Yeah, I know. I’m a bad reviewer. I had been reviewing the Marvel Comics crossover event called Infinity by Jonathan Hickman on a week by week basis here at Biff Bam Pop!, but since Marvel didn’t halt their publishing schedule to accommodate my vacation, I’m a little behind. To make up for it, today I’ll be talking about four different Infinity comics. Meet me after the jump for my spoiler-filled thoughts on New Avengers #10, Infinity #3, Avengers #20, and Infinity: Heist #1.
I’m going to take them in the order Marvel Comics dictates I read them in, so any continuity problems, I place solely on them. Our story so far has the Avengers in deep space fighting The Builders alongside the Galactic Council. While Earth is ‘undefended,’ Thanos attacks, seeking out the last Infinity Gem, and maybe something else as well. Let’s roll.
New Avengers #10
This is again not really an Avengers title, but more of an Illuminati book, despite most of its members being affiliated with the Avengers at one point or another. The ‘heroes’ here have taken it upon themselves to set things right from behind the scenes. Yep, just as sinister and underhanded as it sounds.
Thanos’ Black Order has attacked the Illuminati to find the Gem, but it seems there’s something else in the mix. Thanos has also come to kill his son, among the Inhumans, King Herod style by demanding the death of all of a certain age. Black Bolt commissions the Illuminati with finding this son among, not just the Inhumans, but the lost tribes of the Inhumans.
The problem with this book, this organization, is that no one trusts one another. Black Bolt is working with mad brother Maximus and misleading his companions. Namor and T’Challa are at odds because of war between their lands. And of course, Doctor Strange is enthralled by one of the Black Order. They cannot succeed. Surely, Stark and Richards, two of the world’s smartest men, must know this, right?
On the good side Mike Deodato’s art continues to highlight Hickman’s words. I love his cover, and his interiors. My favorite Deodato bits are his Doctor Strange and the Kirby-ism of his Inhumans of the past. Hickman continues to make the Black Order more interesting than his Avengers however.
Returning to the core title of this event is also a return to negative space and wasted pages. I don’t mind it all that much this time however, because in book three of Infinity, we finally get some of the things I have been asking for. We get forward movement, we get more Avengers, we get characters living up to their potential, and we get payoff.
We start with the usual doom and gloom. The good guys have been getting their asses handed to them throughout this event. This beginning is no different with the Ringworld getting blasted, and worlds surrendering, including, shockingly the Kree Empire. But then, the Avengers have a plan that takes center stage, even if they don’t.
I cheered when Captain America’s Aeneid/Independence Day plan goes into effect. I loved The Builders going “Wait, what?” And as they finally turn tail, shaking their fists and swearing revenge, the new Starbrand finally shows us what he can do. Meanwhile on Earth Black Bolt speaks his mind to Thanos in an empty Attilan. Black Bolt may have said No, but I said Yes!
Perhaps this issue was a long con, and we waited far too long, but what the readers want to see is the heroes winning. Note this, DC Comics creators behind Forever Evil, we want to see the good guys win. I liked this issue a lot, and can’t wait for the next one as it indicates Thor finally gets his turn.
It would be an understatement to say I was disappointed by this comic after reading the last. Other than some great Leinil Yu artwork, and another fabulous if horrific cover, there’s not much here to like.
From a position of power, albeit temporary, all Captain America can think of to do is to surrender? Who is this? Did someone switch out the real Cap for his mad 1950s double or maybe the crying Cap of the Bendis era? I always thought Captain America was a better man than the Supreme Intelligence.
While the ‘good guys’ try to talk themselves and their enemies to death, Ex Nihilo and Abyss, two of Hickman’s newbie ‘Avengers’ go visit the enemy, the other Gardeners to be precise. What really happens is unclear to me. Perhaps I’m just dumb, or see little point to this type of storytelling in a superhero comic. Either Ex Nihilo has switched sides again, or the good guys have gained the Gardeners as allies. Time will tell I suppose.
I hate to say this, but Avengers #20 sucked all the good will and positivity of Infinity #3 right out of me. Nice job, Hickman. What happened to that promised can of Thor-powered whoop-ass?
Infinity: Heist #1
Frank Tieri is becoming one of my favorite writers. I know I’m late to the Tieri party, but his Space Punisher was a joy to read, and I’m not a Punisher guy. Here, he stole my heart with the first word, “Cannonball?!” The conversation between Whirlwind and Blizzard perfectly explains many classic Avengers fans’ thoughts while simultaneously showing the majesty of the team leaving for battle. Equal props go to Al Barrionuevo for the visuals.
I was hooked and continued to be as our story unfurled. I have always loved the concept of the super-villain bar and the Black Market is done well. The characters and their world are well defined, and Tieri knows them and their histories like the back of his hand.
I like the concept, a team of mostly Iron Man villains ripping Tony Stark off while most of Earth’s heroes are offworld or stopping an alien invasion. Part heist movie, part superhero comic, Infinity: Heist is a winner in my book.
So there you go, four comics from the last two weeks. Despite some bumps, I’m still down with Infinity. Are you?
For previous reviews of the Marvel Comics Infinity event here on Biff Bam Pop!, check out Infinity #1, Avengers #18, Captain Marvel #15 and New Avengers #9, Infinity #2, and Avengers #19, Mighty Avengers #1, and Infinity The Hunt #1.