Marvel’s huge event, Infinity, has its penultimate chapter. Aside from the incorrect title, will this issue keep up the great streak Hickman and Co. have been holding so far? Read below to find out. Spoiler Warning in Effect.
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Illustrated by Jerome Opeña and Dustin Weaver
• The Avengers Universe.
• The Heroes of Earth rally to defeat Thanos.
• The war for Earth begins.
The Builders. Quite possibly the most destructive force The Avengers have yet to face. An unstoppable, some might say infinite, wave of creators who know how to destroy us for they built us! Not only were they built up for over twenty issues of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers run (closer to thirty if we’re counting New Avengers too,) but last time on Infinity their true purpose was revealed. They are coming to stop the incursions threatening the Multiverse, by destroying every instance of Earth. While they were initially a faceless foe that merely seemed to serve as an excuse for The Avengers to leave Earth, surely they’ve come into their own as a formidable foe for the Earth’s Mightie- Wait.
What the hell do you mean they were all defeated off-panel? No, no, I get that Thor killed one last week. Yes, I can see how that would rally the universe to fight back against The Builders. But that was like one Builder. Thor had to throw his hammer into orbit and through that dude’s stomach in order to beat him. And that was one Builder just sort of standing around. Against Thor, a literal God of Thunder who has a magical space hammer that no one else has. Sure, this could rally everyone to fight again but it’d be pretty futile if they weren’t Thor-level. What did The Avengers do? Tell The Builders they’re serious about surrendering this time just so Thor can trick another one into getting hammered? How long did this take? Has Thanos been on Earth for years now? If they didn’t take the time to sit down every Builder for Thor, how were all the other aliens expected to defeat The Builders? All those aliens are distinctly Not-Thor. I’m not normally very hostile on plot holes, but it sucks to have all the faith you put in the writer’s idea go up in a cloud of smoke. Or not even a cloud of smoke, just a couple pages saying “So those guys got their ass kicked, let’s head on back to Earth.”
Hickman, when my mother yells at me like this it’s because she loves me. I was rooting for you. We were all rooting for you. How dare you? Learn something from this. When you go to bed at night, you lay there and you take responsibility for yourself, ’cause nobody’s gonna take responsibility for you. You rollin’ your eyes and you acting like this because you’ve heard it all before. You’ve heard it all before, you don’t know where I come from, you have no idea what I’ve been through. I laid down >$100 for your Avengers comics, expecting a type of resolution from Infinity only to find that your Builder arc that was getting a little tiring yet reaching a good climax would not end for another however many issues when they inevitably return. But I’m not a victim, I grow from it, and I learn.
Well actually I hardly learned, I’m still definitely buying everything else Hickman writes. His writing here, though definitely unfair with the dismissal of The Builders, is still stellar. The sequence demonstrating how they’re defeated is honestly sort of inspiring and a nice continuation of the Avengers World motif that’s been mentioned throughout the run so far. The plot on Earth itself is exciting, even if Thane comes off as the “LOOK. THIS GUY YOU NEVER MET BEFORE. HE IS SO IMPORTANT.” archetype that event characters introduced relatively late give off. Thanos is still a gloriously menacing bastard and The Illuminati have some good (not good… mostly morally compromising) moments as well.
Like the story, the art here is split between Jerome Opeña and Dustin Weaver. Opeña is a man who was born to draw gritty sci-fi and he does not disappoint here. The final panel is a good foreboding of the climax the next few Infinity issues should deliver. Plus, that inspiring sequence I mentioned early is full of different alien species fighting against The Builders and seeing Opeña create all these cultures is amazing. Dustin Weaver’s sections on Earth are not immediately as noticeable as Opeña’s, but he still does some excellent work, specifically in the issue’s big splash page. Thane, under Weaver’s pencil, also looks fittingly like the heir of Thanos, though not as immediately iconic as Marvel is seemingly pushing him to be.Continued below
Despite my Tyra rant earlier, Infinity is still a really good comic, especially for a comic book event. It’s still sort of disapointing to see this whole crossover boil down to “Thanos takes Earth while The Avengers faff about in space” instead of the dual storyline it initially was. Even “Avengers” #22, which I thought would show The Builders’ defeat, is essentially just everyone hanging out on ships until they show up to Earth, exactly where “Infinity” #5 ended. Still, even though one of Infinity’s biggest strengths was its wildly massive story, this issue is still well written and certainly as expertly illustrated as prior issues. Though it has its faults, it’s still the event comic I’ve always wanted. The one I’m rooting for.
Final Verdict: 7.4 – Buy with a cautious knowledge that The Builder storyline is not going to get resolved here.