Gerry Duggan’s big cosmic crossover officially kicks off in Infinity Wars Prime. Mike Deodato and Frank Martin come aboard to set the table for an epic that’ll last the rest of the summer.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Doctor Strange and Adam Warlock come together in an old-school Marvel scene to set up a mysterious monstrosity looking to escape Soul World. Warlock is the cosmic equal (arguably better) of Strange, they have a wonderfully contentious chemistry.
Loki is everywhere right now. He’s currently got a major role in Infinity Wars, Thor, and Avengers. The only problem with that is the varying characterizations and motivations from story to story, week to week.
He sets out on an adventure with an Asgardian librarian, in search of the God Quarry we’ve seen recently in Jeff Lemire’s Thanos run. Duggan has been showing the players and pieces on the board, but we’re still in the dark as to how everyone fits in. Shrouding readers in mystery is always the way to go, especially when every little nugget uncovered is exciting.
Speaking of Thanos, the Mad Titan’s quest to once again collect the infinity stones gets cut short. Our new mystery villain shows up and relieves him of his head before eradicating the Chitauri. This is totally the old trope of “new big-bad kills previous king of the villain hill to show their threat level” we’ve seen plenty of times. It may be cheap, but effective nonetheless.
Gerry Duggan has been at the helm of Marvel’s cosmic sector for some time now. He’s done a lot to reestablish this side of the 616 as a healthy and exciting place to be. Bless you Gerry, bless you.
Infinity Wars feels like the culmination of everything he’s accomplished since the start of his brilliant All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy. The scale of this crossover story is massive, this issue carries weight. Duggan is proving each comic that he can properly develop and incubate large-scale stories that pay off.
We’re still treated to great character work as well. Loki’s scene with the librarian is hilarious, Strange and Warlock’s scene hearkens back to the glory days of Abnett and Lanning’s cosmic landscape. Space is the perfect setting for Gerry to play around and see how much he can take on.
Mike Deodato and Frank Martin get us started right. Infinity Wars Prime elevates the story to another level through the art. Every character design is great, there’s a hint of classic costume appeal blended perfectly into each modern look.
Frank Martin’s colors contrast with Deodato’s heavy art perfectly. He gives certain pages and panels a lighter tone and shimmer, without detracting from panels that are meant to be more dramatic.
Another highlight of the issue is seeing Doctor Strange and Adam Warlock go into Soul World using a mystical artifact. We haven’t seen the Sorcerer Supreme wield many magical weapons of late so this was a treat. It’s a visual delight thanks to Frank Martin’s electric blue color and glow.
Other than a really rough panel with Loki’s facial reaction, this another solid effort by Deodato. He excels at these great cosmic set pieces and landscapes. There’s a big, clunkiness to a lot of his characters and devices that works really well in outer space.
Infinity Wars Prime gets the ball rolling. Gerry Duggan continues to make his mark on cosmic Marvel. This story feels like a true culmination of everything he’s been writing since All-New GOTG.