17 Sep, 2013

Midtown Comics’ Guide to Infinity

Posted by Raphael in Blog

Bloggerinos! Raph here, with a quick guide to the latest Marvel extravaganza: Infinity! This has been one of the most exciting openings to an event in a long, long time. For those of you who haven’t been reading Marvel in a while, here’s a guide to what’s happened in the last year or so to set this up.

1)     MARVEL NOW!

The last era of Marvel Comics pretty much ended with Avengers vs. X-Men. Mutantkind was saved from the brink of salvation, and the Avengers have dedicated themselves to helping mutantkind. Scarlet Witch has made good with mutantkind, though there still is some mistrust with her. Hope Summers fulfills her destiny and becomes the Mutant Messiah, thanks to Scarlet Witch and her hex powers. The two mutants split the Phoenix up across the world, and it’s power has allowed for spontaneous mutation to happen again. This also happened to end a lot of long runs on books, like Matt Fraction’s on Thor and Iron Man and Brian Michael’s stewardship of the Avengers franchise. Speaking of which…

2)     The Rise of Jonathan Hickman

The writer of Infinity and Avengers and New Avengers, Hickman is known for his high-concept science fiction. I am a huge fan, if you haven’t seen my post on the 5 best science fiction comics and comics to introduce to people, I’ve listed him in both of these. His earlier work at Marvel, S.H.I.E.L.D., Fantastic Four, FF and Secret Warriors, as well as his numerous independent works, had me giddy for his runs on Avengers and New Avengers. Where does that leave us?

3)     Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers

Jonathan Hickman’s run on Avengers has had some mixed reviews, but I think it’s because the entire series has been laying the groundwork for Infinity. I’ve been in love with this series from day one, and here’s why: it reminds me of Justice League Unlimited, the final entry in the Diniverse: Captain America and the movie cast of the Avengers (Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye and the Hulk) face a threat that they can’t defeat, so Captain America declares the Earth to be an Avengers World, and recruits EVERYONE HE POSSIBLY CAN. That doesn’t mean there’s 1,000 Avengers running around, but there is a significantly larger number than usual, about 40 – 50. They range from the mega-powerful (Hyperion) to the deceptively powerful (Shang-Chi), from old grizzled vets (Cannonball and Captain Marvel) to new characters (Eden and Smasher). We explore the new characters, explore new enemies, and most importantly, see that there is a greater threat, and mobilize against it. Speaking of greater threats…

4)     Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers

New Avengers focuses on the Illumanti: Black Bolt, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Namor, Black Panther and Captain America and Beast (standing in for Professor Xavier). They are the power players, and the most brilliant minds that the Earth has to offer. When T’Challa discovers incursion events that threaten the Earth itself, he brings together the Illuminati so that they can deal with these incursions. The reason these incursions are happening is still unknown, but they have to have some sort of tie to Infinity, and one person may hold the answers. One Titan.

5)     Thanos, the Mad Titan

Thought to have been killed in the Thanos Imperative, Thanos is back, and he wants Earth. For those of you not familiar with Thanos, here’s a brief history.

Thanos was the mystery man in the first post-credits scene of the Avengers. He is an Eternal (the people of Saturn’s moon Titan), and he is a being of immense power and immense murderous intent. Why does he like death so much? Because he’s in love with her: Thanos is in love with the physical embodiment of Death. He seeks the power to please her, and he does this by slaughtering entire planets. His ultimate goal at one point was the Infinity Gauntlet, which held the Infinity Gems: Time, Power, Reality, Soul, Mind and Space. With the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos killed half the universe and most of Earth’s heroes, and nearly became one with the universe.

Nowadays, Thanos seems to be a very, very powerful warlord, but Infinity has allowed him to seize an opportunity and attack a defenseless Earth. What happens in the intergalactic war? What happens to Earth? What about all of these Incursions? Find out in the pages of Infinity! I also HIGHLY recommend Avengers and New Avengers.

That’s all for this time, I hope this helps you get into Infinity. Next time, a guide to Forever Evil.

Until Next Time,

–        Raph

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