(Marvel Comics, 2013)
Review by Shawn Warner
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Pencils by Jim Cheung w/ Dustin Weaver
Inking by Mark Morales w/ Dustin Weaver, Guillermo Ortego,
Dave Meikis, Jim Cheung and John Livesay
Color Artwork by Justin Ponsor w/ Ive Svorcina
Jonathan Hickman has done what many thought impossible just a few issues ago, he has flawlessly brought together all of the numerous varied plot threads introduced over the past seventeen issues that have comprised the Infinity Event consisting of; the FCBD Infinity issue, Infinity proper, Avengers and New Avengers tie-ins. Although the Infinity story can be told quite eloquently in the six principal issues albeit at a somewhat accelerated pace, Hickman’s genius storytelling ability elevates the narrative to epic proportions giving us a cohesive and unified narrative that feels alive with creative energy that progresses the story on its own volition. The story takes on a life of its own as Hickman maneuvers the substantial cast of characters like pieces on a chess board, arranging them in battle array as they move from conflict to resolution. Hickman’s ability to weave all of these elements into a thoroughly satisfying and coherent storyline is nothing short of extraordinary. What is even more extraordinary is the degree of perfection he has achieved issue after issue of this multi-title spanning event.
This final issue of Infinity feels just as ambitious and charged with kinetic energy as the first, the momentum that has propelled us through the entire narrative has not diminished at all. This issue moves from battle to battle, building impetus as it speeds along at break-neck pace. The Avengers have returned to their home planet of Earth to vanquish the invading forces of Thanos and his followers, The Black Order/ Cull Obsidian. Thanos has planned his attack to coincide with The Avengers absence, believing the heroes to be off world, The Mad Titan believes he will find little resistance upon his arrival. Once here he plans to kill his sole remaining son, Thane. Hickman has brought these characters together from all corners of the universe where they were deployed to neutralize various celestial threats to present a united front against a formidable foe that has been heretofore undefeatable. This issue provides an intelligent and extremely well thought out conclusion to an event that has delivered at every turn. Jonathan Hickman has composed a work of utter brilliance, Infinity reads like an opera or an epic poem with all the power and beauty infused in his words he opened the door to other worlds and with our most beloved heroes as our guides, he showed us the brutal force and sublime magnificence that exists in an act of intergalactic war. At the core of this grand tale are myriad smaller ones of fortitude and friendship, heroism and heart and the overcoming of insurmountable odds. Infinity is an account of good triumphing over evil like all the greatest stories ever told it is that simple yet infinitely complex.
Jim Cheung and Dustin Weaver share the penciling duties on this issue and boy do they do an amazing job. Their dynamic elucidation of anatomy and exciting page composition are perfectly suited for Hickman’s nimble pace. The expressive facial features and emotive poses lend a deeper dimension of urgency to the dialogue. This book is truly gorgeous from cover to cover. The use of multiple inkers usually gives an inconsistent look to the finished work but that is not the case here. All of the inkers contributing to this issue have kept a sharp, clean appearance to the pencils, allowing Cheung and Weaver’s dynamic work to shine through. Justin Ponsor and Ive Svorcina on colors provide a vibrancy and life that quite literally causes these pages to glow with intensity and verve.
In the end Infinity is an overwhelmingly gratifying and compelling story full of all the super hero and science fiction tropes we have come to expect and desire from Jonathan Hickman’s inspired work. This concluding (not counting New Avengers #12 which I recommend reading after this issue) issue brings closure to the events set into motion at the beginning of this story while setting the stage for the future of not only The Avengers but all of the other characters who were impacted by these colossal consequences. However not everyone involved is pleased with the outcome or the current terrain which they are now physically or mentally occupying after these events. Not everyone involved had their desired resolution reached which provides fuel for a multitude of potential narratives and possible impending events. I’m looking forward to wherever Jonathan Hickman plans on taking us and I trust that he will keep it captivating and innovative. I can’t recommend this book highly enough (5/5) if you haven’t been following Infinity from the start do yourself a massive favor and pick up the collected edition as soon as it is available. This is what great comic books are all about; fantastic writing and stunning artwork that transports us over time and space to a world vastly more exciting than our own but we get to enjoy it from the safety of our homes. So until next time, see you at the comic book store.
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