The second read of my comic book journey was The Infinity Gauntlet, which I finished this morning.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read, and I have already ordered both “Avengers vs. Thanos” and “Silver Surfer: Rebirth of Thanos” through a comic book store which I found in my area. Those two stories preceded the events which take place in The Infinity Gauntlet, which throws you right into a pretty nasty situation. In The Inifinity Gauntlet, Thanos has been resurrected by Mistress Death and it becomes rapidly clear to the reader that with the infinity gauntlet, he has become the most powerful being in the universe.
In my opinion, The Infinity Gauntlet is a great tool for somebody just getting into comics. The characters are introduced almost one-by-one, allowing the reader to consider who they are, and, if necessary, look them up prior to continuing on (I did this with regards to Namorita, for example). In contrast, I’m currently reading a different story which also involves a large number of heroes, but does not introduce each one and, at times even seems to cause them to simply appear either momentarily or in background roles, never allowing you to really figure out who they are or what they can do.
Another positive is the use of emotion in The Infinity Gauntlet. I thought that the team who created this story did a fantastic job of capturing Thanos’ emotional issues, both from his perspective as well as from the perspective of some of the other characters in the story. For example, the reader is made quickly aware of Thanos’ quest for the love of one individual. I also found that they did a great job of contrasting the ways in which the different characters perceive what is going on around them. For instance, the Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock do not always seem to see eye to eye on what is right and what is wrong, or what one can and cannot (or should and should not) be done in order to achieve a certain end.
Personally, the relative invincibility of Thanos when he’s wearing the infinity gauntlet is something I don’t love. While nobody would be surprised to hear that Thanos doesn’t win, it remains that all of the heroes that the reader has come to know and love (as well as their seemingly phenomenal powers) are for the most part useless against anybody who is wearing the infinity gauntlet. If the rest of the story wasn’t so great and if Thanos’ character hadn’t been granted sufficient depth, this could have become a problem for me (but it didn’t).
Another weak point (in my opinion) would be that The Inifinity Gauntlet doesn’t do a great job of explaining how Thanos got the gems that are in the gauntlet, nor where they originate from, which is slightly confusing. I’ll see if the two stories that preceded it explain the stones, but I have my doubts.
On an unrelated note, I know at least one person who doesn’t enjoy when superhero stories take a turn towards outer space or anything related to outer space (i.e. aliens). That individual always prefers the stories stay on planet Earth and that the characters be from there, even if they have superpowers. If you share that opinion and are not a fan of stories related to outer space or galactic wars, then this will be a story to avoid, because you will not only spend more than half of this story in outer space, but you will encounter some characters whom are definitely aliens and others who are gods.
Coming off of the first four X-Men issues of all time, I believe it is fair to say that this blows them out of the water in almost every way possible. That’s probably unfair however, given that the Marvel Universe was vastly larger and more developed in 1991 than it was in 1963. Not only had it had the chance to increase the number of characters, but also had the time to deepen them and intertwine them with one another in ways which were certainly still borderline impossible in 1963.
Conclusion: This was an awesome story which I believe can be read in isolation. That said, there are also stories which both precede and follow it, allowing for more reading if you enjoy the story. As a beginner, I thought it was a good read which did not lose me with regards to either the story or the characters which fill it, and which successfully dragged me into the story and caused me to order the two preceding stories.
The Comic Book Newbie
P.s. definitely looking forward to the upcoming Avengers movie even more now.