Civil War #1 arrived in May 2006, and the Marvel Comics Event in Seven Parts took over the entire line for close to an entire year and was arguably Marvel’s biggest and most successful event to date. There had been events before, such as Infinity Gauntlet, Acts of Vengeance, and House of M, and line-specific events had been a staple of the X-Men since the mid-80s, but Civil War was a new level of huge.
Peter Parker’s decision to unmask was national news, and now any time a hero is killed, or resurrected, or gets a new costume, it goes straight to USA Today. Civil War is just as culturally relevant in 2016 as it was ten years ago, with Captain America: Civil War arriving in theatres in a couple of months, and Civil War II by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez due in May from Marvel.
It still feels like it was just yesterday that Marvel asked us “Whose Side Are You On?”, rather than a whole decade, and Marvel has stuck hard to its event formula in those ten years. Now we have event comics twice a year, and each time we’re told everything will change forever. Let’s look back at the past ten years of Marvel Comics events.
And lo, we come to the end of another epic Marvel crossover event and -- quick head count -- it looks like all the black characters are still alive. If it's dead minority superheroes you're looking for, you'll have to go read Uncanny Avengers instead. Sorry, gang.
In fact, the Avengers' cosmic war-on-two-fronts is surprisingly light on a body count, which is the usual way the PR guys tell us that the stories matter. So now that Jonathan Hickman'sInfinity is, paradoxically, over, did all that kerfuffle tell us anything profound about the human condition? And were the Jim Cheung fight scenes good?
We're fast approaching the end of Marvel's sprawling space war/alien invasion crossover event Infinity, with one more issue to come. If you thought the story's two main threads -- the war against the Builder armada on the one hand and Thanos's invasion of Earth on the other -- were going to neatly come together, well... you may be disappointed. They are in the same comic, however.
I just flew in from New York Comic Con and boy, is my copy late! The fourth issue of Marvel's Infinity shipped a week ago, but I've been so busy covering Marvel's gently-teased future plans that I've fallen horribly behind again. (Gallimaufry! Rick Remender, Skottie Young, Marvel NOW-er, 2015! Hamantaschen! Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman, Marvel NOW-est, 2016!)
Thankfully it's theoretically impossible to be late for Infinity. That's basic math.
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!
Fans of Playdom's Facebook-fueld Marvel: Avengers Alliance got a glimpse at a brand new Marvel character this weekend when one of the key players in the Infinity crossover was revealed in the game before being properly introduced in the comics.
Avengers Alliance is a turn-based combat strategy game available via Facebook and Playdom's website in which players recruit Marvel heroes and train them up to take on the bad guys. The game routinely offers limited time "Special Operations" missions, sometimes based on comic or movie story lines such as Avengers Vs. X-Men, Dark Avengers, and Iron Man 3. The current Special Op is based on Infinity, and offers two unlockable new characters. One is Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans. The other... well, potential spoilers for Infinity ahead...
Welcome back to the Comics Alliance guide to Marvel Comics'Infinity, where we disentangle the Möbius strip of writer Jonathan Hickman's database-powered brain. When last we left the action in Infinity #1, the Avengers were heading into space to fight the Builder fleet, which left the planet undefended against Thanos. For a certain value of undefended. Only most of the superheroes were still on Earth. Like those 50 State Initiative guys. They can't all be on Arcade's Murder Islands, can they? Is there a 50 State Murderpeligo that Dennis Hopeless hasn't told us about?
Issue #2, with art by Jerome Opeña, Dustin Weaver and Justin Ponsor, opens with the arrival of Thanos's horror circus, the greyest show on Earth. The Avengers, meanwhile, have joined up with a host of alien races, had a big space battle, and lost it. That seems like a bit of a jump in the narrative, but Hickman has created an unorthodox storytelling challenge for himself, and the results are a little variable.
When Marvel announced that this year's big summer event comic was called Infinity, I considered faking my own death. I mean, it sounds a bit much, doesn't it? "Infinity?" As in, "having no end?" Didn't we already do that with Secret Invasion? Still, an event with no ending is good news for whichever minority character was meant to die in the last chapter.
But it turns out Infinity is actually a pretty tight sprawl, as sprawls go. The main series is six issues. The story spills over into six issues of Avengers and four issues of New Avengers. And everything else will tie-in somehow, because, hey kid, nice wallet you got there, be a shame if something happened to it.
So I didn't fake my own death! I'm here, present and correct, to provide ComicsAlliance's exclusive and totally spoiler-riddled guide to Infinity: ComicsAlliance x Infinity!It'll be over before you know it.
First issues of event comics have to accomplish a lot. They have to introduce a conflict, introduce a villain, give heroes memorable moments that bring the reader back to see more, set up side stories that can be fleshed out in other titles, have a big battle scene, and the list goes on.
Infinity #1 by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Jim Cheung with a team of inkers, colorist Justin Ponsor and letterer Chris Eliopoulos, does some of those things, but in a sort of sidestep rather than a straight-ahead dash. And some of the items on the checklist, it willfully denies the reader. In the end, I wound up liking the approach, but getting there took a lot of trust not every reader may have.
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