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Infinity Chapter Six + Tie-Ins | thanosrules quick reviews

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Here we go again...this time 10 reviews. These are extremely late, but hey, better late than never? Either way, I wanted to finish things off...

Overall Note - The end has come. For the event anyway... I have to say, this was a pretty great event. There were several 5/5 issues, main event books and tie-ins. It also felt pretty cohesive, which is a nice change of pace from some events. Lastly, it fits well with the rest of what is going on with the other Marvel titles, giving way for the next wave of books, all related to the Inhumans. That said, the first thing I thought (and I am sure I am not alone here) when I saw the cover to New Avengers #12, was the end of Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2. Check out the following image:

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Look familiar? Either way, this is a great segue to my first review, for New Avengers and the issue that shows us, sometimes there are fates greater than death (especially for a nihilist like Thanos).

New Avengers #12 ( 5 / 5 ) - This should not be read before Infinity 6. You likely know this because of the timeline in the back of each of the Infinity books, but still. Not that what happens at the end of Infinity 6 is a secret, especially from this cover. Heck, enough time has passed, you know what happened. Triple-Dog-Heck, likely no one is reading this. ;) Anyway. Again, this issue was great. In fact, the series was my favorite Marvel title from Marvel NOW! This issue is filled with kings and leaders learning their place. Their very small place in the universe. One take-away from this issue (and event really), is that we all have to deal with the fact that no matter how much power, control, money, luck any of us has, "Everything dies."

Infinity: Heist #3 ( 3.5 / 5 ) - Cross, Double-Cross, Triple-Cross. Is that even a thing? It may be. So many lies, so much deceit - all to be expected from a "villain-centric" book. As I have been saying all along, I am not real big on this type of story. This issue has an interesting (and cosmic) twist to it, but still no real specific tie (that I see as of now) with the event (outside of the fact that they were taking advantage of the event events to cover the "heist". This mini-series are not really necessary and add very little to the overall story, of course, unless you are in to this kind of book. That said, I was impressed with the reveal at the end, not sure what it will mean, but there is one more issue to go (release date January 8th 2014, well after the event), so we will see.

Infinity: Heist #4 ( 3 / 5 ) - Well, it finally came out, as expected on January 8th, 2014, and I had a chance to read it (January 16th). Meh. I am sorry, it just wasn't for me. I do have to say, the very last panel, did redeem the entire story, if not just a little. Is it worth it? Likely not. But, as I have been saying, if you dig this kind of villain focused story, you might just dig this mini-series.

Infinity: The Hunt #4 ( 5 / 5 ) - Loved it! No surprise really, given the writer, but still. This was a wonderfully dramatic end to the mini-series. So many feels. It was wonderful to see that it tied in to event events and illustrated what we have come to expect from the "child super-heroes" books. So, though this mini-series got off to a slow start, it ended up being a great story with many interesting characters and situations for those characters. Teamwork, FTW!

Secret Avengers #11 ( 4 / 5 ) - Another decent tie-in. Just like last issue, we see the aftermath of the terrigenesis - previously "normal" people powering up. Some good, some bad. This issue follows our new "superhero", previous S.H.I.E.L.D. computer tech, in the field with Nick Fury and Agent Coulson. Trial by fire (pun intended) for her, as she goes up against another one of her kind, someone not in the "good" category". But evil? Who knows. Likely scared and just too over-powered. In the end, Sarah learns a hard lesson: Be with S.H.I.E.L.D. or against S.H.I.E.L.D. Where will all this go? What decision will Sarah make? I am not sure, and likely will not find out. I am leaving the Inhumanity stuff alone for a while...

Wolverine and the X-Men Annual #1 ( 4.5 / 5 ) - This issue was "cute". Much like "Infinity: The Hunt", this issue is all about the children. Specifically highlighted in this issue, Kubark (Kid Gladiator). He is just an overpowered kid learning his place in the universe. Constantly in his father's shadow (expectation wise), he only wants to, well, punch things. In this issue, he gets to do just that. The story is set during the events of Infinity, so there are plenty of opportunities to punch, both in space and here on earth. In the end, he learns a great lesson: With great punching, comes great...err. Never look a gift-horse...hmm. Beggars can't be choosers? Either way, this is another "feel-good" issue with lots of action (and punching). Oh, and you do not need to read all 40 some issues of Wolverine and the X-Men to read this tie-in, it is a great Infinity adjacent One-Shot.

Avengers #23 ( 4.5 / 5 ) - Not much to say about this one. It was on par with the other Avengers tie-in issues for this event. Much of what you read in this issue is covered (highlighted) in the main event book, so it is not altogether necessary, but there are a few things of note...Specifically, the save by the significantly powered [event specific] Earth Allies on the PEAK station. Seeing Ronan smash skulls never gets old. So this issue wraps up the Avengers space battle and homecoming. At this point we have almost forgotten why they went into deep space in the first place. Nonetheless, they are home and ready to save Earth (again).

Guardians of the Galaxy #9 ( 4.5 / 5 ) - What I love most about this issue is the art. Francesco Francavilla does an amazing job here. It isn't your mainstream comic book art, but the style fits perfectly with cosmic tales. As a tie-in, this is relatively non-essential, though it does provide some filler for what happened at the PEAK Station before the events of Infinity #6. There is quite a bit of action, and a good bit of GotG snark. What I am curious about is Angela. I am not sure why she appears so powerless. Sure, she is durable, but in this issue sure doesn't destroy many enemy combatants. Overall, it is a fun read and fits nicely in with the rest of the story.

