It's that time once again. The time to delve into some Super Reads with The Infinity Gauntlet #4.
Super Reads means spoilers. Spoilers means giant warnings to make sure no one gets pissed off:
There are SPOILERS ahead.
So let's give this a once over.
You know the Bakians by now, right? They're the main characters of this little book. We have our narrator, Anwen, in the red armor, her younger sister, Fayne, in the purple armor, their dad, Menzin, in the green, the mother and veteran Nova, Eve in dark blue, and the dog in pink armor is Zigzag. In the background is Thanos. We'll get to him.
As of the second issue, the Bakians have all been given Nova Corps upgrades. That includes the bucket helmets, flight, power beams, and color coordinated costumes. It also means they've got a mission beyond just survival. All over the domain of New Xandar are the Infinity Gems just waiting to be gathered together. As of last issue, the Bakians have gathered together four of six Infinity Gems.
That just leaves the green Soul Gem and the yellow Reality Gem. Eve had a vision about the green one and it revealed that a scary looking dude had already acquired that particular relic. Adam Warlock. Sometimes called Adam Magus when he's feeling villainous.
Odds are pretty good that he's feeling villainous.
Aiding the Bakians in their quest to bring the six Infinity Gems together is Thanos the Mad Titan.
This is just Thanos's latest plan and he's only attempting it because all of his other plans have thus far failed. Thanos has been trying to collect all of the Infinity Gems in innumerable ways only to fail time and again when opposed by the Bakians. After victory has been lost, Thanos uses the Time Gem to go back and try again.
THIS time around, he's working WITH the Bakians and getting close to them so that when the time comes to kill them, he'll be well positioned.
So, eventually, the Bakians are screwed unless THIS guy can get to them first. Much like every other reality ever, this one has a guy who has been specifically built to kill Thanos.
Drax the Destroyer.
You might notice that Drax doesn't look a lot like his movie counterpart or even the guy currently running around the Marvel Universe. That's because this version of Drax is modeled after his original incarnation. He's even got a different power set that includes flight and talking in full sentences.
Drax isn't the only Guardian of the Galaxy to show up in this book. Star-Lord, Gamora, and Groot have already met and teamed up with the Bakians, adding their Infinity Gems to Eve's Infinity Gauntlet.
Yes. There's an actual Gauntlet. You need it to control the Gems. Apparently the Gauntlet is only capable of fully controlling ONE Gem even though it's made to house them all. Don't worry, there's a solution to that and it'll appear in this very issue.
The Infinity Gauntlet #4
Story & Art: Dustin Weaver
Script: Gerry Duggan
Color Artist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Albert Deschesne (from Comicraft)
Assistant Editor: Devin Lewis
Editor: Nick Lowe
In this issue: The Bakians and friends arrive in Magus City, take on Adam Warlock, and are betrayed by Thanos.
• The Bakian Novas, Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, and Thanos arrive in the last city standing in New Xandar, Magus City.
• When the ruler of Magus City, Adam Warlock, won't turn over his Infinity Gem or let them leave, the Novas and their allies get ready for a fight.
• Eve upgrades her armor into the Infinity Armor to better handle the power of four Infinity Gems.
• Adam's minions, the Knights of Xandar, engage in well choreographed combat with our heroes.
• Eve takes on Adam and we learn that she is not nearly as adept at using the Gems as Warlock is.
• Drax shows up, looking for Thanos.
• Adam Warlock's secret is revealed: he uses the Soul Gem to pacify a gigantic Annihilation bug which keeps the rest of the Annihilation Wave away for some reason.
• Before Warlock can use his Soul Gem to fully defeat Eve, Thanos joins the fight, kicking the crap out of Adam.
• Drax tells the Bakians that Thanos is the ACTUAL bad guy.
• But it's too late for Eve as Thanos uses his newly acquired Soul Gem to let the Annihilation bug loose on Magus City.
• He also kills Eve and takes her Infinity Gems.
• When our heroes show up, it's only so that Thanos can have a final confrontation with Drax the Destoyer.
• It's "final" because Thanos kills Drax.
