Whilst I did prefer this week’s issue of Avengers, this was still a very strong book, and it did a bang-up job of not only combining the central ‘Incursions’ storyline of this series with Thanos’ attack on Earth, but it also brought in the other half of Infinity, The Builders.
The Illuminati (sans Black Bolt) are in the Incursion Zone, about to decide what to do, when out of the other Earth drops… an Aleph. This alternate universe Aleph takes the Illuminati on board a Worldkiller Ship from that universe, where we meet some Builders from that reality. Although it seems like The Builders don’t really have home universes, they are (or were) able to travel in between them, these builders just happen to have been stranded in this universe when the Super-Structure collapsed. I did like the touch that this universe’s Ex Nihilos were Red, compared to the Marvel Universe’s yellow. The Builders discover Corvus Glaive’s influence over Doctor Strange, and pull it out of him, and we then learn that the nearly dead Builder who escaped Captain Universe in this week’s Avengers turned up here, which means that, because The Builders of ‘our’ universe are dead, and the Worldkiller cannot travel through the Incursion, the alternate Builders have to destroy their Earth.
So for now, the real Earth is saved, but the Illuminati have another important question to face, should they kill their own planet to save the whole of reality? It’s a big one, and it just adds more to the already dark and twisted central point of this series. They have the weapons to do so, will it come to that?
Speaking of those weapons, Thanos comes into contact with them in this issue, so perhaps they won’t have them for much longer. Back on Earth, there’s a lot of big stuff going on too, we see that Lockjaw and Maximus The Mad have survived, and we also see that Thanos’ attack on Wakanda is not going well for Shuri, as Proxima Midnight forces them to retreat. Man, Proxima is a bad-ass, although was anyone else surprised to find out that she and Corvus Glaive were married? That’s an interesting detail. Thanos discovers the Illuminati’s secret base in Necropolis, and as well as discovering the weapons, he also comes face to face with the Illuminati’s prisoners, Terrax and Black Swan. I loved the little moment between Thanos and Black Swan, that character has kind of been forgotten about during the crossover, but the fact that she seems to intimidate Thanos is very exciting indeed.
I did enjoy this issue, as I do with all things Infinity, but I think perhaps the scenes between the Illuminati and The Builders were a bit too much of a return to the bad old days of infuriating Hickman dialogue. But the stuff on Earth saved it, as did the always excellent Mike Deodato, who draws the best Thanos ever for me. We won’t get another New Avengers issue until after Infinity is over, so I expect that to be pretty damn big.