Thunderbolts #18 ( 4.5 / 5 ) - Nice. This series really turned itself around within the Infinity event. The first tie-in issue was the last straw for some, maybe most, but that second tie-in issue really was great. From there, the issues stayed consistently entertaining. The art is still odd, but something about it is fun and fascinating. The story - well done. it wasn't your average Punisher-centric story. It was imaginative, intelligent and had a couple nice twists. So many people got their way, and that is saying a lot, given the complexity of the latest Thunderbolts team. This is not to say there aren't some ongoing points of conflict, but those will be ironed out, well beaten out more likely, on this upcoming "Road Trip". Oh Boy. And Mercy? How is that "little issue" going to be dealt with? Only time will tell (I have not read anything past this issue, in case these items have been addressed since).

Mighty Avengers #3 ( 4.5 / 5 ) - Blue Marvel arrives. Why? To save the Mighty Avengers and NYC from Shuma-Gorath. Okay, maybe the world. Still, it was bad, then "Adam" flies in and saves the day. He also seems to know the identity of our mystery "Spider Hero". I should also be clear, Adam doesn't do it on his own. He gives the team extra motivation - this combined with Power Man and Ava Ayala, save the day. Now, obviously I have "spoiled" the fact that things work out in the end, but I didn't say how, and that is the really interesting part, which I will not spoil. It is worth reading, especially if you have been digging the series so far. Oh, and since I am so late in reviewing this issue, the 4th has been released, which reveals Spider Hero's identity: Blade. Why not? They are really pushing the "non-white" (save Doc Ock) team thing now. Really. It is kind of awkward, no? Either way, pretty intelligent way to end a battle, and decent enough way to tie things into the Infinity events.

Infinity #6 ( 5 / 5 ) - Much like the stories of prophecy, where the son is destined to rid the world of his father, this event unfolds in a way Thanos would not have expected, nor enjoyed. As the reader, of both this event and Thanos Rising, we know that the universe is to be rid of all offspring sired by Thanos. This is the only way Death would accept our favorite villain into her loving arms - or so he hopes. In fact, Death is either his unrequited love, or he is crazy and she is simply a manifestation to quell any remorse his lifelong nihilism has produced. Unfortunately for Thanos, none of his plans come to fruition. This is the worst possible outcome for him. No rest, No Death, No fulfillment of his latest universal quest.

This event ends less about The Builders and more about what the Builders and Thanos brought about. Nearly all the event specific allies not only go their separate ways, but grow in power and potential for future threat. The world has been seeded with Inhumanity. The Builders? What builders? Apparently they were a weaker threat than Thanos. Thane - now there is a threat. One hand brings death, the other a living death with no end, with his new mentor (Ebony Maw) there is no telling what horrors he will bring to the universe.

What this event did do, is tee up a new age for the Inhumans. A plan that Black Bolt would have unleashed either way. So, in the dawn of Inhumanity, Marvel takes us once again into a mess of issues, related, semi-related, and all very similar to the "mutant problem" the X-Men have been facing for years and years. Will this similarity be addressed? Who knows. I will likely not find out for some time, as I am taking a much needed break from the Marvel insanity.

What I am looking forward to, and what I will be reading spoilers about is the impending threats mentioned by Black Swan in New Avengers #12. Those are some story-lines that I could follow. Again, only time (and money) will tell.

What's Next? Infinity is over. Everything has been wrapped up with a nice bow, in a sense. So, what are Thanos fans to do? Thankfully, just wait just a few more months! A new Thanos Original Graphic Novel from Jim Starlin is due out later this year (April 2014):

There is an imbalance in the universe. Since his latest return from oblivion, Thanos himself feels… incomplete. Now the so-called Mad Titan plans to put both wrongs right. The revelatory waters of the Infinity Well lead Thanos on a new quest, with a once sworn enemy, Adam Warlock, at his side. A crusade that will bring confrontation with the Silver Surfer and the galaxy’s mightiest heroes – the Annihilators. This April, Thanos will embark on an odyssey that will change everything in THANOS: THE INFINITY REVELATION.

More about the upcoming release, plus an interview with Jim Starlin here on Unlock Thanos: The Infinity Revelation with Jim Starlin

Okay - that wraps up the final set of reviews. Again, I was impressed with this event. And though it ended like other Thanos events before it, we are left with a hint of future cosmic battles, drama and likely an eventual family reunion.

For reference, here are the links to all my Infinity Event Reviews:



Infinity Chapter Four & Five + Tie-Ins | thanosrules quick reviews

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Here we go again...again, 11 reviews. Again, apologies for the delay - but now we are (as you guessed it, again) all caught up!

Overall Note - Lots going on here, the space stuff is starting to get confusing again (Avengers title), while the Earth stuff is some of the best storytelling I have seen in a while (New Avengers title).

New Avengers #11 ( 5 / 5 ) - Again, fantastic. This title has not let up. This issue has a very unexpected twist and an extremely solemn ending. You will be impressed to see what the Builders are willing to do to ensure "a more natural end to our existence." Wow. And of course, though short, the Thanos bit will leave you satisfied. The side view (you will see what I mean) certainly commands perspective. Oh, and the Dr. Strange scene. Awesome. No more, or I will spoil it. This continues to be my favorite book in this series!

