Infinity Wars has only just started and we’ve already seen a number of ups and downs with the event. On the high side we saw Gamora, who turned out to be the mysterious Requiem, kill Thanos and Loki get a glimpse of a greater threat to the Marvel Multiverse. On the other end Infinity Wars has already run into some pacing problems as we saw the first issue take place mostly on Earth. With Gamora making her presence known at the end of Infinity Wars #1 it will hopefully mean the pace picks up with what is going on with the Infinity Stones. Let’s see if that is the case with Infinity Wars #2.
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Mike Deodato Jr
Colorist: Frank Martin
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Sometime in the past Thanos shows a young Gamora the lesson of the strongest surviving by killing several people, including who looks to be a female Captain Marvel. Gamora reminds Thanos he said when he killed her parents that he won’t live forever as someone stronger will kill him. Thanos smiles and says he knows someone is being molded who is fated to kill him.
Flashing forward to not long ago Gamora, as Requiem, beheads Thanos with her Power Stone-enhanced sword. Thanos, still able to talk, says he is glad he met his end at the hand of his daughter. Thanos then declares Gamora as the new leader of the Chitauri. Gamora says she does not need them and kills all the Chitauri that Thanos assembled.
As Gamora stuffs his head in her bag Thanos reminds her that love is an impediment to every ambition.
In the present when Star-Lord does not listen to Gamora about getting out of her way Gamora stabs him with her Power Stone-enhanced sword.
Doctor Strange uses his Time Stone to pause and rewind time in order to save Star-Lord by getting him away from Gamora’s sword.
When time is restarted Star-Lord is shocked to find out Gamora actually killed him in another timeline when he sees his blood going back into his body and Doctor Strange explains what just happened.
At the same time right as Groot is about to fall on top of Turk Barrett he is grabbed and taken through a portal by Doctor Strange.
In another dimension Doctor Strange tells Turk not to touch anything. Right as Turk says he can make Doctor Strange hand over his Time Stone with his Mind Stone a creature grabs Turk. Doctor Strange uses his magic to banish the creature.
Doctor Strange then says that Turk was fated to wield the Mind Stone but now they must get the Infinity Stones off Earth as they can’t hold Gamora back much longer. Doctor Strange does compliment Turk on using the Mind Stone smartly by finding out that stock market was the real way to make money. Turk says he knows his luck will run out so offers to give Doctor Strange the Mind Stone and all he is asking for is a free favor in the future. Doctor Strange agrees and takes Turk’s Mind Stone.
Doctor Strange then teleports Turk to an undisclosed location. Just as he thinks he sold the Mind Stone at a low price the building he is in blows up.
Back at the battle in Central Park, Rocket says he apologizes as this situation wasn’t Earth’s fault but the Guardians and calls a team meeting. Gamora says all the destruction is being caused because they won’t help her open the Soul Stone. Drax says he won’t help as he has seen what is inside the Soul Stone.
As the fighting rages on Iron Man shows up to break things up.
When Drax continues talking Gamora uses her Power Stone sword to slice through Drax.
Suddenly Thanos spirit appears and mocks Gamora. Gamora tells the spirit Thanos he is dead .
Star-Lord still thinks that she isn’t the real Gamora. Thor arrives and asks if Thanos could be behind this. Star-Lord thinks so.
At the same time Black Widow and Captain Marvel take out Bullseye. Just as they do that Gamora sends both Black Widow and Captain Marvel flying with a punch.
Adam Warlock decides he must put distance between the Soul Stone and Gamora so he starts flying away. When Gamora tries to attack him Captain America and Thor hit Gamora with their shield and hammer, respectively.
The Avengers, Spider-Man, Adam Warlock and Guardians of the Galaxy stand together in front of Gamora. Captain Marvel says she owes Gamora one and is the first to attack Gamora.
Captain Marvel ends up taking Gamora and flies her up into space to knock her out through asphyxiation.
Captain America orders Turks villain squad to retreat and they quickly do so.
Suddenly Gamora’s sword falls on the ground. Captain Marvel returns with a knocked out Gamora. Doctor Strange quickly works to restrain Gamora. Star-Lord tells the Avengers they can have the Power Stone as he just wants Gamora.
