Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Wednesday Comics: Infinity #1
I was very happy when Jonathan Hickman took over writing for Avengers and New Avengers. His run on the Fantastic Four was one of the most epic arcs I've ever read in comics thanks in no small part to its deeply rooted long-form storytelling. Things that happen in the first issue, both in terms of plot and theme, are woven into the entire fabric of the series.
Hickman is now doing the same thing in both of his Avengers books. The Avengers deals with cosmic beings coming to our world and an expanding Avengers roster to deal with it. New Avengers is about the secret cabal of heroes known as the Illuminati working together to prevent the collision of universes by destroying and universe that could destroy ours. Both of these stories merge together for Infinity, a mini-series where Thanos is the bad guy.
Beyond that, I'm not sure what I can tell you about the book. It's not that it's a secret. It's that I finished the first issue and I really have no strong idea what's happening. Maybe the fault is mine and that I'm just not paying close enough attention. But trying to figure out a story's plot should not be this hard.
My biggest critique of Hickman's Fantastic Four run was that he was a bit obscure and obtuse. He brought in tons of historical plot threads from every corner of the Marvel universe in a way that always made me feel like I was missing something. But the story was still comprehensive enough so that when the characters and emotional investments had their payoff, I didn't mind. I don't feel that with Hickman here.
I remember when I saw the movie Independence Day, I thought it was a good movie with some really bad parts. It was a huge hit and the makers went on to do the American Godzilla. But with that movie, it felt like they took all the bad parts of ID4 and used them for a terrible film.
I have the same impression with Infinity. The thing about Infinity is that is should feel like two massive epics are coming together into a larger adventure, like DC's Infinite Crisis. But I was bored by Infinity. Most of the story is spent with a nameless character and focused on characters in Hickman's other series that I do not care about.
The disadvantage of long-form story is that you have to be incredibly patient for any kind of real payoff. When I read Hickman Fantastic Four, I did so after he had finished.
I think I'm now going to do the same with all Hickman related Avengers stories, including Infinity.