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Review: Infinity #1

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Review: Infinity #1

Postby LOLtron » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:10 am

Review: Infinity #1

Infinity is ambitious and confusing but beautifully drawn.




Looking at July's sales figures, I was struck by the sales disparity between the first three chapters of DC's Trinity War event.  Whereas the crossover's first chapter, Justice League #22, sold over 110,000 copies to retailers, Justice League Dark #22, the third chapter of the event, sold only 61,500.  If ICv2's figures (or at least their ratios) are remotely accurate, only 56% of readers who read the first chapter of the event would have access to the third chapter.  It's an odd little statistic, one that speaks to the inherent flaw of multi-title crossover events: If retailers don't significantly increase their orders, the readership is screwed.

Infinity, Marvel's new event by Jonathan Hickman and Jim Cheung, takes the other approach to the crossover event story. In many ways, Infinity acts as a reward of sorts to those who have followed and understood the last year's worth of Hickman comics, a problematic flaw considering that Infinity will reach twice as many readers as New Avengers and Avengers. It's an interesting inverse to DC's Trinity War, which sees readers potentially missing out on later chapters of the book.  With Infinity, if you're not one of the 60,000 currently following New Avengers and Avengers, you're likely to be a little lost.

Even those who have read Hickman's Avengers series might have trouble with Infinity.  A lot happens in the 64 page first chapter.  Infinity is very much a space opera, with brave Spaceknights, alien kings and dark heralds. However, even with the increased page count, there's an odd disconnect between scenes, which made me wonder if my copy was missing pages.  Despite Jim Cheung's flawless art and layouts that efficiently pushed a ton of plot and information of the readers, the book was clunky and hard to read at points.  

In addition, I felt that Hickman set too grand of a stage, which renders the bulk of his cast obsolete.  While Hickman creations Ex Nihilo, Starbrand and Captain Universe as well as the Inhumans are sure to play a large part in the event, it's unclear what role the rest of Marvel's heroes will play.  How is a character like Hawkeye (who is struggling against a group of Russian mobsters in his own series) is supposed to be useful in a grand space battle against universal powers? Why would Captain America send the Black Widow or the Falcon to fight a grand battle in space, knowing that there's little chance of their skills being utilized? That's a question that's bugged me throughout his Avengers run, and one that doesn't get any sort of answer in Infinity

Technically, Infinity is a step above the average superhero comic.  Cheung shows off his masterful alien designs.  His pencils, teamed wih Mark Morales' inks and Justin Ponsor's colors, are breathtaking and make the book a pleasure to read, even if you don't have any idea what's going on in the scenes. Even the letters, provided by Chris Eliopolous and Joe Caramagna, contribute to the grand event feel of the book, especially with the nifty title pages that pop up every eighth page or so.  Say what you want about the plot, but Marvel does know how to make a very pretty looking event comic.

If you're a fan of Hickman's Marvel series, I suspect you'll be a fan of Infinity.  It demands a lot of readers, perhaps a little too much, but it's certainly a contrast to the dumb fisticuffs driven events that's plagued Marvel over the last couple of years.  If you can stomach the disconnected storytelling and the constant feeling you're missing something, Infinity #1 is probably worth the $4.99 price tag.

 



Written or Contributed by Christian Hoffer


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Re: Review: Infinity #1

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:28 am

But does it go full panda bear mode?
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Re: Review: Infinity #1

Postby bkthomson » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:40 am

S.F. Jude Terror wrote:But does it go full panda bear mode?

Please, do not make me threadkick you.
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Re: Review: Infinity #1

Postby oogy » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:50 am

S.F. Jude Terror wrote:But does it go full panda bear mode?

