After several months of build up Infinity Wars is finally about to begin. Gerry Duggan set the tone for Infinity Wars touching the entire Marvel Universe. With most of the users being Earth-based heroes it still hasn’t been shown how these characters will move off planet. One clue we did get is with the first appearance of Requiem in Infinity Wars Prime #1. Requiem quickly made their appearance by killing Thanos right after appearing at the villains meeting with his Chitauri army. With a major Marvel villain now off the table what does Duggan have planned for Requiem to do next? Let’s find out with Infinity Wars #1.
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Mike Deodato Jr.
Colorist: Frank Martin
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At a bar Gamora tries to convince Star-Lord to use the Power Stone to open a way into the Soul Stone so they can retrieve that part of her that is missing. Star-Lord says it is too dangerous.
Gamora then asks Star-Lord not to go to Doctor Strange’s Infinity Watch meeting. Star-Lord says he has to go because joining Infinity Watch may be the best way to protect the Infinity Stones. Gamora gives Star-Lord a kiss and then walks out.
Outside the bar Groot tells Star-Lord not to feel bad since none of them would’ve had better luck convincing Gamora to come with them to Infinity Watch.
Outside Central Park Adam Warlock appears with Drax and Iron Lad as his back-up. Iron Lad stops time and saves a bicyclist that was going to be hit by a car. They then head to the Infinity Watch meeting point.
At another part of Central Park Turk Barrett arrives with Bullseye, Sandman, Typhoid Mary, Tombstone and Spot as his back-up.
In the middle of Central Park Star-Lord, Groot and Rocket Raccoon land their ship and head over to the meeting.
At Belvedere Castle in Central Park, Captain Marvel finds Doctor Strange waiting on top of one of the towers. Captain Marvel thinks the other Avengers should be there. Doctor Strange says they need the Avengers to hang back so they stay out of sight until they see how things go with Infinity Watch.
Everyone soon arrives for the meeting. Doctor Strange goes over who holds all the stones: Adam Warlock has the Soul Stone, Star-Lord has the Power Stone, Doctor Strange has the Time Stone, Captain Marvel has the Reality Stone, Black Widow has the Space Stone and Turk has the Mind Stone.
Turk wonders where Black Widow is at since she is missing. Doctor Strange says she is hiding just in case Thanos shows up. To confirm that she is in the area Doctor Strange has Black Widow shoot one of Bullseyes guns with a sniper rifle.
Doctor Strange then says they all must come to an agreement of the best way to protect the Infinity Stones and they should all be off Earth. Turk says he is going to pass on any agreement, causing tension with his group and Star-Lord’s.
Adam Warlock speaks up to mention that something has been off with the Soul Stone as it seems to be hungry for something. Captain Marvel also speaks up to say that she agrees that the Infinity Stones should be separated through the universe.
Doctor Strange decides to show everyone what they may be up against by using the Time and Reality Stones to enhance each of their powers to show them where Thanos is. The image that is shown is of Thanos beheaded body. Adam Strange tells everyone that they should all use this as a sign things are going to get worse with all the Infinity Stones together.
Elsewhere Loki and Flowa arrive at the location of the God Quarry (also known as the Quarry of Creation). There they find the Coven Witches who quickly shut Loki up as he was about to announce his presence.
Suddenly a large energy bursts out of the God Quarry. Out of the energy another version of Loki, who goes by Loki Odinson who is wielding Mjolnir and is wearing all the Infinity Stones from his universe. Loki Odinson spots his other universe self and mocks him for not having the power to breach into the original Marvel Universe or being a match for Requiem and Devondra.
616-Loki tries to steal Loki Odinson’s Infinity Stones but before he can the Avengers, from the Odinson universe, appear fighting a Soul-Eater. Loki Odinson joins his Avengers teammates in fighting the Soul-Eater and is transported back to his universe.
Loki tells Flowa that he must get the Infinity Stones so he can go to the “original” universe that Loki Odinson spoke of. Flowa mocks Loki for not being the superior version compared to his counterpart.
Back at Central Park, Star-Lord is pissed that the Infinity Watch meeting is not about how they can use the Stones to protect people. Doctor Strange continues to push the idea that the Infinity Stones must not be on Earth.
