Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Infinity Gauntlet...And Its Related Titles (Marvel Comics)



The Thanos Quest
The Infinity Gauntlet
The Infinity War
The Infinity Crusade
Marvel Comics
1990 - 1993

Whether you love them or hate them, crossover stories are a great way for comic book companies to produce a massive story line that encompasses their entire universe. It not only helps bring all the characters together, but it also allows for deeper stories.

It showcases a major event that impacts all the characters, and does away with that often times confined feeling that major events in a single series leave. In other words, everyone is aware of this event, and it impacts their story moving forward as opposed to say a single event that only impacts one character, and their own story moving forward.

...Okay, it's also an easy way to sell books that readers otherwise wouldn't invest in just so they can keep up with the entire story.

The Infinity Gauntlet is an amazing mini series which was released between July and December of 1991. It stands alone as a six issue mini series, and for the most part, readers need not look to other books for a well contained story - Though several lead in, encompassing and aftermath stories were produced in such series as Silver Surfer, Quasar, Cloak and Dagger, Doctor Strange, Hulk, Spider-Man and a few others. However, one can read just the six issues which fall under the main title, and still walk away with a very thorough story that is told from start to end. The add in titles do just that, they add to the story, they don't hinder it if you don't read them.

Obviously to get the full representation of the story, one should try to track down all the individual titles that encompass the full crossover, but again, this is not necessary.

The Infinity Gauntlet starts in the pages of Silver Surfer number 34 - volume 3, and continues through issue number 38 of that same volume. It features the rebirth/resurrection of Thanos by Death herself. Though the Surfer tries to oppose and prevent this from happening, he fails.

This leads to the events of The Thanos Quest.


The Thanos Quest is the first big piece of the story arc puzzle, and is in itself its own mini series of just two issues. The story unfolds as Thanos learns about the true power of the Infinity Gems, and convinces Death to let him seek them out - Which (without spoiling the actual story) he does.

The lead up to The Infinity Gauntlet continues in Quasar number 24 and concludes in Cloak and Dagger number 18, which also features Ghost Rider and Spider-Man.

This brings us finally to the story itself;


As we said above, The Infinity Guantlet is a six issue mini series, and it essentially comes down to everyone (okay not everyone, but a good amount of heroes) vs. Thanos to stop him from destroying every universe in every galaxy - Killing everyone in the process. Why kill everyone? The short end of it is that Thanos's motivation was to give Death a gift of love that nobody else could - I.E. Kill everyone. Yes, folks - The Infinity Gauntlet is a love story.

While the six issues unfolded, there were several main events that occurred in other Marvel titles. However most of these events involved bringing those characters into the story arc of the main books. Those issues included Silver Surfer numbers 51 through 59, Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme number 31 through 35, Hulk numbers 383 through 385, Quasar number 26 and 27, Sleepwalker numbers 6 and 7, and Spider-Man number 17.

Though the story concluded in issue six of The Infinity Gauntlet, there were a few aftermath crossovers that hit newsstands. These included Silver Surfer number 60, the new series - Warlock and the Infinity watch number 1 and Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme number 36. The story would later have an alternate take in the pages of What If?.

All seemed well in regards to the Infinity Gems until 1992's The Infinity War. When Adam Warlock took posession of the Infinity Gauntlet, he sacraficed both his good and evil side to become a logical being. However there was a consiquence to this action. His evil side recreates the persona of his foe the Magnus who desires conquest and revenge against Warlock. What better way than to take control of the Gauntlet himself?

There was no real crossover lead in to The Infinity War as all of this began building in the pages of the afformentioned Warlock and the Infinity Watch between issues 2 and 6.


One of the great features of The Infinity War books was that each of the six featured a fantastic trifold cover. This meant each issue featured an amazing cover which encompassed a whole bunch of characters.



During its six issue run, there were many crossover titles which became a part of the main story. Much like those involved in The Infinity Gauntlet series, this was more so a way to explain how the characters became involved in the fight. For those not really interested in the "how" aspect of it all can still get a rather enjoyable story from the mini series itself.

The issues involved in the main story line were; Warlock and the Infinity Watch numbers 7 through 10, Alpha Flight issues 110 through 112, Fantastic Four issues 366 through 370, Guardians of the Galaxy numbers 27 through 29, Marc Spector: Moon Knight issues 41 through 44, Marvel Comics Presents numbers 108 through 111, New Warriors number 27, Nomad number 7, Quasar issues 38 through 40, Silver Sable and the Wild Pack numbers 4 and 5, Silver Surfer issues 67 through 69, Sleepwalker number 18, Spider-Man number 24 and Wonder Man issues 13 and 14.

The series even saw a parody story published in the pages of What The..?! number 20. For those unfamiliar with this great title, you can check out our post on it "HERE".

The final installment to this particular arc of stories was The Infinity Crusade, and honestly, we don't get this one at all. Here's why; Much as the story of The Infinity War surrounds the premise of Adam Warlock's evil side - The Magnus, the Crusade storyline surrounds the premise of his good side..Doing evil things. Kind of defeats the purpose of a good side.


Yes, Adam's good side, AKA The Goddess has decided to steal the five cosmic containment units collected by The Magnus, and uses them in addition to the twenty-five other she finds to create the Cosmic Egg. With the egg, she builds the planet Paradise Omega, and then uses the egg to kidnap citizens (or heroes) of Earth, and uses them to fight in her army.

Is everyone as lost as we are? Why would a good side of someone steal something, then kidnap people for an army? Right? I mean, are we the only ones who read this and were like, "Really? That's all you could come up with?"

Anyway...

The main story took place in not only the six issues of The Infinity Crusade, but also in the pages of warlock and the Infinity Watch numbers 18 through 22 and The Warlock Chronicles numbers 1 through 5. This also made it the only book in the entire Infinity "series" which really required you to read all the aforementioned tie in titles related to it to get the whole story. So really it wasn't so much a six issue mini series as it was a sixteen issue mini series.

Of course tie in stories were also present in other books which could be read to get an even more in depth understanding as to how those kidnapped were brought into the story - As well as why. Those issues included; Alpha Flight 122 through 124, Avengers West Coast 96 and 97, Cage number 17, Darkhawk 30 and 31, Deathlok 28 and 29, Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme 54 through 56, Iron Man issue 295, Marc Spector: Moon Knight number 57, Silver Sable and the Wild Pack 16 and 17, Silver Surfer issues 83 through 85, Thor numbers 463 through 467 and Web of Spider-Man numbers 104 through 106.

Thus wrapped up the 1990's Infinity Saga. If we may offer up an opinion on the matter, it would be that The Infinity Gauntlet issues 1 through 6 are really the heart of this saga, and as we said above you could really read just that and come away with a very solid story.

Join us next time when we take a look at The Crow!

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2 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the TPB for the Infinity Gauntlet, but I still haven't read the stuff that came before or after. This is one reason cross-overs always aggravated me. I didn't have a comic shop nearby, so it was nearly impossible to keep up with all the issues for one particular story. Thank goodness for collected editions these days..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a local comic shop (thankfully), but unfortunately not the means necessary to buy all the books.

      Delete

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