Koala bear, actually.
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Re: Review: Infinity #1

Postby Juan Cena » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:56 am

In addition, I felt that Hickman set too grand of a stage, which renders the bulk of his cast obsolete. While Hickman creations Ex Nihilo, Starbrand and Captain Universe as well as the Inhumans are sure to play a large part in the event, it's unclear what role the rest of Marvel's heroes will play. How is a character like Hawkeye (who is struggling against a group of Russian mobsters in his own series) is supposed to be useful in a grand space battle against universal powers? Why would Captain America send the Black Widow or the Falcon to fight a grand battle in space, knowing that there's little chance of their skills being utilized? That's a question that's bugged me throughout his Avengers run, and one that doesn't get any sort of answer in Infinity.


I would guess you would use Black Widow the way you would expect her to be used - handling espionage missions. Hawkeye and Falcon? Reconnaissance or leadership roles.
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Re: Review: Infinity #1

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:25 pm

How is a character like Hawkeye (who is struggling against a group of Russian mobsters in his own series) is supposed to be useful in a grand space battle against universal powers?


Kamikaze attack, IMO. "Not like this!"
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Re: Review: Infinity #1

Postby sdsichero » Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:33 pm

bkthomson wrote:Please, do not make me threadkick you.


Please do

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Re: Review: Infinity #1

Postby guitarsmashley » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:00 pm

S.F. Jude Terror wrote:But does it go full panda bear mode?


You never go full Panda.
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Re: Review: Infinity #1

Postby Juan Cena » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:53 pm

guitarsmashley wrote:
You never go full Panda.


I thought the whole city of San Francisco was in full Panda

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Strict31 wrote:I'm not sure that combining the nigh-uncontrollable power of LOLtron with the Nacireman is a good idea. Some years from now, when mankind is on the verge of extinction, we'll be able to look back and remember this moment, and say, "DANG."


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Re: Review: Infinity #1

Postby thefourthman » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:46 pm

I have not been reading the Avengers books and I had little problems with it. Of course, I don't have any clue who a few of the people are, but it was rather well told. It is what Hickman does best BIG BIG WITH BIG ACTION AND BIGGER IDEAS. It's why I love him. Now, of course, I hate him too, cause it turns out I have to read 10 ancillary books to follow this according to the checklist at the back of issue one. It also means that I will want said Avengers books in trade to find out the back story.

This is what Events are supposed to be, accessible while making you want to read more. It is an evolution of the entire line while also being a marketing platform for the line and to this effect it was completely effective for me as I will now be picking up two books I would have not otherwise for the forseeable future and if they are good, going after that too.

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Re: Review: Infinity #1

Postby thefourthman » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:47 pm

And speaking of full on panda, Juan... there were some panels here where Cap seemed to be aged more than one would think. Also Iron Man's new helmet looks dumb. The rest of the book is gorgeous though.

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Re: Review: Infinity #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:03 pm

I flipped through it, it did come off a bit impenetrable to me having not read any Marvel in ages but to some extent that's to be expected. You'd have to want to read it, there's nothing about it to really drawn you in if you aren't already invested.

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Re: Review: Infinity #1

Postby HNutz » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:07 pm

My LCS is having a signing with Jim Cheung on Saturday.

Glad to hear, if nothing else, that it looks purty. 8)

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Re: Review: Infinity #1

Postby thefourthman » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:33 pm

Victorian Squid wrote:I flipped through it, it did come off a bit impenetrable to me having not read any Marvel in ages but to some extent that's to be expected. You'd have to want to read it, there's nothing about it to really drawn you in if you aren't already invested.

Second sentence is totally on the money. However, as to the first sentence... you actually have to read the words, then it starts to make sense. :P

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Re: Review: Infinity #1

Postby Victorian Squid » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:07 pm

thefourthman wrote:Second sentence is totally on the money. However, as to the first sentence... you actually have to read the words, then it starts to make sense. :P


Yeah well that wasn't true with S.H.I.E.L.D. and look how that turned out...

Remember S.H.I.E.L.D.? The book, according to Marvel, we would be talking about for a decade (presumably to ask, "hey I wonder whatever happened to that book S.H.I.E.L.D.? Oh wells who cares")?

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