Four Infinity Gems down, two to go. One of the last Gems brings the Bakians and their allies (Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot and... Thanos) to the last populated city in New Xandar. From a distance, it looks like every other broken city in the domain but just flying in, Anwen know that there are people down there living and it reminds her of when she and the rest of her family had normal lives.
That's long gone, now. By the looks of things, the survivors in this city have also said good-bye to anything approximating "normal." The land surrounding the populated area is a ruin that's STILL smoking. The perimeter is lined with cannons. The only reason Star-Lord's ship gets INTO the city is because the city ruler, Warlock, allows it.
Everyone leaves the ship and heads straight for Adam Warlock's throne room.
The Marvel-616 version of Adam Warlock made his first appearance WAY back in 1967's Fantastic Four #67 as Him. He was created by a bunch of evil scientists (not AIM) as the ultimate evolution of a human being. That didn't work out well for the scientists because Him realized how evil they were and proved beyond the scientists' ability to control. Since his origin, Him has taken a WHOLE lot of names and even more combinations of powers. He's usually known as Adam Warlock unless he wants to be a bad guy and then he goes by Adam Magus.
Adam tells the newcomers that they are in Magus City and introduces them to his Knights of Xandar.
The Knights of Xandar mostly don't look familiar. There's Warstar who is usually a member of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard but the other three are either new characters or are rocking unrecognizable looks.
Outside, Adam Warlock's people are eyeballing Star-Lord's ship. They figure it'll be a part of "Warlock's fleet" very soon.
Inside the throne room, negotiations for the Infinity Gem quickly break down. That's only partly because Eve is quick to threaten Adam, believing her side possesses greater power. Adam Warlock wasn't going to be giving up his Gem, anyway.
What I have failed to mention up to this point is that Adam uses the Soul Gem through some unknown means to protect this little slice of civilization. The rest of New Xandar has fallen to the bugs of the Annihilation Wave but Magus City remains standing. Broken, but standing.
Anyway, after telling the Novas and their allies that the people of Magus City are "family," Adam lets them know that their quest is at an end and they'll be staying here to join the family.
And that's means FIGHTING!
Before the crazy battle begins, Eve upgrades her suit to more properly handle the power of four Infinity Gems. She claims that the Infinity Gauntlet was only designed to control ONE Infinity Gem (even though it's built to hold them all). In a great anime magical girl sequence, Eve's Nova Armor bulks up into the Infinity Armor, capable of properly wielding all of the Gems at once!
She'll use it for punching and stuff.
The Knights of Xandar engage the Novas and their Guardian allies. Gamora decides to take on Warstar and since that's the only Knight that I recognize, it's the only one that matters! Haha!
OK, fine. Another Knight called Scathe (the only other one with a name) traps Anwen and Fayne inside a wall of flame. Scathe isn't just annoying because of the fire. She also talks in rhyme. Which is terrible.
Meanwhile, in the only fight that actually matters, Eve and her Infinity Armor is taking on Adam Warlock and his sole Soul Gem. She thinks that because she has four of the Infinity Gems, this fight will be simple but Warlock is much more adept at wielding his Infinity Gem than she is at handling all of hers. Adam uses his Gem to take Eve's soul out of her body.
Seeing this, Menzin tries to help his wife out but another of the Knights (a speedster) races in to occupy his attention. Don't worry, Menzin. Eve's able to focus and force her soul back in her body. Her fight with Adam continues.
Gamora and Star-Lord ended up tag-teaming Warstar which is a good thing because Warstar is two people working together. The main body is C'cll. The little guy hanging on C'cll's back is B'nee. B'nee is the smart one. When Gamora slices off C'cll's head, B'nee makes sure that Warstar keeps on fighting.
By this point, Star-Lord is no longer helping out. That's because Drax the Destroyer has shown up, looking for Thanos. When this fight began, Thanos ducked out. So Drax settles on picking a fight with Peter Quill.
We see that Groot is busy fighting another of the Knights just so we don't forget that everyone besides Thanos is helping out. Then, we skip over to Menzin fighting the speedster.
As we have learned in earlier issues, Menzin isn't really here for the fight. He's here for his family. He tries to negotiate his way out of this scuffle but the speedster isn't interested in peace. Seeing no other alternative, Menzin fires plasma blasts from both hands but the speedster is gone before they strike.