Avengers #21 ( 4.5 / 5 ) - Apparently, I am too stupid to read this title. Or at the very least, I do not pay enough attention when I read comics. It is a good issue. Probably great if I could wrap my brain around it. The Ex Nihilo / Abyss / Captain Universe stuff just feels way over my head. The way they backed into the story of why the Supreme Intelligence was in need of repairs, was well done. The way the Annihilation Wave was handled, perfect. The Captain Universe / Builder interaction - also wonderfully told. And the end...yikes.

Guardians of the Galaxy #8 ( 4.5 / 5 ) - To be honest, I had to catch up on this title a bit. So I read #7 and then #8. I can't say that it was necessary, as I have no idea how much time passed between the two issues. The "background info" at the beginning of both issues was even the same. All we know at the end of #7 is bit more about Angela and that there was no obvious invasion at the time. In #8, they don't know if Iron Man or the Avengers are alive and the threat to Earth is very real. A bit confusing for a one-issue transition, but I am not faulting this issue for that. In fact, this issue was damn near perfect. But I am biased, I love the space books...and I love the fact that we may eventually know what happened to Thanos, Drax, Peter and Richard in the Cancerverse. This issue is a great tie-in for Infinity...and I have to say, I am VERY pleased that they actually added GotG to the list of Tie-Ins - I mean, seriously. Very excited to see what happens next!

Nova #9 ( 4 / 5 ) - Interesting. Very interesting. Surprising too. I didn't think they would go as far as they did with this. In the review I did for the previous issue, I commented heavily on how the audience for this book must be much younger than me - mostly because I am having a hard time relating...Yet it takes a "younger character" (Kaldera) to really scale up the maturity level of the book. The ideas and themes in this issue really jumped quite a bit. I guess that was obvious from the cliffhanger, but still. Throughout the issue, you are left with "what is going to happen to this poor family". Don't get me wrong, the vast majority of it (the stuff that doesn't directly relate to Kaldera is pretty "young audience". Not that it is bad, just harder for me (30s) to relate to. Overall, it is another decent tie-in for the event, not required, but still offering some ties to Richard Rider, a situation that may never surface, and may only ever be hinted at...

Avengers Assemble #20 ( 4 / 5 ) - Cute. Sad, but cute. Well, the story starts out sad. Tragic. Unrelated to anything obvious. Then things are made clear. The 50-foot tall naked dude makes sense. I mean, sure, he is naked because he grew, not his clothes. But that is not what made sense. And how it was dealt with (both how the story and problem) surpassed my expectations. It had a good bit of (albeit comic-y) science that fit with the story, and of course the story fit right in with the terrigenesis stuff. They are really playing that out quite a bit - but then again Inhumanity is coming...still wondering about the difference between the I-gene and X-gene... Anyway, this issue is... cute. Has a good story and positive ending. The Wonderman thing is getting a bit tiresome, but I am sure that will work itself out (How is this related to Uncanny Avengers / 4 Horsemen?). I like Scarlet Witch, so it was always probable that this issue was going to get a decent score.

Thunderbolts #17 ( 4.5 / 5 ) - This title is still holding strong. I am even going to increase its rating a bit, to show my appreciation. Mainly because of how well it is tied in to the story (especially now with the terrigenesis (green mist)). Some items of note: We finally find out why one of the mob families has been more prominent in the story than all the rest, to a very interesting degree; We see Ross and Sterns work together with very poor cell reception to figure out a way to show [no] Mercy to the alien flag ship; We see Flash Venom-Out; Punisher and Elektra get their murder on; and Deadpool finally gets his pizza.

Secret Avengers #10 ( 4 / 5 ) - I have not been reading this series. I read the first couple issues and it just didn't fit in with what I wanted to read (on top of everything else). It is the S.H.I.E.L.D. book with an Avengers name. That is perfectly fine. It feels like "the movie book" as well, especially this issue, starring Fury, Hill, Coulson and Rhodes. Like many of the other tie-ins it is all about terrigenesis. I will leave my I-gene/X-gene conversation out of this review, but still... this is about "normal folks" powering up. As can be expected, S.H.I.E.L.D. is going to exploit these new power-sets (it was either that or smite them). Since the Earth is under attack, they decide to take advantage of the situation - especially based on the powers of the most recent Inhuman, Sarah. So, as much as this is a S.H.I.E.L.D. series, this issue is all about Sarah. Is that interesting? Maybe. Depends on if she is a throw away character... based on ethnicity alone, she may just be put with the Mighty Avengers. And seriously, I am not being insensitive - that is how they have "configured" that team - it is just an observation.

Infinity: The Hunt #3 ( 4 / 5 ) - Wonderful. My favorite part is the narrative done by Finesse, her story about observing Captain America, and how it has changed the way she handles terrifying situations. Situations like the ones illustrated in this issue. While the rest of the world is being torn asunder by Thanos and crew, the "kids" are doing their own thing...they think they are helping, but what is really going on? At this point, we are not sure. It is chaos. I guess all will become clear in the next (and final issue): Final Exam!

