Thanos: The Infinity Finale GN #1: Review

Apr 2016
Jim Starlin, Ron Lim

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4 stars

Thanos: The Infinity Finale GN #1 Review by (April 30, 2016)
This is the last in a set of 3 graphic novels, an annual and 2 mini-series, all by Jim Starlin.

Thanos Annual #1
Thanos had just lost a Cosmic Cube and godhood in the original Captain Marvel #33 when he got abducted by Mephisto. He was rescued by a time-travelling avatar of an even more godlike Thanos from the end of the Infinity Gauntlet mini-series. Together they explored their future, ending with Drax killing Thanos in Annihilation #4. Then they joined another of the IG Thanos' avatars and a future Thanos at an event we hadn't yet seen - the end of the universe partway through the current GN. Plus they got a hint of Annihilus in Thanos vs Hulk. And the 1st avatar also joined the Living Tribunal to see Thanos meet an Adam Warlock in the 1st GN. But Nebula's rewinding of time at the end of IG means that all the stuff with the Avatars never happened. (Which strangely includes Thanos' capture by Mephisto.)

Thanos vs Hulk #1-4
Pip the Troll kidnaps Bruce Banner and hands him over to Blastaar in return for his girlfriend. Blastaar takes Banner to Annihilus in the Negative Zone. But Pip goes to Thanos for help getting Bruce back. Thanos refuses but then investigates for himself, as Pip knew he would. Thanos finds Bruce and Hulk's minds trapped in a virtual reality. He confronts them hoping to find out what Annihilus wants. Cue a fight. But they don't know, so he leaves with lots of other info he's downloaded. But Pip has followed to the base and teleported in.
Scientist Dr Bultar uses a substance extracted from Hulk's body to Hulk-up Annihilus. Pip wakes Hulk, who fights Blastaar and the insectoid army. Then it's the main match - Hulk vs Annihilus. But Anni uses a new fear power to make Hulk run away, until he's cornered and has to fight back. Then Pip distracts the bug-lord with a bomb and ports himself and Hulk back to Earth.

Thanos: The Infinity Revelation GN
Thanos has felt there's something wrong since he recreated the universe in Marvel Universe: The End (another Starlin mini-series). He goes to see Drax the Destroyer and we see Drax oscillating between his original look and the new version who has been seen since The End. He resurrects Adam Warlock who also keeps switching between 2 (new) costumes. Thanos and Warlock go on a quest which eventually leads them to a dimensional nexus. But 2 copies of them arrive there, with 1 Warlock in each of the new costumes. We realise that we have actually been seeing 2 intercut identical storylines from 2 different universes.
The pairs go back to their universes with the power to become a god. In 1 universe Thanos gets it, in the other Warlock. But both turn the universe into a nightmare. Until their partners persuade them to give up godhood and restore the previous reality.
But the 2 universes have merged, although the only apparent difference is that the other Warlock has replaced that of Earth-616.

Thanos: The Infinity Relativity GN
Bultar has invented a precisely-targeted gateway system for improved invasion of the Posiverse. The IG Thanos avatar from the Annual finds Thanos with his lover death to warn him, triggering lost memories. Warlock is amusing himself as an invincible arena gladiator on the Skrull planet New Kral, while he explores his new powers. Thanos sends Gamora there to 'rescue' him, and grabs Pip and sends him there too. The rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy follow Gamora. But Bultar has detected a power source that will make Annihilus' new Annihilation Wave invincible, and that power source is Warlock.
Annihilus' army wipes out New Kral. Warlock tells the GoG and Pip to retreat in their spaceship while he takes care of the invaders. But Thanos plants a bomb to destroy the whole planet and teleports himself and Warlock away. Anni, Blastaar and Bultar get away too.

Thanos tells Adam that he is actually the whole of the other universe in Revelation. They join the others and plan to kill Annihilus. But Bultar's tech has the enemy ready for them. Warlock is made unconscious. Thanos tells Gamora to keep Adam safe and he takes on the Hulkified Annihilus. The GoG use 1 of the enemy's own gateways to escape back home but on the way Gamora loses Adam. Pip stays behind to blow up the gateway so they can't be followed - and to find Warlock. Bultar's tech defeats Thanos and banishes him to teleportational limbo.
Bultar uses Warlock's power to transport Annihilus' base planet into the Posiverse. But he gloats to the comatose Adam that everything is part of a plan of his own. Meanwhile Thanos has a cunning plan to escape the trap he is in - he commits suicide.

