Infinity Wars #5 Review

Infinity Wars #5 Review

Infinity Wars is a big event that had all the makings of a great story. Unfortunately it has yet to live up to the potential it had thus far. Gerry Duggan has thus far not executed as he should have to make Infinity Wars come across as a big event. The biggest thing working against Infinity Wars is the way it has been built around Gamora and Loki. These two characters have not fit into their roles well. That is something that can easily be corrected as Duggan has two more issues left with Infinity Wars. Can Duggant turn around Marvel’s latest big event into something that is must read starting with Infinity Wars #5? Let’s find out now.

Writer: Gerry Duggan

Artist: Mike Deodato Jr.

Colorist: Frank Martin

Story Rating: 1 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 3.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: At the Quarry of Creation Gamora uses her Infinity Blade to cut through the dimensional barrier as a group of Watchers looks on. As she does that Gamora looks at the Soul Stone and states no one will escape it unless she wants them to.

Inside the Soul World Loki’s makeshift Avengers team and the Infinity Warp characters are fighting off Devondra. During the fight Warlock states that they need to get control of the Infinity Stones in order to leave the Soul World.

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Suddenly Loki’s Avengers arrive outside a treehouse. (Not sure how they got there so fast while fighting Devondra.) Emma Frost tells Loki she is heading inside and takes Ms. Marvel with her.

Once inside the treehouse Emma and Ms Marvel find a young Gamora with the Infinity Stones. Emma and Ms. Marvel try to connect with young Gamora and learn her backstory, including the fact that someone is not allowed in her treehouse.

A little later Emma and Ms. Marvel bring young Gamora outside along with the Infinity Stones. Emma reveals young Gamora is letting them borrow her Infinity Stones.

Having learned how the Soul World’s Infinity Stones work differently Loki gives Emma the Power Stone, Hulk the Space Stone, Ant-Man the Time Stone, Kang the Reality Stone and Ms. Marvel the Mind Stone while he keeps the Soul Stone. Loki then uses the Soul Stone to open a portal out of the Warped Marvel Universe.

Back at the Quarry of Creration Moondragon and Phyla-Vell crash land next to Flowa. Spotting Gamora in her Requiem suit Moondragon and Phylla-Vell attack her. Gamora states that Moondragon and Phylla-Vell are no threat to her.

Loki’s team suddenly show up to even the odds. Gamora quickly swings her Infinity Blade at Emma. The Infinity Blade breaks when it hits Emma in her diamond form, much to Gamora’s shock. Emma reveals she used the Power Stone to destroy the Infinity Blade. Seeing the results Emma realizes that Loki was right that to optimize the Infinity Stones its about maximizing the users talents.

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Hulk then combines his strength with the power of the Space Stone to throws Gamora all over the Quarry of Creation.

Heavily injured, Gamora proclaims that she is not done remaking the universe. Kang shows up next and states he will remake the universe himself. Kang then uses the Reality Stone to create different versions of himself.

Gamora fights all the versions of Kang herself. During the fight she realizes that Ant-Man is missing. Ant-Man speaks up and shows that he has gotten ahold of Gamora’s Reality and Space Stones.

Gamora soon becomes overwhelmed by everyone fighting her at the same time.

Seeing this Loki decides to act by first creating a portal to send Moondragon and Phyla-Vell into the Soul World much to everyone’s surprise. Loki then reveals he has stolen all of the Infinity Stones. He then uses the Infinity Stones to teleport away before the Hulk can crush him.

Stunned that Loki got the Infinity Stones Flowa writes about what just happened in her book.

In an unknown location Loki feels like he is somewhere special as his Infinity Stones have lost power. He comes across even more Infinity Stones that lead him to a group of Celestials. Loki wonders if they are his puppet masters.

Back in the Soul World the Infinity Warps and Warlock continue their endless fight with Devondra. Warlock notices Loki’s portal open and Moondragon and Phyla-Vell come flying through.

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Warlock uses the open portal to get to Gamora. Believing she still has the Infinity Stones, Warlock, Soldier Supreme, Moondragon and others attack Gamora simultaneously.

Elsewhere the Infinity Wars Drax is driving through some trees following a vision of total destruction he had. His girlfriend tells him to stop the car but is to late and a tree attacks them.

When they get out of the car Peet (the Infinity Warps version of Groot-Star-Lord) appears and flies Infinity Warps Drax somewhere. End of issue.

The Good: After five issues it should not be too much to ask for an emotional connection to the characters and events unfolding in a story. But here we are with Infinity Wars #5, of 6 issues, and its tough to feel connected to what is going on. With a character that lacks emotion, Gamora, and another whose endgame has been underdeveloped, Loki, there is a lot lacking as there is only one issue left in the Infinity Wars event.

The one thing I will give Gerry Duggan credit for doing a good job in is how he had Loki’s team use the Infinity Stones that they were able to obtain. Loki’s explanation for why Emma Frost, Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Kang, Ant-Man and himself used Infinity Stones you would not necessarily think would work best for them was creative. It was properly backed up with proper information as the Infinity Stones were split to worked to maximize the strengths of each character.

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For the most part Mike Deodato’s artwork was well done throughout Infinity Wars #5. The strength of Deodato’s art style comes out during the big action sequences. Luckily we had a lot of those as we had Gamora battle a bunch of heroes and villains along with the fight with Devondra. This especially helped with getting over how each person used the Infinity Stones to take down Gamora during the big fight in the middle of the issue.

The Bad: For a story that is based around the Infinity Stones it has been tough to feel there is a lot at stake during Infinity Wars. That is not helped at all by Infinity Wars #5. Even as characters like Gamora and Kang talking about reshaping the universe in their image the stakes are never felt.

