Infinity Gauntlet #1 – Reviews Of Old Comics
It seems like Marvel Cinematic speculation is falling towards Infinity War, the third Avengers film where all of the MCU heroes will be brought together against the plans of Thanos. It all builds on the story that started over a quarter century ago. Recently, I revisited the event that started this journey that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is building itself around.
Writer: Jim Starlin
Penciller: George Pérez
Inkers: Josef Rubinstein and Tom Christopher
Letterer: Jack Morelli
Colorist: Max Scheele and Ian Laughlin
Cover Artist: George Pérez
Mephisto and Thanos are roaming an apparently deserted planet. Mephisto is cowering to the mad Titan’s power, now absolute with his possession of all six Infinity Gems. Thanos is pondering his new status as a god. On Earth, Doctor Strange’s study of medical texts is interrupted by the Silver Surfer crashing into his Sanctum Sanctorum. He warns Strange of the threat of Thanos.
Thanos has been resurrected by Death herself and tasked with killing half of the universe. To do so he has seized all six Infinity Gems and now holds the unbridled power of a god. Silver Surfer tried to stop him but was banished to the Soul Gem where Adam Warlock and many others that have fought Thanos resided. Adam Warlock helped them escape, and Silver Surfer came to Doctor Strange for help. Meanwhile, three drunks get killed driving off of a cliff. It appears at first that they have survived, but something else has taken over their bodies.
Thanos returns to Death, only to find her spurning him. Her servant explains that Thanos is now her superior, and that his claims to worship her is untrue. In an effort to prove his love, Thanos creates a shrine in space to her. Mephisto provokes Thanos to prove the depths of depravity he is possible of. He resurrects his granddaughter Nebula as a withered husk and proceeds to torture her. When angered by Death’s servant, Thanos destroys him. Mephisto then reminds Thanos that Death gave him a task to complete, and he has yet to do so. With a snap of his fingers, Thanos instantly causes half of the population of the universe to cease to exist.
In New York, Spider-Man witnesses people disappear in Times Square and instantly thinks of his wife, Mary Jane. At Avengers HQ, Captain America witnesses Sersi and Hawkeye vanish, instantly realizing that this was part of something larger yet to come. SHIELD is trying to investigate the disappearances. The Hulk mistakenly thinks the Abomination is involved. The Skrulls believe the Kree are the cause and prepare for war. At Doctor Strange’s Sanctum, his servant Wong disappears. On Titan, Starfox’s father (and Thanos’s father) Mentor disappears. The three possessed drunks are transforming into, apparently Pip the Troll and Gamora are surprised when Gamora vanishes. Pip rushes to the third only to find that he has encased himself in a cocoon.
To be completely honest, I still have never read the issues of Silver Surfer that led up to this story. The best part is that the synopsis the Surfer gives Doctor Strange serves the natural purpose of informing him as well as informing the reader. The pacing is deliciously deliberate, but Thanos doesn’t come across as so much of a mastermind and more of a jilted teenager trying to prove to a girl that she should date him.
Thanos should be better than this, but his level of power is adequately demonstrated and showing Mephisto cowering more at each display of power shows how scared we should be of this villain. While Death remains silent, she does demonstrate genuine surprise at some of Thanos’s statements and actions. Changing the venuw from Death’s domain to Thanos’s shrine to her makes for a fantastic shift in the tone of the story, and in doing so, George Pérez starts rendering her as a woman instead of the typical cloaked skeleton. This gives the impression that Thanos’s perceptions are being reflected in his wielding of the Reality Stone.
This brings us to George Pérez’s artwork. It’s by far some of his best for Marvel. He actually designs some panels for the best visual appeal. At the time I first read this comic, I looked forward to six issues of artwork like this. Unfortunately, he didn’t finish this series. Ron Lim took over the last half of it, and the quality and style of the artwork is noticeable. However, for this issue, the artwork is some of his best, and shows his design skill and using it to help tell the story. As mentioned, characters around Thanos show how scary his power is.
The final panel of Thanos is magnificent. With the universe blending into his mad grin, instantly the idea of his god-like power is reinforced. The artwork builds up from a magnificent reveal of half of the universe dying. George Pérez is the one artist that I would want on this story and I doubt that any other artist of this era could do this story justice.
This issue has been collected by Marvel in both a traditional collection and as an Omnibus that collected several crossover issues alluded to in this story. I would recommend the collection of just the six issues.
FINAL RATING: 9.0 (out of a possible 10) With the shift in artists, the series loses a couple of points for the inconsistency, but this issue is a great start to the series.