Comics Alliance X ‘Infinity’ + 3 = The Mellow Sounds of Blackagar Boltagon
Reader, this installment of Comics Alliance X Infinity, our recap of Marvel's latest big crossover event, is running shamefully late, but I swear I have a good excuse. I've been playing Avengers Alliance on Facebook all weekend. Now, I know that doesn't sound like a good excuse, but look, they're running an Infinity tie-in mission, so it's basically research, all right? And I don't think you fully understand how badly I need to unlock Black Bolt as a playable character.
But the comic version of Infinity won't wait forever. Or will it? My editors certainly won't, so let's jump back into the Infinity whirlpool with issue #3, by writer Jonathan Hickman and the returning art team of Jerome Opeña, Dustin Weaver and Justin Ponsor. Spoilers ahead!
When last we left our heroes they had won a minor victory against the Builders, only to have it spoiled when the Builders spread their enormous alien taint over an innocent planet. Enjoy that mental image, that's my gift to you.
In Infinity #3... the good guys have a bunch more victories! Is it me, or is this moving a little quickly? I know we don't have the 12 issues we had for Avengers Vs. X-Men, but still, shattering the Builders' advancing armada in the third issue feels like a bit of a rush job. Is there even going to be room in this crossover for Hope Summers to ride in on the back of a sudden dragon? It's the mighty Marvel manner I've become accustomed to.
I should of course mention what's happened between Infinity #2 and Infinity #3. In Avengers #19, by Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu, things looked a little less promising. Lots of things exploded, and some of the Avengers were held prisoner by the lady with the antlers, who, for obvious reasons, I shall henceforth refer to as Golden Hind.
This is a weird pose, right? Or is it just me? I don't watch these sorts of movies. But that alien lady has some serious... I think it's called "badonkadonk." She's like a cross between a Kardashian and a Cardassian.
It's not just this one image, either. Join me on a tour behind the candelabra. Exhibit B:
Even speech balloons can't obscure it.
While Captain Marvel deals with... all of that, J'Son of Spartax gets his head stuck in a handheld vacuum cleaner.
... and his hilarious bumbling gets a planet destroyed. Oh, J'Son! You truly are the Pierce Hawthorne of the Galactic Council Study Group!
(I'm not sure I can make that analogy work. Gladiator as Jeff Winger? If this ends with Britta Perry as the Brood Queen I shall be very uncomfortable. But I can imagine Annihilus walking in to the meeting room in a sequence of fabulous costumes. The Living Dean That Walks.)
Meanwhile, over in New Avengers #10 by Hickman and Mike Deodato, Thanos' alternative rock opera continues, and the Illuminati meet in a pocket dimension to discuss...
Wait a minute...
That's a gorilla.
Someone replaced Beast with an enormous eastern lowland gorilla and no-one noticed. Beast has been through a lot of different looks over the years, but he's never been that huge or that... gorilla before. I mean, even with his current "quite gorilla" look, he's never gone full gorilla. Have you ever seen the selective attention test? I think someone is testing the Illuminati here, and they've failed spectacularly. I can't think of a more off-model rendition of a member of the Illuminati in the history of...
Oh, right. Never mind.
Putting aside all this monkey business - a-ho-ho-ho yes-I-know-gorillas-aren't-monkeys-shush - the Illuminati try to track down Thanos' missing son before Thanos can get to...
The Illuminati search high and low for Son-of-Thanos (who we know from the Avengers Alliance game is called Thane -- see, it's research), and it turns out Black Bolt cunningly hid him by making him the world's most generic-looking white dude. That's clever thinking, Blackagar.
Unfortunately for Thane, Doctor Strange gave the game away because he had an unwanted hop-on in the form of Thanos's lieutenant, Maleficent Lecter (real name sillier than that). And then another of those incursion thingies happens, which probably means we're never going to get to see Namor and Black Panther resolve their sexual tension.
Oh, boys. And that brings us roughly in sync for Infinity #3!
The cast page for Infinity #3 has, no joke, 52 head shots on it. There are only 23 story pages in this comic! And those 52 head shots include a dog and a door!
For real, one of the Inhumans is a door named Eldrac; a character Jonathan Hickman created for his FF run. Hickman has probably been wondering ever since why no-one else is using his really cool Inhuman door character. And you know what, I agree, it's a travesty. I want to watch the continuing adventures of Eldrac the Door. He can team up with Doorman of the Great Lakes Avengers, and the X-Man Ariel, who can only teleport through doors, and Queen Adora of the Nova Corps, because I ran out of door-themed characters pretty quickly. Doorvengers. Come on, Marvel, let's see how far you're really willing to stretch that brand.
Eldrac has the power to teleport people to where they need to be, a bit like the X-Men's Siege Perilous, except that the Inhumans are nothing like mutants so Eldrac is nothing like the Siege Perilous. I hope that's perfectly clear. Not like mutants. At all. Totally different idea. Mutants have a built-in genetic quirk that gives them special powers when triggered, whereas Inhumans are look over there it's a gorilla.
Obviously most of the characters on the cast page neither do or say anything in the issue. It's more like an ingredients list. This comic contains 100% of your recommended daily intake of Eldrac the Door. Do not consume if you are Ronan-intolerant.
As mentioned earlier, Infinity #3 is where the space war stuff turns around. One moment the issue the Builders are busy oppressing the Yondu-from-old-school-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy aliens and the Kofi-from-Power-Pack aliens, and it doesn't look good. By about the middle of the book the Avengers come up with a plan that's basically "more fightin,'" and by the end it turns out they have a dude with a Starbrand, who can wipe out entire armadas by applying the massive cancellation powers of the New Universe. Good job, everyone. Let's head home and watch Downton.
But there is no watching Downton to be done back on Earth, for the Illuminati have an incursion problem to deal with, possibly from a dark parallel world that has no Downton! Nooooo!
One member of the gang hasn't reported for duty. Blackagar Boltagon (real name Blackagarthur Boltagonson) has a meeting with Thanos (real name Darkseid B). While the Inhumans shuffle off to meet their destiny through ELDRAC THE GODDAMN DOOR, Black Bolt's brother Maximus Boltagon (oh, but why is he never referred to as Max Bolt?) admires his giant bomb and has a bit of a mad cackle.
By the way, have you noticed that Black Bolt's throne has a giant glowing arrow over it, pointing to the king? Is that not just a little bit ostentatious? Is that so people remember the king is there when Medusa is doing all the talking, so Black Bolt doesn't have to awkwardly cough and accidentally wipe out the visiting envoys from Jhb'Btt?
Black Bolt offers no such restraint in his meeting with Thanos, and apparently none of the members of the Black Parade briefed him, because Thanos makes the rookie mistake of directly asking Black Bolt a bunch of questions.
Yeah. So. Hope Summers on a dragon, anyone?
Next time on Comics Alliance X Infinity: I got more in me, and you can set it free. I can catch the moon in my hands. Don't you know who I am? Remember my name.