Daddy Nova's attention then turns to his daughters who are busy fighting the rhyming and flaming menace known as Scathe. Anwen and Fayne are also bickering with each other, as sisters do. Before Menzin can help out, the speedster returns. The speedster Knight hits Menzin a whole lotta times in quick succession. Out green-clad Nova finally gets off a shot, taking the Knight down. Sure, he's not a fan of combat but that doesn't mean he can't tussle.
Since Dad isn't going to come help fight Scathe, Fayne calls in Zigzag. The Nova dog keeps the Knight distracted so that the sisters can discuss some strategy. Anwen apologizes for yelling at her sister earlier. With that cleared up, they decide to play a game of soccer with Scathe's head, since the power blasts weren't really helping.
Instead of helping his daughters, Menzin turns his attention towards Star-Lord. Peter's been pulled in the air by Drax the Destroyer for some threats and intimidation. Menzin fires off some Nova blasts to separate the two.
We catch a few shots of the Bakian girls playing kickball with Scathe's head and then move on to Gamora's battle with Warstar. Even without C'cll's head, B'nee manages to at least temporarily keep Gamora on the ropes but our Guardian eventually figures out that Warstar still needs to lose a head... and like that, another Knight is taken out of the fight.
Eve's fight with Adam Warlock has left the throne room and spread to the city outside. As the fight progresses, Eve's lack of familiarity with the Infinity Gems shows. Adam's attack eventually sucks Eve's soul out of her body.
The Magus reveals that the Soul Gem works by letting him change people's souls so they want to do what HE wants them to do. Basically. As he works his mojo on her, Eve realizes that the reason Magus City is so safe from the Annihilation Wave is because Adam has his very own monster bug living within the city. It's kept pacified by his Soul Gem, but it still needs to eat. Adam makes sure to "keep it well fed."
People, folks. Warlock feeds it people.
Just when Eve is at Adam Warlock's mercy, Thanos shows up to take the father of Magus City down. HARD.
Within Warlock's throne room, Star-Lord has stopped Menzin from attacking Drax. I guess during his personal time with the Destroyer, Peter figured out that Drax wasn't the real enemy. Menzin questions Drax and learns that the true enemy is Thanos. The Destroyer tells him that the Mad Titan is responsible for the Annihilation Wave and pretty much every other horrible thing that's happened in New Xandar.
Unfortunately, the Nova Armor isn't equipped with a communicator or Menzin would be able to get this new information to his wife, Eve. As it stands, Eve thinks her life has just been saved by Thanos. She tells the Titan what Adam was doing here and that if he gives her the Soul Gem, she might just have the power she needs to handle the giant Annihilation bug before it runs a rampage all over the city.
Thanos fastens the Gem onto his OWN Infinity Gauntlet, claiming that unleashing a bug on the population sounds like a GREAT idea.
Inside the throne room, the Novas and Guardians are finishing up with the Knights when their attention turns to what's going on outside. Thanos uses the Soul Gem to let the Annihilation bug monster loose. The citizens of Magus City try to flee but there's really no place safe to run.
And let's not forget that Eve is at Thanos's mercy. She still hasn't recovered from Adam's attack. She's nowhere near prepared for Thanos. As we watch people running away from imminent peril, the Mad Titan busies himself with killing Eve and taking her Infinity Gems for himself. There's only one Gem left and then Thanos will have successfully collected 'em all.
The rest of our heroes arrive just in time to watch Eve die but without any time to do anything about it. Before they can react, the Annihilation bug explodes through the buildings behind them. This might distract them long enough for Thanos to get the drop on Drax. Or maybe it doesn't matter. With five of the six Infinity Gems, Thanos is probably more powerful than all of them.
He grabs Drax by the throat, telling the Destroyer that the reason he never killed his hunter before is because he enjoyed the distraction. Now, however, Thanos has all new possibilities before him.
Soaring into the air, Thanos snaps Drax's neck. Behind him, the Annihilation bug rages through the remains of Magus City.
Now would be a great time to rally, guys.
We'll see you next issue.