Turk speaks up and reveals that he already knows that the Power Stone that Star-Lord has is a fake. Star-Lord picks up the Power Stone and realizes that it is a fake like Turk said.
As everyone at the Infinity Watch meeting begin fighting Iron Man and Thor, who have been watching from afar, head over to stop the fight. Before they can join Iron Man is struck down by a purple energy attack.
As the fight intensifies Requiem arrives and throws Thanos’ head on the ground. Requiem quickly takes out Drax and Groot when they attack her. Rocket Raccoon shots Requiem’s helmet off and everyone is shocked to see that she is Gamora in disguise.
Star-Lord wonders what Gamora is doing. Gamora says she tried to play nice but is done trying to do that.
Doctor Strange notices that Gamora’s sword is being powered by the Power Stone. Star-Lord tries to reason with Gamora that she may be playing into Thanos’ plans by killing him. Gamora states that she must use the Soul Stone to fix what is broken.
Star-Lord wonders if Gamora will kill him to do it. Gamora says nothing ever dies and uses her sword to stab Star-Lord through the gut. End of issue.
The Good: Infinity Wars #1 does not move the needle as quickly. This first issue of the Infinity Wars event is all about setting up where all the status quo of the Infinity Stones. This set-up will likely annoy those who have read Infinity Countdown and Infinity Wars Prime expecting a faster pace start to the official event. But for those that are jumping on right now Infinity Wars #1 may be a good starting point to learn what is going on in the Marvel Universe.
Infinity Wars #1 strength was in how Gerry Duggan built up Gamora at the beginning and end of the issue. Duggan clearly got across that there was something wrong with Gamora with how straight she was with Star-Lord about part of her soul missing. That missing part of her has not been the best thing for her and Gamora understands that. Even with that missing part of her Duggan makes you care about Gamora’s plight as she reaches out for help only to be rejected by her closest partner, Star-Lord.
Seeing Star-Lord turn down Gamora’s plea for help gave her the proper motivation to transform herself into Requiem. Revealing that Gamora is Requiem quickly gives a reason for why this “new” character was able to easily sneak up on Thanos to kill him. This along with how Gamora stole the Power Stone and easily took out Drax and Groot is a reminder that she is one of the most badass characters in the Marvel Universe. And now that she is wielding the Power Stone through her sword she is nearly unstoppable now that she is not holding her skills back.
What will be interesting from all this is how the deaths of Thanos and Star-Lord work towards Gamora’s plans. Because so far these are the only characters that Gamora has killed on screen. It is no coincidence that they are the two closest people in her life. It would not be surprising if that it has something to do with Gamora’s plan for the Soul Stone since she did not go right after Adam Warlock when arriving on Earth.
With all of the set-up for the Infinity Stones, Duggan is able to give a proper explanation by Doctor Strange as to why the Avengers aren’t necessarily the leads of this story. Given how past events have gone it was smart of Doctor Strange knows that they can’t escalate things immediately by having all of the Avengers involved. Instead the smart play is to see if Doctor Strange can actually put the Infinity Watch together to stop things getting out of hand.
This plan by Doctor Strange is a natural way to put the spotlight on a character that is normally secondary in these type of events. But now that Doctor Strange is the one directing things Duggan is able to keep Infinity Wars fresh as we have new leads to follow. It also allows Doctor Strange to show his own leadership abilities as he is the driving force behind forming the new Infinity Watch group.
Duggan’s portrayal of Turk Bennett was also well handled. Knowing that Turk is a minor character that not many people know Duggan is able to establish how Turk used the Mind Stone to gain the power he’s always wanted. Throughout his time on screen Turk comes off as a selfish prick who does not care for anyone. Adding in how Turk used the Mind Stone to recruit Bullseye, Sandman and other villains showed that he is only using the Infinity Stone to his advantage. That positions Turk as a wild card-type character while he still has control of the Mind Stone, a position that gives him the credibility he lacked coming into Infinity Wars.
