issue has a few long-winded recaps in it from the previous issue but it mostly deals with Thanos’ ultimatum to the Inhumans and in particular to Black Bolt. Gladiator inspires a recovery and a small victory for Team Avengers but the Builders show them the steep price of winning in this war. I don’t care for nor understand the necessity of the destruction of that world though. What did it gain the Builders? I have a complaint about the story and it’s that I don’t buy the X-Men bowing out already. Also Doctor Strange, one of the most powerful people on Earth, has been removed from the fight altogether by some creepy creeper whispering in his ear.
Other than that, the scope and awe of the conflict is handled fantastically by Hickman. As a diehard Black Bolt fan, I’ve wanted him to unleash that voice against a Galactus-level threat for some time now. After the last page and the lines he had, it’s safe to assume we’re about to get a knock down drag out between the King and Thanos. Thanos’ motivation is also elaborated on.
The art is decent. The action sequences are fluid and energetic and the static panels still tell a story as well. While his characters seem stiff or lack facial expressions at times, the overall epic space odyssey is not diminished. The big sets with giant spaceships and dramatic fight scenes are nice to look at and extremely detailed in their rendering. While I’m not sure which pages were illustrated by which of the credited artists, the book’s grandeur is heightened by the dramatic lines.
While Infinity is delivering on its hype so far, I’d like to see more cohesive storytelling. While I understand that the Builders are coming, so is Thanos right? Are the two connected or is it just cosmic luck? Do the Avengers know Thanos is coming or did they just learn it from the Inhuman king? I’m looking for clues to these questions but I don’t even really notice them being asked in the book itself. It’s starting to get confusing for me already.