The Infinity Entity #1-4
Amnesiac Warlock travels through time recovering memories and finds Thanos dead. In the future he finds many planets devastated including Earth. On the Moon he sees the end of the universe (as in Annual #1).
Warlock is confronted by the cosmic beings of this reality, who blame him for the disaster. They fully restore his memories and he realises he is more powerful than any of them.
He goes back a bit in time and finds Annihilus who has grown even more powerful and Bultar whose tech defeats him. And who then reveals himself to be really Mephisto.
Mephisto explains his latest scheme. He copied tech from all over the universe and as Bultar made himself useful to Annihilus. Along the way he witnessed the events of Revelation and realised what the new Warlock was. Finally he reveals that the Warlock in this series is just an avatar of the real 1, who is trapped in a coma by Bultar's machines. Adam tries to warn Mephisto that he'll cause the end of the universe. But Mephisto doesn't believe him, and banishes him into his comatose body.

Thanos: The Infinity Finale GN
... and here we are.


Thanos vs Hulk:-
This was actually published after the Infinity Revelation GN but an editorial comment says it happens earlier, and the Marvel Chronology Project Forum agrees.
Hulk is working for SHIELD which puts it within the Indestructible Hulk series. The MCP Forum has it between IndH#9-10 (Blind Rage) and #11-15 (Agent of TIME), all of which happen between the Avengers Vs X-Men and Infinity events.

This is full of back references, the latest to Avengers Assemble #1-8. Having this GN after Thanos Vs Hulk fits the bill because ThVsHu > AvVsXM > AvAss#1-8.
Thanos is accompanied by Corvus Glaive and the Outriders who we see with him in Infinity. The MCP Forum has this before Infinity.

Relativity doesn't have anything to specifically tie it down, but Entity and Finale both mention that the Beyonders have killed the Living Tribunal. His death was remembered by Iron Man in New Av (2013) #8 just before Infinity, but has to have happened before he returned from space in IM(2013)#16. LT is alive in Revelation so his death occurs somewhere between those 2.
LT has to have died before Relativity because in Finale Warlock rewinds time to that point, but still has to become the new LT. However this analysis is flawed because when a flashback in NAv#30 shows LT's death all the other cosmic beings have been killed 1st. But most of them are around in Entity and Finale.
The ending suggests that this new version of the universe is the 1 we have now where Secret Wars didn't end the multiverse. Indeed the universe that Warlock checks up on is the current 1 because it includes the ANAD Avengers. But that's *before* he takes the LT role. That might suggest that the last 3 Infinity titles are set post-SW. But that clashes with Warlock-LT's intention to change the outcome of the Beyonders' meddling.

It's a mess.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thanos: The Infinity Finale GN #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In the Infinity Relativity GN Thanos was trapped by Annihilus and Dr Bultar in teleportational limbo. He escaped by committing suicide, knowing that he would awake here in the realm of his lover Death. But it has taken 3 months for her to reconstitute him. He enters the Infinity Pool to learn what has happened while he was away.

With the captured power of the new Adam Warlock (who is the embodiment of a whole alternate universe) Annihilus has defeated alien races like the Badoon, Kree and Shi'ar, killed Galactus and slaughtered the Celestials. Earth is destroyed but some survivors huddle inside the Moon. Thanos chooses to materialise there.

After getting past the guardian Hulk, he finds Black Bolt, Captain Marvel, Captain Universe, Colossus, Corvus Glaive, Dr Doom, Drax, Firelord, Gladiator (of the Imperial Guard), Hyperion, Lockjaw, Loki, Mentor (of the Imperial Guard), Nightcrawler, Nova, Runner (of the Elders of the Universe), Silver Surfer, Smasher, Terrax, Thor (Odinson), Venom, some Kree and a member of the Brood.

