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4.1 out of 5 stars
Infinity
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The story running through issues #1-3 of Marvel Comics’ ‘Infinity’, Avengers #18-20 and New Avengers #9-10, is collected as Infinity Volume 1. This is a superb cosmic epic (so far) featuring the Avengers, the Illuminati, and most of the major spacefaring races. It also manages to tie in a number of Earthly stories to the plot, and there is even room for a few ‘character’ pieces among the epic events, helped, no doubt, by the fact that Jonathan Hickman is writing the entire volume, and though there are a number of artists at work, the art also seems to be fairly consistent throughout.

The story is reasonably straightforward – the Builders, the race that claims to be responsible for spreading life throughout the universe with the aid of their Gardeners and the like, some of whom we have met in recent issues – have sent an invasion fleet which is crossing the galaxy, destroying all life in its path, and it is heading for Earth. Fortunately for the plot, it is crossing the borders of Skrull, Kree, Shi’ar and Spartax space, and a vast coalition of forces is gathered to stop it. The Avengers, having become aware of the invasion, sent their combined forces out to join in. Meanwhile, Thanos takes advantage of their absence to visit Earth, ostensibly looking for the Infinity Gems, but really looking for something else, and Black Bolt knows its whereabouts…

This really is an excellent storyline – two, in fact, as good as anything the Avengers have provided in the ‘Marvel Now!’ period. There are also interesting correspondences between the two story strands, as there is an unwitting traitor in both, or at least someone who unwittingly reveals something of importance to the enemy; and there are those who chose to surrender to the invaders, and those who chose to sacrifice themselves rather than submit. I expect the two strands will ultimately come together in the finale.

THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE
Infinity #1 – a double-sized issue - opens on Titan, where Thanos is receiving tribute from conquered worlds, and sending one of his Outriders to search for something on Earth. This establishes Thanos as a very unpleasant person. We then see the planet Galador, home to the Spaceknights, as it meets the invading Builder fleet. Captain Universe is there to watch its destruction, and spout some prophetic utterances about doom and disaster. Meanwhile, on Earth, SWORD has found some illegal Aliens, who get a visit from Captain America and Hawkeye. Apparently there are an awful lot of alien refugees heading for Earth… On Attilan, Thanos’s Outrider sneaks into the palace and starts to scan Black Bolt’s deep memories while he sleeps. On the Peak, Captain Universe has arrived and collapsed, and SWORD is intercepting distress signals from deep space showing the Builder fleet entering the galaxy and crunching through Kree and Skrull space. Their course is plotted as heading to Earth. Captain America assembles the Avengers and prepares to head out to join the Galactic Council’s defence forces. On Titan, the Outrider informs Thanos of his discoveries. His underlings are against going anywhere near Earth – “last stop for the foolish”.

However, “Earth you see… she has no Avengers.”

Avengers #18 – sees the Skrull warlords finaly reunite under Kl’rt (wasn’t he the original Super-Skrull?) and join the Galactic Council, to which even Annihilus and the Brood have attached themselves in this crisis. The combined fleet prepares an ambush for the invaders, only to discover the invasion fleet was only a fraction of the full invading force. One of the two Avengers ships is lost in the retreat…

New Avengers #9 – opens with Thanos and his lieutenants ‘discussing’ his quest for the Infinty Gems. Black Bolt’s stolen memories show that they have all been destroyed except for one, and Thanos wants it. He does seem rather insistent on invading Earth, despite his underlings concerns…

The invasion begins, New York, Atlantis, the Jean Grey School and Wakanda are first targets, but Atlantis has already been laid waste. (I don’t know by whom, or when.) One of Thanos’s lieutenants has ‘possessed’ Doctor Strange. Black Bolt summons the Illuminati

Infinity #2 – SWORD’s HQ the Peak is attacked, knocking out its tracking equipment, allowing Thanos’s fleet into Earth orbit undetected. One of Thanos’s underlings delivers his surrender demand to Attilan. In space, Gladiator and the Avengers defeat a pursuing force of Builder ships. One of the defeated Gaedeners lands on the planet below and unleashes a plague. Ex Nihilo is somewhat taken aback by this atrocity, with repercussions for the future… Black Bolt reveals to the Illuminati that Thanos’s assault on earth is really a cover for his real mission, to find and kill his son. And Black Bolt has the information on how to find him.

