Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Infinity Gauntlet (HC)

The hardcover addition of this Marvel cosmic-spanning mini series is not even out, yet it is still the comic of the day because on this day I found out it will be shipped in a few months.

We are currently in a comic book era in which almost every story arch is collected in a trade paper back addition and the a hardcover addition. Like regular books that release a hardcover and then a paper back version some time later to generate more sales, the comic book publishers (especially Marvel) have been doing the same. Some critics of the massive amount of collections (tpb and hc) claim that the comic book industry is suffering due to the fact that many casual comic readers will wait until the whole story is collected in a single book. The story reads straight through, and one doesn't have to wait a month for the next issue (at times just 22 pages of a 75 page plus story) to be released. Others have said that collectors will buy both the individual issues and the collection, but I think that case is rare.

Back to the mini series, The Infinity was good and it was cool. It was the first major crossover of every popular Marvel character that I took notice to as a young comic book reader. It actually helped explain the importance of each character in the Marvel universe by showing the order of power in their universe. The evil titan Thanos, like all evil powerful beings, lusted for more in The Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos gets his hands on the power of the Infinity Gauntlet and becomes the most powerful thing there is in Marvel. Characters such as the Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock attempt to thwart Thanos and eventually do. The fall of Thanos can also be chalked up to love: his love for Death, the female incarnation.

The story includes famous characters like the Hulk and Spider-man being helpless against true God-like power. The Infinity Gauntlet puts characters into perspective, and when your young those lessons are key to understanding future stories. A perfect example is when the Silver Surfer, who was thought to be the fastest thing in the universe, tries to sneak up and steal the gauntlet from Thanos. At the last instant Thanos moves and avoids the Surfer. The moment gives an awesome sense of speed and makes for a "wha wha" moment.

As I mentioned before, I think it is rare for a comic book buyer to get the individual issues and then the collected addition; but this, is one of those rare cases.

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