Infinity War is the next big Infinity event by Jim Starlin and it came out just one year after the Infinity Gauntlet. Since that story is such a classic it created some big expectations for it’s sequels and I’m sad to say that this one just didn’t live up to them. I’ll get more into specifics later but right here I think a lot of Starlin’s later flaws become more apparent. Unlike last time where I only talked about the main event, I’ll be mentioning Warlock and the Infinity Watch #7-10 and Marvel Comics Presents #108-111 as they are important tie-ins.
As mentioned last time, Warlock had the Infinity Gauntlet for a brief time and it was taken away from him by the Living Tribunal. We learn here that before he gave up his power, Adam expelled all the good and evil in his body to become a more logical being. After Thanos discovers a vast source of Cosmic Cube energy he locates the source to Warlock’s evil half, the Magus. With a new haircut and more power he has Eternity in stasis and is sending out evil doppelgangers of Earth’s heroes. After this we have three main groups going after the Magus now and that’s the basic plot as Magus just wants to make some duplicate Earth overtake the original.
So the first problem I have here is with the villain. Here the Magus is just a generic doomsday villain who wants to destroy the Earth because he’s evil. There’s never anything more than that and it makes the main conflict so boring and predictable. Secondly, the heroes of Earth are way too incompetent here and have no effect on the greater story. The villains actually do more to stop the Magus than the heroes do because they’re too busy fighting each other. Speaking of villains, Doom and Kang are in this and they team up to fight Magus. Both being arrogant and egotistical villains they secretly hate each other and almost every scene with them has them with thought bubbles about how they’re going to betray the other. This goes throughout the story and it’s just an annoyance as it could have just been mentioned once or just inferred it’s going to happen with these two at some point. Instead we get this constant reminder and it’s not even funny in that classic Doom way.
I don’t want to bash the comic so I will point out some positives. Ron Lim puts in some good art here and can make panels and splash pages with multiple characters look interesting. While the main comic itself is weak I did enjoy the tie-in comics mentioned above. Marvel Comics Presents had an interesting Thanos solo story where he somehow ends up in Death’s palace while working on his throne. Death appears to Thanos and gives him the option to have her back if he betrays and kills Adam Warlock. Then we get to see how Thanos thinks; he wonders if that was real, if he can do it, what will happen to the universe if he does do it, etc. all in a short period as he finally makes his decision. Warlock and the Infinity Watch actually advances the story of the characters while also having the most interesting plot points from Infinity War happening here. Gamora goes into Eternity himself and has a visually interesting experience as she recalls her own childhood with Thanos. There is also Thanos’s battle with his own doppelganger which actually had a cool moment from the Magus.
So while the tie-ins had some good material and there’s strong art across the board the main story just isn’t good and brings down this comic.
Writer: Jim Starlin
Artists: Ron Lim, Tom Raney, Angel Medina
Rating: Borrow from a Mate