Previously in Infinity: In space, the Infinity war is over. The tattered Galactic Council, led by the upstart Avengers of Earth have defeated the fearsome Builders. They used strategy, inspiration, brute force, and blind luck to make it happen and the subjugated worlds have noticed. One by one the growing fleet won back the worlds, who then named themselves Avengers Worlds. The question still remains, was saving Earth the right thing to do? There is a growing belief that the survival of Earth will cause the end of all life in our universe. This nagging doubt will not deter the Avengers; Earth is in danger and it is the first Avengers World. Meanwhile, on Earth Ebony Maw has captured Thane, the Terrigen altered son of Thanos. With his primary goal of killing the last of his progeny almost accomplished, the Mad Titan and his Cull Obsidian (Black Order) set their sights on their secondary objective… the destruction of Earth. The New Avengers (Illuminati) are in a catch-22. They recently learned of the belief that Earth’s survival will cause the end of all life, but it’s their world and it is under attack. If that isn’t bad enough, Thanos has gained control of Black Panther’s Necropolis and now possesses the bombs they use to stop incursions. Just the weapon Thanos needs to destroy Earth. The main force of the Avengers have returned from space but have no time to celebrate a hard-won victory over the Builders. Thanos’ forces have blockaded Earth. With the combined might of the remaining Galactic Council the blockade is broke. Their allies routing the remaining pirates, the Avengers are now free to go after Thanos. Can even the combined forces of all the Avengers make any difference at this point, and based on other information, should they? Infinity comes to a conclusion this week!
Infinity: The Heist #3 by Frank Tieri, Al Barrionuevo and Pat Olliffe bring us the penultimate chapter of the odd book. A group of Iron Man’s villains led by Spymaster has decided to use the cover of the invasion to rip off Stark Tower. Their target is the various Iron Man Armors stored there. The first problem is that some of the earth-bound Avengers are using the Tower as a base of operations. The second problem is that the Avengers are not their most dangerous enemy in this operation. Their own members are. It seems there is no honor among thieves. As soon as they find the armor Blizzard, Whirlwind and Firebrand attack the others. The realized that they weren’t likely to survive this job and tried to give the rest reasonable excuse to keep them around. Spymaster, as always, had yet another plan. He teleports the armor to the buyer then follows suit leaving the rest to deal with some angry Avengers, which surprisingly, they do. Titanium Man reveals that he can get them to the buyer and get revenge on Spymaster. The problem is the man in Titanium Man’s suit is not Titanium Man, it’s actually Captain Atlas of the Kree. Why are the Kree buying Iron Man Armor? Does this have something to do with Ronan and the Accusers defection to aid the Avengers in the Builder War? We’re going to have to wait and see. Infinity may be ending this week but this book still has some life left in it. I wasn’t sure if this book was even necessary in the grand scheme of Infinity, after this issue my curiosity is piqued, but it really has to be a good ending to make it all worthwhile. It has to have lasting ramifications in the Marvel Universe. We shall see.
Infinity: The Hunt #4 by Matt Kindt and Steven Sanders is the final chapter of this limited series. The leaders of the world’s greatest training academies have decided to have a Contest of Champions between members of the schools to further train and reward their students. The problem is that before the games can begin, Thanos and his forces invade. Atlantis is destroyed, Latveria is under siege, and the Avengers Academy is under attack as well. The quartets from Latveria, China, Wakanda, and California regroup to fight the aliens, and save Atlantis, and it immediately doesn’t go well. This is almost a cross between the Quiddich matches in Harry Potter and the popular Avengers Arena book. I have been critical of the book since the beginning, not because of Kindt’s writing or Sanders’ art, because both are very good, as you probably already know. My criticism stems from the need for this book to have happened and it’s impact in the world. For the most part these are unknown characters, with not emotional ties to the reader. It just seemed like another opportunity to massacre a bunch of teen heroes for shock value. So the strange group meets above Atlantis, gets beat down by aliens and swallowed by a seas monster called Leviathan, who is controlled by a half-Atlantean girl called Whalesong. They learn that Thanos’ forces have been recalled to Wakanda, so here we go. Demona teleports them all to Wakanda where the Leviathan now seems able to fly and breathe out of water (hmmm). Thanos’ forces send down a gargantuan alien to make the final push through Wakanda’s walls. Whalesong leads Leviathan into the fight, but the creature uses the out-of-place sea monster as a bludgeon, eliminating it and Whalesong from the fight. This dysfunctional group of would-be heroes learns to fight as a coordinated unit. With Gang’s tactics and Quentin Quire’s mental powers the young heroes defeat the monster and save the gates of Wakanda. It seems some of these characters will be continuing on into Inhumanity under the care of Kindt. I did learn a bit about a few of them and some like Demona, Quire, Gang and Finesse have possibilities. But some of the rest are just not worth pursuing.
Wolverine and the X-Men Annual #1 by Jason Aaron and Nick Bradshaw brings another group into the fray that hadn’t previously been heard from. The X-People have been pretty busy with a crisis of their own in the Battle of the Atom event and somehow missed most of the invasion. But with that crisis wrapped up, sort of, they are now free to notice that Earth is under siege. Kid Gladiator, son of the Shi’Ar Majestor Gladiator, has returned home to his training. His debriefing about his time on Earth doesn’t go well, it seems he’s not well liked at home either. He’s cocky, loud, and disobedient, all the things his Imperial Guard trained colleagues are not. He realizes that the life of a simple student, with no punching, is not his style. He gets his chance to fight when the Builder War begins, and against his father’s wishes he fights alongside his fellow trainees and the Avengers. Strontian powers are fueled by confidence and this kid, Kubark, has that in great quantities. He assists in the battle proving himself to his fellow students and his father earning himself the right of choice to continue his training at the Jean Grey School on Earth. It’s a good story, incredibly well drawn by Bradshaw who never ceases to impress. It was definitely worth a read, though other than Kid Guardian’s return to the X-Men, I’m not sure it will have any lasting effect on the Marvel Universe. After learning a bit about Kubark, maybe that’s enough.
