Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Jerome Opena, Dustin Weaver
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 4, 2013
The Marvel cosmic event of the year continues after strong tie ins from the past month (check them all out here). After months of posturing by what feels like the whole universe, both side’s motives begin to become more clear as Infinity rolls along.
“Massive in scale” is the only way to describe Infinity with “epic” as an extremely close second. Issue #2 was no slouch in keeping up with #1 when it came to widescreen action shots and an almost overwhelming amount of people, ships, or destruction on each page. While the book felt like it was being pushed in too many directions at first, it settled into a groove and began to narrow its focus on a few key plots. From the widespread damage accompanying the Avengers wherever they go, to the personal moments of the Inhumans, we were able to see how the conflict is affecting both the many and the few. Infinity is kept together by a strong narrative (‘Our first victory’ was chilling to say the least) that uses ‘we’ and ‘our’ in an interesting way. The narrative doesn’t connect to a certain hero, but through the aforementioned phrasing creates an “us vs. them” feel that makes the villains even more terrifying. The dialogue didn’t fare as well as the narrative however, as many of the conversations came off as generic and some of the small attempts at humor fell flat.
There were many great scenes and panels, but overall it felt disconnected from itself and suffered from pacing problems. The Corvus Glaive scene with the Inhumans could be considered the best part of Infinity and any related tie in so far and even the Gladiator speech was spot on, but it is odd having them in the same book with very little connecting the two. The amount of summary pages, around 3 or 4 pages, killed momentum and took up valuable page space. They mostly gave a 1 page summary of what had happened in one of the ‘necessary’ Avengers and New Avengers tie ins and didn’t bring much to the story except for a rehash of previous events. With how short comic books are nowadays, even just 2 extra pages dedicated to the main story could have went along way in fleshing out a character or add more into a subplot.
I couldn’t be happier when I saw Jerome Opena back on for this issue. Seeing his beautiful art of Captain America and Ex Nihilo with Hickman’s narrative over top of it all took me back to the giddiness I felt when I opened up Avengers #1. The intensity of his work, especially in the characters faces, really complements Hickman’s writing and captures every emotion wonderfully. Even though there were more artists involved than just Opena, it is impressive that this group, going back as far Avengers #1, have essentially redesigned the Cosmic Marvel universe. The Avengers’ spacesuits, the starships, the alien designs, and even a few costumes are re-imagined and reinvigorated with talented artists like Opena getting to show off.
Infinity is beginning to shed the problem of ‘too much story in too little time’ that plagues crossovers, especially ones that are based in the cosmic part of the universe. Hickman’s true vision of the story is beginning to show and with an exciting final panel, it is safe to say Infinity is going to just get better from here on out.