Infinity Wars #1
Artist: Mike Deodato Jr
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Hot on the heels of the movie Avengers: Infinity War, comes a new Marvel event, Infinity Wars!
Wait a minute, didn’t Marvel promise there wouldn’t be any major crossover events for at least a year? I guess it’s hard not to cash in on the hype surrounding the biggest superhero movie event of all time, eh? (At least until Avengers 4 comes out.)
Anyway, Infinity Wars is the beginning of a story that once again puts the Infinity Stones at the forefront. After several months of build-up via the Infinity Countdown books, last month’s Infinity War Prime upped the stakes by taking a major piece off the board and introducing a new player: Requiem – who announced her arrival by decapitating Thanos!
I won’t lie, I’m a lot more intrigued by Infinity Wars now with the removal of Thanos, a character who has always been synonymous with any story with “infinity” in the title.
After such a long buildup to it, Infinity Wars #1 at least manages to live up to my expectations in terms of drama and action. Much of it revolves around the much anticipated meeting of the new Infinity Watch, which turned out to be pretty satisfying.
Convened by Doctor Strange (wielder of the Time Stone), the new Watch comprises Captain Marvel (Reality Stone), Adam Warlock (Soul Stone), Peter Quill (Power Stone), former two-bit thug Turk Barret (Mind Stone) and Black Widow (Space Stone), who stays hidden for the most part.
Also tagging along are Rocket Racoon, a surprisingly talkative Groot (yeah, he no longer only says “I Am Groot”), Drax (who left the Guardians to help Adam Warlock “babysit” the Soul Stone), Iron Lad (a young Kang the Conqueror from a different reality), and a posse of super villains including Bullseye, Sandman, Typhoid Mary, Tombstone and Spot.
Wait, so that’s all of the Guardians Of the Galaxy accounted for, except one. Where’s Gamora? Well, she left the Guardians to pursue her own goals, as she has a little piece of her soul still stuck in the Soul Stone. At the same time, Loki also plays a big part in this story, as he embarks on his own quest to figure out who has been messing with his past, and comes across a revelation that could have grave repercussions for the universe.
But back to the Infinity Watch. After a run of stories in which Doctor Strange lost his magic and was a little useless for a while, it’s good to see him assuming the gravitas of a Sorcerer Supreme once again. It’s also apt that he takes centrestage in yet another Infinity War, even if his initial estimate of Thanos being the ultimate antagonist was a little off.
Turk Barret, a character who before this was pretty much unknown, lends an interesting angle to the story, and not just because he now leads a pretty powerful gang of villains. Having a villain hold the Mind Stone, which allows him to eavesdrop on all the other stones, gives this Watch a much more precarious edge, because this is now an uneasy alliance that could fall apart at any time.
Black Widow staying apart from the rest of the rabble and “phoning in” her part of the meeting lends yet another ill-fitting piece to the puzzle, though I would have preferred it if Wolverine had held on to it instead.
Complementing Duggan’s script perfectly, Mike Deodato Jr’s artwork is exceptional, though I was a little thrown by how he splits the pages into little panels even though the images run across the entire page. You can really feel the urgency and the seriousness of the situation just by looking at the grim faces of all the players, and when the inevitable bust-up happens, he pulls it off magnificently (that panel of Sandman rising to fight Groot is a real wonder to behold).
As far as first issues of major crossover events go, this really lives up to expectations, upping the stakes already laid out in Infinity Countdown and Infinity Wars Prime, while also delivering exposition in a way that makes this a good jump-in point if you haven’t read the books leading up to this.
It also has action, drama, intrigue, hints of romance, and a twist right at the end that throws you off completely. And to top it all off, there’s Loki confronting an alternate reality, a buff Loki who has all the Infinity Stones AND Mjolnir to boot.
If you’re looking for more Infinity Stone chaos after the shock of Avengers: Infinity War, then this is the perfect way to quench your thirst before Avengers 4 comes out.