Avengers #19 – the Builders have captured the lost Avengers ship and its crew (which includes Captain Marvel and Hawkeye). At the Galactic Council meeting Captain America has a suggestion, but the Spartax king J-son is not interested. The Kree Supreme Intelligence points out that the humans have beaten the Kree far more often than the Spartax, and suggests that he be listened to… The Builders interrogate Captain Marvel about some of their other prisoners, such as Captain Universe, Starbrand, Abyss and Nightmask. While Captain America outlines his plan to the Council, J-son tries to negotiate a truce with the Builders, who track his signal and attack the Council.

New Avengers #10 sees Black Bolt explain about Thanos’s quest for his son, while Maximus prepares one of his machines… The Illuminati compare notes about the invasion, then they begin to search for Thanos’ son. Doctor Strange finds him, but Thanos’s mind-parasite takes the information and wipes Strange’s memory. He ignores Strange’s babbling about colliding worlds…

Infinity #3 – this opens with a battle above the ringworld hosting the Galactic Council meeting. The Kree surrender to the Builders. Captain America leads an attack on the Builder fleet over Hala and seizes one of the Builder’s major warships and turns it on the other big ships. Meanwhile an Avengers team hits the Builder flagship and rescues the prisoners. Starbrand is unleashed on the Builder fleet, and it retreats, having lost many of its biggest warships. Thanos arrives in Attilan to receive its surrender, but it is empty save for Black Bolt, who gives Thanos his reply…

Avengers #20 – sees the full rescue of the imprisoned Avengers. The Galactic Council sends an envoy to negotiate with the Builders. Ex Nihilo and Abyss meet with the Gardners from the Builder fleet – and discover that they have all lost their Abyssi – the Builders have been corrupted… And Captain America proposes surrender…
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on 2 January 2015
Beautiful and huge in scale, yet despite the massive collection here this still feels like being just a part of Hickman's over-arching story. He clearly knows where hiss chess pieces are heading.

The two plotlines (aliens out to destroy Earth, Thanos out to NOT SAYING SPOILER!) weave together well, although the final battle felt slightly underwhelming.

I did love getting a free digital copy too though - enabling me to share this with friends without getting their grubby paws on my lovely paper.
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on 16 July 2014
Marvel's expansive, cross polinating mega event of 2013 did not disappoint. Another must have for me in my personal Thanos collection. In a bid to know all there is to know about the evil titan, I bought decades old material earlier. However, I wanted new comics and I had to look no further than Infinity. Featuring more than a hundred characters at least, from varied backgrounds, planets and races, this is a must have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 September 2014
Many thanks for the speedy delivery great service... Great book. Gotta love Thanos
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
In general, I do not like DC or Marvel comic events...

...as they are usually designed as pure marketing events rather than brilliant pieces of comics or graphic novels. They tend to have dozens of prequels (as this one has), dozens of spin-offs (as this one has) and dozens of sequels (as this one has, too).

And the overall aim is - guess what? To have incredible big numbers of subscribers, incredible big sales volumes and to generate tons of cash.

...But this one is different in that it is exceptionally well written and beautifully drawn.

It is quite a complex cinematic super hero action series and without having deeper knowledge of the recent developments in the Avengers and New Avengers continuity it is quite difficult to get behind whats going on here. Actually, it took me more than say 150 pages out of a total of 632. And more than once I had to get back and reread stuff that was mentioned earlier on.

The cast is around 100 (!) super heroes and villains and the story takes place on stages such as (but not limited to): Earth (around ten or so different places), Necropolis, Atlantis, Attilan, A.I.M. Island, The Peak (S.W.O.R.D. HQ), Mars, Titan, Deep Space, the Golden Galaxy (never been there? Directions to this place are: Take a left at the next lights and follow the signs for the next sixty thousand lightyears. Then turn right at the gas station...)

To summarize: Our galaxy is under attack by extremely powerful and aggressive extraterrestrials called the Builders. These guys due to their far advanced technology can create and destroy whole planets just like that. And for some reason I have forgotten they just have the intention to destroy Earth. Therefore, an extended group of superheroes led by Captain America and the Avengers joined by the secret group of the Illuminati assemble and join forces with the armies of the Galactic Counsel to face the enemy deep in Space.

