Marvel’s big cosmic event hit a major roadblock with Infinity Wars #3. The story of Marvel’s latest event has been moving at a snail’s pace. The problems with Infinity Wars story thus far has been made worse by the fact that this event is lacking a major antagonist. Gerry Duggan has tried to fill that role with Gamora but has so far failed to make her an antagonist that you want to see completely defeated. The new amalgamation Marvel Universe that Gamora created in the last issue did not help the story at all. Because of that the question is if Duggan can turn things around and create a story that can reach the level of past events involving the Infinity Stones? Let’s find out with Infinity Wars #4
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Mike Deodato Jr.
Colorist: Frank Martin
Story Rating: 1 Night Girl out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 3.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Diamond Patch (Wolverine and Emma Frost mash-up) has a drink after learning from Loki that Gamora halved the number of souls by merging everyone and then putting them in the Soul World. Loki asks Diamond Patch to help him track down the Infinity Stones as they exist in the universe that Gamora created inside the Soul World.
Devondra suddenly appears but Diamond Patch and Loki easily dispatch it. Loki talks about how Devondra was in one of the books he read and that someone is manipulating all the events that have happened.
Diamond Patch reveals that when he stabbed a Watcher in the past he learned he would be merged with the Phoenix Force and it would appear to him when he needed.
Suddenly a future Phoenix Diamond Patch appears, having used the time bat to get their. Future Phoenix Diamond Patch doesn’t want Requiem (Gamora) knowing about him so he quickly tosses Loki the Power Stone. Loki requests Phoenix Diamond Patch to pull apart his present self. Phoenix Diamond Patch does so and is able to separate Wolverine and Emma Frost.
Before leaving Loki spots an older version of Thor with Phoenix Diamond Patch. Thor has nothing to say to his brother and leaves.
Loki tries to grab the Power Stone but Emma quickly grabs it for herself. Loki tells Emma to read his mind to see his intentions and next recruit. Emma is surprised when she learns it is Kang.
Wolverine is suddenly attacked by Devondra. Loki and Emma leave Wolverine to deal with Devondra. They get on a motorcycle to track down Kang since Loki isn’t at full power inside the Soul World.
At the end of the universe Requiem kills alternate version of Loki with the Mjölnir on the Rainbow Bridge. Requiem then turns her attention to Phyla-Vell and Moondragon, demanding to know where the Reality Stone is. Moondragon says she erased the location from her mind and tricks Requiem to use the Mind Stone to go inside her head. While Moondragon puts up a strong mental fight Requiem easily overwhelms her.
Phyla-Vell tries to save Moondragon but Moondragon says they can’t win so she tackles Phyla Vella off the Rainbow Bridge. While they fall Moondragon reveals she shot them both to another universe and they end up crashing through another Rainbow Bridge.
Back inside the Soul World, Emma uses the Power Stone and Loki’s memories of the original Marvel Universe to separate Kang and Miss Marvel. Loki reveals that he tricked Gamora to merge specific people he needed so he can assemble them when she sent him to the Soul World.
They then teleport to Loki’s next recruit who turns out to be Little Monster (Hulk and Ant-Man mash-up). While Little Monster knocks Loki down Emma uses the Power Stone to separate Ant-Man and Bruce Banner. Emma apologizes to Bruce as they need the other guy and uses her powers to have him transform into the Hulk.
Loki tells everyone that he picked each one of them because they are all best suited to wield one of the Infinity Stones. Loki then tells Emma to help Kang track down Adam Warlock’s location.
They teleport to an unknown location and find Adam Warlock fighting Devondra. Hulk and Miss Marvel quickly pull off a tag team move to help Adam Warlock out. Ant-Man joins them by shrinking and going inside Devondra. He then quickly grows to destroy Devondra.
Before they can recover from the fight Adam Warlock tells Loki’s team Devondra is reforming and they need all the heroes available to fight it. Emma uses her powers to contact all the merged heroes in the universe. All the heroes are shown to be currently fighting an army of Devondra in different parts of the universe.
At a local club one of the band members stops playing in the middle of a set. While the guy walks off his reflection on a window shows that he holds Drax inside him.
At the God Quarry Flow wonders if Gamora is concerned about the heroes getting out of the Soul World. Gamora states she is confident Devondra will devour them, giving her the opportunity to create new universe of her own creation.
Gamora smashes through God Quarry but when she sees what is inside she can’t believe it is the edge of the universe. Ghost Thanos taunts Gamora that maybe if he was alive he could help her.
Flowa states that even if they can’t breach through the universe something important is about to happen. The Watchers then appear above Gamora and Flow to watch what is about to occur. End of issue.
The Good: Even after passing the halfway mark Infinity Wars continues to struggle to find what kind of event it wants to be. Everything that was a problem with the previous issues takes an even bigger spotlight in Infinity Wars #4. It’s to the point that it has become tough to find an aspect of Infinity Wars to actually feel connected to.
