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Infinity #2: Review

Sep 2013
Jonathan Hickman, Jerome Opena

Story Name:

Fall

Review & Comments

Rating:
4.5 stars

Infinity #2 Review by (September 8, 2013)
The other tie-ins follow the space-faring Avengers team, and show in more detail the battle between the Galactic Council and the Builder fleet. Av#18 covers the campaign in general. Avengers Assemble #18 shows the battle from Spider-Woman's point-of-view, and Captain Marvel #15 obviously does the same for it's title character. There's lots of overlap. Critically CM#15 shows what happened to her quincruiser after it was damaged in the battle. The rest of her crew escape in lifepods, but CM seems to regain her Binary powers. This crossover comes at an awkward time for CM. In CM#14 she was presumed dead. But now here she is, supposedly with her memories erased. This probably won't be properly explained until after Infinity in CM#17. Spider-Woman doesn't like working with the Skrulls who join the Council in Av#18 (because she was replaced by 1 long before Secret Invasion). But she gets saved by a Skrull in AvAss#18. SW is also awkward around Hawkeye after she dumped him in #9 of his series when she found he'd been sleeping around. Ironically that issue was published in the month following Av#12, which was the only issue in the latest Avengers run where they were seen doing anything together (sunbathing in this case).

As is my wont I'll be summarising the tie-ins that have appeared so far, including the Avengers and New Avengers issues I've fully processed. As I mentioned last time, NAv#8 was advertised as a prelude, but actually happens after Inf#1. The Avengers have left for space as the Illuminati go about their individual business. Iron Man and Mr Fantastic gear up to defend the Earth against the Builders. Wakanda and Atlantis go to war, and Atlantis suffers a heavy defeat. Maximus gives Black Bolt the pocket universe, and also another device that will become relevant later. It ends with the arrival of Thanos' fleet. One of the actual tie-ins released since #1 may occur even earlier. The digital comic Infinity: Against the tide #1 has Silver Surfer seeing the Builders destroying a Skrull world. This may be part of what led to Skrull refugees arriving on Earth back in Av#15. We aren't told how Surfer escaped from his status in recent comics of being confined to Asgard and Earth. Thunderbolts #14 is only peripherally involved with Infinity, but the next issue may be more relevant. The team sets out on a new mission. On the way they hear that the Avengers have left Earth, and they don't know that Thanos' forces are about to arrive. We have seen hints here of much of what happens in NAv#9. Thanos sends his forces to Earth. The Black Order are to discover from the Illuminati members the whereabouts of the only Infinity Gem to survive NAv#3. To get revenge on the Wakandans for the destruction of Atlantis, Sub-Mariner tells them Black Panther has it. The issue ends with Black Bolt summoning the Illuminati to the meeting that finishes this issue.

We haven't heard before of a son of Thanos being among the Inhumans. But this son-killing could tie-in to the Thanos Rising series where Death had Thanos killing all his offspring over the galaxy. That series ending with Thanos destroying the Titan civilisation *could* justify the scene in #1 where Thanos holds court on ruined Titan. However tying that series into such recent Marvel continuity would be difficult. Most of it happens before Death reveals who she is, and Thanos has known his lover was Death since before his 1st appearance in 1973. The attack on Titan more likely refers to such an event that supposedly happened before then, and Titanian civilisation was rebuilt. Sydren is an alien member of SWORD whom we've seen almost since it's 1st appearance. The Illumati's palm-devices were inserted in NAv#3. Among other things they can be used to tell the group to assemble. But I don't think they cause/enable the members to teleport to the caller. So I'm guessing that it's Lockjaw (who's shown here) that brings them.

I find continuing confusion over Thanos' objectives. To a large extent this is because to generate suspense Hickman is slowly revealing stuff, preceded by cryptic hints. But I detect the usual problem with such a tactic - when the truth is exposed, some of the preceding actions and statements aren't just cryptic, they don't make sense. In #1 Thanos sent his Outrider to Earth to seek out the Infinity Gems. The Outrider reports back that the Illuminati destroyed the Gems except the Time Gem, and Black Bolt knows where it is. In #1 Thanos also received a Tribute of heads from a defeated planet. In New Avengers #9 (as reported here in the previously page) Thanos sent the Black Order to find the Gem, and said he'd extract the Tribute from Earth himself. But the Order attacked all the Illuminati *except* Black Bolt, who is the one who is supposed to know the answer. Finally in this issue Corvus Glaive of the Black Order confronts Black Bolt but *doesn't* ask where the Time Gem is. Instead *he* demands the Tribute. The Tribute of heads is now revealed to be specifically the heads of all the Inhuman children of a certain age. And Black Bolt says it is aimed to ensure the death of Thanos' son. Was the Tribute in #1 also the heads of children? And was this also intended to kill a child of Thanos?



