Now this feels like an epic Marvel crossover event! From the mind of writer Jonathan Hickman featuring the amazing artwork of Jim Cheung, Mark Morales, and Justin Ponsor comes ‘Infinity’. Following the events of ‘Avengers’ and ‘New Avengers’ since Marvel NOW started, the story culminates in this limited series that sends Earth’s Mightiest Heroes out into the galaxy to expand their Avengers World into an Avengers Universe. However, when they’re away, Thanos comes out to play as he makes moves towards finally taking over Earth.
We’ve seen events come and go this year. ‘Avengers Vs. X-Men’ was okay. ‘Age of Ultron’ was a fairly major let down. But after reading the first issue of ‘Infinity’, I really think that this is the crossover that Marvel fans have been waiting for. With only six main issues (and an amazingly designed checklist in the back of the book to remind us what order to read these issues and the tie-ins), I hope that each issue is as jam-packed as this first one. Basically, this issue covers all of the Act I stuff that sets the stage for the rest of the story. And somehow, we check in with each and every facet and faction of the expansive cast from the Illuminati to the X-Men to the Avengers, and even the Inhumans. In the past, the events that unfolded in this issue would have been spread out between at least two books, but Hickman really has a tight plan and leaves no room for filler. Each chapter tells us exactly what we need to know interestingly and efficiently, so luckily we’re only getting main course and not filling up on side dishes.
Another thing that Hickman does well is present us with the exposition about the Inhumans. They haven’t exactly been in the spotlight of the Marvel Universe lately, so there’s a lot to catch up on in terms of history and current events with King Black Bolt, his wives, and their people. While there was new information to be revealed about the Builders, the Avengers, and Thanos, there was far more to go over for the Inhumans, but it didn’t overpower any other aspect of the book. The writer has shown that he has an incredible talent for balance in his stories, so his ability to do it is nothing new. However, there’s just so much to balance here that it still amazes me how great of a storyteller Jonathan Hickman is. In addition to being a fan, I’m straight up jealous! I wish I could create something this good.
Finally, I can’t end this review without mentioning Jim Cheung’s artwork. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a huge fan of his work back when he was doing ‘The Avengers: Children’s Crusade’ and the covers for ‘Avengers Vs. X-Men’. I am simply enamored by his style. He has a certain sleekness and softness to his characters that you just don’t see too often in comics today. Also, unlike some of his colleagues who may do it too much, he doesn’t over-sexualized his characters. They can be attractive while still retaining some realistic characteristics that could be seen in the real world. On the flip side of that, his aliens are intense! The scene where we’re introduced to the Black Order or when we see the Outrider infiltrate Black Bolt’s chambers, we see some pretty ferocious creatures. It may sound weird, but there’s just something about the teeth that Cheung draws on these aliens that make them more appealing to me. Hostile or not, all his aliens just have this cool quality about them in my eyes.
Overall, ‘Infinity’ #1 was a great comic. It might help if you’ve been reading ‘Avengers’, but you basically get everything you need to know in these pages. I’m curious to see if Hickman will continue separating the story into the chapters that appear here, but either way, I feel like I’m ready and anxiously waiting for the next installment to be released. I know my hopes are high, and there’s a chance that I could get let down like the past few crossovers, but something about this first issue just reassures me that Hickman has it covered.
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Jim Cheung, Mark Morales, & Justin Ponsor
Cover by Adam Kubert & Laura Martin