Classic Comic Friday: The Infinity Gauntlet

The first Friday of each month, I will review a classic comic from my own personal collection. Due to Canada Day falling on a Friday and my work schedule being hectic, pardon the week lateness of this review.

My last Classic Comic Friday was the graphic novel, X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills. I had a lot of fun reviewing such a great book, that I really wanted to do something else that I enjoyed reading. But I also wanted that something else to be a major storyline. The only logical conclusion in my mind was the brilliantly written story, The Infinity Gauntlet by writer Jim Starlin, and artists George Pérez and Ron Lim in 1991.

Admittedly, as a child I overlooked this six-issue mini series due to the fact that I was still a kid focusing only on X-Men. Looking back on it now, I wouldn’t have had any idea who or what Thanos or Adam Warlock were. In fact, I can guarantee you, the immensity of showing the Celestials, the Watcher, Eternity, Eon, etc, would not had even impacted me the way it did later in my life.

Didn’t this mini series just kick your butt though?! Nothing could have prepared me for the immensity of this story. This was the first time I, and presumably you, feared for the Marvel Universe. I mean, what could stop Thanos?!

The Infinity Gauntlet

The Infinity Gauntlet #1-6 (July – December, 1991)
Jim Starlin (writer), George Pérez & Ron Lim (pencils, covers), Josef Rubinstein, Tom Christopher & Bruce Solotoff (inks), Max Scheele, Ian Laughlin & Evelyn Stein (colours), Jack Morelli (letterer). $2.50 each

After gaining the six Soul Gems in The Thanos Quest mini series, finally Thanos places them in the Gauntlet to control the universe. And quite literally, he does control the universe. With the Gauntlet, Thanos first tries to impress the entity of Death – the being responsible for allowing Thanos to gain the Soul Gems. However, Death refutes him leaving Thanos to wonder what the price is of becoming a god. With the devil Mephisto at Thanos’ side, Mephisto convinces Thanos to prove himself worthy to Death by using his power for evil. (As if he wasn’t going to do that already.)

From there, with the snap of his fingers, Thanos wipes out half of the universe’s population. On Earth, the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. try to figure out what has caused such a catastrophic disappearance. Glimpses of the Skrull worlds and Asgard show readers that this is not only an Earth event. Not until the Silver Surfer asks for aid by Dr. Strange does everyone understand the gravity of what is about to occur.

Meanwhile, still unable to gain the respect and love from mistress Death, Thanos wipes out a series of planets – sending shock waves to Earth, destroying countries, flooding continents, and knocking Earth off of its orbit from the sun. Earth begins its plunge into a new ice age. It also destroys the Rainbow Bridge, stranding Odin and other gods gathered there from fighting Thanos.

Revitalizing himself from the Soul Gem, Adam Warlock finds Dr. Strange and summons Earth’s strongest and remaining heroes to give Thanos the fight of their lives – and what a blast that is! Not only does it feature Earth’s mightiest heroes getting the beat down by Thanos, but it also features some jaw-dropping moments. Wolverine’s defeat, Cyclops’, Nova’s, and Thor’s death, Iron Man’s beheading – what a terrifying experience for readers.

The Infinity Gauntlet Thanos

After their defeat, the universes mightiest entities take on Thanos, including Love, Hate, Eon, Galactus and Chronos. After their monumental defeat, Thanos takes on Eternity itself. Eternity’s defeat and Thanos’ assimilation as the ultimate cosmic entity only becomes his downfall. Leaving his physical body, Thanos then becomes the embodiment of the entire universe. Unfortunately for Thanos, it becomes his ultimate downfall.

With a thrilling conclusion which threw readers through the ringer of emotions and excitement, The Infinity Gauntlet not only proved to be a worth company-wide crossover, but it literally goes back to the age-old adage, “With great power comes great responsibility.” But that’s not all.

Jim Starlin did not just write this story just to get a message across. He did not write it about “whomever wields this glove.” We’ve seen that before. It is about something so much more that most writers should look at this series as a benchmark. It set up something incredibly fearful in the Marvel Universe. It created the ultimate weapon that absolutely nothing can defeat. To top it all of, it got into the hands of comic books greatest nihilist.

However, it’s still more than just that.

What Starlin made was an incredible, adventurous story. It disrupted the status quo, built great suspense and a climax not even recent story arcs could hold a candle to. Within six comics, The Infinity Gauntlet did more than what most novels could accomplish. The only kicker is that The Infinity Gauntlet is one of those stories that goes under the radar due because it deals with space.

If only more people actually read what happened in Marvel space rather than what just happens on Earth. But I digress.

To be also considered is the fantastic work both Pérez and Lim put into this story. The incredible depth and detail put into the six issues outshines many artists today. My favourite page in the entire series is Thanos’ triumph over Eternity (shown below) as it represents the absolute vastness of the Gauntlet’s power. Although a simple drawing, the concept is immaculate and is skewed within the entire series. The art is nothing-less than magnificent. The versatility of these artists to create practically every Marvel character shows immaculate artistry.

Although the ending itself arguably made the rest of the Marvel Universe “forget” what happened (yeah, there’s always a catch), The Infinity Gauntlet shows us what it’s like to be a god for six issues. I’m afraid that I loved every minute of it.

