Here it is, the big one. Infinity Gauntlet is the most famous Thanos story and one of the most famous Marvel comics ever. The Infinity Gauntlet is a six issue event comic that came out in 1991, almost a year after the Thanos Quest. With the six Infinity Gems in his possession now, Thanos has the ultimate power. Even this though, does not impress Mistress Death so Thanos goes through with his plan and wipes out half the universe with just a simple snap of his finger. Now all the remaining forces in the universe must band together to battle the Mad Titan.
I first read the Infinity Gauntlet on it’s own, out of order with the rest of the list and I did enjoy it. After reading it again in the context of all these Thanos comics, I have to say that this is definitely the highlight out of all of them. This is the very first of the original Infinity trilogy and it starts the series out strong. It picks up right where Thanos Quest left off but with Thanos hanging out with Mephisto, the devil of the Marvel Universe. Here Thanos shows off the power he now possesses by using it to alter things to his liking, like removing his brother’s mouth and turning Nebula into a zombie-like creature. These first three issues really are just displays of power for Thanos as the heroes come together to face Thanos with help from a newly revived Adam Warlock.
Issue four is where the heroes finally arrive for the famous battle where Earth’s mightiest heroes fight against Thanos and his girlfriend he created, Terraxia. Thanos dulls his own powers to give the heroes a slight percentage of victory and he still almost effortlessly wipes them out. The gems just give him too much power and he kills the heroes in creative and dark ways. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the comic now as I highly recommend it but from here the stakes have reached their highest and after this point everything just seems hopeless. I am a fan of what actually happens and while some might call this ending a cop out, it has to happen for the story to make sense.
One of the best parts of this comic is again, Thanos himself. He’s all powerful and the comic really shows off the unlimited power he has now. The power goes to his head and he still doesn’t have full control of his omnipotence yet. This clouds his judgement and his love for Death makes him vulnerable to Mephisto’s tricks as he depowers himself and ultimately creates his own downfall. He ends this comic in a completely different place and it’s a good advancement for his character as he has become humbled. There’s just a really good balance between his more sympathetic traits and his outright evil actions.
Infinity Gauntlet is an amazing read and is up there with some of the best comics in the genre.
Writer: Jim Starlin
Artists: George Pérez and Ron Lim