Infinity Gauntlet (Pre-Recording Discussion/Questions)

The Infinity Gauntlet will be the BOMC book for February. An early 1990s Marvel classic that looks to be a big part of the future of the cinematic universe. CGS will be reading the original, 6-issue Infinity Gauntlet miniseries, that has been collected a number of ways, and is also available to subscribers of Marvel Unlimited.

Your thoughts? Is this the first time you are reading it? Or are you returning to a work you haven't sat down with in years? Add to the discussion here, or post questions you would like the guys to consider in their discussion. The episode should record sometime in February.

Comments

  • I not only read it as it came out, I was working comic retail when it came out, and it was a VERY big deal. Marvel did a good job of building up to it, with Starlin taking over the Silver Surfer, bringing Thanos back (with no explanation…he just shows up in Silver Surfer #34 and, well, starts the buildup to this story). And starting to put things in motion. So, you had Starlin returning to the characters he’d done so well in the 70’s, George Perez came back to Marvel for the first time since he started work at DC in 1981, and it was also the first big Crossover miniseries since Secret Wars II (which had stunk up the joint), so expectations were high.

    I remember telling the people who ordered for the Shinder’s chain this would be big, but they were putting all of their energy into X-Men and the like, so they were caught flat footed by how big this was (we sold out across the chain in one day). The thing I liked about it when it came out was that it Felt Like A Big Deal. You knew that it wouldn’t end with half of the universe dead, but it felt like something BIG was going on. I think it also helped that there weren’t a lot of tie ins, so people could jump in buying just the main mini-series. This showed that Marvel didn’t think it was going to be a MONSTER hit or everyone would have wanted to tie in, like they did in the sequels.

    The questions I would have of people who read it AFTER it came out (since the damn thing was 23 years ago):
    Was it jarring when Perez stepped off the series?
    At the time, Perez had built up a reputation of being…unreliable, and this really cemented that after the disaster that was War of the Gods. I LOVED Rom Lim’s work and thought he did a good job of keeping a consistent look to the book.
    Did it feel like a big deal when you read it after the fact?
    For long time Marvel fans, the return of Warlock was a big deal, since he’d effectively been dead for over 10 years, and people didn’t return from the dead on a routine basis at that time.
  • GregGreg Posts: 1,902
    I remember when it was being released and I remember not caring one bit about it, but that's because this was the very beginning of me starting to fall out of love with Marvel and wanting something that the Big 2 were not offering. I had a friend that was bat shite crazy over the series and I could not understand his love for it. To this day I have never read past the first issue. Suppose it's time to give this story another go.
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,720
    edited January 2015
    Marvel has a gift for creating both relate-able and realistic superheroes as well as Godlike heroes and villains, vast alien empires, and devices of unfathomable power. The Infinity Gauntlet is one of those rare epic stories that focused on several of these themes. In an era of style over substance, this story had real heft making it better than almost every major Marvel event we’ve had in the last several years. Surprisingly nuanced for the early nineties and lacking any special chromium covers or gimmicks to bump sales. It was just a BIG event, and it felt like it.

    The proper primer for this tale is the widely missed Thanos Quest mini as well as run by Ron Lim collected in Silver Surfer: Rebirth of Thanos that @SolitaireRose‌ referenced. I was enjoying Ron Lim's run on Silver Surfer at the time, and it was really firing on all cylinders when Thanos made his dynamic return to activity.

    Unlike most big events, each fight led into something much bigger and grander, keeping the reader invested in the constant battles. And none of the shocking deaths were without weight or meaning. Beyond the battles, this story displayed smart insights to the key characters as well as philosophical considerations about life and death. Super cool moments with Thor and Captain America that I won't spoil here.
    image

    Infinity Gauntlet isn't without flaws, having a few dangling plot threads here and there as well as a feeling that Starlin had no idea what to do with Doctor Doom, but the high quality of the rest of the story supersedes any shortcomings. It contains nearly everything you'd want out of a major Marvel event about a vast threat requiring the heroes to join as one. An awesome introduction to the Marvel cosmic I'd recommend to anyone.

    I thought Ron Lim's artwork was an excellent replacement when Pérez was unable to finish penciling duties, leaving the project part way through issue #4. Editorial wisely chose Lim to finish the book, although Pérez offered to remain on as the inker over Lim's cover art for the remainder of the miniseries. Hardly noticeable in my opinion, but I was already a big fan of Lim's work along with Pérez's. Was anyone else bothered by the penciling change? With weekly books like Batman Eternal, we're probably all very used to this sort of arrangement.

    Was anyone else introduced to Marvel cosmic through this book or were you already into the cosmic universe material before this came along?
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,083
    I read the 6 issue mini as it was coming out. But hadn't read the stuff leading up to it in Silver Surfer. Being a fan of the original Thanos vs Warlock stuff,I was excited. Since it was only 6 issues I held off on reading any of them until the final issue came out. Loved the Perez artwork,and also enjoyed Lim's stuff.