Grade: 9.5/10

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So until next time, keep on Space Truckin’!

Next month, I’ll be reverting back to single issues for Classic Comic Friday. Until next time, keep on Space Truckin’!

The Infinity Gauntlet Thanos Eternity

Wednesday’s Reviews: Avengers & X-Force

It has been a while since I last did a review, let alone many reviews. I’ve been unbelievably busy, so I have had this on the back burner. Despite the lack of updates, traffic on my site has still been exceptional.

I really have to give a big thank you to my readers for making me want to update this more often. Without you, this site would have no meaning. (Did I just discover the reason for life, itself?)

I definitely have two major updates these next few days. The first is reviews, as you can probably tell from this title. The second will be a discussion about a recent movie I watched: Superman & Batman: Apocalypse. But more on that later.

P.S.: Two weeks of back-to-back Uncanny X-Force is mind-blowing.


Avengers #12
Brian Michael Bendis (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils, cover), Klaus Janson (inks, cover), Dean White (colours, cover), Cory Petit (letters). $3.99

Indeed, Iron Man wields the Infinity Gauntlet with the final chapter of the Avengers versus Parker Robbins story. With the last issue leaving us at a complete jaw-dropping standstill between Robbins and Thanos, who knew what would come next?

A very delicate, yet powerful conversation between the titan of death and Robbins stirs up a whirlwind of excitement for the reader. What will Thanos do to Robbins? More importantly, what will Robbins do to Thanos? All of it leads up to a climatic battle and a rekindling friendship all in this issue.

When the Avengers get tied into the mix and Red Hulk has a Power gem, you know there is hell to pay. It all leads to a vengeful slug-fest between Robbins and Hulk, with Robbins finally using the Reality gem to show how ridiculously powerful these Infinity gems are.

Brilliant pacing throughout the story makes each page another excitement to turn. I would argue this is Romita’s best work in Avengers so far, with very few issues on character feeling too stiff. The battle between Red Hulk and Robbins is truly a wonder to see, as a great panel-by-panel fight features art in the background of old Marvel events long-gone due to the Reality gems magic. Oddly enough, the events were actually ripped out from the original works and Romita simply placed the Rulk/Robbins fight over top of them. With two very contrasting styles of art, it literaly makes the panels pop-out at you. This too is because of White’s dynamics of red and brown tones over the gray-scales.

With very few problems in this issue, I am floored by how great this arc concluded. And most importantly, by the end of this issue, the reader will get yet another Marvel U shattering ordeal that only Bendis could effectively pull-off.

Sure, I could nick off marks for suddenly leaving the Watcher out of the story. I could also nick off marks for seeing yet another page like this. But they are minuscule in the grand scheme of how powerful of an issue Avengers #12 was.

Grade: 7/10

Uncanny X-Force

Uncanny X-Force #8
Rick Remender (writer), Billy Tan (pencils, inks), Dean White (colours), Cory Petit (letters), Esad Ribic (cover). $3.99

The team goes to rescue a captive Deadpool, while Psylocke battles the Shadow King in yet another explosive issue of Uncanny X-Force. Oh, and Archangel’s about to burst.

Right off the bat, the reader is dropped into a plot where Deadpool’s on a reconnaissance mission, while Psylocke is helping Warren deal with the Death persona. Fantomex also shows Deathlok around the base, making me wonder if he will be a permanent part of the team. (Eee!) Lots happen within the short timespan of this book, yet all is paced so ridiculously well, that you know this is a Remender book.

Needless to say, if you’re a Psylocke fan you’re in for a huge treat. This is her book. After Deadpool fails to check in with X-Force, the team goes to find him. Upon arrival, most of X-Force becomes mind-controlled (minus Fantomex due to his neural implants) – leaving Psylocke the only one able to fight up against their foe – the Shadow King.

If it’s not good enough that this story is primarily about Psylocke, we’re also given huge depth with Warren about his Death personality. In so-few pages, Remender intertwines all of the subplots in one grand scheme with an absolute flawless script.

By no-means is Wolverine or Deadpool the main-characters of these stories. This book is a Psylocke/Archangel/Fantomex story guest-starring everyone else.

Tan’s art is nothing less than incredible. A particular panel with Archangel screaming shows his anger and near-insanity. Don’t even get me started on how beautiful Psylocke is drawn in her old costume.

Dean White was on double-duty this month doing both Avengers #12 and this issue. While you can see similarities with both books for colours, he definitely has a knack for not over-doing things, yet still placing emphasis where needed. I definitely prefer his colouring style with Tan’s art. Actually, it would have been great with Ribic’s and Opena’s too. Of course he did a great job in The Avengers too with Romita.

A few weeks ago, Uncanny X-Force released a .1 issue and it stood out as a great one-shot. The idea of the .1 issues were to get new readers on board.

Uncanny X-Force #8 arguably repeats the same process while still continuing the main storyline. I think I’ve said this at the end of every Uncanny X-Force review, but it needs to be said again.

If you haven’t started reading Uncanny X-Force, START!

And doesn’t Esad Ribic deserve a “best cover” award? Look at those colours! Wonderful!

Grade: 9/10

Until next time, keep on Space Truckin’!