Comic Event Review: “Infinity,” Part 2

Six issues down with ten to go, and “Infinity” just keeps on impressing. Part 2 of Hickman’s epic is a pretty heavy gut punch. There are plenty of revelations, tragedies, and fist pumping moments to go around — so let’s dive in and break this all down!

Infinity #2

Infinity #2 starts with a little vignette on The Peak, S.W.O.R.D.’s orbital defense station. It’s a neat little piece that lets us see Abigail Brand (A new favorite of mine!) kicking some ass and realizing just how big of a hole the Earth has found itself in.

Before getting into the story proper, Hickman provides us with a brief recap of the invasion that was depicted in New Avengers #9. Normally, recaps like this drag a book down, but this one was actually helpful: it helped me understand that Dr. Strange wasn’t resisting the poisonous words of Ebony Maw, but was actually falling under his thrall, so thanks for that Mr. Hickman!

Things start to pick up when Corvus Glaive confronts Black Bolt on his throne. I wish there were a word for “pure evil swagger” because Corvus Glaive has all of it. He and his entourage march up to Black Bolt’s throne, demand the heads of all Inhuman children between the ages of 16 and 22, and then threaten to destroy them all unless they give Thanos his “tribute” (mic drop.) Medusa tries to fight back, but her threats fall on deaf ears and empty veins. As a show of their might and fearlessness, Glaive has his escort kill themselves to show the Inhumans that death is not a threat worthy to them. The best part of this sequence was the look on Maximus’ (Black Bolt’s crazy mostly evil half brother) face. Everyone stares in horror while he rocks the ‘holy shit that was awesome!” look. Corvus Glaive did make one miscalculation: one does not $%&@ with Black Bolt.

Hickman changes gears, bringing us to Shi’ar flagship Lilandra in orbit above Whaan Prime along with a portion of the remaining galactic fleet. Cap and the rest of the Avengers that managed to escape the defeat at The Corridor barely get a minute to breathe before they are beset by more Builder ships. (This sequence reminded me of that BSG episode where the Cylons attack every 33 minutes.) They are broken and beaten, but still they fight on.

While Cap, Gladiator, and the other Avengers battle the Builders, we are treated to an interesting study of Ex Nihilo. Hickman begins to peel some of the layers back on this very strange and enigmatic character, and what is being revealed is a surprisingly human and somber creature. He was created to bring life, yet those who created him are hellbent on ending life. It’s a wonderful conflict brought into sharp focus when the small Builder force, accompanied by another Ex Nihilo named Jerran Ko, is defeated. In defeat, his Aleph orders him to commit suicide upon Whaan Prime. His death unleashes a plague that quickly sweeps the planet, extinguishing any remaining life on the plane. God bless artist Jerome Opena providing the perfect look of abject horror and then solemn mourning for Ex Nihilo. I look forward to more from this very interesting character!

Hit the jump for the full recap/review of the three issues in part 2 of Marvel’s “Infinity” event!

Comic Event Review: “Infinity,” Part 1

After almost a year of teasing, Jonathan Hickman’s Infinity event is finally here, and, boy, are we in for a ride. Infinity is truly Hickman’s baby. With Hickman at the helm of the Avengers and New Avengers for about a year under the Marvel NOW! banner, all plotlines have lead to Infinity. It has been a rather organic transition to “event mode” — a pleasant change from the abrupt halt in ongoing storylines of which Marvel is often guilty.

Hickman has provided a handy storyline diagram (Hickman sure loves his diagrams) to give the reader an idea of how this story should be read. As you can see (and unsurprisingly), Avengers and New Avengers are essential to the plot. Hickman has stated you can get away with only reading Infinity #1-6, but you should also be reading his Avengers books to get the full experience. After reading the first part of the event, I couldn’t agree more.

As a result, I have decided to review Infinity in the stages the author has laid out. So first up, we will be taking a look at Part 1: Infinity #1, Avengers #18, and New Avengers #9.

Infinity #1

With so much packed into one issue, Infinity #1 is a tour de force. Hickman takes us from the far reaches of the universe to the bed chambers of the Inhuman King Black Bolt to Titan and to Palermo, Sicily of all places. It really is awe-inspiring. The story opens up with a the same vignette we saw in the Infinity Free Comic Book Day issue. One of Thanos’ Outrider creatures has returned with news of a planet that owes the Mad Titan tribute, and Corvus Claive, a member of Thanos’ Black Order, journeys to planet to claim it. Upon return to Titan, the tribute is revealed. I won’t tell you what’s in the box (WHAT’S IN THE BOX?!) but let it be known that Thanos’ smile will chill you to the bone.

Hit the jump for the full reviews of the first three issues of Hickman’s Infinity event!

Shut Up and Take My $5: Red Lanterns #22

This was an interesting week, to say the least. DC pushed out some fun annuals, while Marvel further explored the broken time stream. The Indestructible Hulk came oh-so-very-close to earning this week’s top spot: they made Hulk a time cop! (I immediately started daydreaming of The Hulk running into The

Review: Captain Midnight #1

There really is nothing quite like pulp radio shows. Back in the day, shows like The Shadow and The Green Hornet ruled the airwaves. Among them was another hero that I admit I had never heard of until now: Captain Midnight. In his original form, Captain Midnight aka Jim Albright

Shut Up and Take My $5: Aquaman #22

What a week! Almost all of the Avengers titles are steaming full speed towards Infinity. We are starting to to see some of the effects of the Age of Ultron aftermath in Hunger. The Spirit and the Rocketeer had a tussle out in Hollywood, and Kate Bishop learned that inter

Back of the Fridge: Captain’s Log #1

Sometimes, life takes over. We get it. Even though everyone is telling you that [insert movie/tv show/comic book/video game/other] is amazing and you’d love it, sometimes it just doesn’t make it on your plate at the time. It happens to us, too. Now we’re trying to fix that. “Back of the Fridge” is our occasionally-updated look back at the things we should have experienced when they first appeared, but missed along the way.

