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Evil Geek Book Report – The Infinity Gauntlet

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Marvel sure does love their crossovers, don’t they? Well let’s go back to 1991 when they were less plentiful. The Infinity Gauntlet immediately begins with a prologue of the events from the Rebirth Of Thanos to catch the reader up to speed. The Titan, Thanos in order to do Death’s bidding has collected all six Infinity Gems which give him powers far beyond a God. Literally anything he wishes for or thinks of can be accomplished. Part of the reason Thanos has done this is to impress the lady Death and win her affection. As Martian Luthor Kang put it, “he literally has a hard on for Death”. There is enough weird psychosexual stuff going on here for Freud to write a book about. Thanos plan backfires though since the Infinity Gems made him an entity far beyond that of Death that she can only be subservient to him and not his equal.

gauntlet2Marvel’s version of the Devil, Memphisto councils Thanos and advises him that perhaps to impress Death he should carry out her original request to wipe out half the Universe’s population. Since many races have started to live long, over populate and live more peacefully Death’s harvest has ceased to be a steady, dependable stream. In the blink of an eye 50% of the people inhabiting various planets just vanish, including a good number of Earth’s heroes. Those that are left get together to assess the situation giving us a rag tag group consisting of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Vision, Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk, Namor, Cloak, Spidey, Hulk, Wolverine, Cyclops, and reluctantly Dr. Doom. The team is augmented by Silver Surfer who has the inside scoop, Dr. Strange and the cosmic being known as Adam Warlock.

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To make matters worse in a display of power, Thanos destroyed a planet and its reverberations have seismic effects on Earth. Earthquakes and mass destruction, chaos on a complete global scale, thousands are dying, California sinks into the ocean. Things get real fucking serious, real fucking fast. Adam Warlock devises a master plan including a multi layered attack from Earth’s heroes as well as phase 2 aka the ace up his sleeve consisting of a team of cosmic god entities wishing to restore order to the universe (including my boy, Galactus). Dr. Strange teleports everyone to space and they are unleashed on Thanos.

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What happens next is one of the all time great comic fight scenes or at least one of my favorites. I generally don’t care for them, sometimes because of how they are laid out on the page make it feel unnatural or confusing, but this is crystal clear. In a smart move on author, Jim Starlin’s part, Memphisto convinces Thanos to turn down his power a bit as a way of impressing Death with his valor in battle (and perhaps a ploy to have him defeated). I was wondering how this would be handled, because in all honesty this would be the quickest fight ever. Someone who can read minds, see the future and hell even bend the fabric of time would make short work of ‘ol Cap and the gang. The fight scene (which is whole issue long!) is great with everyone doing their own isolated part. It’s great to see what kind of fantastical and bizarre ways Thanos manipulates his enemies to defeat them and let me tell you they are crushed. He spares no mercy. Phase 2 with the other cosmic deities goes similarly except in the end, Thanos battles the celestial being Eternity and wins.

I won’t reveal anymore as to not ruin the ending for you because this mini-series is definitely worth your time. Jim Starlin who is considered the architect of Marvel Cosmic does an exceptional job here. I’ve always steered away from it because I feel like it would be so hit or miss, but its mythology and population run deep and work in a way where you don’t have to be overly familiar with them. The story never over stays its welcome either, 6 issues is exactly what it needed. George Perez handles the pencils on issues #1-4 and does a great job. He has a classic style that fits any time period. Ron Lim takes over for issues 5 and 6, while his art tends to reflect the late 80s/early 90s it’s still admirable work. Throughout all the issues any of the outer space stuff is really something to behold and an absolute pleasure to look at. In a a way, I’d almost describe it as cosmic psychedelia.

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This book comes highly recommended and will likely be flying off shelves in the future as it’s a possible plot device for both Marvel upcoming movies, Guardians Of The Galaxy and Avengers 2. If you’re looking to find out more about Thanos or the Infinity Gauntlet, this is the place to start.

All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.

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About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on March 29, 2013, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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