It’s the penultimate issue of Infinity, and no big surprise here, it’s bloody good, especially because, at the end, the two seemingly separate plotlines finally start to converge, as the Avengers discover what Thanos has done, and plot a course back home to Earth.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, there’s still the matter of those death-crazed Alephs to deal with, but in the end, they are actually dealt with fairly easily, as the Avengers have now inspired the galaxy to fight back and win. It’s here that Hickman brings back the concept of an ‘Avengers World’ with the pretty awesome image of a bunch of aliens hoisting up a giant ‘A’, Iwo Jima style. Hickman started using this phrase in #1 of Avengers, and of course, there’s a new series using that name starting up, and man, after reading this issue I am much more excited for that series, especially if it’s this grand in scale. Of course, it’s not all just the Avengers inspiring people, we do still get to see the Hulk smash an Aleph. I suppose there is an issue here with how easy the Alephs were defeated, but I’m not sure we’ve seen the last of them and The Builders. So, after saving the Galaxy and inspiring billions of aliens, Cap, Thor and the rest stop for a part and a drink, only for Gladiator to spoil the mood and tell them that, in their absence, Earth has been conquered by Thanos.
Most of this issue was focused on the Earth-based side of the story, so I loved it, and we got some very interesting developments. Ebony Maw captures Thane, but not after giving him a costume to control his powers. We’ve not seen too much of Thane so far, but he seems like he could be a great addition to the Marvel Universe, and man, Ebony Maw is just a fascinating villain, you’re not sure what he’s up too, and he could very well be moving against Thanos here. Speaking of Thanos, he’s deep in the heart of the Illuminati’s secret base, trying to gain access to the WMDs they created in order to destroy other Earths in the Incursions. It turns out Black Bolt is still alive (yay!) and that’s how Thanos gains control of the bombs, as Supergiant reads his mind. We also finally see Thanos come face to face with Thane, and whilst it is kind of silly that the only motivation for this whole story is because Thanos wants to kill his son, I do like how crazy it makes Thanos seem, and from Avengers #22, it’s clear that this is Hickman’s intention, plus, it does link nicely with Jason Aaron’s recent mini-series.
Meanwhile, The Illuminati are back from dealing with an Incursion, and they team up with Maximus and Lockjaw, and head to Wakanda, and then to the Necropolis to make a final play to save Earth from their own bombs. As Thanos is just about to kill Thane, he receives a transmission from Titan… that the Avengers have attacked it, and are on their way. Oh fucking yes.
This final issue has a lot to do, but if Hickman can pull it off, then this will definitely go down as one of the best crossovers ever, and I say that as someone who loves most crossovers, even ones that most people hate. The dual artists of Opena and Weaver continue to do great work on this series, and I have to say that Weaver draws the best Lockjaw ever, apart from maybe Kirby himself. I think Jim Cheung is returning for #6, which will be good, but these two have done fantastic work here, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for them (the return of SHIELD? Maybe?).