Pip the Troll is still hiding on Annihilus' mobile planet. He's been scavenging parts and has built a scanner that shows him how to get to Warlock. Who is held in a coma by the tech of Dr Bultar. Whose tech stops teleportation to/from the planet, except by his own gateways. Who we discovered in Infinity Entity is really Mephisto and is the real brains behind the whole thing. And who has just located the resistance group in the Moon.

Thanos wants to ally with the resistance to kill Annihilus. They are understandably distrustful. Thanos says he can enhance the ability of a teleporter to breach Bultar's barrier. But it will be a 1-shot effect that will kill the subject. There are only 2 teleporters to choose between:- Lockjaw (the Inhuman dog) and Nightcrawler. Kurt Wagner volunteers. Thanos operates on his brain.

Annilihus' planet arrives at the Moon cloaked. He wants to savour the defeat of the resistance so he doesn't just order the Moon destroyed. Instead he blocks off their exits preparatory to porting in his troops. But Surfer, Terrax, Thanos and Thor blast a new exit and the resistance escape to the surface.

Battle commences with everyone else defending Thanos and Nightcrawler. Slowly our side gets whittled down. Then Annihilus notices Thanos, and Bultar sends a death ray which kills Nightcrawler but only staggers the Titan. With that hope gone Thanos joins the fight until only he and Thor stand on a mound of corpses. Then a death ray takes Thor too. Bultar has teleportation from the Moon blocked, and Annihilus finally orders its destruction.

An earlier instance of Thanos arrives on the Moon together with 2 avatars of Thanos from Infinity Gauntlet days (as seen in Thanos Annual #1). The current Thanos now remembers this scene, and takes comfort in the fact that Annihilus' victory will soon be negated by the end of the universe.

Meanwhile Pip has been sneaking, and occasionally reluctantly fighting, his way towards Warlock's containment chamber. He at last wakes Adam from his coma. A blaze of energy erupts from Warlock's forehead - and the universe is consumed. Including Death's realm and all the cosmic beings.

Warlock opens his eyes to a white void. And Thanos who he has recreated. But Adam can't bring back the rest of the universe. Thanos says they'll have to petition the being known as Above-All-Others, who ranked even higher than the Living Tribunal on the cosmic scale. And who can only be contacted by LT.

The just-gone universe's Tribunal was killed by the Beyonders, which probably made it easier to destroy. But Adam contains a whole other universe, including its LT. So he can communicate with the ultimate being. And take Thanos with him.

They enter a cloudy realm and meet a being of light who to their eyes alternates between male and female, and who has been expecting them. Thanos negotiates a deal which he knows was what Above-All-Others had already decided (so he doesn't actually have to spell it out) - the creation of a universe unique in the multiverse. The deal is passed to Warlock's mind and he agrees too. The supreme being will allow them to set some things aright before the deal is activated.

The universe is recreated and we find ourselves in the Negative Zone at the beginning of Infinity Relativity. Thanos and Warlock appear and uncloak Dr Bultar as Mephisto. Annihilus summons his Annihilation Wave but Thanos counters with the legions of dead from Death's realm. The dead win by sheer numbers.

With a gesture Warlock imprisons Annihilus (without his Cosmic Control Rod) and Mephisto. Then he destroys the tower containing Annihilus' clone bodies, but 1st he teleports its inhabitants out. Then he releases Annihilus and devolves him to a small insect. But Thanos squashes it with his boot. Adam considers Mephisto a necessary evil, so he sends him back to Hades. But without a mouth, which should limit his future deceptions. They leave Blastaar to rule the Neg Zone.

The duo leave, and Warlock checks that everything is as it should be. Finally he brings back the Earth-616 Warlock (but still in his new outfit from Infinity Revelation). then he leaves to fulfil the bargain.

Thanos sends Warlock-616 to Pip the Troll, to a replay of a scene from IR which previously had Thanos instead. Thanos himself returns to his lover Death.

Meanwhile the not-616 Warlock has become the replacement for the Living Tribunal that was killed by the Beyonders. He tells Eternity and Infinity that his presence will mean the outcome of 'that story' will be different now.

Ron Lim
Andy Smith
Jim Starlin (Cover Penciler)
Jim Starlin (Cover Inker)
Rachelle Rosenberg (Cover Colorist)


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> Thanos: The Infinity Finale GN: Book info and issue index

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