Anghus Houvouras reviews Marvel’s Infinity #4…
“Negotiating the fall of worlds. The Illuminati versus Thanos. Thor, God of War.”
I’ve been disappointed with Marvel’s latest event comic, Infinity. And I’ve made no bones about just how lackluster I’ve found the entire outing. It’s an epic without gravitas. A story riddled with inconsistencies and paced poorly with a choppy presentation that lends itself more to a flashback or an acid trip than a cohesive story with a compelling narrative.
Simply put, Infinity has been a mess. A failed series that should get points for effort but ultimately feels like an experiment in storytelling.
After three issues, I found myself with no investment in the series. In spite of the subject matter, this entire series feels like it has no stakes whatsoever. The two major story lines are not only completely disconnected but feel like completely different comics. You’ve got Captain America and the Avengers fighting an intergalactic war with the ancient Builders, a race of aliens that are devoid of personality and come across like bad Borg clones.
Then you have Thanos, arguably one of the most fun and devious villains in the Marvel Universe, being completely wasted in a plot involving hunting down his son Thane and killing him for reasons that are still unclear.
The fourth issue is plagued by the same woes as previous installments: a complete lack of cohesion and painful pacing. Black Bolt finally faces off with Thanos which was teased in the second issue and now finally comes to pass. And, SURPRISE, Black Bolt gets his ass kicked. For all the supposed power possessed by the king of the Inhumans, Black Bolt gets his ass kicked, a lot. Much like Hulk in World War Hulk, Black Bolt proves hugely ineffective as Thanos beats him half to death. There is more to his plan than a straight throw down, as his power releases the terrigan mists and begins to activate Inhuman powers in people, a plot point that feels cribbed from any number of X-Men stories and Grant Morrison’s JLA run.
Everything happening in Infinity feels pre-ordained. As if the story exists to fulfill where Marvel editorial wanted the collective characters to go. None of it feels organic, nor does any of it make sense. Four issues in, and there’s still a lot of head scratching moments going on in Infinity.
The one good moment in the book comes from Thor who gets to put an epic smack down on the universe dominating Builders. Sadly, it’s the first glimpse of anything cool in this title, and it’s a fleeting moment that makes your realize just how bad Hickman is at juggling large stories with a lot of moving pieces.
Right now, I’d put Infinity in my list of worst event comics ever. Along with tripe like Age of Ultron, Infinite Crisis, and Final Crisis. This series is rapidly disintegrating, seeming to exist simply so Marvel can create a bunch of Inhumans to push their new Inhuman heavy story arcs. Much like House of M was a weak excuse to trim the mutant population with Scarlet Witch’s “No More Mutants” mantra, Infinity is an intellectual property building exercise designed to create a new generation of super powered Inhumans to exploit in a number of titles.
Infinity is garbage. And the only reason I’m still reading it is morbid curiosity to see how this flaming pile of debris ends.
Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker. His latest work, the novel My Career Suicide Note, is available from Amazon.