Beard: Infinity arrives to showcase The AvengersWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It sprawls, it sings, it struts and sometimes it stumbles; this is Infinity No. 1, the first salvo in Marvel Comics’ latest summer “event.” And, as modern comic books go, it’s a mixed bag for readers to consume and digest.
Is it any good? Depends on who you ask. For new readers, the sheer number of characters and situations that fly fast and furious through Infinity No. 1’s extra pages may just be the kind of immersive experience that could spark their interest. For veteran comic fans, the series may deliver only the clichés and stereotypes they’ve read a thousand times before, wrapped up in gorgeous art on quality paper. Still, those roles could also be reversed: Infinity might only confuse and confound a neophyte with its complex continuity and turn them off to further investigation of the Marvel Universe, whereas an older reader might feel comforted by the familiar tactics and strategies of the heroes and villains therein. Again, it all comes down to who you ask; Infinity is a slick product designed for many levels of exploration.
Overall, its focus is on The Avengers, “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” Little surprise there, as a certain 2012 blockbuster movie set the team on the top of the Marvel heap and allowed them to bask in a popularity not seen in decades. Infinity No. 1 tells the evergreen story of alien invasion, yet here the Avengers decide to head out into space and cleverly confront said invasion there instead of here. Problem is that Thanos, the big purple bad guy glimpsed at the end of the “Avengers” film, sees nothing but an undefended Earth … and we have our set-up. Is it high art? No, but with its wasteful title pages and its sweeping scene changes that jump across the universe, it pretends to be.
That’s modern comics.
Even the most well-read Marvel fan may find Infinity No. 1 dense with stuff you once read a year ago or so but probably forgot. And there’ll be plenty of tie-in issues, too, with all the other Avengers books. Some might simply jump in the pool and let themselves drown in it all, happily, while others might be content with finding out how it goes by reading a synopsis on the Internet.