Infinity: Heist #2 ( 3.5 / 5 )

- Okay, this is starting to get more intriguing. I am still not a big fan of B-List Villain books, but this may actually turn out to be something worth reading all the way through. Once again we see terrigenesis impacting the story-line. I have to say, it is in a slightly different way - I didn't see it coming from the last issue. I am looking forward to seeing how this pans out. I may not care about all the characters (or any of them), but something has got to give - especially with all this setup. The I-gene thing is really getting to me, especially here - I mean, how is Blizz any different than Bobby Drake? Oh well. Maybe now he will have some new tricks up his icy sleeve.

Avengers #22 ( 4.5 / 5 ) - A homecoming. A greater purpose. A reason to keep fighting the good fight. The art is really beautiful. I LOVE how Leinil Francis Yu draws Carol Danvers - breathtaking. His work on the other characters isn't so bad either. ;) The unique and brooding style really fits with what this event/series needs. I might as well get lost in the art, as I am kind of lost on some of the nuances of the story. I get it. They are coming back from deep space. Earth is the next battlefront for them...the battlefront that many of our other heroes have been entrenched for a while now. What will turn the tide? If anything, the words of Thor. So inspirational. We are nearing the end... truth (Hickman's words through Thor) an beauty (Yu's art) await.

Infinity #5 ( 5 / 5 ) - Not another 6/5, but still a great book, deserves a 5/5. I am really looking forward to how this event concludes. Read this BEFORE Avengers #22. It is not a huge deal, but does make that book make more sense (and everyone knows how much trouble I have with that title) ;). The issue seemed short in comparison to the the others. It is probably just me. Anyway, we get a lot of great "Avengers Ra-Ra", which is nice, considering what they have been going through...sad news for them, the one planet they left is the one that needs the most attention. With "The Builders problem" mostly out of the way, they have one last thorn to remove - Thanos. Unfortunately, that thorn has caused a great infection...Not only in the form of terrigenesis. But also the chaos that Thanos has unleashed across the planet. Not to mention the whole "universes colliding" problem. This is such a great event!

What's Next?

So much going on. Only a few issues left to wrap it all up. And then what? Inhumanity? The All-New Marvel NOW!? Will everything change? Who is going to die?

What did you think of Sinestro / Thane? Poor Thanos and his lack of sleep. I am very impressed how they linked the Thanos Rising story-line in with this event. Very well done.

Okay - that wraps this set of reviews up. Again, I am loving this event. It is everything I could have asked for - and more. We will see how it all ends...see if Thanos can once again return to Death - that is, if she ever embraced him in the first place.



Infinity Chapter Three & Four + Tie-Ins | thanosrules quick reviews

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Here we go again…this time 11 reviews. Apologies for the delay - but now we are all caught up!

Overall Note - This round of event books left me in awe. Not so much from the trades, but the main event book, Infinity #4 - so awesome. In fact, many of the tie-ins were “so so”, with a few improvements where I expected them. Read on for more of my ramblings.

Avengers #20 ( 4 / 5 ) - It was good. At the start, it felt like more re-hashing of the same space battle we have seen over and over, but as the issue progressed, some new “space fight” stuff (which is huge in Infinity #4) was introduced, and even some very interesting (yet side-bar) new Ex Nihilo / Abyss stuff continues to form. Definitely worth picking up as a “first class” tie-in for Infinity. In fact, a bunch of it shows up in the “Previously in Infinity” section of #4.

Superior Spider-Man Team Up #3 and #4 ( 3 / 5 ) - Since #3 and #4 are so closely related in content, they kind of meld together anyway - perfect for a quick review of both. So here goes - I am not sure we need another book about Superior Spider-Man (as this could be a spin-off of Mighty Avengers at this point), but this one at least does overlap with the Infinity event and the resulting fallout from the Terrigen Bomb. Yeah, minor spoiler, that is the green mist…or so it would seem, from later accounts of terrigenesis (Infinity #4), is the stuff of Inhumans. In this issue we see Superior Spider-Man dealing with Thanos bad guys (quite effectively I might add) as well as “teaming up” with a newly hatched Inhuman (though, depending on when you read other issues, you don’t know this yet). Either way, it is interesting how this new character plays out. Proving once again Doc-Ock-Spidey is not much of a role model… things turn out much different than the Fearless Defenders tie-in (which I will discuss below). Are these worth it? Only to solidify “new powers emerging”…but quite frankly, how Inhumans differ from Mutants is getting munged here - besides from the obvious differences between the Inhuman gene and the Mutant gene. :|

Nova #8 ( 4 / 5 ) - The cover is actually pretty spot on, given what actually happens in the issue. The introduction of another “young” character seems overly “plot-device-y”, but hey, this comic is geared more towards younger readers. There are pretty decent call-outs to Richard Rider and the Cancerverse. It is obvious (from ties to GoG #6) “they” are strongly hinting that the Age of Utlron time/space stuff is what allowed Thanos and Quill to emerge from the Cancerverse…but still no definitive statements on the current whereabouts of Richard Rider. Anyway - the history in the Cancerverse is not the only thing being dredged up - links to Richard and his time with the New Warriors is also coming to head, as this 15-year-old Nova is introduced to Robbie and Vance. Where will this lead? How will the new “young” threat sent by Thanos come into play? It is all very exciting…albeit a bit too “teen drama” for me at the moment.

