Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Infinity Gauntlet

In 1991, the year of this book's publication, I was quickly losing interest in comics, and readying myself for my freshman year of college. Upon my return to the world of comics last year, I realized how little I ever knew of either Marvel or DC Universe, so I dove right into the most controversial, overwrought, all-star superhero trade paperback I could find:  DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths (DC, 1985).  It was all they everyone claimed: it was a yawning sprawler of epic proportion/it was ambitious, creative, & ahead of it's time.  As often is the case, really good art is mercilessly criticized, so I knew there had to be something good in it!  I found Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet to be a little more concise than Crisis on Infinite Earths however, the cast of characters much smaller & subplots fewer, and therefore easier to read.

The six Infinity Gems collected & mounted to the Infinity Gauntlet now renders Thanos omnipotent over the six aspects of the universe- Time, Space, Mind, Soul, Reality, and Power. Mistress Death is unimpressed however, and in his ongoing & forlorn attempt to win her heart, he wipes out half the sentient life in the universe. Those spared by chance band together with a mysteriously ressurected Adam Warlock and cautious Dr. Strange in a suicide course toward Thanos, who awaits the chance to impress Death, an adulatory Mephisto at his ear the whole time. The death, dismemberment, and humiliation of the cast of heroes, including several cosmic entities like Galactus & Eternity, is shocking. I don't want to spoil anything if by chance someone reading this might take my advice in picking this up, but I'll say I was surprised to see where Thanos ended up and how he conceptualized his fate.

As I said about my post on The Avengers: Kree-Skrull War, this is a story our younger generation of comic book readers might dismiss, but shouldn't. Sure, there aren't any lovesick, teenage vampires among the characters, and the coloring is limited by the technology of the times, but it's a good story. Jim Starlin is known for his drawn out space operas, weaving this one around his creation, Thanos, in a fun if not clever way. And George Perez & Ron Lim pencilled page after page of battling heroes & villains set against a grand cosmic background, one line at a time.

Below are some links to comics blogs I follow that you might want to check out- they aren't all up to date, and some don't post often, but there's a cumulative wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm therein. If you have any suggested blogs about comics, please share  :)

Again With the Comics
Bronze Age Babies
Bully Says: Comics Outta Be Fun!
Continued On 2nd Page Following
DC Bloodlines
New readers... start here!
Trade Waiting Tales
What Was That Issue Again?
The Idol Head of Diabolu  (all Martian Manhunter, all the time!)
Comics Bronze Age
Steve Does Comics

*Pictured above with the Premiere Hardcover edition of this book, Marvel Universe Thanos by Hasbro.


  1. Aways been a big fan of THANOS. He is one supervillian that you have to trick into defeating himself. He's just too powerful when fought one on on

  2. With all your posts about comics lately, I really want to pick up some and learn about the history of Marvel. I am a Marvel fan, but I really know nothing about the characters apart from their on-screen appearances. I checked a couple of places for this Infinity Gauntlet and they are all up for pre-order with a month to go. Do you have any suggestion on which book I can just pick up and start reading with no required knowledge of other Marvel history?

  3. Start with any of the Marvel Essential Volumes- they are all black & white, but cheap and HUGE. i just ordered Marvel Masterworks Vol. 1 & 2- found 'em cheap on eBay. People are ALWAYS unloading comics & trade paperbacks (TPB). The Masterworks series are in color, and the Avengers is a good place to start as any. Also, check out the link above "New readers... start here!" -they answered my DC questions, but they talk about Marvel, too. I am really a beginner at this in many ways- reading & researching, especially when talking about a prticular action figure/character, has helped me learn about all these stories. i don't just want the toy figure, i want to know WHAT HE/SHE DID... that's part of the fun for me :)

  4. I used to have all the comic books for then one i collected them and it was just some great reading.