Infinity Wars #1
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Mike Deodato Jr.
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Deodato Jr. & Martin
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Nico Sprezzatura
After last week’s so-so Prime issue, this year’s major Marvel crossover event kicks itself into high gear with Gerry Duggan and Mike Deodato Jr.’s Infinity Wars #1.
I gotta say, I wasn’t expecting Requiem’s identity to be revealed so quickly. Events like these don’t usually show their cards so handily, but it’s a shake-up I can definitely get behind. Knowing who Requiem is this early into the story actually makes the proceedings more interesting. There’s something to be said for dragging out mysteries and “mystery box” storytelling, but when done poorly, it only makes the audience apathetic. By knowing who Requiem is straight away in Infinity Wars #1, it allows us to actually care about who they are, and why they’re doing what they’re doing.
Without giving it away, it’s someone you definitely already know — and if you’ve been following Duggan’s ongoing saga since it began with his Guardians of the Galaxy run, it’s also a pretty good payoff. I hadn’t pegged it to be this specific character, but having read everything in the lead-up to this, Infinity Wars, it 100% makes sense why it would be them.
Infinity Wars #1 more or less picks up exactly where last week’s Prime left off —which could’ve very easily been the actual #1 for this story, but I digress— with Doctor Strange’s new Infinity Watch (i.e. each holder of an Infinity Stone tasked with protecting them) assembling for the first time. Because we know we’re reading a massive event series, it goes without saying that this initial meeting goes horribly wrong. How wrong, you may ask? Let’s just say someone gets a sword through the chest, courtesy of Requiem — and after you learn their identity, their aforementioned victim comes as quite a shock.
I have to give credit to Duggan for setting up this story with enough foresight to prevent Requiem’s identity from feeling unearned or shocking for shock’s sake. Even if you’ve only been reading since Infinity Countdown, there’s been enough foreshadowing up to this point for you to understand why Requiem is doing what they are. That’s a hard trick to pull off, especially in contemporary comic events.
I’m still not very hot on Mike Deodato Jr. and Frank Martin’s art here, but they produce some undeniably striking visuals regardless. At worst, Infinity Wars looks a little muddy and overly dark, but there are definitely moments within that are worthy of Duggan’s grandiose script. Deodato’s layouts are, yet again, very interesting to look at, and his splash layouts are among some of the best pages. And to Martin’s credit, the Infinity Stones always appear vibrant and distinct; considering how color is the only real way to distinguish them, that’s important.
The Verdict: Buy it.
By bursting out of the gate with shocks and reveals, Infinity Wars #1 ultimately proves worthy of its year-plus hyping.