Contains a spoiler for the mid-credits scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, plus multiple ones for Infinity Gauntlet and its aftermath.
This past weekend Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 arrived, racking up the box office and leaving fans wondering what was next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s cosmic heroes. The immediate answer is Avengers: Infinity War which will involve Thanos, Infinity Stones and some sort of existential threat to life throughout the universe. The question is what comes after all that. Guardians writer/director James Gunn has already confirmed that there will be a Guardians Vol. 3 for Phase 4 of the MCU and that he will be returning to helm it. In his statement, he reiterated Marvel Studio’s party line about Avengers 3 and 4 being a culmination of everything which came prior. He also dropped a hint that, like Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Guardians will see some status quo shifting post-Infinity: “It will conclude the story of this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and help catapult both old and new Marvel characters into the next ten years and beyond.” This is a rather broad statement which covers a wide amount of ground. The universe is a vast place and, even with certain character rights tied up at Fox, still well-populated with assorted friends and foes. The following is not in any way a prediction of what Marvel and Gunn are planning but simply an imagining of what one possible avenue could be.
As part of Marvel’s many Secret Wars tie ins the publisher will be launching a Infinity Gauntlet series based on the classic miniseries. It will be written by Gerry Duggan of Deadpool, Hulk, Nova & Arkham Manor while being illustrated by Dustin Weaver of Infinity, Avengers, New Avengers, SHEILD: Architects Of Forever, Astonishing X-Men & Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic. More details at Hero Complex
Weaver and Duggan’s Secret Wars tie-in continues along its own idiosyncratic path. The first issue centered on the dynamics within a family unit trying to survive a ravaged world. There was plenty of action, though little linking the title to its 90s Event namesake. Weaver and Duggan seemed little concerned with retelling a familiar story, instead focusing on a batch of new characters. The second issue, broadened the scope, adding some familiar faces, yet still traveling in its own narrative direction. That trend continues with the release of #3 as Weaver and Duggan keep on delightfully subverting reader expectations.
Last month’s issue ended with the revelation that Thanos was currently in possession of the Time Gem. As expected of The Mad Titan, he is determined to gain the other five Stones as well, yet, each attempt ends in failure. Luckily (for him) he has the Time Gem, which allows him to rewind the clock after each defeat; it is essentially his own personal “do-over” button. However, after so many failed attempts, he has decided that a new approach is needed. The family at the center of the series has a mother who is a Nova, and she in turn possesses another of the Gems. Instead of direct confrontation, Thanos concludes that a more devious approach may be required. Continue reading Review of The Infinity Gauntlet #3→
Out of the many Secret Wars tie in series, Infinity Gauntlet was the most curious. It’s playing on the title of what is perhaps, the best “event” in Marvel comics history but it wasn’t featuring any of the creators from the original series or any of it’s subsequent squeals in spite of those creators being relativelyactivewith Marvel over the last year. Instead, the series would use fast rising Marvel stars Gerry Duggan & Dustin Weaver, the former of which would be implementing the Nova corps concept that he had been working on in the ongoing series. This was all fragments of information, it was nearly impossible to predict what was coming out of this series but with it’s release this week, Infinity Gauntlet exceeds expectations in creating an excellent new series from patchworks of the Marvel universe & genre tropes. Infinity Gauntlet is a story about a family trying to survive in a post apocalypse wasteland via giant space bugs while their mother is lost in space with the Nova corps. Infinity works best in the way it builds it characters and the world around them by letting the story do the heavy lifting. The family dynamic and stakes are immediately apparent and felt from the characters environment and reaction against it. Marvel cannon is utilized without being beholden to it and instead, used sparingly. This is especially effective with Thanos, who is more like a ghost haunting the peripherals of the story then the center of it. Dustin Weaver’s art is fantastic in it’s details, acting and movement; it might be the best work he’s ever done.
What’s become most apparent with the Secret Wars tie-ins is how the books have worked bestthe farther removed they are from the main titles story line. Infinity Gauntlet has a minimal connection to the Secret Wars title, the original series or Marvel continuity as a whole, but in place of all that; it’s give a highly original debut that stands up on it’s own merits. There has been a lot of great work coming out of the Secret Wars line so far and Infinity Gauntlet is one of the best.