    The only bad thing I can say about the series is how thanks to it being such a hit we got what 2 follow up mini series.Both of which were not nearly as good as this one.
  • hauberkhauberk Posts: 1,208
    As I recall, the entire Silver Surfer series was a kind of prelude as so much of it focused on the Infinity Stones.
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,720
    edited January 2015
    Jim Starlin began writing Silver Surfer (Vol 3) in 1991 beginning with issue #34 "Rebirth of Thanos" and wrote it exclusively through issue #38. Alan Grant wrote #39. Starlin then did #40 & #41 and then began co-writing with Ron Marz for two or three issues, who also wrote #49 alone. Starlin finished his run at issue #50. Marz took over writing chores for a lackluster run until issue #102. Interestingly, George Pérez took over writing chores with art by Scot Eaton for issues #111-118.
    hauberk said:

    As I recall, the entire Silver Surfer series was a kind of prelude as so much of it focused on the Infinity Stones.

    Not exactly. The soul gems were mentioned in a few earlier issues (#6-10, 16 & 17) when they were being gathered by the Elders of the Universe to kill Galactus, but after that plan was thwarted, the Surfer stories were kind of silly for a while. This era really began with issue #34 of Silver Surfer, Starlin's first issue. A proper reading order for Infinity Gauntlet begins with Silver Surfer 34-38, The Thanos Quest #1 & 2, Silver Surfer #40-45, The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger #17 & 18, Spider-Man #17, then back to Silver Surfer #46 - 50. Then issue #1 of The Infinity Gauntlet mini-series.

    A full reading order was put together and can be found here. It includes Sleepwalker, Incredible Hulk, Dr Strange, Quasar, and goes through the first issue of Warlock and the Infinity Watch.

  • Mr_CosmicMr_Cosmic Posts: 3,051
    This series sucked and I hate everything about it!

    What? No! I love it!

    I was reading comics when this came out but I didn't know anything about it. The only comics I had access to were the ones my local gas station and drug stores carried on the spinner rack..this wasn't there. I was limited to Spider-Man, Batman, etc. What I did have were Marvel trading cards and they were my window into the wider Marvel Universe. I especially loved the cosmic cards. Thanos, The Beyonder, Ego, Eternity and all the others blew my mind because these were characters so different from what I was seeing in Spider-Man and the more mainstream books. Then, for most of the rest of the 90s, I was out of comics.

    In 2001 I got back into comics and a co-worker happened to be a big comics geek. He started telling me about The Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos, Warlock, Galactus, Quasar..all these names I recognized from my trading cards in one story? I went home that evening and bought the issues off ebay.

    I was in love. The art, the story..it was a baptism by fire into Marvel cosmic.

    From there I went on a binge buying and reading everything I could find dealing with Marvel's cosmic characters.

    Cory brought up the art change and for me it was jarring. I've come to love Lim's art but at the time I felt it was a major step down from Perez.
  • DoctorDoomDoctorDoom Posts: 2,565
    I love issue four.... The hero's assault.


  • fredzillafredzilla Posts: 2,024
    edited February 2015
    This was the first time I read the story. I remember seeing this come out when I was a a young teen. I enjoyed the look of the Silver Surfer and tried to get into the Marvel cosmic stuff, but just couldn't find a place to latch on to. Just as @SolitaireRose alluded to, X-Men was the center of my universe. I was knee deep in the hype with Claremont and Lee's X-Men #1 dropping in August of '91. Anyway, I picked up the digital version of this for $4 a few months ago and having now read it, I felt like I should have paid more! It felt very epic even though the main cast wasn't very big. The premise was simple, yet the affects were cataclysmic. Issue 1 felt a little slow going in the set up, but knowing that Thanos had this thing called the "Infinity Gauntlet" that made him nigh invincible was enough to persuade me to continue reading.

    I don't know if it was Perez's art or the "red sky" nature of the conflict--the wiping out of half the universe's population--but I really got a Crisis on Infinite Earths feel from the first several issues. This isn't a bad thing, but I just felt like it would be a good place for Marvel to reset their universe if they wanted to. However, it would have seemed like a cheap knock off of DC's Crisis. Regardless, I felt as though this was an important story at the time, and looking back on Marvel's history, especially its movie universe, this is an important book.

    I thought Ron Lim's artwork was an excellent replacement when Pérez was unable to finish penciling duties, leaving the project part way through issue #4. Editorial wisely chose Lim to finish the book, although Pérez offered to remain on as the inker over Lim's cover art for the remainder of the miniseries. Hardly noticeable in my opinion, but I was already a big fan of Lim's work along with Pérez's. Was anyone else bothered by the penciling change? With weekly books like Batman Eternal, we're probably all very used to this sort of arrangement.

    I don't know if I would have noticed the difference if I hadn't read this before reading the book, but I agree whole heartedly. He was a great fit and the transition was nearly seamless. On a ranting side note, I'm okay with art styles changing in an event book when the story dictates it (i.e. different locale with/without a different character/team, flashback sequences, etc.), but it really bothers me when an artist is slated for an event and doesn't/can't finish it. If for whatever reason the artist can't finish the series/book, publishers should look to Infinity Gauntlet on how to make that transition successful.

