Thursday, January 21, 2016

Infinity Gauntlet #5 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Seriously, I just don't know what to say here.  This series went from the most promising of the "Secret War" tie-in series to the most disappointing.

Instead of focusing on Anwen and her family, Duggan spends most of his time focused on Thanos fighting with his future self.  Duggan uses the fight to try to explain what Thanos has been doing with the Time Gem:  apparently, the present Thanos is supposed to die so that he can send forward the gems that he's managed to collect to the future Thanos.  However, this Thanos refuses to do so, since he's managed to collect five of the six gems.  To be clear, I don't understand how the gems would magically appear at the side of the future Thanos, and I think that it makes no sense that the present Thanos would have to die in the first place.  Here, the future Thanos attempts to reason with the present Thanos by making it clear that he knew the location of the sixth gem but wouldn't reveal it.  However, why not just go to the past Thanos and tell him where all six gems are?  Why does the future Thanos have to be the one to collect them?  Why can't he even tell present Thanos?  Duggan never answers these questions.  I spent the entire issue wondering how the editor could've let slip this important of a plot point.  (That said, he also let slip two typos in one sentence on the intro page, so I guess that I've got my answer there.)

When the end does come, it's quick and makes no sense.  Thanos resolves his identity crisis, and  Anwen seems to surrender the Reality Gem to present Thanos.  However, it's actually a "Death Gem" that she somehow managed to make with her Reality Gem.  (Seriously, just go with me here.  It'll be over faster that way.)  We're then left to assume that she takes possession of the Infinity Gauntlet, because she's able to free her mother from where she would up trapped, in the Mind Gem.  But, then, the series just ends.  We have no idea what Anwen does with the Infinity Gauntlet or how this story ties into the larger "Secret Wars" plot.  Equally randomly, we never get a good sense of why Gamora, Groot, and Star-Lord are part of this series.  They serve a very secondary role here of distracting the giant bug so that Anwen and her family can escape to find the Reality Gem, but it's one that could've easily been occupied by a Red Shirt with little problem.

In other words, it's a mess.  These characters continued to be amazing, but Duggan basically benches them in the fourth quarter to focus on the JV squad (a.k.a. the Thanoses).  They deserved better than what they got here.  To make matters worse, I'm really not even sure what story Duggan thought that he was telling.  Was it about the Nova Corps?  Thanos?  A small family realizing that their love for each other can overcome all odds?  The importance of a loyal dog?  I have no idea.  I just have to hope Anwen and her family appear in the new Marvel Universe in a less rushed way, and we can all forget about the way they were treated here.

** (two of five stars)

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