During big events such as ‘Infinity’, it’s not uncommon for some books to be released that take us by surprise. They probably weren’t part of the initial line up, but things happened and they were born and added later. I don’t know the full story for sure, but that’s how I imagine that ‘Infinity: The Hunt’ came to be. Plus, with ‘Avengers Arena’ ending after issue eighteen, the young heroes of the Marvel Universe need something to do, right?
The premise of the book brings us to Avengers Academy in Palo Alto, California. The headmasters and mistresses of the top educational facilities for young super-powered beings around the world have gathered their student for a friendly competition meant to create a sense of unity amongst the learning community. With that in mind, schools such as Avengers Academy, the Future Foundation, The Jean Grey School, the Braddock Academy, and more (including the Latverian School of Science) have all agreed to participate in the Contest of Champions, which will find teams from each school competing for superiority. If ‘Avengers Arena’ is ‘The Hunger Games’ in the Marvel Universe, then this is the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
However, after all the schools are introduced along with a few of their star pupils, a troubling transmission is received from Atlantis, whose competing school pulled out after the Wakandans had chosen to participate. As we know from ‘Infinity’, Thanos’ forces are attacking the major strongholds of the heroes of Earth such as Wakanda, New York City, Attilan, and Atlantis. Now, the fight appears to be coming for the Avengers Academy, so we’ll probably see who’s been paying attention in class and who’s just been coasting by.
To begin with, I am a big fan of this premise. Nothing wrong with some healthy competition, but I doubt that we’ll be getting to that until after Thanos and the Black Order are defeated. Hopefully the title lasts beyond the crossover so that we’ll get to see which school reign supreme. After all, I am so curious about what Doctor Doom’s school and it’s students are like.
Like ‘Avengers Arena’, which also deals with the younger heroes of Marvel, the cast of this book is pretty huge. With two or three students representing each school plus their instructors and the other students that aren’t really in the spotlight that could pop up somewhere down the line, this series could easily have as many characters on the roster as Jonathan Hickman’s ‘Avengers’. Hopefully writer Matt Kindt can balance things pretty well if he plans on using everyone from here on out.
Despite all the things that I liked about this first issue, the matter of the timeline came to mind. I’m wondering when this presentation took place because I’m pretty sure that Wolverine was among those defending the Jean Grey School when Thanos’ cronies first landed on Earth. How can he be in two places at once? Continuity is an important aspect of a good tie-in and there’s a chance that this will be explained later, but if it’s not, then the least they could have done was use Kitty Pryde instead of Logan for this book. I mean, if they went to the trouble of incorporating the events of ‘Avengers Arena,’ then they definitely should’ve taken ‘Infinity’ #1 into consideration.
Anyway, this was a strong start for a new series. While there are so many unknown characters, the book is anchored by fan favorites such as Quentin Quire, the Evolved Moloids, Striker, and Finesse, not to mention teachers like She-Hulk, Hank Pym, and Black Panther. And even if the audience doesn’t really know who a lot of these kids are, I like that they sort of address it when they introduce the Braddock Academy competitors, Loch and Box. I definitely side with Quentin when he says that they sound like an 80s detective show from the bottom of the barrel. Hopefully the story will be good enough to have us caring about all these people within the next few issues though because there’s definitely some potential here.
INFINITY: THE HUNT #1
Written by Matt Kindt
Art by Steven Sanders and Jim Campbell
Cover by Slava Panarin