As they talk Captain America notices something is off. Captain Marvel sees this and reveals she is actually Gamora, who stole the Reality Stone from Captain Marvel and used that to trick everyone. Right as Captain Marvel tries to warn everyone Gamora stabs both Doctor Strange and Captain America simultaneously. She then takes out Iron Man. With them down she takes the Time and Mind Stones.
With the Mind, Time, Reality and Power Stones in her hands she turns her attention to Adam Warlock. She quickly throws her sword at Adam Warlock and cuts off his head.
The Avengers and Guardians try to stop Gamora but she uses the Time Stone to freeze everyone. She uses this chance to steal the Space Stone from Black Widow and apologizes to Star-Lord.
With time still frozen Gamora takes the Soul Stone. As she does that Thanos’ spirit tells Gamora to take her prize. He then mocks Captain America for being trapped in time again.
Gamora opens the portal into the Soul Stone. Out of the portal comes an old Gamora. The two then merge back into one with Gamora gaining white streaks in her hair.
Gamora senses something and says that Devondra must feed.
Loki and Flowa suddenly show up, with the former introducing the two to Gamora. Loki tells Gamora to hold on for a second and offers his counsel to her. End of issue.
The Good: If you are looking for big action sequences your in luck because that is exactly what Infinity Wars #2. For better or worse Infinity Wars #2 is one big extended action scene featuring Gamora trashing the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. In the middle of it all Gerry Duggan does insert some interesting character moments but they do not mask the big problem with the beginning of Infinity Wars.
The best thing that Infinity Wars #2 had going for it was everything that Gamora did in this issue. It has been a long time since we have seen Gamora be portrayed as the ultimate badass fighter. While she has always been shown to be a good fighter, in the recent years Gamora hasn’t had a chance to show how good she is as other Avengers or Guardians have taken the spotlight. It’s been a shame since before joining the Guardians, Gamora was seen as one of the most terrifying fighters in the universe, similar to Wolverine. That edge has been lost on her.
Duggan understands this and builds off the momentum he has given Gamora after she killed Thanos to remind the Marvel Universe and readers about this fact. Seeing her tear her way through the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy elevated Gamora back into that spotlight of being a terrifying fighter.
What was best about how Duggan executed this was that there was no point in Infinity Wars #2 that it did not come off as believable. Throughout the fight you could tell that the part of Gamora that made her hold back her killer instinct was gone. All that was left was the drive to accomplish her mission. Combining that with the experienced and powerful fighter Gamora has always been added to how concern you were about the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy members who were trying to stop her.
Making the fight more believable was the Infinity Stones element that Duggan had Gamora employ. While the wielders of the Infinity Stones hesitated to use the power Gamora did not. Gamora knew that since she was outnumber that she needed use her Power Stone to take advantage of being the only Infinity Stone wielder using her stone to turn the tide to her favor. Seeing how she did not hold back in using each Infinity Stone as she got possession of them is a strong reminder how powerful someone can be when using them efficiently.
Adding in the element of Thanos’ ghost taunting Gamora made the turmoil that she is going through stronger. Duggan showed us that while Gamora did not hesitate to strike down anyone in her way, including Star-Lord, that she still had a sense of guilt for what she was doing. That guilt manifesting in Thanos’ ghost taunting her is a much better way to integrate the villain than just making him the main villain. This new ghost Thanos opens the door to explore more of what Gamora’s relationship is with her father is like, further placing the spotlight on Gamora. The change also allows Duggan to use Thanos in a different way for this latest Infinity Stones conflict.
Though most of the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy ended up playing second fiddle to Gamora, Duggan still did an effective job using both teams during this fight. Star-Lord in particular was position as the one most shocked at what Gamora was doing added weight to what was going on in the fight. Throughout the fight Star-Lord was the only one that did not try to fight.
Star-Lord’s position as the shocked boyfriend made Drax’s words stand out even more. Duggan made it clear that Drax still thought of Gamora as a friend and teammate. For that reason he tried to reason with Gamora about the dangers of the Soul Stone. At the same time Duggan made Drax look like he was one word away from trying to take Gamora down. This made Gamora being the one to strike Drax down first even more effective as we were just waiting for one of them to do something.
Turk Bennett was also surprisingly given some very good character development in Infinity Wars #2. Even though he is a bottom of the barrel villain Duggan elevated Turk to be someone to look out for. Just the fact that Turk used the Mind Stone to become rich through the stock market rather than just stealing it with the use of the Infinity Stone made him look more villainous. This development will hopefully lead to something bigger as it would be a shame to see Turk being owed a favor from the Sorcerer Supreme.