Infinity #6 by Jonathan Hickman and Jim Cheung and Dustin Weaver is the penultimate chapter of possibly the most epic crossover in Avengers history. The scope of this story has been far-reaching and certainly will have a lasting impact on the future of the Avengers and the Marvel Universe as a whole. There are hundreds of “Avengers Worlds” now, and that in and of itself is a story I want to hear, but first, the Earth needs to be saved! The victorious Avengers have made it back to Earth. Their alien allies have agreed to finish off Thanos’ forces in orbit to clear the way, but death-worshippers don’t give up easily. (I have to take a brief interlude to say this, listen closely… JIMMY CHEUNG and DUSTIN WEAVER’S ART IS SPECTACULAR… that is all.) Hulk is sent ahead to cause some chaos within Thanos’ ranks and the result is impressive. The combined might of the remaining Cull Obsidian is too much for even the Hulk, but fortunately the rest of the team is right behind him! At the Necropolis in Wakanda the New Avengers (Illuminati) battle Supergiant and a mind-controlled Black Bolt to save the planet from the very bombs they created to destroy incurring worlds from other dimensions. Who will be the hero to save the Earth in this dire time of need, why Maximus , of course. The self-serving Inhuman with the help of faithful Lockjaw, teleports Supergiant and the bomb to a far-away world where said bomb does it’s job with only a single casualty, Supergiant. Back in Orollan, things look bleak for our five Avengers. Hulk is transformed to Banner, Thor is down, Hyperion is on the ropes. Proxima Midnight tries to finish the two Captains, but Captain America’s shield once again saves the day, deflecting her strike toward Corvus Glaive, giving Hyperion the opening he needed to destroy his attacker. The next few pages depicting the angered God, Thor, against the Mad Titan, Thanos, are simply beautiful. Through this whole confrontation the mind-controlling Ebony Maw has been poking and prodding at the fringes of Thane’s mind. Chiding him to grow as a man, then he sets son of Thanos free. This epic ended the only way it could have. Thane, son of Thanos, Inhuman defeated his father and disappeared with Ebony Maw, who seems to have had an ulterior motive all along. The Earth is saved from the threat of Thanos, but is Thane a greater threat than his father ever was? Under the tutelage of Ebony Maw, I know we haven’t heard the last of Thane. The lasting effects of Infinity can’t be denied. The Skrull Empire is reborn, Annhilus now has a world of his own and a foothold in our dimension, Thane is being trained to be a greater threat than any faced to date, and a hundred Avenger’s Worlds exist in the universe. The war may have been won, but the battles are just beginning.
New Avengers #12 by Jonathan Hickman and Mike Deodato brings closure to an event that was so big that it affected every corner of the Marvel Universe. Jonathan Hickman has handled the coordination of these vast events with a masterful ability to control all of the threads and find a way to wrap them up leaving us with few, if any, unanswered questions other than, what’s next? This final chapter of Infinity serves as an epilogue to the events that we have seen over the past couple of months. The Builders were defeated, Thanos was defeated, but it’s not all coming up roses for the Avengers and Earth. Thanos has been replaced by his own son Thane who may be a greater threat. T’Challa has been exiled by his Sister, the Queen, branded a traitor for harboring Wakanda’s enemy Namor. Unable to tell her why he accepts his punishment, for the greater good. Black Bolts actions were revealed to be intentional and only peripheral to the threat of Thanos. He unleashed Inhumanity on Earth to further the race of Inhumans, but it cost him a good portion of his power. Doctor Strange spent most of the fight in the thrall of Ebony Maw and it has changed him. He will now use the Blood Bible to find a better solution to save the Earth and it may mean his end. The worst of the revelations comes from Black Swan. The New Avengers explain to her their absence and she, as always, accuses them of standing on the sidelines and letting others (like Star Brand and Thane) solve their problems for them. She reveals that the Builders that they feared so much were only the hounds at the control of their masters. She mentions Map Makers, Black Priests, and Ivory Kings as the true powers in the universe. She reveals that they are coming and everything will die!
Infinity has ended, but it has left behind lasting effects. Earth and our universe is still threatened by forces that the Avengers seem to have no knowledge of at this point. We are assured that they are coming. Thane will be an issue in coming years, of this I also have no doubt. Thanos is not dead, only in stasis, on Earth. This in itself is a huge threat. What is next for Star Brand and Nightmask? Will they remain Avengers, or move on to bigger things as is their birthright. What of all of the Avenger’s Worlds? What is the Avengers responsibility to them? Have the Avengers earned some respect in the galaxy? Hickman has woven a brilliant epic that brought us full circle. For each enemy the Avengers and their allies defeated they gained one even more powerful. While frightening, this leaves some great stories to tell. Inhumanity is next, and All-New Marvel Now is right around the corner. Hickman and the rest of his collaborators (too many to name) have set the bar quite high for future events at Marvel Comics. On this Thanksgiving day, as I write this I am thankful for many things, health, happiness, family, friends, but I also want to thank these talented creators for their efforts. I also want to thank each of you who took the time to read my ramblings about Infinity. Thank You, all of you! Happy Thanksgiving!