Comic Reviews: Infinity and Saga!
The next Marvel even has begun, and it’s delivered in the typical Jonathan Hickman grand fashion. There’s a lot of hype surrounding Infinity, the 6-issue event that was teased with May’s Free Comic Book Day issue, and it’s safe to say that it seems to be the case that this event is heading in the right direction, even if this is only the first issue.
The mad Titan Thanos (you may remember him from the mid credits scene in Avengers last summer) is sending out members of his army to attack different planets, seemingly at random. The Avengers receive a distress call from the secret Kree home world, and S.W.O.R.D. commander Abigail Brand makes a startling discovery: the armies are on their way to Earth. Wasting no time, the Avengers leap into action to stop the threat before it gets to us, and assist the other alien armies.
At the same time as his armies lay waste to surrounding planets, Thanos send a secret agent (the “Outrider”) to Earth, with the hope of locating the Infinity Gems. After probing into Black Bolt’s mind and learning of the destruction of the gems, the creature tries to make a mad escape, and barely escapes with his life. When the creature returns to Titan, Thanos’ plan is revealed. By creating a war in space, he has created an Earth that is without the Avengers, and therefore, defenseless.
My only complaint about Infinity’s plot is that it’s a continuation of Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers series. While the average comic reader can grab this issue and get an idea of what’s going on, those that have been following both Avengers titles will probably get more out of this. There are references to The Avengers’ Builders throughout the issue, and New Avengers’ Black Swan is featured heavily in the opening pages, which largely retread scenes from the past few issues of New Avengers. Also, the first quarter of this issue is the same as the one released on Free Comic Book Day; so many readers may have a strange sense of déjà vu when reading it.
Despite this, I really enjoyed Infinity’s opening act. This is an event book that really feels like an actual “event”, which is probably due to the fact that Thanos is a villain that commands this type of story. His plan is pretty cool (if a little unoriginal), and there are some awesome moments peppered throughout the issue (which I won’t spoil here).
When it comes to the art in this issue, Jim Cheung is the icing on the cake. His work never fails to impress me, and as much as it’s a bummer that he takes forever to complete a book, the end results are typically worth the wait.Infinity is no exception, and will make the wait that much harder for the final issue, which he is also drawing (Jerome Opena will be handling issues 2-5).
Infinity carries a hefty $5 price tag, but it is legitimately worth the money. This is a double seized issue that doesn’t waste any time getting into the meat of the story. While there are some moments that don’t make it as new reader friendly as it should be, it’s not impossible for someone to pick up cold either. While it’s still only one issue in, Infinity certainly seems to have that “good event feel” that I haven’t felt for a long time.
Rejoice, for Saga has returned to the comic stand! After a lengthy break, Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Eisner Winning series Saga is back, and I didn’t realize how much I missed it until now. Issue 13 fills us in on how Marko and Alana ended up on the planet Quietus, and in the home of D. Oswald Heist. Marko is a wreck after his father’s death, and Hazel, their infant daughter, is still public enemy number one of both of their races. Alana believes that finding Heist, who wrote her favorite novel, is the answer to their problems, and will allow them to hide out from the numerous bounty hunters searching for them. Speaking of bounty hunters, The Will makes his return in this issue as well, in a handful of hilarious scenes that range from being on hold with a customer support line to seeing a vision of his deceased friend/girlfriend The Stalk.
As usual, Brian K. Vaughan’s script is so chock full of excellent dialogue and believable characters that make you forget that the person you’re reading about has one eye, or wings sprouting out of the back of their head. Also as usual, Fiona Staples’ art is fantastic, continuing to create some of the most original alien designs since the original Star Wars movie.
The good news about Saga #13 is that this issue continues the title’s phenomenal knack for creating fun and gripping scenarios for our characters. The bad news is that we’re still left wondering how the hell Marko and Alana are going to get out of the cliffhanger they were left in at the end of the twelfth issue. Of course, part of the fun is seeing how BKV and Staples solve that problem. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.