This issue of Avengers isn’t the most action-packed chapter of Infinity, but it does a damn good job at bridging the gap between this week’s #5 and the upcoming final issue, and it also features some of Hickman’s best character work.
My biggest problem with Jonathan Hickman has always been that he gets way too caught up in his grand cosmic plans and endgames, that the characters within them suffer, and yes, whilst the romance between Cannonball and Smasher, and the doubts that Manifold is having do come out of nowhere here, it’s great to see them at all, and given the epic scale of what’s been going on in Infinity, it does kind of make sense. The Avengers haven’t had time for character moments, but now they do, and it’s very interesting indeed.
We pick up right where Infinity #5 left off, with the Avengers and their allies heading back to Earth to fight Thanos. We see Cannonball and Smasher making out, and there’s a fun scene with Sunspot’s reaction to this new development. The friendship between Cannonball and Sunspot has been one of the rare comedic parts of Hickman’s Avengers run (along with the absent from Infinity Superior Spidey) so it’s good to see that appear again, and also for Smasher to get some development, which she hasn’t had since her origin issue really. We then see the attack on Titan which Thanos was told about in Infinity, with Falcon and Hyperion leading the charge, and then Black Dwarf, one of Thanos’ lieutenants returns to the story. He was dismissed by Thanos for failing to conquer Wakanda, and now we see that he’s taken over SWORD’s Peak Station, and oh man, is he pissed, it’s going to be great to see him go up against the Avengers.
After this, the preparations for the final battle begin, Captain America is now back in contact with Iron Man, and a plan is forming. They need to break Thanos’ blockade, and to do that they have to go through The Peak. It looks like the plan is for Manifold to teleport a select group behind the blockade, which makes sense. Manifold however is kind of scared, he’s never done anything on this scale before. As I said, Manifold’s fear is sort of coming from nowhere, but it does make sense, this is on a much bigger scale than anything he’s done before with either the Avengers or the Secret Warriors. Captain America and Captain Marvel try and reassure him by telling him not to over-think it, to not over-mythologise and to just think of it as a job, as a fight like any other. Thor on the other hand has another point of view, he does believe in grand cosmic destinies and that all of his life and Eden’s life has lead to this moment. This was a grand speech, and I’m not sure which side of the coin I’m on. I suppose Thor’s view and the two Captain’s views represent the two sides of Hickman stories, the grand cosmic clockwork, but also the small people within them. Oh man, I’m getting meta on your asses now!
Anyways, it was some great Thor writing, and it has me pumped for the last few parts of this epic story. Leinil Yu’s art was once again excellent. Part of what’s made Infinity so good is not just Hickman writing all of it, but it’s the art, Cheung, Opena, Weaver, Yu and Deodato are all top-level artists, and they all have similarish styles, it’s just all so good, I’m sad it’s nearly over, but sill very excited indeed.