Review: Infinity #5
Infinity is winding down, but not before the Avengers square off against Thanos and is hold on Earth. #5 is Hickman setting his ever so entertaining ducks in a row, setting up for one hell of a finale in #6.
#5 spends more time focusing on the New Avengers on Earth this time around. This change of pace brings Thanos’ threat front and center, validating his conquest in the process. The Builders and their threat to the entire universe has kept Thanos’ quest for his long lost son from seeming like a credible threat. But having Hickman bring this up in the second to last issue makes it seem a little cheap. Thanos and his men have been battling on Earth, but the conquest is never felt. “Earth has fallen” is spoken by Gladiator, but it’s never been felt throughout Infinity. I was always waiting for the big moment where Earth was under Thanos’ thumb, and the Avengers were called back to fight. But Thanos’ scavenger hunt for the Infinity Gems has only affected the cities where they are located (Attilan, NYC, Wakanda, etc.). Sure, Attilan is destroyed, but the affect on New York City can only be assumed by the reader. This is a small problem with the event overall, not specifically #5.
Hickman weaves in the idea of an “Avengers World,” which is a nice set up for the forthcoming launch of Avengers World. The quick montage sells the idea effectively, almost acting like a back door pilot for a new TV series. Captain America and Thor get a nice “drinking buddy” moment, giving one of the better pairs of friends in the Marvel universe some room to breathe. Their scene is a nice moment of brevity in this very serious event. This scene also works as a nice critique on superhero battles in general. Things never end, so it’s hard to celebrate the victory that you just worked so hard to achieve. The slight celebration also acts as a cool down for everything that has been going on in this event. It’s the calm before the Thanos sized storm that is brewing in #6. Hickman continues to write Black Panther better than any writer has in recent memory. His decision to fight at Necropolis instead of Wakanda is quick, but displays the complexity that the character can bring when handled by certain writers.
Thane’s “origin story” seems to be similar to the origin for Thanos in Thanos: Rising. It’s ever so different that I didn’t notice it through the first read through. He has the potential to be an interesting character, but he hasn’t been given enough time to become his own person. The soon to launch Inhumanity and Inhumans will no doubt have Thane as a star.
Infinity #5 spends most of its panel space on Earth, which gives Dustin Weaver the spotlight. His pencils have always been brimming with detail, but he outdoes himself in #5. The contraption that Thanos has Black Bolt is a prime example. The fights between the New Avengers and Thanos’ army is chaotic, but Weaver keeps the bodies separated enough so the reader can follow what is going along. While Hickman has been writing Thanos masterfully, Weaver has been filling up the rest of the personality with his artwork. Thanos is an imposing character, looking down on every other character. But the angle that Weaver tilts the panel makes the reader looking up to Thanos as well. This instills the idea that Thanos looks down to no one. Jerome Opena pages are also a work of art. Hulk’s crash onto an Aleph rumbles off of the page. The quick montage mentioned before flows perfectly, with the reader almost hearing an uplifting score from a film when reading.
Justin Ponsor is a master on colors. His shifting style works perfectly with the change in artists. What really stuck with me was the lighting and reflection of energy beams on characters. They reflect perfectly against the plethora of characters, creating an almost neon wonderland in a few scenes.
Infinity #5 gets 4.5/5.