Infinity #1 was an impressive start to Jonathan Hickman’s sci-fi event, but once tie-ins and other related materials start hitting the shelves a cohesive event can start to fall apart. While there are multiple tie-ins, the main ones every month are Avengers and New Avengers, as they run with the main throughline. So I will be including these in my monthly wrap up of Infinity, and you can look at the cool-looking checklist that comes with the issues below the post to get an idea of the flow. Let's get started with Avengers.
Written by: Jonathan Hickman
Art by: Leinil Francis Yu
Inker: Gerry Alanguilan
Thanos isn’t the only one with a council, and half of this issue deals with the Avengers accepting the Skrulls (you know, those hated green guys that infiltrated the superhero community a few years back) into their ranks, as they have all finally come together under one ruler. That ruler is Kl’rt, otherwise known as the Super Skrull. Hickman gives a nice look into the Skrull hierarchy, and just how bad things have gotten when the Skrulls are asking to be part of an alliance. On a smaller note, its nice to see members of the Avengers acting human, as even in this epic setting Sunspot is asking for snacks because he’s hungry. These moments help to keep events grounded, and Hickman excels at that. The other half of the book is dedicated to our side gaining the upper hand in the battle with The Builders, but that doesn’t last very long. Leinil Yu’s pencils are on point throughout, and as we learned in Secret Invasion, he’s supremely good at depicting Skrulls and large scale battle scenes, two things that occur frequently in Avengers. Special props to the inker, Gerry Alanguilan, as every line of Leinil’s art pops, even in the darker scenes, owing to the wonderful inks he provided.
Onward to New Avengers.
New Avengers #9
Written by: Jonathan Hickman
Art by: Mike Deodato
Corvus is kind of an ass, but he steals the show in just about ever scene he's in. Corvus is one of the Cull Obsidian, a council of ruthless generals who do pretty much anything Thanos asks. Evidently the marketing firm that names everything for Square Enix also works for Thanos Inc., because Cull Obsidian.
While his various generals are out attacking Dr. Strange, Namor, Black Panther, and by issue's end, Black Bolt, Thanos has his forces invade New York. Here's the thing, and this is sort of related, but why does anyone live in the Marvel Universe New York anymore? This city gets attacked and taken over like every other week. Wakanda seems to be the only country that is even remotely prepared, and because of that the Black Dwarf gets his rear punted back into space. Meanwhile in Atlantis, Namor is broken, but not stupid, so here's hoping there is more to his less than defiant position with Proxima Midnight then seems to be the case right now. Later in the issue, Supergiant (which, really? Supergiant?) and Corvus take on the X-Men, and subsequently point out what I’ve been saying forever. Iceman is one of the most powerful members of the team, though it has taken alternate realities to truly point that out, as he has yet to reach that potential in the core Marvel Universe. The issue overall was quite good, but there is a part of me that feels like the X-Men got punked a bit, as they go down pretty quickly. Granted, the fight's not over, but this is a pretty powerful team, including Rachel Grey, Storm, and Wolverine, so maybe more than a few panels of battle was needed to flesh that out. Hickman does an admirable job of balancing so many acts in this book, so that's a small nitpick at best, or maybe its just I'm biased by my love for the X-Men.
Regardless of what I feel about the fight itself, it was brilliantly illustrated by Mike Deodato. I'm a big fan of Deodato's work. Characters like Dr. Strange and Proxima Midnight flourish in his hands, and the man can draw a spaceship. He's given multiple panels to showcase his pencils, including the above mentioned Strange and Midnight, as well as some nice spotlights on Black Bolt and Wolverine. Excellent quality art as always.
Alrighty, time for the big kahuna. Lets get to Infinity #2.
Written by: Jonathan Hickman
Art by: Jerome Opena and Dustin Weaver
Do you know what I said about NY before? Same thing goes for S.W.O.R.D. The Peak gets taken over, infiltrated, and hijacked about as often as the raft gets broken into. What is with the security people? Regardless of the lack of foresight, Brand and co, still manage to come off like they know what they’re doing and look cool doing it.
The issue focuses on two things in particular. First is showing what lengths The Builders and Guardians (almost feels like they’re battling the army of Home Improvement) will go to achieve their goal. Laying waste to an entire planet via disease and pestilence ranks as downright awful, but it does give the heroes a chance to do what they do best; save people. Second, the book showcases the Inhuman king Black Bolt. Enter scene stealer Corvus. The Inhumans seem a bit peeved at his presence in Attilan, and rightfully so. I mean how would you react to someone coming in to your house and demanding your children be served up as tribute or Grimace with an attitude will come and stomp his foot on you? Needless to say, the Inhumans don't react well and neither does Black Bolt. Hickman is able to convey actual anger and an aura of intimidation through Black Bolt, and that is due to his crack art team of Opena and Weaver. Normally his silence leaves me a bit underwhelmed, it's almost more of a weakness. Here I got a true sense of "no one threatens me in my house," and that was conveyed strictly through the wonderful art.
Also, any issue with Lockjaw in multiple panels is better for it, because Lockjaw.
Hickman has continued to impress me with how seamless the tie-ins are with the main series, which as a longtime reader of many events, I can tell you is not an easy feat by any stretch. As we head into issue 3 the space team is coming off of a semi-successful counter attack, and with some new information revealed in the last few panels, I'm hoping we get some light shed on what Thanos is really looking for. The ride's been fun so far, and hopefully it just gets better.