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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Infinity Gauntlet Aftermath

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At the end of the Infinity Gauntlet event Adam Warlock had gained possession of the Gauntlet. Warlock now has the ultimate power Thanos had and like the Titan, the power goes to his head. After a short battle with Doctor Strange, Warlock is put on trial by Eternity, the living embodiment of the universe itself. After a short history of Warlock the Living Tribunal decides that he is guilty and must give up the gauntlet. Warlock is given the choice about who gets the Infinity Gems though and gives them to a few trusted individuals; Pip, Gamora, Moondragon, Drax, and a secret member, forming the Infinity Watch.

The Infinity Gauntlet Aftermath trade paperback contains Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1-6, Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #36, and Silver Surfer #60-66. The Doctor Strange story is just one issue where Stephen fights against Warlock because he was trying to remove the free will of the “evil.” Warlock sees his error but then Eternity arrives and tells Strange about the upcoming trial. This issue isn’t that important as Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1 gives enough reasoning for the trial but it’s a fun enough comic.

We move into the Infinity Watch comic which is the most important series of the comics included. We start with the trial, which is mostly here to retell the backstory of Warlock to provide more context for the main plot of this arc, as we see his time on Counter-Earth which will be more relevant in the later issues. One thing I liked about this comic is that the Infinity Watch sets itself up like a regular team book but then they immediately split up. It’s a smart subversion for the beginning of the comic and it makes sense that these characters would want to be apart to protect their gems. The choices for the Watch are interesting because they’re not the most heroic group and that builds some suspense as you never really know what they’re going to do next. Another thing I enjoyed about these issues is the surprising level of comedy that actually worked for me. There’s the obvious jokes about Drax because he’s mentally deficient but when the High Evolutionary is just rambling to himself because of madness I just thought it was some funny stuff.

We get to the Silver Surfer stuff after that but it’s really not relevant to the Infinity Gauntlet story and can be ignored as well. It’s weird because it’s six issues and there’s only about 2 pages in the last issue that I can remember actually relating to the Infinity Gauntlet and it’s not very important, just Surfer destroying Thanos’s temple to Death. These comics aren’t bad, it’s cool to see Mar-Vell again, but I don’t think it needed to be here in this collection.

Now here’s the part this get’s tricky. As individual comics none of these are bad, in fact I’d say they’re all good. However, as a trade paperback called “Infinity Gauntlet Aftermath” half of the book has barely any relation to the event itself. So if you want to know what happens after Infinity Gauntlet I’d just read the six issues of Infinity Watch. Overall I’d rate the comics around the Full Price range each, but I wouldn’t recommend it collected like this.

Writers: Jim Starlin, Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, and Ron Marz

Artists: Dan Lawlis, Ron Lim, Rick Leonardi, and Angel Medina

Rating: Buy For a Bargain

 

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Rebirth of Thanos

It’s hard to keep Thanos down so the marathon continues with the comic, Rebirth of Thanos.

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Rebirth of Thanos is a story that takes place in Silver Surfer #34-38 and it follows the Surfer as he battles a recently revived Thanos. This is the first Silver Surfer comic I’ve read so I don’t have much knowledge of the character, just to get that out of the way. Chronologically this comic follows after Avengers vs. Thanos which ended with the death of Thanos

The story begins with the Surfer landing on a deserted planet to take a break. He falls asleep but then notices a large skull castle. The Surfer tells himself he’s dreaming but when Thanos appears, called back to life by Mistress Death, Surfer must face this new foe. On his journey to handle this villain the Surfer deals with a returning villain and a revived Drax the Destroyer.

This is a short five issue story so I won’t have much to say again but I did find this story enjoyable. It’s a pretty important story in the continuity as both Thanos and Drax return here after their deaths. Drax apparently died back in an Avengers comic when Moondragon blasted his mind. Now he’s been revived by Chronos but he’s mentally not all there now. He still maintains the drive to kill Thanos but now with the mental age of a child. It’s a funny change to the character and is how the character is for a long time. Not knowing much of the Surfer I did like his character. He’s interesting and the way he handles Drax and the Impossible Man shows his intelligence and more human traits.

The most important thing here is that Thanos is back and even more evil. He has a new goal in mind, to wipe out 50% of the universe’s sentient life. Here Thanos is at his peak villainy. He laughs after wiping half of a planet out and making the Surfer make a tough choice to save the population. His attack on Nebula on what he does to her shipmate are just overkill. It’s neat to see how destructive and villainous he can be, especially after future stories in this marathon. Another aspect of Thanos, his Metron-like Space Throne, appears here for the first time and it adds more to his arsenal.

My few criticisms of the comic would be the few things not explained like the last meeting with the Impossible Man and the death of Drax. The art doesn’t really stand out anywhere, it’s standard Ron Lim art of the time, except when depicting Thanos’s bombastic speeches. Overall I was a fan of this comic, despite those two hiccups, and recommend it as it’s important to the Thanos story.

Writer: Jim Starlin

Artist: Ron Lim

Rating: Full Price

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