The one bright spot of Infinity Wars #4 is the artwork. Mike Deodato Jr. gets over how this is supposed to be a big event even if the story does not reflect that. He clearly had fun drawing all the mash-up characters. The action, when we do get some, is a standout as it comes off as brutal as you expect with the characters involved.
The Bad: There are a lot of problems that Infinity Wars #4 faces. One of them is the fact that right after introducing the merged Marvel Universe Gerry Duggan has already undone it. There is no point in Infinity Wars #4 that Duggan tries to explore the concept of all the merged heroes to further the plot. The entire presentation of the merged heroes and villains came across as Duggan doing this because Marvel wanted some spinoff mini-series related to Infinity Wars.
Duggan doesn’t even attempt to make the separations of the characters that merge actually have an impact on anyone. A simple thing such as showing that Wolverine and Emma Frost had some sort of negative feedback after being separated would’ve given this aspect of the story some development. It’s the lack of these little details that make the entire merged Marvel Universe come off as a marketing stunt rather than something that adds to the story Duggan is trying to craft.
The lack of development in the merged heroes is made worse by the fact that there is zero chemistry in Loki’s team. After four issues it should not feel like work from the readers side to be connected to the characters involved in Infinity Wars. Duggan was actually already starting to develop that when he assembled the Infinity Watch under Doctor Strange. Not actually using anyone other than Adam Warlock towards the end of Infinity Wars #4 just makes all the time spent building up Infinity Watch to be a waste of time.
Making the chemistry problem even worse is the fact that all of the characters that Loki assembles are portrayed to be completely random. After four issues into this event Duggan should of be giving us a reason to care about the characters involved in Loki’s plot to obtain the Infinity Stones. Unfortunately that does not happen and Duggan instead relies completely on the name value of Hulk, Miss Marvel, Kang, Loki and Emma Frost to make us care.
That puts an even bigger spotlight on how much potential Duggan wastes by not using merged heroes that have actually taken part in the first three issues of this event. There should be a point to Doctor Strange assembling Infinity Watch in the first place. The other Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy that were also part of the big fight in the first three issues of Infinity Wars should’ve play a role in the story. Not using any of these established characters within Infinity Wars outside of Loki creates questions as to what the point of the first three issues.
This all ends up making everything Loki does in Infinity Wars #4 come off as a giant waste of time. Nothing about Loki’s dialogue taps into what makes him interesting. Every interaction he has whether it is with Diamond Patch or the team he put together just makes him look like an annoying little brother. Making Loki’s portrayal worse is the fact that Duggan does not attempt to develop Loki’s motivation. The only thing we know is he wants the Infinity Stones. Other than that there is zero motivation for Loki or the reader to get behind this portion of Infinity Wars’ story.
The failure in making the merged Marvel Universe compelling is made worse by the fact that Devondra is given no actual character. As the closest thing to big bad that we have had in Infinity Wars, Devondra is devoid of any actual development. All Devondra has been shown to be is a faceless threat that the heroes destroy in an infinite loop. There is nothing threatening about Devondra outside of the fact that it can regenerate and split up to attack everyone at once. For a supposed big threat there should be some sense of danger around Devondra’s appearance but Duggan fails to accomplish that.
The lack of credibility for Devondra made all the problems with Gamora’s character portrayal shine even brighter. Duggan has stripped Gamora of any sort of character since she gained the Infinity Stones. All of her dialogue is delivered with such a vanilla way of writing it that you are left to wonder if we are supposed to like or hate her. The lack of personality makes it harder to actually care about what she is doing.
This lack of interest in Gamora made the appearance of the Watchers at the end of Infinity Wars #4 have zero impact. That is the complete opposite feeling that as a reader I should have given the Watchers importance to the Marvel Universe. Their appearance is supposed to signify a turning point in the story. But because of how everything in Duggan’s story has been developed any sort of importance in the Watchers importance fails to deliver the way it should.
Adding to all the problems with Infinity Wars #4 was the sudden re-appearance of the Dimensionauts. Given their previous one off appearance there was not enough time dedicated to the Dimensionauts to actually care about Requiem killing them all. Their deaths just drove home the fact that they were nothing more than throwaway characters. Even when Duggan does try to add some character to Moondragon and Phyla-Vell it does not mask how these characters were just created to be killed off.
Though Deodato artwork is solid there were points in Infinity Wars #4 that it did not look as good as previous issues. With all the cosmic elements in this story there were times that the artwork got to dark. This made it harder to tell what was actually going on during certain panels. There were also notable instances where character’s faces were drawn differently than how Deodato normally draws them. The big one that stood out was with Emma Frost reaction to Ant-Man’s actions making her look like a completely different person.
Overall: From top to bottom, Infinity Wars #4 is a massive disappointment. At no point in this issue does Gerry Duggan bring the reader into the story he is trying to craft. With all the major Marvel Universe characters he gets to write that is completely unacceptable. All the failures in the story creates a lack of confidence in Infinity Wars being able to deliver a compelling ending with only two issues left.