Infinity #6 Ends The Best Event Series In Decades
Having waited until the final issue, I can say now, without question, that Infinity is the best event series to be put out by either of the big two since DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths. I say this for two reasons. First, the writing is superb, beyond what we would expect from even the most seasoned veteran. The second reason is Infinity’s importance to the Marvel Universe. This changes things, forever – and not the way the Marvel and DC press machines espoused during the other event series. The Avengers are different now. Their ideology and, more importantly, their methods.
What’s happening within the pages of Infinity #6 is nothing short of remarkable. Writer Jonathan Hickman, who is clearly one of the most important writers of our generation, spreads himself across multiple battlefields and multiple storylines, without allowing the final issue to get muddled or convoluted. Captain America has returned with the united force that he used to take down the Builders. Part of the team is punching a hole in Thanos’ fleet entrenched around the Earth. Another party is looking to take down the servants of Thanos who are looking to detonate the World Bomb. Finally, the Avengers are assembling to beat Thanos himself.
The action in issue #6 is fast and furious. Stepping back from the more intellectual factors, Infinity #6 reads like a science fiction wet dream. Galactic battles, starships, lasers, aliens and mutants, all locked in combat. Within the action is Hickman’s real story. A story of change. A story of the world as we want it to be, and how that stands against the way it really is. The crux of the battle comes down to Thanos, who is looking to eradicate his final offspring. While the Avengers battle what seem to be impossible odds, the Ebony Maw talks to Thanos’ son Thane, and begins to weave a wicked web.
With all the iconic villains and heroes to choose from, Hickman uses Ebony Maw to speak through. The final tale here is that the universe is cold, it does not choose favorites, and the good do not always win. Maw fingers the mental wound within Thane that lingers on being true, virtuous and good. When the son realizes that those things do not ever, or often, guarantee victory, he changes. He steps up to take down his father, but not how you would expect.
The final exchange with Thane is really an allegory for the Avengers. Iron Man, a man who sees the world as it is, has formed an Avengers that will deal with that world. Those who understand that, such as Mr. Fantastic, T’Challa and Doctor Strange, are involved, while those who are still idealists, such as Captain America, are in the dark. The Avengers have changed, and how that change will affect the team moving on is very exciting.
Bringing the conclusion to life is Jim Cheung, with assistance from Dustin Weaver. As with Hickman’s story, the art is glorious. Cheung and Weaver attack every single panel as though it was central to the story. Small panels of ships fighting are given the same care as masterful huge panels of Hulk fighting Thanos. Cheung builds excitement with his ability to communicate movement, as well as his incredibly intricate line work. What’s exceptional is how the art, no matter how expertly refined, never sells short the brutality of this final battle. Our heroes are beaten, bruised and barely together. Cheung ramps up the excitement when he needs to, such as Doctor Strange going off, or Thor fighting Thanos in a death match. Page after page, the excellence never waivers.
Hickman has raised the bar with Infinity. This is a game changer, a story that will have fans in awe and fellow creators inspired. Nothing short of brilliant.