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Infinity #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The previously page mentions some significant events from Infinity #1 (most of the Avengers head into space to face the Builder fleet), Avengers #18 (the Builders rout the combined forces of the Galactic Council [including the Avengers]), and New Avengers #9 (Thanos sends the Black Order to Earth to find the 1 surviving Infinity Gem, and follows himself to exact the Tribute).

An advance team invades the SWORD Peak satellite. Abigail Brand and Sydren expel them, but not before they deactivate the Peak's automatic defences, allowing Thanos' fleet to get through to Earth.

In NAv#9 Thanos learnt that the Illuminati had gained and lost the Infinity Gems, with all but 1 destroyed, the Time Gem. We now see more events from NAv#9 as the Black Order approach some of the members of the Illuminati:- Corvus Glaive and Supergiant attack the Jean Grey School for mutants, where Beast is. Proxima Midnight goes to Sub-Mariner in Atlantis, to find them defeated in a war with Wakanda. Ebony Maw tries to talk Dr Strange into siding with Thanos (and this issue suggests he succeeds). Black Dwarf is repelled by Black Panther and his Wakandans. Meanwhile in New York Iron Man and Mr Fantastic use the defences of Avengers Tower to counter attacking spaceships.

The remaining member of the Illuminati, Black Bolt of the Inhumans, receives Corvus Glaive as an emissary of Thanos in his court in the city of Attilan hovering over New York. Glaive tells Black Bolt that Thanos knows his secret (which from #1 and NAv#9 we believe is that BB knows where the Time Gem is). Medusa speaks for BB and warns Glaive that if his forces attack Attilan they will be killed. But Glaive demonstrates that Thanos' men are eager to die for their lord, as he gets several of them to commit suicide.

Glaive gives the Inhumans 1 day to provide Thanos with a Tribute - the heads of all their children between 16 and 22.

We now turn to some more details of Av#18. The Galactic Council ambushed the Builder fleet and appeared to be winning. But then the ambushers were ambushed in turn, as the vast majority of the Builder fleet decloaked, destroyed 1/3 of the Council fleet and sent the others packing. (The Council's gaffe is made more believable here as we learn that the Builder fleet had always travelled mostly hidden.)

The Avengers had fought in 2 quincruisers, with some like Thor in open space. Now Captain America's quincruiser has returned to the Shi'ar rendezvous point, along with their free-flyers. But Captain Marvel's quincruiser is missing.

Gladiator, Majestor of the Shi'ar, is consulting with Mentor and Oracle about whether to stay in this out-of-the-way system or jump to the Galactic Council's central rallying point. (Some of the Shi'ar ships are currently unable to jump through space.) But 4 Builder craft suddenly pop up, chasing a crippled Shi'ar vessel. And Gladiator sends his forces in to fight, along with the Avengers.

Ex Nihilo, who was made an Avenger in Av#17, is held back from the battle. The Shi'ar know that he was created by the Builders, and worry that he will side with them. Ex Nihilo points out that he and his fellow Gardeners were sent out by the Builders and helped the races of the galaxy evolve into what they are, including the Shi'ar. The Builders are the gods of the galaxy. A Shi'ar counters that they have outgrown those gods, and have their own gods now. (Though it is unclear to me whether he refers to Gladiator who triumphantly signals the Shi'ar victory or their gods Sharra and K'ythri by whom he swears.)

But our forces now learn that the Builders win even in defeat. 1 of the Builders' Aleph robots lands on the agricultural planet at the heart of the system with a Gardener Jerran Ko (not the unnamed one we have seen in #1 and Av#18). It pains the Gardener to unleash a plague which soon consumes the world. The Shi'ar and Avengers can only save a few children.

Back on Earth Black Bolt enters the pocket reality that his brother Maximus the Mad found for him in NAv#8. Here BB can speak without destroying everything around him. He uses the device embedded in his palm to summon the other Illuminati here (as seen at the end of NAv#9). Hidden Maximus listens in as BB explains Thanos' demand. He gives Mr Fantastic a shard holding the records of the Inhumans (related to the last thing the Outrider saw in BB's mind in #1), where they will find what Thanos is looking for (the location of the Time Gem). But he also says that Thanos wants the death of the Inhuman children in order to be sure of killing his own son.


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Jerome Opena
Dustin Weaver
Justin Ponsor
Adam Kubert (Cover Penciler)
Adam Kubert (Cover Inker)
Laura Martin (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos.
Editor: Lauren Sankovitch.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Beast
Beast

(Hank McCoy)
Black Panther
Black Panther

(T'Challa)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Falcon
Falcon

(Sam Wilson)
Hulk
Hulk

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Maximus
Maximus

(Maximus the Mad)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Spider-Woman
Spider-Woman

(Jessica Drew)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: Abigail Brand, Aleph, Builders, Ex Nihilo, Gladiator (Kallark), Hyperion, Lockjaw, Mentor, Oracle, Shang-Chi, Smasher (Izzy Kane), Supergiant.