Infinity War Aftermath

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After defeating the Magus in Infinity War, Adam Warlock is now in a coma. With him out of the picture it’s up to the rest of the Infinity Watch to defend their home of Monster Island and their Infinity Gems. The Watch battle multiple enemies from demons to the Hulk. Warlock finally awakens to go on an adventure to Hell itself with the Silver Surfer to fight for the soul of the Surfer’s former love, Shalla-Bal. Also, Quasar battles an evil Quasar after being trapped in the White Room.

As you can see in the above description there’s a lot going on the aftermath of the Infinity War and like the Infinity Gauntlet’s aftermath a lot of it doesn’t connect that well. Like last time the most important stuff in the collection are the Infinity Watch stories and besides the Drax focused two issue story it’s some of the weaker bits of Infinity Watch I’ve read. We get two issues that are basically just retelling the character’s origins; one time it’s a jumping on point I guess and the next is to bring Warlock out of his coma. There’s the good Drax portion where he battles Hulk which has some good intrigue and tension as we see Drax starting to remember his past troubles with Moondragon and his old life. Then we get two issues that are so horrible because they contain some of the worst art I’ve ever seen in a comic book. Tom Grindberg does the pencils for the last two issues and it makes them almost unreadable.

The Silver Surfer/Warlock team up is a pretty ok miniseries about them battling Mephisto together. There’s some interesting visuals during the battle and the Surfer has some fun interaction with the Infinity Watch. The ending is kind of expected though because of just how tragic the Surfer’s life must be and I don’t buy what Starlin is trying to do with Warlock. Here he’s presented almost as an anti-hero with an evil smile as he is first introduced that just doesn’t fit with what I’ve seen before of the character. The Surfer doesn’t trust him even though nothing Warlock has done really merits distrust. It just feels like unnecessary drama to make the story more interesting and to make a morally grey character by telling and not showing.

The Quasar story is probably the weirdest thing to be included in this collection. After trying to use the Ultimate Nullifier to fight the Magus, Quasar is trapped inside the White Room while a clone of the original Marvel Boy tries to take his place as the Protector of the Universe. Thanos makes his only appearance here as he is the one who revived the villain, Thelius. We see Quasar stuck in the White Room for a while as Thelius teams up with the Punisher and tries to become an Avenger. The two eventually meet in the White Room and fight until Quasar reveals a last minute power boost and wins. There’s not much to the story and Thelius is a pretty annoying villain even though I’m a fan of the character he’s a clone of.

Overall these series are all pretty skippable for the main Thanos story and aren’t that good on their own anyway.

Writers: Jim Starlin, Mark Gruenwald

Artists: Tom Grindberg, Jim Starlin, Andy Smith, Angel Medina, Tom Raney

Rating: Rubbish

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The Infinity Gauntlet

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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 PĂ©rez and Ron Lim

Rating: Vintage

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