Infinity: Heist #1 ( 3 / 5 ) - I am not a fan of the “two-bit” villain comics that have been coming out. I stopped reading “Superior Foes…” after issue two, and this mini-series (hopefully) seems right up that same alley… I get it, “they” want us to see other things that are going on as part of the Invasion. Most of the second-tier tie-ins are showing us fallout that reaches close to home. Looting, rioting, and now a big heist. Maybe these thugs don’t realize that Tony stayed while the vast majority of the Avengers went into deep space? Sure, wait until Thor is gone… but I certainly wouldn’t underestimate Tony and his tech. It is hard for me to care about this story-line with everything else that is going on. I will continue to pick it up as part of the overall story, but it will not be high on my reading to do list.

Avengers Assemble #19 ( 3.5 / 5 ) - More backstory. More of the same goings on with the space battle where half the Avengers get captured. More behind the panels detail about the rescue. More overlap with Captain Marvel and Avengers story-line. All of this is fine. I just felt like I read it too late. So, be sure to read this near Captain Marvel #16 to have the best context. Also, if you like the relationships between Carol and Jessica, and Jessica and Clint, this is still the right book for you. Girl Power!

Thunderbolts #16 ( 4 / 5 ) - Consistent with the last issue… The first tie-in for Thunderbolts must have been a fluke. Because I am still impressed with the level of writing and tie-in with the Infinity event. The art is still quirky - but I love it. The Leader’s head never has looked so good. The juxtaposition of its whimsy against the dire nature of the event make the book more entertaining. Deadpool continues to amuse, Punisher continues to brood, Ross continues to bully and Elektra well, Elektra continues to use her “talents”. ;) All is well in Thunderbolts land. Heck, even Mercy plays a pretty decent role in battling Thanos’ thralls. Worth the read as it relates to the event, and even the series, as it has not picked up to readable levels.

Mighty Avengers #2 ( 4 / 5 ) - This issue was better than the last. For me anyway. It had a good tie-in to the event, not only through all the fighting, but through Dr. Strange and Uatu. It also had a great “goose-bump” inducing moment. I don’t want to spoil it, but you will know what I am talking about once you read it. With the introduction of another player in this “Mighty” battlefield ,this book continues to grow into the “Minority” Avengers, which is great - but seems somewhat forced now. Almost making the point too well. Maybe that is just me. When I see the Avengers, I do not see race - this series seems to make a point of calling it out. Whichever lens you want to look at this book through, it is a pretty decent read. I look forward to where this NYC battle is going, and how the new character introduced will impact the story. At this point in the event, if you had to choose between this book and Superior Spider-Man Team Up, I would recommend this book.

PS. Yeah. I don’t know who “Spider-Hero” is. Maybe, Iron Fist?

Infinity: The Hunt #2 ( 4 / 5 ) - Wow - much better! More what I expected from Matt. I loved that the entire book started out with what was missing from the last issue - details on the Latverian School of Science and their “chosen”! From there we go back to the battle already in progress. We get some great visuals from Wolverine and an awesome disarm / super-punch from She-Hulk. All this, and a death of a friendly. Very interesting. I am really looking forward to the next issues. As these “kids” take off on their own, it should be a wild ride - maybe to rival Avengers Arena…

Fearless Defenders #10 ( 4 / 5 ) - I have to be honest, I haven’t read Fearless Defenders since #4AU. Further honesty, I don’t remember what it was about other than it was part of Age of Ultron. I have to say though - after reading this issue of Fearless Defenders, I may have to go back and read what I have missed. I am impressed. There are some great undertones of “strong female role model” in this book. Be they super-powered or just partial robot. It does feel a bit overplayed, similar to the Mighty Avengers, but that is what we get when books try to break out on their own for a specific audience with a specific set of character types. Anyway, much like Superior Spider-Man Team Up, this issue surrounded the fallout from the Terrigen Bomb. New Inhumans are popping up everywhere. As hinted above, this time things go a bit better than Doc-Ock-Spidey’s failed attempt to mentor the fledgling power. This time the powers are harnessed, not confused. Something more develops…

Infinity #4 ( 6 / 5 ) - Wow. This is a fantastic issue. Both on and off planet. The Inhuman stuff is really intriguing, especially the Thanos specific stuff. The space stuff - again, wow. Blown. Away. In fact, one thing that I have discovered while reading/reviewing comics - if the story pans out “how I would have written it”, I like it way better. I know, I know - that sounds super egotistic - but as the primary plot point was being set up I had a thought of how it should go…needless to say, the results were impressive and bested my expectations! I am not going to spoil anything, but I have to say - you have to read this issue. In fact, read all the main Infinity Event books - it has been a stellar event! The books from the main event have it all. They cover all the bases. After that first minor confusing issue, it has all been a highly enjoyable ride. I cannot wait to see how things pan out.

What’s Next? I did happen to see a sneak-peek of Infinity #5 - interesting. All I can say is - execution better be great, especially to top Infinity #4. At first glance (of just the reveal), Thane looks a bit too much like Sinestro for my taste. :/



Infinity Chapter Two & Three + Tie-Ins | thanosrules quick reviews

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Okay, some of these are late, but keeping up with reading AND reviewing has been somewhat difficult. Of course, that is not why you are reading this - so let’s get to it.

Overall Note - The “space” portion of the story still seems REALLY BIG. I feel a little lost as to where people are at any given time. Because we have some big players and teleporters we lose track of any space-time. It all kind of loses meaning. While it is a big universe, sometimes I feels like it is all taking place around the same giant ring-world planet. Maybe it is just me. I am sure it will all pan out in the end - then again, a star chart would be nice.

