Graphic Novel Review: The Infinity War: Infinite Edition

The Infinity War: Infinite Collection

The Infinity War: Infinite Collection - Credit: Archant

Thanos becomes a reluctant ally to Earth’s heroes in order to combat a threat to reality itself...

(Panini Books)

Some of the most notorious excesses of 1990s Marvel can be found within these pages: unnaturally exaggerated body-types, costumes stylised with jackets and pouches, bombastic and faux-Shakespearean speeches which nobody in their right mind could say with a straight face, and plenty of fodder for extended crossover content. In it’s own weird way, it’s actually brilliant.

Jim Starlin, the creator long since lauded as responsible for putting the cosmic into comics, is given carte blanche to involve the entire Marvel Universe in an epic battle for the sake of reality itself, as the heroes of Earth and their interstellar colleagues within Adam Warlock’s Infinity Watch are forced to ally themselves with the mad Titan himself, Thanos…

The motivation for this traumatic team-up is Warlock’s dark doppelganger from a closed-off timeline, the Magus, whose monstrous machinations involve the creation of twisted duplicates of superheroes which are tasked with supplanting their doubles.

It’s a bonkers tale full of sound and fury, told by a genius but ultimately signifying nothing. Unlike the more self-contained Infinity Gauntlet saga, this sequel is a marketing ploy for multiple crossovers across the entire Marvel Comics line of the day, as a result of which it often feels as though key events are happening off screen in those titles.

Probably only getting a re-release now because it shares a name with the forthcoming Avengers movie, Infinity War is a textbook example of the sort of galaxy-spanning, reality-shaping, cosmic epic which typified the period, and after the dust has settled there’s really very little that has changed. Approach with caution.