With all of that happened the ending with Loki and Flowa appearing to offer their help to Gamora gives the sign that we are finally going to move the Infinity Wars conflict off Earth. That is something that this event needs. And given that Loki came face-to-face with another universe version of himself it will hopefully mean that we get to explore the Multiverse. Learning who or what this Devondra creature is will be key to this story. At least as of Infinity Wars #2 there is some interest already built for who Devondra is.
Mike Deodato’s artwork carried a lot of what happened in Infinity Wars #2. Given that this was an action heavy issue that is exactly what should’ve happened. While we didn’t get the number of splash pages we got in the first issue, since we didn’t get a lot of big talking scenes Deodato’s artwork was able to shine even more. Throughout Infinity Wars #2 Deodato effectively got over how much of a badass Gamora is.
The Bad: While Infinity Wars #2 was a marked improvement from the first issue there were still several problems that held the story back. The biggest problem this issue faced is that the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy did look stupid for not trying to get the Infinity Stones away from Earth and Gamora. With how many heavy hitters were fighting Gamora there was more than enough time for Adam Warlock, Captain Marvel, Black Widow or Doctor Strange to leave the area. The fact that not one of the Infinity Stone users tried to leave in order to keep one or more of the Infinity Stones away from Gamora just was not smart.
This in particular hurt Doctor Strange since he was the one pushing for the Infinity Stones to be separated. After all his talk about the Infinity Stone users going with his plan he was the one that ended up handing Gamora the biggest victory. Once Doctor Strange had the Mind and Time Stone he should’ve known to use his powers to leave Earth and go to another planet or dimension. By not doing so Doctor Strange looked like someone who does not listen to his own advice.
Also in continuing to place the majority of Infinity Wars #2 on Earth, Duggan never got over how the events of this story has ramifications on not just the entire universe but also the Marvel Multiverse. But in not showing the battle going to another place everything about the battle felt small and lacked some creativity given the power of the Infinity Stones. Because Duggan could’ve easily had Gamora figure out a way to get the Space Stone. Once she did we could’ve seen her fight Adam Warlock or Doctor Strange in another location for their Infinity Stones. But not doing so just hurt the larger than life impact of the events going on.
Speaking of Adam Warlock, it is deeply disappointing that he was has been so easily discarded in Infinity Wars. Adam Warlock is a someone who has a deep connection to the Infinity Stones. Not only that, but Adam Warlock has a shared history with Gamora that Duggan never touches upon. Even using their history together as a reason why Adam Warlock hesitated to leave the battle was never used. Instead he just came off as a weak character who cannot fight, much less stand up for himself since Drax did all the talking.
And while the Thanos ghost reveal was introduced well it would’ve worked much better if it was not telegraphed so much. Though the intro of Thanos speaking with the child Gamora was cool we did not need to see Gamora killing Thanos again. We already saw that scene in Infinity Wars Prime and Infinity Wars #1 so there was no need to see it again. Recycling that scene from an alternate angle just made it feel like we already were getting to much Thanos in a short window of time. As Infinity Wars progresses Duggan needs to keep Thanos’ appearance to a minimum that way his presence is special rather than boring.
In recycling the same Thanos death scene it also took away valuable page count from Infinity Wars #2. Every page needs to treated as being valuable. And in this case Thanos death scene should’ve been replaced with more development from Loki and Flowa’s actions. Duggan already built interest in what Loki and Flowa were doing in the God Quarry. Developing this angle more would’ve helped build further interest in how the Marvel Multiverse is being used in this story. Instead this was something that was easily forgotten until Loki and Flowa’s appearance at the end of Infinity Wars #2.
Though Deodato delivers some great artwork the one small problem that did prop up was how he showed characters bleeding. The way it was drawn it looked more like red paint than characters actually bleeding. It particularly looked bad when Gamora skewers Captain America and Doctor Strange.
Overall: Infinity Wars #2 was a step up from the first issue. Gerry Duggan made Gamora look like an absolute badass with how she took down the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. Unfortunately this issue was held back by some questionable story choices that dragged the epic potential of Infinity Wars. Hopefully with what the ending of Infinity Wars #2 teased the problems facing Marvel’s latest event get fixed right away.