Review: Infinity #1
It’s been two month since Age of Ultron, but Marvel is having another event. Infinity set itself apart from previous Marvel events fast, and is a great read.
Jonathan Hickman, ever the master storyteller, does a bold move and starts an event that is deeply rooted in the other two titles he is writing at Marvel; Avengers and New Avengers. Given the current market, where almost every issue needs to be new reader friendly, it’s surprising to see Hickman have to explain what is going on before the issue properly starts. Good on him though, as a little refresher is always good for comic readers. The refresher is just enough to make sure everyone is on board. The addition of the Free Comic Book day material doesn’t bog the issue down either. The few characters who get to speak get some great characterization. Thanos: Rising hasn’t been the best series for Thanos, so it’s nice to see him back to his god like ways here. He barely speaks and the reader can tell that he is a force to be reckoned with.
The threat feels more real than past Marvel events. The threat of the Builders, plus Thanos, sets the Avengers in a tight spot. Yeah, the Phoenix was coming for Avengers vs X-Men, but it was easily held off in Secret Avengers for a time. Urgency gone. By the end of this issue, it feels like the Avengers have their back against the wall before the event has really started. I’m going to be cautious though, as a lot of Marvel events start out strong, then somehow flounder by the end. This happened with Avengers vs X-Men, but Hickman brought it on the path towards redemption with his issues. Fear Itself had a good first issue, and we all know how that ended. Something that I like is the lack of advertisement for most of the tie-ins in the back. When a new event starts, it’s customary to advertise what EVERY PERSON is doing for the event. But Marvel says, “read Avengers and New Avengers if you want. But you’ll be fine if you don’t.” While they show a few titles in the back, they could have given a checklist of every event and somehow elude that each title is important.
Jim Cheung’s artwork is stunning as always. Before praising it though, there are some problems. The plethora of inkers (Mark Morales, John Livesay, David Meikis, and Jim Cheung) keeps his artwork from looking as sleek as it could. The Free Comic Book day section looks the best. Cheung’s pencils are epic in scope as they always have been. The different aliens that serve Thanos have a great look to them. The Hunter that attacks Black Bolt is downright creepy. When all of the Avengers are stacked in together before they set off to fight the Builders, a lot of their faces are strangely similar. I know this is Cheung’s style, but a little variation in facial structure would be nice.
Infinity is off to a good start. Let’s just hope that Hickman can hold this level of quality for the next five issues.
Infinity #1 gets 4/5.