While they are out, a well known long term villain of the Marvel universe, the mad Thanos of Titan, plans an invasion on Earth. He has reason to believe that one of his unbeloved sons is living on Earth on an undercover basis. Therefore, he moves his troups to conquer Earth, find his son and kill him eventually. The problem is that Earth's defense is more or less limited to Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic who have stayed home while the others are fighting the Builders.

As you can imagine, this all leads to a lot of colorful action and a lot of battlefields in outer space, on different planets and on Earth.

Compared to a peer group of other Marvel comics events, Infinity is very good...

...due to Jonathan Hickman's ability to orchestrate this complex super-action story with lots of sub-plots or sub-archs in a fast moving way without losing the reader or boring him at any point. Except for the difficulties initially to get up to speed the reader will find it hard to stop reading. This is of course, if you like super hero action comics. If not go read somethig else.

...due also to the extraordinary good art. Very colorful and realistic, the group of artists applied a similar style so that you will not find major graphic breaks throughout the book. It more than contributes to this cinematic widescreen presentation and to the sense of wonder that you will find an any of the pages of this magnificent book. So, all in...

...This is a Buy (or Borrow or Steal) Recommendation
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2015
Amazing book. Good quality. Packaging was secure and protected the item well.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2014
Let's start by being clear: this review is in respect of the Infinity book, all 600+pages, priced at around £45. I bought this because I mistakenly thought Jim Cheung had drawn more of it than he actually had. However, it was heralded by Marvel as being the latest epic so I thought I would give it a go.
If you have been around for as long as I have you will recall the original Kree-Skrull War depicted in the original Avengers run. This story line saw Earth sitting at the beach head of a war between these two intergalactic empires and the Avengers (and Rick Jones) being all that stood between us and annihilation. Great story, great art and for its time groundbreaking. Fast forward forty years and someone says, "let's do that same story again but on a bigger scale and featuring more characters....after all, more is better". And that is the problem with Infinity; there are simply too many characters to follow and each is diminished by the sheer scale of the story. Captain America is used as the link between each scenario but it seems unrealistic and contrived. Thor is reduced to being a support role and has no majesty or grandeur about him at all. In fact the whole comic lacks grandeur or cohesion. Why does Thanos, the mad god, need to surround himself with nihilists who worship death and why do all the worlds so readily fall into line, following the heroes from a backwater, even if, as is explained, their chances of survival appear to be rated better than others?
I'm not an academic but even I can see the story has an undertone of political dogma reflecting the current world view espoused by America - liberating other countries, other worlds is to be commended as long as those who you are liberating want this.
But before I get too heavily in to analysing the undertones of this let's remember its a comic. So is it any good?
I grew up on the work of Kirby and lee and I like my comics to be bigger than life, grand and fantastic. Sadly, there is nothing in this comic that really matches the spectacle of Kirby's vision. Not a single panel where one can look at it and think, that's what I would really like to see on the big screen. That just blows you away. That is not to say there is no good art in there it's just so varied in quality and finish and the constant change of artists makes it hard to follow.
However, that pales into insignificance by comparison with the story which seems contrived, disjointed and over all incomprehensible. The villains of the piece are not recognized characters in the Marvel Universe, as far as I know, but appear to have been created as a further omnipotent race of creatures who spawned all life throughout the cosmos. Their back story makes little sense and their defeat is neither clear nor believable. One minute they appear to possess a fleet of ships so great it fills the page and the next they are defeated by uprisings on various planets, with no proper explanation of why they do not eradicate those who have risen up against them. Then there is the Thanos sub-plot which only makes sense if you have read "Thanos Rising" . Unfortunately, this is just a rehash of what's gone before and the end left me puzzled as to what has been going on. This is Marvel Universe 616 wasn't it?
The book is nicely produced and the colours are great to look at with some great art in there, amongst a lot of sub-standard stuff. But in reality unless you are the type of person who likes to leave your comic books on the coffee-table to impress visitors and then claim they simply don't understand sequential art then I would not recommend this tome to anyone except the real die-hard fans, aged under thirty who won't remember the original classic on which it appears to be based.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 2014
Marvel doing what marvel does best: epic crossover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2015
should have been in the collector editions
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on 25 April 2015
World's collide with the Avengers caught in the middle.This is STAR WARS on acid,a sprawling epic that also sees the return of Thanos.Great art work & a spectacular story.Loved every bit of it.
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