We first met the cinematic version of Thanos in 2012 -- his face smiling at us during a mid-credits sequence of ‘The Avengers,’ there to let us know that this guy is the mastermind behind the whole operation. OK then! Eventually we learn that Thanos is trying to collect the Infinity Stones, because if he has those, he will become a god. Fair enough. Though, now, after ten movies in the Marvel cinematic universe – ten! – Thanos has a grand total of zero Infinity Stones. So far, Thanos is terrible at being a supervillain.
Marvel Studios held its annual crowdpleaser panel in the vastness of Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday afternoon. The casts of Ant-Man and Avengers: Age Of Ultron were both on hand -- but there wasn't much in the way of announcements, beyond confirming a lot of things we already knew. No new movies announced. No casting news that hadn't already leaked long ago. But with those disappointments suitably girded against, here's what we learned...
SPOILER WARNING: The following contains plot spoilers for forthcoming Marvel Studios films. Stop reading this now if you give a sh*t.
We've seen Hulk Hands, Thing Hands and even a Rocket Raccoon mask, but Hasbro's San Diego Comic-Con International 2014 offerings will outfit fan hands in a straight up Infinity Gauntlet. The legendary jeweled glove (or a foam facsimile, anway) is part of a special $74.99 box set that includes 3.75" figures of Nebula, Starfox, Thanos and his unrequited love Mistress Death. The cosmic theme continues with a box set based on The Thanos Imperative comic book storyline that includes 6" Marvel Infinite scale takes on Black Bolt, Medusa, Gladiator, Blastaar and Star-Lord for $99.99.
No one does cosmic quite like Jim Starlin.
Since breaking into comics in the early 1970s, the longtime writer and artist has done much of his most memorable work creating space opera tales, from his Cosmic Odyssey miniseries for DC to his celebrated (and soon to be republished) run of Adam Warlock tales for Marvel. Now the comic veteran is returning to his most famous creation, as Marvel has announced Thanos: The Infinity Revelation, a new graphic novel written and illustrated by Starlin. This new book represents Starlin's first Thanos story in nearly a decade.
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's Infinity 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.
War is over. Give Thanos a chance.
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...
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.