    I love issue four.... The hero's assault.

    I'm not sure if the sequence below is what you're referring to, but it was my favorite part in the series. My heart was pounding as my eye moved from panel to panel. There was so much intensity in their eyes, and when Silver Surfer missed, I'm positive I let out a verbal, "Oh no! They're screwed now! Aw..." I'm sad to say I don't have this kind of visceral reaction to many comic books, but I believe my reaction to this scene is a testament to the storytelling. This still gives me chills. God, it's good.

    imageimageimageimage
    I'm soooo looking forward to this episode.
  • DoctorDoomDoctorDoom Posts: 2,565
    fredzilla said:



    I'm not sure if the sequence below is what you're referring to, but it was my favorite part in the series. My heart was pounding as my eye moved from panel to panel. There was so much intensity in their eyes, and when Silver Surfer missed, I'm positive I let out a verbal, "Oh no! They're screwed now! Aw..." I'm sad to say I don't have this kind of visceral reaction to many comic books, but I believe my reaction to this scene is a testament to the storytelling. This still gives me chills. God, it's good.

    .

    It is. We're totally on the same page.

    It wasn't often that I got to see heroes just get taken down efficiently and brutally, one-by-one.
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,720
    edited March 2015
    Mr_Cosmic said:

    ... The only comics I had access to were the ones my local gas station and drug stores carried on the spinner rack..this wasn't there. I was limited to Spider-Man, Batman, etc. What I did have were Marvel trading cards and they were my window into the wider Marvel Universe. I especially loved the cosmic cards. Thanos, The Beyonder, Ego, Eternity and all the others blew my mind because these were characters so different from what I was seeing in Spider-Man and the more mainstream books. Then, for most of the rest of the 90s, I was out of comics.

    In 2001 I got back into comics and a co-worker happened to be a big comics geek. He started telling me about The Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos, Warlock, Galactus, Quasar..all these names I recognized from my trading cards in one story? I went home that evening and bought the issues off ebay.

    I was in love. The art, the story..it was a baptism by fire into Marvel cosmic. From there I went on a binge buying and reading everything I could find dealing with Marvel's cosmic characters.

    Awesome story @Mr_Cosmic - I'm going to re-read it this weekend. Looking forward to this BOMC
  • DoctorDoomDoctorDoom Posts: 2,565
    Also, I liked the New Fantastic Four What If version of this story.
  • ADR_oneADR_one Posts: 4
    I just re read this and it made a lot more sense to me now as an adult then it did when I was 10 . I remember making my mom take me around trying to get all the issues as they came out back then. It is one of my favorite stories and am glad that it is making a comeback and playing a big role in the new movies.
  • HellsfireHellsfire Posts: 89
    As much as I love this story, I think people tend to forget the most important part. Sure, everyone remembers the cool battles, but they forget the ending. Thanos is changed by the event and has given up on being "evil." He's found a kind of inner peace and starts on the road to saving the Marvel Universe more times than not. He's grown as a character.

    It's a shame that all the recent non-Starlin stuff kind of negates all this for no reason except they might have wanted to align it more with the movies. Doesn't help that they were also just terrible stories. Might as well have had Thanos rob a bank again!
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,420
    Hellsfire said:

    As much as I love this story, I think people tend to forget the most important part. Sure, everyone remembers the cool battles, but they forget the ending. Thanos is changed by the event and has given up on being "evil." He's found a kind of inner peace and starts on the road to saving the Marvel Universe more times than not. He's grown as a character.

    It's a shame that all the recent non-Starlin stuff kind of negates all this for no reason except they might have wanted to align it more with the movies. Doesn't help that they were also just terrible stories. Might as well have had Thanos rob a bank again!

    You mean you didn't want more of THIS??:

    image

    PS- I know that is from an earlier era than what you are talking about, but seems to fit your point.

    I found it here, that shows more of that wonderfully Silver Age-y Thanos. I was hoping for an image of him running out of a bank with bags with dollar signs on them. But, alas.
  • Mr_CosmicMr_Cosmic Posts: 3,051
    The Thanos helicopter! One of my all time favorites! :))
  • ADR_oneADR_one Posts: 4
    that’s awesome. haha
  • DoctorDoomDoctorDoom Posts: 2,565
    Hellsfire said:

    As much as I love this story, I think people tend to forget the most important part. Sure, everyone remembers the cool battles, but they forget the ending. Thanos is changed by the event and has given up on being "evil." He's found a kind of inner peace and starts on the road to saving the Marvel Universe more times than not. He's grown as a character.

    It's a shame that all the recent non-Starlin stuff kind of negates all this for no reason except they might have wanted to align it more with the movies. Doesn't help that they were also just terrible stories. Might as well have had Thanos rob a bank again!

    image
  • David_DDavid_D Posts: 3,420
This discussion has been closed.