Infinity #2 ( 4.5 / 5 ) - I really loved this issue. I talked about it briefly in Stacks of Comics - Episode 030, but no one seems to believe me. It got infinitely easier to understand what is going on with the story. This issue really cleared a bunch of stuff up AND provided us with a FANTASTIC reveal (which I will not spoil here). There is so much going on in this issue, it is hard to encapsulate it all in a short blurb. I will say my favorite part was Black Bolt calling in the rest of the Illuminati to one of the coolest places in the universe(s). Needless to say, if you are a fan of any of the characters in this story - pick this up.

Avengers #19 ( 4 / 5 ) - This issue and Captain Marvel really go hand in hand. Which makes sense - she is on the cover. And what a beautiful cover it is… in fact, I loved the art throughout the book. This issue picks up right after the last, and mostly tracks what happens with Carol and her team (“the captured”). It does give quite a bit of insight on what is happening with the Galactic Council (and proves that J-Son of Spartax is a #$%!@, here and in Guardians of the Galaxy). This issue is definitely worth reading and has important (expanded) tie-in information for the event itself.

Mighty Avengers #1 ( 3 / 5 ) - This title and Thunderbolts are a “boots on the ground” perspective on the event. At least for the time being. It is a good issue, sets up the characters, but as far as “Tie-In”, you could take it or leave it for the event. It has some potential, I will give it that. And as we saw in Infinity #3, this team will likely play a larger role as the event rolls on.

Infinity: The Hunt #1 ( 3 / 5 ) - I am biased - I love Matt Kindt’s work. Period. This is the first of of four tie-in issues of the event mini-series. Again, it has HUGE potential. While slow to start, this particular issue sets things up, and if you like the “Avengers Academy” / “Jean Grey School” age characters, it will be right up your alley. I just have to assume in the four available issues we will see great things. I do wish Matt did the art as well, that would be incredible - but then he wouldn’t have time for Mind MGMT (and the million other things he is doing). ;) PS. Latverian School of Science - ‘nuff said!

New Avengers #10 ( 5 / 5 ) - There is really no way to talk openly about this book without ruining the surprise that was revealed at the end of Infinity #2. At this point in the event, you likely know what I am talking about, but I am not going to discuss it until my next round of reviews. I do love that the entire book starts out with Stark saying, “What did you say?” to Black Bolt. Sets up the “gravity” of the situation. We get an EXCELLENT amount of Thanos in this issue. There is yet another pretty big reveal as it pertains to Dr. Strange…and we end the issue with another “incursion”. With all that is going on, we lose track of the fact that the Illuminati have been dealing with world ending stuff even before this event. Wow. Get. This. Book. Read. This. Series.

Captain Marvel #16 ( 4 / 5 ) - Girl Power! Wondering what happened “off panel” in Avengers #19? Well here are most of your answers - and we find out how Carol went from “Binary” to “Captured”. I really enjoy how Carol is represented in this event - a major player. She is not too shabby to look at either. The artists are really doing a great job. Kelly Sue of course is doing a bang up job portraying one of the most important/powerful Marvel characters as a strong and independent woman. Great role model material here… whether you are a “half-breed dynamo” or not.

Thunderbolts #15 ( 4 / 5 ) - The moment that this became a 4/5 I actually said it aloud. I was as shocked as anyone, especially based on previous issues. Now, again, I am not hyper-critical like some of my peers, but the last issue had very little to do with the event. This one at least is event-adjacent. Getting closer. Obviously, after this issue, we will see direct involvement from some (not all apparently) of the Thunderbolts. What did it for me? Well besides the oddly quirky (in a good way) art - it was the writing. Yeah. I LOVED the movie reference discussion that Deadpool and Venom had. I can tell you, this book would have received a much lower score if Deadpool didn’t have his a-ha moment. You will see what I am talking about. :) Anyway, I know that is trivial, but it goes up from there. It seems like this book is finally getting legs. Check it out.

Infinity #3 ( 4.5 / 5 ) - Wow. I still feel “lost in space”, but this book is definitely impressive. They are doing a great job of not requiring the tie-in books if you just want to main story. In fact, some full panels from the tie-ins appear in this issue. That can be seen as good or bad, I guess. I liked Hickman’s play of “Submit or Perish” - actually a better execution than AoU, IMO. ;) Anyway, this issue was a good mix of space vs. earth. We get a few great “Captain America FTW” moments; a few “other team” Tie-In, tie-in panels (Thunderbolts, Mighty Avengers, Illuminati); AND the showdown we have been waiting for finally erupts. As indicated on the Skottie Young variant cover (one of my all time favs) Thanos and Black Bolt go head to head. I really want a statue of their final interaction from this issue. Thanos wants what is “his” Black Bolt says, “NoOoO” (duh).

Fantastic. And if you missed it, here is a little tweet that I sent out commemorating this issue:

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That’s it! I hope you enJOY these thanosrules quick reviews! Until next Chapter of Infinity, keep reading and keep listening! :D

- @thanosrules


Infinity Chapter One + Tie-Ins | thanosrules quick reviews

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It has been a LONG time since I did a thanosrules Quick Review, but the time has come. The event is here. My event is here.

I also realize that I haven’t even “officially” reviewed Infinity #1 yet (outside Stacks of Comics - Episode 028 - Infinitely Too Stupid For Comics…) so I will add a quick review for that in here as well…

Here goes!

