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~Ephesians 5:16

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why INFINITY is the BEST Marvel Event in a Long Time

Like it or not, in today's Marvel comic world, events are everything. Whereas in the past they were used scarcely, they come extremely fast these days. In fact, sometimes an event is announced while the current one is still going! Sadly, there hasn't been a really "wow, that's epic" event in awhile, until Infinity came along. Age of Ultron was a huge disappointment for many reasons. To this day I'm still wondering what happened to the 'epic conclusion' the final issue promised. What a great thing Marvel butchered, a slap in the face to people like me who had been waiting years to read it. Anyways, a little bit before that Avengers vs. X-Men came out, which was really solid for the most part.

Siege, Fear Itself and Secret Invasion were all lacking. Siege was simple and to the point, but lacked any real impact on the reader. Fear Itself had an absolutely fantastic first issue, but the rest fell flat. (I still can't get over how 'the Mighty' appeared literally out of nowhere with no hype whatsoever.) Secret Invasion had some neat ideas and the build-up was good, but the actual 8 issue series was anything but. (And because of it there's a running gag about Skrulls that's still in the comics today, it's really annoying.) AVX rises above all of those, but is it on the same level of Civil War or The Infinity Gauntlet? At this point nothing will ever be. But at least Infinity tries its best to be the most epic thing the comic world has seen.

When you have comic book movies releasing simultaneously with comics, you have to expect the company to capitalize. With Thanos gaining popularity thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was inevitable he was going to be brought back. It was definitely welcome, after his horrid appearance in Avengers Assemble, (what was Bendis thinking, oh right, Bendis, the same writer as Age of Ultron...) it was time for a true Thanos story. Infinity's writer Johnathan Hickman must love poetry, because the writing is very poetic. It's admittedly overdone, but some of it is very good. While no one can quite write Thanos like Jim Starlin, Hickman wrote a really good version of the Mad Titan.

The story is divided into two sections: The Avengers whom are conveniently in outer space and on Earth where Thanos hopes to find his only living son. The son, Thane, was an interesting character for the most part. Sadly by the end, it looks like he's going to be on the evil side, which is unfortunate since the comic basically showed us that he's not his father. It's too ambiguous, which is disappointing since a good chunk of the story revolves around him. Now the climax is pretty epic. Could the fight between Thanos and the Avengers been longer? Yes. But I'll take what we got. We had quite a few fantastic shots, such as an amazing one of Thor taking on the Titan. It actually felt like a true epic climax, something every major comic event needs to have. (Looks at Secret Invasion.)

How about some negatives? Not every event is perfect, unless you're Civil War or Infinity Gauntlet. Ex Nihilo joining the Avengers was an unexpected and cool thing. Readers like myself were looking forward to seeing this guy trade punches with Thanos. We got none of that, in fact Nihilo did practically nothing in the event, which is a true shame since he's one of the better new characters from Marvel. And this is more of a personal gripe, but I can't be the only one that noticed Issue 3 stole Ultron's 'Submit or perish' line from Age of Ultron. But beyond those things, there aren't many other bad things to say about this event. Unlike Age of Ultron, this feels like the story it set out to be: an Avengers vs. Thanos space epic.

Besides the climax, perhaps the best scene in the entire thing is the short fight between Black Bolt and Thanos. Bolt has remained an interesting figure in Marvel. He's always regarded as legendary thanks to his power. So when he loses, such as in World War Hulk, it's a big shock to the heroes and readers. The dialogue from Thanos is fantastic, such as him calling Bolt "Little King." And the way he beats him, by simply slamming him to the ground, is so simplistic and even gritty that it works.

Infinity is a poetic epic, something Johnathan Hickman seems to like writing. Admittedly sometimes it's a little difficult to follow what's happening in the space scenes, but I guess that shows just how complex this story is in comparison to previous events. It might not be as good as the other big Thanos story, Infinity Gauntlet, but it's truly a great read admist lackluster comics today. And once it comes out in trade format, it'll read like a really good poetic epic.

1 comment:

  1. Gotta disagree on Black Bolt Destroyer. I've never found him to be a really tough Marvel character and he's more of a middle tier at the most. Infinity was definitely solid and while their should have been more fights, it was a big step up from Apocalyptic Future where everyone is de- Age of Ultron