The Infinity War
Created by: Jim Starlin and Ron Lim
Release date: 1992
Following on the events of the Infinity Gauntlet and Warlock and the Infinity Watch, Jim Starlin continues the saga of Adam Warlock, Thanos and the Infinity Gems in the Infinity War. Included in this collection is the Infinity War limited series, Warlock and the Infinity Watch #7-10, and the stories I, Thanos from Marvel Comics Presents #108-111. I’ll echo other reviewers and state that the proper order to read these issues is not as presented in this collection but instead as:
1. Warlock and the Infinity Watch #7.
2. Infinity War #1-3.
3. Marvel Comics Presents #108-111 (The I, Thanos stories at the back)
4. Warlock and the Infinity Watch #8.
5. Infinity War #4-5.
6. Warlock and the Infinity Watch #9-10.
7. Infinity War #6.
The biggest problem that this series faces is the curse of following up a very successful event and just not working as well in comparison. The main culprit is a villain that seems over the top evil in the Magus, which makes sense to some degree because he is the evil portion of Adam Warlock’s psyche expelled and made flesh. (After obtaining the Infinity Gauntlet, Adam Warlock expelled all good and evil from himself in order to be omnipotent and not destructive.) Besides being pure evil, Magus is also brilliant enough to foresee the exact reactions of everybody from Thanos to Captain America to Galactus to his maneuvers. The result is a plan that plays out too tidy over the course of the story.
Turning Thanos from the villain to a sidekick for Adam Warlock provides some of the better material in this book, and also allows a side story into Gamora’s origin to fit in (which also has the most adult material in the collection). However it also constantly reminds the reader how much more fun the Infinity Gauntlet with evil Thanos was by comparison. Along with the Magus are a ton of evil doppelgangers of the villains which are completely impotent when it comes to threatening the heroes. During the course of this story, if the doppelgangers are killed they disappear, and for the two heroes they actually beat in battle, everything is reset to back to normal by the end.
The characters that aren’t Adam Warlock or Thanos are profoundly useless during this book, with the lone exception of Doctor Doom and Kang who provide some of the best moments, constantly saying one thing and thinking another. Doom’s arc is one of the best parts of the series, up until it ends and is summarily discarded and never mentioned again. The other most intriguing question is who possesses the Reality Gem, but because this collection includes ongoing titles it’s unfortunately not one that is provided any resolution. The end result is a fun operatic space saga that never escapes the shadow of the Infinity Gauntlet.