You have stumbled into Super Reads. Welcome! Today, I'm reading The Infinity Gauntlet #2 and then spoiling the hell out of it for you.
There are Spoilers ahead.
So let's talk about a few things.
The domain of Battleworld we're visiting in this series is known as New Xandar. It's beyond the Shield which means it's kind of a rogue state. It doesn't have a Baron. It's not recognized by God-Doom as an actual territory and the rest of Battleworld is technically at war with it.
This is mostly because the entire area has been demolished by Annihilus and the many bugs that comprise his Annihilation Wave. New Xandar has fallen and is now a danger to the rest of the world.
But you're looking at that picture to the left and thinking "what does that have to do with what you're typing, Super?"
Well, with every fallen nation, there are survivors. These are them. This is the Bakian Clan. Menzin is the father. Gramps is the maternal grandfather, Anwen is the elder daughter (and is the main protagonist), Fayne is the younger daughter, and Zigzag is the ever faithful dog.
Together, they've been making their way in a fallen city, trying to stay one step ahead of the bugs and out of trouble.
Of course, we're missing one member of the family. The mother. Eve Bakian is a member of the Nova Corps. When the Annihilation Wave struck, she left her family and went off to defend New Xandar with the rest of the Nova Corps.
From every report that came back, the Nova Corps looked to have failed. They were all presumed dead, including Eve. Even so, Menzin never gave up hope that Eve would return and tried to build the same hope in his daughters. Except, day after day of eeking out an existence can wear away at that hope. And that just starts family arguments.
Of course, this is all moot now. Eve showed up to save Anwen's life right in the nick of time last issue, proving that she was alive all along.
What's she been up to? Why hasn't she tried to visit?
All very good questions.
But what about those Infinity Gems?
The Infinity Gems (also known as Infinity Stones even though they're totally gems) are six powerful, universe changing items that can pretty much alter all of reality to suit the user's whim. Each Gem devotes it's power to one particular theme. We've got the Soul Gem (green), the Time Gem (orange), the Space Gem (purple), the Mind Gem (blue), the Reality Gem (yellow), and the Power Gem (red).
And, yeah, Eve showed up moments after Anwen got the Mind Gem.
While you're pondering that, let's remember that Thanos was shown with the Time Gem and he's typically the kind of guy who likes to collect 'em all and put 'em on a gauntlet for easy manipulation of absolutely everything.
The Infinity Gauntlet #2
Story: Gerry Duggan & Dustin Weaver
Artist: Dustin Weaver
Script: Gerry Duggan
Letterer: Albert Deschesne (Comicraft)
Assistant Editor: Devin Lewis
Editor: Nick Lowe
In this issue: The Bakian Family reunites and Novas up, Star-Lord steals an Infinity Stone, and Thanos reaches out and crushes himself in the past.
• Eve and Anwen rejoin the surviving members of the Bakian Clan.
• Nova powers were bestowed on all.
• Yes, including the dog.
• The Bakians learn to fly.
• A wave of Annihilation bugs converges on their location.
• After the newbies fight the bugs as best they can, Eve decides the only way to achieve victory is to use Anwen's newly found Mind Gem.
• It works!
• Eve makes the bugs leave and then shoots them in the back because this is war, dammit.
• The Bakians fly to the last remaining Nova HQ only to find it's been destroyed and raided.
• Someone stole the Nova's Infinity Gem during the attack.
• That someone was Star-Lord.
• In the future (yes, the future), the last remaining Nova kicks Thanos' butt in.
• Facing immenent defeat, Thanos uses the Time Infinity Gem to travel back into the past.
• Once there, he kills his past self and takes that past self's place.
• And that past self's Time Gem because the one future Thanos was rocking didn't travel into the past with him.
When last we saw Menzin, his younger daughter Fayne, and their dog Zigzag, they were racing away from some Annihilation bugs. It looks like they were able to escape. Now, the trio waits near their fallen campsite for any sign that Anwen and Gramps were also able to get away with their lives.
ACTUALLY, what they're doing is watching as Eve, in full Nova uniform, flies in with Anwen. The family's reunited and it feels so good.
Except... one of their number didn't make it. Gramps sacrificed his life to save Anwen. Menzin wants to go make sure Gramps didn't somehow survive but Eve shows him the bloody remains of Gramps' stocking cap, which kinda sorta proves that her dad is dead. She's taking it... well, I guess.
But I also guess that this is what war'll do to you. If Eve was on the front lines, and she was, she's lost a lot of good friends. She doesn't seem the type to let that emotion bubble up on the surface.
Menzin wants to have a moment to process a death in the family. Eve doesn't give it to him. They've gotta move and they have to do it as Novas.
Yeah. She's got Nova stars for everyone. Again, this isn't something Menzin is in favor of. He's worked hard to keep his daughters safe and relatively innocent. Becoming a Nova is essentially making them soldiers. Child soldiers.
Sure, the world is all post-apocalyptical and the powers of a Nova star would definitely help ensure survival but it's STILL making his kids child soldiers.
It's also not up for debate. Eve's here and she's calling the shots. More than that, Anwen is absolutely willing to take up the star, despite her earlier anger at what that star represents.
One super-transformation sequence later and Anwen is dressed up in her very own Nova suit. While Eve's is the traditional blue, Anwen's has some nice dark red highlights. Get ready for some Power Ranger-like colors for the rest of the family but, since this is Marvel, the extra colors will be muted and not completely overbearing.
When Fayne is offered her star, she's more concerned about what happens with their dog, Zigzag, when the rest of the family is airborne. Eve assures her that Zigzag will be properly taken care of but Fayne would rather the dog fly with the rest of the family. Eve tries explaining that dogs can't use Nova stars... and then Fayne gives her star to Zigzag and Mom is proven wrong.
