Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Read These Comics! - The Infinity Revelation

I was originally thinking of doing another lengthy "Read These Comics!" entry, where I recommend several comics in one entry. Those tend to take a while, so I figured that I'd split it up a bit and write individual entries for specific titles. And that brings me to today's recommendation: Thanos: The Infinity Revelation.

While I generally try and recommend comics on my blog that I think would appeal to a broader audience than your average comic book fan like myself, this is definitely one for the Marvel fans. To be more specific, this is for fans of the "cosmic" stories involving Thanos, that bad guy who's been teased at the end of the Avengers movies.

Back when I was in high school, one of my favorite limited series was The Infinity Gauntlet. I recently reread it, and I was impressed by how well it all held up. The plot involved "The Mad Titan" Thanos getting a hold of the six infinity gems which essentially turned him into God. In an effort to impress his beloved mistress Death, he wipes out half of the life in the universe. Yet she begins to spurn him. He's finally able to serve her in a way that he thinks is worthy, but she begins to fear what he has become. To top it all off, you have a bunch of superheroes, cosmic beings, and the mysterious Adam Warlock getting together in an effort to stop him. That series was followed up by the disappointing Infinity War and Infinity Crusade.

Thanos has made many appearances over the last couple of decades, but now he's back in the hands of the man who created him (and the three aforementioned series) in the first of a series of graphic novels. (The second, The Infinity Revelation, has already come out. Maybe I'll write about it in another post.) Not only is Jim Starlin writing, but he's also providing the art. I'll admit that I was a bit hesitant to pick this up, but after flipping through it, I figured I'd give it a shot.

I found myself being really interested in the whole story, but when it was all over I remember thinking to myself, "I'm not entirely sure just what happened here." But this happens with a lot of things, and I wound up thinking about it a lot until I finally got around to rereading it. I think that I better understand the story now, but I still want to read it yet again to see what else I missed. I figure anything that makes me want to reread it is something good.

The plot is a bit difficult to explain, but basically Thanos becomes aware that there's something wrong with the universe, and the cosmic powers that control all creation have decided that he's the one who needs to fix it. You gotta be careful when you read this one, because there are actually two stories being told in two separate realities. About 99% of what happens in both of them is exactly the same thing, but if you pay attention to the details in the art, you can tell which one you're looking at. Sound confusing? It is. Kinda. Like I said, it made more sense on the second read. When everything is resolved, it doesn't seem like much has happened, and really this is all a setup for the next two parts of this trilogy. Anyway, like a lot of things I like, I can't quite explain what it is that I like so much about it.

One thing that's easy to explain though is Starlin's art. He wasn't drawing any of his own stories when I was reading them, but I've seen bits of it here and there. He always struck me as an above-average, competent artist. Inker Andy Smith is the perfect compliment to his clear lines and storytelling, and the colors by Frank D'Armata give everything just the right amount of weight.

Hopefully this entire trilogy will pay off, but I liked this one just fine on its own. If you're like me and loved the cosmic stuff from the early 90s, give this one a read.

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