Six for six. The six main issues of Infinity have given us a singularly amazing tale that’s become all the more incredible for how rare it is. A massive, sweeping, publisher-wide event that delivered every single issue. And this issue demonstrates some of the book’s strongest traits right out of the gate, recapping the events of Avengers #23 within the first few pages for anyone who elected not to buy that issue (which I still highly recommend going back for) before launching into what amounts to a series of battles that extend, essentially, to issue’s end. The Avengers have returned to Earth to reclaim it from Thanos, his Cull Obsidian and the death cult they’ve formed around themselves, but despite attacking Earth because of a lack of Avengers, they’re not exactly running scared. We also get to catch up with the Illuminati and their attempt to stop a catastrophe only their own foolhardiness could have engineered. Jonathan Hickman’s ability to bring all these threads together is utterly astounding. Just a few issues ago, many of these characters were in space fighting cosmic entities from beyond the stars, now they’re back on Earth fighting a well-trod villain with some new tricks, but it all feels organic and connected. Part of that may have been reading the tie-ins, but upon re-examining the previous issues, the story holds together very, very well (if, perhaps, at a breakneck pace) and if you’re not looking at getting New Avengers #12, this is an absolutely satisfying ending with plenty of potential for future storylines.
Jim Cheung kicks down the door and explodes back onto pencils along with Dustin Weaver bringing everything to a close. Accompanying them with inks on this over-sized extravaganza are, DEEEEEP breath: Mark Morales (with Dustin Weaver), Guillermo Ortega, Dave Meikis, Jim Cheung, and John Livesay. Everyone still with me? Fantastic! Cause we’ve also got Justin Ponsor and Ive Svorcina on colors. Not to downplay the inkers’ contribution, as their smooth, distinct lines crystallized so much of the action that threatened to spill from panel-to-panel, but I think having this many was a smart move as having so few pencilers and colorists helped maintain a standard of tone and tenor. We get Cheung’s animated, particle-filled, kinetic, massive color palette paired with Weaver’s staid, calm exposition-friendly style with perfect tonal continuity.
I’m wracking my brain, but I can’t find anything to complain about. The exposition is woven beautifully into the dialog, the pacing is frantic, but that’s what’s called for. There’s not even a deus ex machina to make everything all better at the end because Hickman’s been building weaving these threads together that nothing comes “from nowhere.”
A fitting end to a fitting epic. This issue ties up the disparate elements from the rest of the book, bringing them all where they need to be and even treats us to a glimpse of things to come. While the battle, and even the war, are over, not everything is resolved and not everyone is content, but this is a profoundly satisfying end to what was a great event. Highest recommendation and I can’t wait for the omnibus.