Zigzag's accent color is pink. Now I want her to appear in every comic ever made from now on because, yeah, Novadog is awesome.
Fayne gets another star, of course. After Menzin gets his, the family poses for another family photo. Menzin's color is green. Fayne's is purple.
Remember the whole "becoming soldiers" thing? Eve is playing drill instructor but she's doubling that duty by also being mom/ wife. And, yes, this turn to the Nova is definitely putting a strain on her and Menzin's relationship. But if this is going to be war, and it is, then it's time to train her family on how to use the Nova Force.
And lesson one is learning to fly.
It's not how things would usually go. You train UP to flying. But her kids are eager and they'll prove fast learners. Anwen is the first to follow Eve up into the sky. Menzin and Fayne quickly follow. The only question is whether or not Zigzag will make it off the ground. Eve doubts she can do it but is once again proven wrong.
Seriously, Marvel. Novadog. It's a title that needs to happen.
With that, the Bakian clan is off the ground and on their way.
Oh, hey, remember that Infinity Gem Anwen picked up near the end of the last issue? She finally mentions it to everyone and it gets Eve's attention. Anwen hands the Mind Gem over to her mother.
And then the bugs show up. This is interesting because while the Bakians have been putting on their Nova suits, the sun has risen. It's daylight. Last issue, we were led to believe that daylight might offer some protection against the swarms of insects that comprise the Annihilation Wave. This issue proves that to have been a false assumption.
Menzin orders a retreat because that's what everyone would have done before today. But today... today is a different day. Today, they're all Novas. That means fighting.
Eve tells them all to raise their arms and "imagine the sun is in your hand."
Continuing: "And share the light with the bastards!"
Things immediately don't go very well. Eve is dealing with a large swarm of Annihilation bugs and the rawest of Nova recruits imaginable. Menzin in particular is struggling but he's dealing with a lack of depth perception because of his missing eye. Shooting is difficult.
Anwen seems to be holding her own but she's been separated from the rest of her family so the momentum she's gaining doesn't really help out anyone else. Eventually, Eve decides the best thing to do is try using the Mind Gem on the bugs.
It works. Eve gets a hold of the bugs' minds and the Annihilation Wave flies off, giving the Bakians time to escape. Which would be great but Eve uses the situation as a teachable moment. When you're a Nova, you don't let bugs live. She opens fire on the enthralled Annihilation bugs, killing them all in one go.
Their next stop is Nova Headquarters. It's located in the mountains and it's the last Nova fortress still standing. However, on their way there Eve notices a large rut in the ground leading right to her home and fear overtakes her.
It's well founded. Nova HQ has been destroyed by the Annihilation Wave. The thirty remaining members of the Nova Corps are dead. The Bakians are alone.
And that's not all. The Novas had their own Infinity Gem hidden away at this base. It was stored on a Gauntlet because, as I mentioned last issue, the Infinity Gems are too powerful to be wielded all together without the Infinity Gauntlet. Eve explains that, having witnessed the power of the Mind Gem, she's realized that collecting ALL of the Gems would give them the ultimate advantage over the Annihilation Wave.
Anyway, the Infinity Gauntlet is still on the premises but the Gem it housed is gone. Someone snuck in while the bugs were attacking and stole it. They left some boot prints, proving that it wasn't a bug that did the burglarizing. It was a man, man.
And not just any man. It was Star-Lord.
We join Peter Quill as he meets up with Gamora. He tries to fool her into thinking that he found nothing of value at Nova Headquarters but she knows straight up that he's lying. Star-Lord presents to her the Space Gem. It's purple.
Like any good hero, Quill doesn't intend to do anything good with this Infinity Gem. He just wants to sell it and be rich.
Meanwhile, in the future...
The future? What happened to the past? When will now be then?
OK. The future, then.
Thanos is fighting his final battle with the last remaining Nova. Both combatants have their own Infinity Gauntlets but Nova claims that Thanos' is a cheap knock-off compared to the genuine article that she wears. Neither Thanos or the Nova have all of the Infinity Gems, though. The Nova has the Mind and Power Gems. Thanos has the Time and Soul Gem.
You'll notice I'm not naming which Nova is fighting Thanos. That's because she's never named and is mostly kept it deep shadows. HOWEVER, a little light reflects off the armor, showing that the highlight color is red. Or maybe the light reflecting off the suit is red tinged due to all the explosions. Odds are pretty good this is a future version of Anwen but, hey, maybe Fayne took up her sister's colors.
Whatever the case, the Nova is kicking Thanos' ass. She's doing this not out of a place of revenge but if she were, Thanos would totally be a good place to direct some vengeance. According to the Nova, everything that's happened has been because of Thanos. The Annihilation Wave was brought to New Xandar because Thanos manipulated it to come this way.
He did this so that the Novas would do something that they had promised never to do: reassemble the Infinity Gauntlet.
Which is great but, as you can see, that isn't working out very well for Thanos. Before the Nova can deal a killing blow, Thanos uses his Infinity Gems to escape the fight. Where could he escape to avoid a future battle with this more powerful Nova?
Because he has the Time Gem. Or DID. Going back in the past has separated him from his version of the Infinity Gauntlet.
Landing on the broken streets of New Xandar, Thanos searches out his past self to tell him how the battle went. This isn't the first time a future version of Thanos has delivered a message of failure to a past version of Thanos. It turns out that Thanos has been looping back and retrying to get the Infinity Gems a LOT. His past self declares that he'll just have to redouble his efforts this time around but future Thanos has an even better idea.
What happens when you kill yourself in the past? Nothing? I guess so because future Thanos just put a pretty substantial hole in past Thanos. The still standing version of Thanos takes the Time Gem away from his now dead past variant.
It's time to try something different.