Infinity #1 (of 6)
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor
Cover: Adam Kubert & Laura Martin
The next huge Marvel event is here in Infinity, which brings Thanos himself into the picture along with an even more impending threat know as The Builders. Jonathan Hickman pens this tale of far reaching galactic doom showing that the stakes are not only high, but the chance of a victory for the heroes seems quite impossible. From the moment Hickman shows the Illuminati deciding the fate of a world and Thanos emerging from the shadows, he effectively sets a very dark tone. It’s one that’s carried throughout this oversized issue as we go from one disastrous event to the next across the galaxy. Ultimately leading to an altercation on Attilan where what Thanos seeks is hidden along with the massing of forces both good and evil.
With this being the beginning of a huge event, the first thing you’d want is to be able to pick this up and just get into the story. Though the seeds of Infinity were planted throughout Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers titles many issues ago, Infinity #1 is quite comfortable to get into. If you haven’t been reading those titles there is a “Cast” page listing all of the characters and their affiliations in this issue. This makes it easier to keep track of who is who as Hickman rolls out this quite ambitious tale. This story has a very large feel, and that’s quite an accomplishment considering the other two titles have been running for some time and are dwarfed by just this one issue. Not only does Hickman give Infinity a very good start, but he’s beginning to bring together plot points which began in his other two titles. Now, you don’t have to read them, but your experience will be a bit richer for it if you choose to go back and do so.
Regardless of what you think of huge comic events, one constant is that Marvel makes sure they look very good! Well, Jim Cheung does not disappoint nor does the rest of the art team, because the inks and colors are just fantastic to look at! The character designs for the Outriders were an instant favorite as it embodied everything an assassin created for Thanos should have. It was streamlined, vicious, and a very cool new character. Various alien races looked very distinct from one another aside from the familiar ones that are Marvel mainstays, like the Skrulls and the Kree. Aside from the usual entertaining panels of superheroes doing their usual superhero thing, the stand out page would have to be the reveal of Thanos. Cheung has most of the character’s face in shadow which makes him look even more imposing, but it’s just one very strong page and rightfully so for a character of that scale. It’s so impressive that you can actually feel Thanos leaning in closer to get a better look at his tribute.
Infinity is starting off very strong and does exactly what a first issue of a huge event should. It effectively sucks you in and sets up the story immediately while giving the reader some great artwork to carry the weight of the visual storytelling. Sure, it’s still too early to tell what else Infinity has in store for us, but it’s been teased that we should definitely pay attention to the Inhumans and their part in the story. Let’s just hope that as events unfold that the payoff at the end is just as exciting and has some long lasting consequences for these characters.