Infinity #1 ( 4 / 5 ) - As mentioned in the podcast, I felt a bit lost, stupid even…and this is with having read ALL the Prelude to Infinity stuff. The event seems too big at this point. That said, it was a great setup issue. It incorporated the FCBD Infinity Comic and some of the Prelude content from Avengers/New Avengers. The point(s) I believe we were supposed to take away: Avengers have headed into space to battle The Builders, leaving Earth “Avenger-less” for Thanos and the Cull Obsidian (The Black Order) to conquer. There is a lot more in the issue, but if you “get” that, you are ready for the beginning of the end - Infinity!

New Avengers #9 ( 5 / 5 ) - This issue is amazing. It has everything I could ever want in a comic book: Earth based, but cosmic, Thanos, Infinity Gem search, individualized battles per major Illuminati member, Earth invasion, etc. We also see some perfectly characterized behavior: Namor being the jackass that he is, and Blackbolt looking like a real bad-ass. This issue was my favorite of all the tie-in issues. It is a MUST READ for the event in my opinion. Oh, and it gives some pretty nice bios of the Cull Obsidian at the end of the issue…

Avengers #18 ( 4 / 5 ) - As New Avengers handled the fight on the homefront this issue dealt with the Avengers in space, at The Corridor - the battle that would either make or break The Builder’s advance towards Earth. Based on some of the other tie-in covers, you can imagine how it went. It did show a massive “teamwork” effort among significant warring factions throughout the 616 universe. Certainly an interesting mix of elite Earth allies and enemies. This issue was a bit more confusing than New Avengers, probably because it is a battle on a cosmic scale. What you need to know is that the Avengers (and many for-the-time-being allies) are battling The Builders in space in an effort to “head them off at the pass” - literally, The Corridor. I still wonder why there are so many “non-cosmic” characters out in space. The rule should be: “If you cannot survive in space, you shouldn’t be battling in space. We do see some of this fallout for some of the character experiences. Overall, it is a good chunk of the ongoing event story and should be read alongside the main books.

Captain Marvel #15 ( 4 / 5 )

- This book ties directly in to the Avengers battle with The Builders in space. It is a specific angle on the battle, obviously from Captain Marvel’s POV. Kelly Sue DeConnick is one of my favorite writers, so I knew this (and Avengers Assemble) would be quality tie-ins. Heck, I have been collecting both series from the beginning, so reading these as tie-ins was a no-brainer anyway. She handled this story exactly as I expected - wonderfully. This, on top of the MAJOR character changes in Captain Marvel - in the most recent art/mini-event Enemy Within, Carol basically loses her memories as it relates to her identity - it makes for an interesting dynamic in the team, as well as her close relationships. This is a great tie-in to get a different perspective on the space battle. It is not required reading for the event, but adds something that is often lost in big events - much needed individualized character development.

Avengers Assemble #18 ( 4 / 5 ) - From the cover you can see that Jessica is having a bad day. And while this isn’t exactly what happens in the book, it is a good representation of her experience. Like Captain Marvel #14, this issue is another great tie-in for a different perspective on the space battle. As you may have inferred from the cover, it is narrated by Spider-Woman. A POV that, like Jessica, is full of stubborn and reckless abandon. It centers around her current life situation: breakup with Clint and mourning for the loss of her best friend’s (Carol) identity. If this wasn’t enough, she nearly gets lost in space…only to be rescued by and unexpected and unwanted savior. Jessica is having a bad day. Like Captain Marvel #14, this is not required reading for the event. If you like Spider-Woman and want yet another POV on the space battle, go ahead and pick this up, it only adds to that much needed individualized character development I was talking about…

Thunderbolts #14 ( 2 / 5 ) - Let it be known that this score reflects how this issue relates to THIS EVENT, not its actual story. If I was to rate its story alone, it would be a ( 3 / 5 ) as it relates to the ongoing series - which is mediocre. Let me get this out of the way - it is NOT recommended to read this as a part of the Infinity Event. The ONLY, and I will “spoil” this for you here, tie-in, at all, is a mention by Venom that the Avengers are in space. This one statement simply changes the Punisher’s decision on who to take on “his mission”. You see, his name was pulled from Deadpool’s fancy hat as the next Thunderbolts member to have “their mess cleaned up” - as was each team member’s deal with Thaddeus at the start. Sounds riveting, huh? Hrm…yeah. Another “spoiler” - they don’t even get to the Punisher’s mission in this issue, it is extended to the next…who knows if that will be considered a tie-in as well - maybe Deadpool will make a joke about Thanos’ chin - that will warrant “tie-in classification” for sure! BTW - I read the entire series to get to this “tie-in”. Yeah. My mistake…


That’s it! I hope you enJOY these thanosrules quick reviews! Until next Chapter of Infinity, keep reading and keep listening! :D

- @thanosrules


The Supervillain Book - Thanos!

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Okay, in my never-ending quest to learn more about the infamous Son of Titan, I decided to purchase “The Supervillain Book”.

I am certainly glad that I did! I highly recommend this softcover collection of evildoers! If nothing else, it will make your guests wonder about your choice in coffee table books. ;)

Get your copy today!

Anyway - to the point of this post!

If you are reading Jason Aaron’s “Thanos Rising” (which you should be), you know that there is a “mysterious girl” guiding his descent into darkness…

Who is this girl?