A major problem understanding what everyone is fighting for is that Duggan does not move the event far from two locations. That has been the case throughout Infinity Wars as Duggan has kept a minimal focus on Earth, Quarry of Creation and Soul World. Without seeing how the rest of the universe is being affected by what Gamora and Loki are doing with the Infinity Wars.

With how Duggan had 30+ pages to tell his story he could’ve easily added a scene showing other worlds. These types of scenes were we see how other worlds are being affected by the events in Infinity Wars #5 would’ve shown the scope of the event. Without those type of scenes Duggan continues to keep a small view of how actions like Gamora attempting to destroy the the Quarry of Creation affects the entire Marvel Universe.

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This all speaks to how while Gamora has been filling the role of antagonist Duggan has failed to put over why we should dislike what she doing. To be sure, her folding the main Marvel Universe into the Soul Stone was a villainous act but Duggan made sure to emphasize that she didn’t kill anyone. Everyone in the Soul Stone is still alive in some form. Duggan even confirms that with Infinity Wars #5 showing how Loki’s team exited the Soul World.

So now by establishing that fact the only actual person Gamora has bloodstains of is Thanos, one of the biggest villains in the Marvel Universe. Now without having these elements that should make an antagonist be someone the protagonist to take down it is tough to watch Gamora suffer injuries. There is just something not right about seeing Hulk throw Gamora around and then all the heroes gang up on her at the end of Infinity Wars #5. That feeling that there is something wrong with these visuals shows how meaningless the events of the last four issues have been when they were built around everyone uniting to defeat Gamora.

Loki’s actions in Infinity Wars #5 does not help anything either. The problem with Loki’s characterization is that Duggan has not actually clarified what Loki’s endgame is. After five issues with Loki as one of the central characters in Infinity Wars that should not be the case anymore. By this point we should know what his endgame is instead of being as confused as Loki was when he was inside the cave with the Celestials.

Speaking of the Celestials, there was nothing about that scene with Loki that was special. This is all because we’ve already seen Loki interacting with the Celestials over in Jason Aaron’s current Avengers run. In that series we have already learned that Loki and the Celestials have a special relationship. Having that established in the Avengers hurt the impact of seeing a similar scene in Infinity Wars. That may be part of the timing of Infinity Wars but it is something that falls on the editiors to make sure that things like this can be avoided.

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It was also odd that Loki’s team was able to use the Infinity Stones after they leave the Soul World. Back in Infinity Wars #1 Duggan had the alternate universe Loki state that Infinity Stones only work within their universe. From that it should’ve been that the Marvel Warped Universe’s Infinity Stones should not have worked in the universe Gamora was in. Not explaining this shows a lack of logic to the story since Duggan went against what he previously established. Which only looks worse since it was clear that two sets of Infinity Stones were being used at the same time.

The other big antagonist that Duggan fails to build up was Devondra. As the villain that Duggan continues to have other characters talk about how big of a threat it is that is not how Devondra is presented. All Devondra has been up to this point is a nuisance to keep the heroes busy in the Soul World. Without characters getting injured or killed while fighting Devondra it has been tough to see her as a real threat. That once again falls on how Duggan has structured this story around three antagonists that have failed to be compelling enough to carry Infinity Wars.

That is all without mentioning the lackluster way Duggan has decided to present the heroes of the Marvel Universe. While it was cool to see different characters use the Infinity Stores there was very little build to this. There was not enough time spent developing a dynamic between Emma, Hulk, Ant-Man, Kang Ms. Marvel and Loki to feel connected to see this team in action.

Also on a small nitpick, it was odd that Duggan had Loki’s team fighting Devondra in the opening page inside the Soul World only to have Warlock state that they were somewhere else. It completely threw off the scene since Ant-Man, Kang, Ms. Marvel and Hulk fighting Devondra when Warlock says this. This small detail turns out to be a more standout problem as the entire timing of these scenes appeared to be off.

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This combination of characters just puts into question what the point of Doctor Strange gathering the Infinity Watch was. After spending three issues bring back the Infinity Watch concept we should’ve seen them factor more into what happened in the big battle with Gamora. Instead the characters continued to stay away from the events going on.

Making Infinity Wars #5 an even more frustrating issue was how Duggan continues not to use the Infinity Warp concept to enhance the story. As a concept Duggan introduced to give weight to what Gamora was doing it is disappointing to see how these Infinity Warp characters aren’t factoring in at all. It puts a spotlight on how this concept is something Duggan and Marvel introduced to sell tie-in comics rather than being treated as meaningful parts of the Infinity Wars event.

And speaking of throwaway characters, Duggan’s use of Moondragon and Phyla-Vell is equally head scratching. These two characters serve absolutely no role outside of being a slight distraction for Gamora to throw around to buy Loki’s team time to exit the Soul World. Duggan could’ve easily replaced Moondragon and Phyla-Vell with other minor Marvel characters like Cloak and Dagger and we would’ve gotten the same result. That is such a shame but goes to speak to the lack of development throughout the five issues of Infinity Wars.

While I am fan of Mike Deodato’s artwork there were a few points in Infinity Wars #5 that didn’t look great. The way he drew characters like Emma Frost did not match the style of other characters. It looked like Deodato was trying to make her different enough that her face looked oddly stretched. Deodato’s artwork for Devondra didn’t help the villain’s presentation either. The scenes in the Soul World were way too dark to actually see what Devondra was doing during the fight with all the heroes.

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Overall: Infinity Wars #5 is such a massive disappointment. Gerry Duggan has failed to deliver on a massive scope that is expected from an event involving the Infinity Stones. The lack of character development for both the protagonists and antagonists of this story has hurt the impact of what should be major moments in Marvel’s history. With only one issue left in Infinity Wars I highly doubt things will be turned around. I hope that I’m wrong about that but fear that I’m not.