While we don’t get a lot of it Duggan is able to give us enough information on a bigger picture storyline for Infinity Wars to follow as Loki tries to find the “Original” Universe. Seeing Loki discover this by meeting a better version of himself that goes by Loki Odinson was great motivation for him to go after the Infinity Stones. Because if there is one thing you can’t insult is Loki’s pride. Seeing a version of himself that not only is wielding Thor’s hammer but also the Infinity Stones just ate at Loki. Flowa did not help by how she insulted Loki. Now that Loki has this motivation Duggan has the opportunity to put him in a central villain position, a place Loki hasn’t been in quite some time.
Mike Deodato Jr. delivered a great looking issue, even though Infinity Wars #1 was extremely dialogue heavy. With all of the dialogue Deodato gave a sense of importance to what every character was saying with how he drew them. He especially did a great job showing how in control of the Infinity Watch meeting that Doctor Strange was as we never saw him lose his cool. We also got a nice sneak peek at what Deodato will do with the big action scenes as he delivered an impressive splash page of the Loki Odinson’s Avengers battling a Soul-Eater.
The Bad: Due to all the set-up that goes on Infinity Wars #1 is an extremely decompressed comic book. Outside of the Loki scenes and when Requiem shows up at the end there is very little accomplished in the way of the Infinity Stones. Even when everyone was gathered for the Infinity Watch meeting there was never a sense of forward progression. Everyone disagreeing with what to do about the Infinity Stones just further added to how it felt like Doctor Strange and everyone in Central Park were going around in circles.
It does not help that Duggan felt like he had to explain everything about what was going on. There were times in Infinity Wars that we got a large block of text. All that dialogue got in the way of seeing all the detail that was going on each page with the different character reactions to what was said. This especially hurt some of the double page spreads that still had a mountain of dialogue that took up the space.
All of this makes Infinity Wars #1 a hard comic to get into if you read Infinity Countdown and Infinity Wars Prime before this issue. Because if you read those comics you could basically skip the majority of the issue and just read the end and Loki’s part to get the full story. This lack of using all the build up to accomplish more hurt how much time and money readers have spent to get to this point.
The use of Adam Warlock was a good example of all this. After how Duggan established Adam Warlock as having his own motives for gaining the Infinity Stones it was odd that he just did some exposition on the Soul Stone and just reseeded to the background. And since Gamora stated a similar problem going on with the Soul Stone, Adam Warlock bring this up just felt like a rehash of what we already know. Moving forward it will make the story a lot better if Adam Warlock and other characters were not just used as a way to dump a bunch of information on to the reader.
With how dangerous it has been established that gathering the Infinity Stones in one place is it was odd that Doctor Strange decided in having the Infinity Watch meeting in an open space on Earth. This decision goes against the logic Duggan uses when Doctor Strange talks about keeping the Infinity Stones separated when he in fact brought them together. It would’ve made much more sense if Doctor Strange used his magic skills along with Adam Warlock to create a space in the Astral Plane or another location to meet in secret. At least that would’ve taken away from how Doctor Strange and the Infinity Watch just placed a massive target on Earth to be attacked.
Infinity Wars #1 does not do any favors for Star-Lord. With his scene with Gamora to open the issue and his reaction at the end he looked like a tone death boyfriend who did not care about what Gamora was going through. Instead Star-Lord selfishly put himself before Gamora because he didn’t want to deal with the stress of having the Power Stone. In turn that ended up hurting the impact of Star-Lord getting stabbed at the end of Infinity Wars #1 since he did not actually reach out to help Gamora in any way.
This lack of sympathy by Star-Lord is further hurt by the fact that Duggan does not give us a proper timeline for how long Peter has held the Power Stone. If we would’ve gotten an idea it’s been over a year that he’s had it in his possession than Star-Lord’s position would’ve made more sense. But without that context Star-Lord comes off as selfish and unlikable.
Overall: Infinity Wars #1 is an exposition heavy start to Marvel’s latest event. All of that exposition does gets in the way from Infinity Wars starting out of the gate running. Luckily the story is save by Gerry Duggan’s strong work on Loki and Gamora’s plotline in this first issue. These storylines along with Mike Deodato Jr.’s great artwork build enough excitement to give Infinity Wars #2 a chance to deliver on the potential Duggan has established.