Rating: 4/5 – The stage is set for a cosmic showdown
Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers titles have been laying the groundwork for the Infinity event since Marvel Now! began. The merging storylines that come together include the incursions seen in the New Avengers series and the race of beings known as the Builders, of which Ex Nihilo and Abyss from the early Avengers issues, are members. Infinity is a six part crossover event that will span the aforementioned Avengers titles in addition to the main event book. While having read the Avengers titles will help, I don’t think it is completely necessary if you want to pick up Infinity.
Hickman (who is writing Infinity) is joined by Jim Cheung (pencils), a bevy of inkers: Mark Morales, John Livesay, David Meikis and Jim Cheung, Justin Ponsor on colors and Chris Eliopoulos with Joe Carmagna handling the lettering. Anyone who is familiar with Cheung’s art knows what a treat it is to have him on a book. His precise and detailed style seems well suited to the grand stage that Hickman is setting for this story and he will be handling the pencils on issues 1 and 6. Dustin Weaver and Jerome Opena share the penciling duties in issues 2-5 (with Weaver doing the Earth scenes while Opena handles the outer space ones).
The issue begins with a flashback from New Avengers then quickly jumps to one of the main players in Infinity – Thanos. We are introduced to the new character Corvus Glaive, one of Thanos’ lieutenants who directs the Outriders scouts, beings described as “genetically engineered parasite-assassins”. Outriders, who are capable of phasing through walls, breaking gravity and becoming shadows, also have a unique ability of gathering secrets from the minds of others. Outriders are not the only new characters we are introduced to, as Thanos has put together his own army known as The Black Order. The five who make up The Black Order include Corvus Glaive, Promixa Midnight, Black Dwarf, The Ebony Maw and Supergiant.
Infinity #1 takes us around the galaxy, from Ahl-Agullo, where Glaive’s ruthlessness is on display, to Galador, Attilan and Earth. There are many moving parts to this book and I am excited to see Hickman finally merging the storylines of his various Avengers titles. When Captain Universe suddenly reappears after several weeks away from the team, the Avengers are put on alert. The Builders are set on a course for Earth, and Thanos always lurks in the background waiting to exploit any situation he can.
In this first issue the stakes are raised once again. As Iron Man laments, “I’m getting tired of end of the world scenarios”. It will be fun to see how far the Avengers are pushed with this latest set of threats and how the team responds when there is danger coming from so many angles. Hickman and company have crafted a solid start to the event that is beautifully illustrated, with new characters and multiple storylines to explore.
Reviewed by: Jeff Bouchard – firstname.lastname@example.org
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