Jonathan Hickman continues his epic story here, and whilst I didn’t enjoy this issue as much as the super-sized #1, this is still a good story, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun seeing Hickman pay off a lot of his long-running plotlines.
This issue, much like the tie-ins in Avengers and New Avengers, is split into two parts, telling two different sides of the story. We open just above Earth, at SWORD’s command station, where Thanos’ army begins it’s attack. We then get a quick recap of the events of last week’s New Avengers, where Thanos’ lieutenants, The Black Order, target each of the Illuminati members. I think it’s interesting how Hickman is using the tie-ins here, as the events within them are shown here, but not in as great detail, I wonder what someone who is not reading either of the Avengers title would be able to comprehend about the story, I’d say reading them is a must, but maybe the recaps here are enough.
We then see something we haven’t seen in a tie-in, and that’s what happened when the Black Order confronts Black Bolt and the Inhumans. The confrontation between Corvus Glaive and well, not Black Bolt, but Medusa was very well-written, and what Glaive wants is very surprising, as he requests that the Inhumans kill every one of their member who is aged between 16 and 21, a bit like Herod, only not. I was initially confused by this, but the ending scene where Black Bolt calls the rest of the Illuminati into his pocket dimension where he can speak (it’s always awesome when Black Bolt speaks) and says that the reason Thanos wants to kill all of these Inhumans is because one of them is his son. What the? Since when did Thanos have a son? I thought he was after the Infinity Gems? Man, just when you think Hickman is finally answering stuff, he asks more questions.
The other half of the story here is out in space with the Avengers taking on the Builders. I didn’t like these scenes as much as the Earthbound ones, but it was cool to see Gladiator act like such a bad-ass, and the actions of the villainous Ex Nihilo were very shocking. The scale of both of the threats in this book is huge, and at this point, I still don’t know how the Avengers are going to stop both the Builders and Thanos. Speaking of Thanos, he doesn’t even appear in this issue, is anyone else surprised by how little he’s actually been involved in this story so far? I like the Black Order fine, but there’s nothing like the real deal.
The artwork here comes from Dustin Weaver and Jerome Opena, and it was very cool to seem them working with Hickman again, both of them have drawn issues of his Avengers recently, so they have an affinity with these characters and settings, and their realistic, detailed styles really work for such a bleak, sci-fi story.
Infinity really is developing nicely, especially because it’s basically weekly, and also because it’s that rare beast amongst superhero comics… it’s unpredictable.