Well, according to “The Supervillain Book”:

“Believing he would never be accepted by the fellow Eternals of Titan the young Thanos found solace and guidance from his “imaginary friend” who proved to be quite real: Mistress Death. One of the “Conceptual beings” of the Marvel Universe, Mistress Death is the embodiment of death itself Though others may perceive her as a robed skeleton, to Thanos she looks like a beautiful humanoid woman, and over time he fell in love with her….”

WOW, Right?

I love it. Jason is doing a FANTASTIC JOB with this story! I am very much looking forward to how the rest, as it unfolds in the remaining 3 issues.

If you are interested, here are my SPOILER FREE Reviews so far:

Finally, I posted the following about two weeks ago - an interesting Thanos specific “Flashback” scene: She-Hulk (2006) Issue #12 - Thanos/Eros Flashback



Questioning Superman's Muscularity - 1968

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So, what does Action Comics 362 - 1968 (top left) have in common with Superman 13 - 2012 (top right)?

Well, as far as story content, nothing. But if we take a deeper look at the "Metropolis Mailbag" from that fateful issue back in 1968 (3rd and 4th images), we will find the following letter to the editor:

Dear Editor:

"Bulging biceps! I'm an amateur weight-lifter, and I think Superman can use some more muscularity. Couldn't he make a machine to duplicate a red sun's light so he could work out under its rays, and, not being invulnerable, build up his body by weight-lifting? It's my theory that if he did this, he could increase his size, strength, and muscularity."

- Carl Joy, Silver Creek, N.Y.

With the following reply from the editor:

"(Straining sinews! You're the first person who ever suggested that our super-specimen of breath-taking brawn wasn't muscular enough! Besides, when a guy can push planets around, how much more strength does he need?-Ed.)"

Who was this curious lad, questioning Superman's muscularity?!

My Dad, at 14 Years Old!

I have added some supporting pages from Superman 13 (2012) so you can see a bit more about the situation that our "super-specimen" is in these days...

A quick couple of quotes from Superman 13, Page 1:

"If it were possible to put the Earth on a scale--

--the planet would weigh in at 5,972 sextillion metric tons.

You have been essentially bench-pressing that for five days, Superman."

- Shay Veritas

Who is Shay Veritas?

"A scientific genius and consultant/confidante to Superman. Dr. Veritas created 'The Block', a facility near the center of the Earth and the only place where Superman can physically train and actually see results."

What is "The Block"?

"A subterranean training facility run by Dr. Shay Veritas, where Superman can train physically."

(answers for the two questions above quoted from their respective CV wiki pages)

So, I ask you, when was the concept of "The Block" really invented? Who was the first to question Superman's muscularity?

My Dad, at 14 Years Old! :D



Age of Ultron Reading Order and Spoiler Free Quick Reviews

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(quick review of the event issues so far below)

Obviously you do not have to read them in this order, but I believe this will allow Age of Ultron #3 to provide the most impact.

I did not read them in this order, because I didn't know. Even the “Event Card” didn't have them in this order. But based on the final page of Superior #6AU, it should come before AU #3.

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The FF #5AU really is more back story and can be read before or after AU #3, but based on some of the events, this order makes the most sense.

An issue by issue quick review for the series so far…

  • AU #1: Great start. The final page really sets the tone for the rest of the series. We discuss it more here during Stacks of Comics Ep. 22.
  • AU #2: Much slower pace. the inside story does not do the cover justice, but does set up another faction to watch (besides the NYC team). This issue moves the story forward slightly.
  • FF #5AU: Great issue illustrating what happened to the FF before AU #1. Very sad at parts. Art is good, but very different from the rest of the event. Very interesting last set of panels… what does it mean?
  • Superior #6AU: Wonderful issue. My first Superior issue. I knew what happened to Peter, so there was no spoiler here, but if you don’t know what has happened, be sure to catch up with ASM before jumping in here. This issue definitely fills in some of the missing story-line from AU #1 and #2.
  • AU #3: WOW. Fantastic Issue. Amazing. Heartbreaking in parts. Definitely redeemed AU #2 (which wasn’t that bad, just slow). We find a new faction in a different city than the two we have seen previously. Also, HUGE REVEAL on the last page. Yikes.

Overall: Don’t miss this series. It is turning out to be a “no holds barred” look into a potential future for the 616. The best part is you are left without a feeling of “safety”.

Your favorite hero may die.

So, whether you pick it up in stores, digitally, or when it comes out in trade… you will want to have this in your collection. I may be overstepping my bounds here, but it is already 10X better than AvX - and I really liked AvX. ;)



Infinity Gauntlet Tug of War 2013!

Captain Marvel vs. Thanos
Captain Marvel vs. Thanos

I wanted to create a sketch with the following criteria:

  1. To include my favorite Marvel characters
  2. To use “young” versions of these characters
  3. To include the Infinity Gauntlet (as suggested by @surface here)
  4. To be set in a “Cosmic” environment (obviously this “battle” takes place in the Blue Area of the Moon otherwise Carol would be in full space garb)
  5. To use Sketchbook Pro on my Surface Pro
  6. To be an “original idea” - something without a frame of reference for guidance - to challenge my nascent drawing skills
  7. To be something I could be proud of and possibly even print out to hang in my son’s room

I feel that I have met these criteria. So, I decided to share it with the world. :)

What do you think?

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