Infinity Gauntlet #1

Marvel opts to kick off their Infinity Gauntlet storyline with something smaller, which is wonderful. As much as I enjoyed Jim Starlin’s original 1991 Extravaganza, it definitely failed to examine how the ordinary citizen was reacting to the Universe’s destruction. I understand that the conflict kept on escalating, but it would have offered some poignancy to switch between the Gods of Time and Frankie, the man who owns the tire store as he tries to protect his family. Gerry Duggan and Dustin Weaver understand this as well, providing a story that keeps the little people in view while giants duke it out to determine their fate.

Infinity Gauntlet Comicsverse

After a succinct text explaining how a great war destroyed the universe and created one huge wasteland where humans and monsters scavenge for survival, we are introduced to a broken family making their way through a destroyed city. While each member gets a line or two to establish who they are, the two relevant members are Anwen, a child with a knack for drawing, and her Grandpa. Pleasant introductions are cut short, however, when a swarm of giant bugs descend upon the family. Everyone is separated, except for Anwen and Grandpa who find momentary refuge in a log. Being the kind old man that he is, Grandpa sacrifices himself to give Anwen the chance to escape. Even though I saw this death coming, the immediacy of it caught me off guard.

Anwen is able to evade the bugs in an underground cave but, wouldn’t you know it, the cave is the nest of a completely different type of bug monster. It looks like curtains for the little girl until the rage of everything she has lost caused her to go full Arya Stark on the attacking bug monster. Her reward for ripping the monster in half is a stone of some sort that appears to glow with infinite energy. Soon after, Anwen climbs out of the tunnel only to run into her Mother within the ruins of the city. To top it off, Thanos hovers nearby with his incomplete Gauntlet ready to interrupt the family reunion. Small Universe, right?

Infinity Gauntlet Comicsverse

As I mentioned, starting such an epic tale from the perspective of the survivors is a brilliant move. Rather than a disconnected voice narrate what was lost, we experience the broken lives of each of the survivors. While a hero may be looking for some power source to save the day, these people are ecstatic just to come across a can of dog food.

The timing of Anwen’s mother showing up is a tad too convenient, as is Anwen just happening across an Infinity Stone in a cave she was chased into by a large bug attack. These are nitpicky complaints, as a Space Opera as large as this one is bound to require some suspension of disbelief. At the very least, these convenient developments help to move the story along. I’m curious to see the relationship between Anwen and her mother. After all, it was Anwen’s anger towards her mother that saved her life against the underground bug creature. Will she need to tap into that anger again to survive, despite the presence of her mother?

Infinity Gauntlet Comicsverse

Infinity Gauntlet #2 teases a battle between Anwen’s mother and Thanos, each possessing a few infinity stones. Now that Duggan and Weaver have built their world, they now get to play with their toys. Here’s hoping Star Lord makes an appearance, as his absence was disappointing considering his place on the comic’s cover.

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