Have We Been Here Before?
Not so long ago, I was critical of the latter two chapters of Jim Starlin’s Infinity Trilogy; the Infinity War and the Infinity Crusade. Very much products of the Nineties, concepts that could easily have led to masterpieces failed to receive the thought and care in the stories that supported the main plot; throwaway crossovers with little lasting effect and a remarkable lack of depth.
Of course, this was an era pre-Brian Michael Bendis, prior to the ‘deconstructed storytelling’ style that Marvel later took to the opposite extreme with Civil War and the Dark Reign, which despite the criticism of the interwebs, achieved a high level of success.
As with all things, a balance was found, as the recent Avengers Versus X-Men event proved. Neither too extended nor too shallow, we can call this a Goldilocks crossover, with Baby Bear able to read as much or as little of the story as he wished, without missing anything from the experience.
Meanwhile, in his status as Champion of Death (even if Quasar Phyla Vell did steal his title briefly), Thanos sacrificed himself to return mortality to the Cancerverse, then inexplicably returned to plague the Avengers in Avengers Assemble, after seemingly having been regressed emotionally to the personality prior to the Infinity Gauntlet. We have seen that Thanos created a number of clones of himself called Thanosi in the Infinity Abyss (not actually part of the trilogy), and so far we have seen little to establish that the current two-dimensional Thanos is the REAL Thanos.
The Infinity Gem’s have also reappeared, now in the hands of Earth’s heroes, the secret Illuminati within the Avengers, where the power of the stones has been revered just as they were during their earlier appearances in Warlock and Silver Surfer. One this subject, this writer has no complaints.
Now before the first salvo of the Age of Ultron has been fired, Marvel has released the above teaser image of the following event, simply titled Infinity. Does this mean that we may see the ideas of the original trilogy now receive the treatment they deserve?
My first reaction was that pit of the stomach of the stomach feeling until I saw the name of salvation – Mr Jonathon Hickman! With the first arc of Avengers now concluded, and his run on Fantastic Four demonstrating his vast respect for Marvel continuity, this is more than likely going to be a treat rather than a travesty.
After all, when we first heard about Avengers Versus X-Men, it sounded really weak, but it exceeded all this writer’s expectations.