In “Captain’s Log,” our comic book aficionado, Sean, hops on board the Enterprise for Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I have a confession. I’ve always enjoyed the concept of Star Trek, but I never really started watching any of it until I was in college. I had seen an episode here or there when I was a kid, and I’m pretty sure I remember getting excited whenever the whale Star Trek movie (what I now know as “The Voyage Home”) aired on TV. I have since seen almost every Trek movie (under advisement to avoid the first one and the fifth one) and have loved them!

But now, it is time for me to tackle the TV shows, and I want you out there in internet land to join me! I’m starting with The Next Generation and will be slowly working my way all the way through to Voyager. I’ll be checking in periodically to do little mini-reviews and impressions of the episodes as I watch them. A “Captain’s Log,” if you will (hey, that’s the title of this column!)

So without further ado, let us embark on a voyage to boldly go where this geek has never gone before! Engage!

Encounter at Farpoint

Dear Lord, it is amazing that this show made it past its pilot! I know seasons 1 and 2 are supposed to be a bit rough, but yeesh! A giant sentient space jellyfish? I’ve seen this concept work in Doctor Who (not the space jellyfish specifically, but the whole enslavement of a giant space creature aspect), but for some reason it was so damn silly here. I already knew about Q before starting this endeavour, and it was pretty cool to see him from the start. He is such a glorious asshole. And lastly, Riker doesn’t have his goatee. I find this unacceptable.

The Naked Now

I had actually seen the related episode of Classic Trek, so this episode worked better for me. The Enterprise encounters the same contagion that caused the original Enterprise crew to go all drunk and silly for an episode. This was absurdly goofy with some pretty terrible drunk acting, with the notable exceptions being Brent Spiner and Patrick Stewart. They were awesome. I have always heard how people hate Wesley and now I see why. I don’t blame Wil Wheaton at all; it just really sucks when your character is written to be such a whiny jerk of a know-it-all. Still, this episode gets a pass thanks to Picard’s awkward wave. Thank god there is a gif of this!

E3 2013: Sony Media Briefing Recap

I had no intention of watching Sony’s presser. I’ve never been much of a PlayStation guy. I owned a PS1 in college to play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and my PS3 was eventually sold after I realized it had become a glorified blu-ray player. Still, I wanted to do my due diligence and see what Sony had to say. Thank God I did!

Sony kicked things off with a section on upcoming PS3 games. Watching the segment on The Last of Us made me regret selling my PS3; that game looks freaking amazing. “Ellen Page: The Game” (or, rather, Beyond: Two Souls) looks interesting, but I’m not sad I’ll miss it. Arkham Origins looked fantastic, but, now that the formula has been pretty much perfected, it’s hard to screw up.

We finally got see what the PS4 looks like! I’m not a huge fan of the design; I think it’s as ugly as the Xbox One. I guess that’s the theme this generation: uninspired console design. Even my wife thought it looked ugly, but at least isn’t a George Foreman grill! Sony then went on to talk about their media offerings and all the content PS Networks subscribers will have access too. It was pretty much the same thing we’ve heard from every major tech and entertainment company in the past few years.

Next up, the games. Oh, the glorious games. Sony did everything Microsoft didn’t. They showed some fantastic new stuff!

The game that got me hook, line, and sinker was The Order: 1886. We only saw a brief trailer, but it looks like a steampunk monster hunting shooter set in late 1800s London. A game with a holy order that hunts monsters with steampunk machine guns and lightning rifles? SOLD!

E3 2013: Microsoft Media Briefing Recap

Quiet! Do you smell that? I believe that’s the smell of the Xbox One after the multiple burns Sony gave it last night.

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have made their E3 presentations, and the dust has started to settle. So let’s breakdown what we saw over the past few days and try to make sense of it all, shall we?

Microsoft kicked off E3 with their morning media briefing. After their surprisingly entertainment-focused, lackluster Xbox One debut a few weeks ago, Big M was in damage control mode. Fans have been raging over things like DRM, used games, and game ownership, and it was up to Microsoft to calm the vocal gamers down. Too bad they didn’t.

Microsoft kicked off their presentation with a short section on the 360, reassuring us that there are still great games coming, including World of Tanks (which I guess is supposed to be a big deal, but I’ve never heard of it.) The coolest thing from this section is the announcement of “Games for Gold,” where Xbox Live Gold members will be getting two free games each month. We aren’t talking Xbox Live Arcade games either; we get full fledged fan favorites. It looks like Fable 3 is the first offering, and is actually available to download now.

But now onto the juicy stuff: the Xbox One. Microsoft actually kicked off the whole shebang with an amazing-looking gameplay preview of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Someone had the brilliant idea to combine combine Red Dead Redemption and Metal Gear Solid, and they are going to make a whole ton of money. The game is a sight for the eyes, and the stealth play looked mighty cool. The story is all sorts of batshit crazy, but its a Metal Gear game – what do you expect? Oh, and no David Hayter. Boo on that.