Infinity War #5
Issue(s): Infinity War #5
Meanwhile, Magus takes the Infinity Gauntlet from Adam Warlock. Warlock laughs that the Gauntlet is "useless" because the Living Tribunal has ruled that the gems can't be used in unison. I guess Magus is powerful enough thanks to his Cosmic Containment Units that just getting access to the gems themselves isn't that big a deal. But we also know that Galactus, unaware that the Gauntlet has fallen into Magus' hands, has gone to the Living Tribunal to get the ruling overturned.
Back with the heroes, the psychics of the group, with help from Galactus' equipment, are getting ready to try to wake up the entranced people of Earth.
Note that Jean Grey is referred to as Marvel Woman. That is i think the first time she's been called that in a comic, and it will happen again in this crossover. It's not an unreasonable name, for the same reason that the Invisible Girl became the Invisible Woman, but Jean has rarely been called Marvel Girl since her resurrection, and of course she was Phoenix (so to speak) for a long period prior to that. It's possible Marvel writers and editors were referring to Jean as Marvel Woman in their scripts, etc.., for a while now, and for whatever reason it just never made it to print, but i don't think so. Not long after this series, the X-Men animated cartoon will begin to run, and even there she doesn't have a code name.
Anyway, it's said that what the psychics are trying is something that Professor X has done before (except it's "more complex this time around"), which i think is a reference to how he stopped the Z'Nox invasion in Uncanny X-Men #65.
While they are doing that, Quasar leaves to try to use the Ultimate Nullifier on Magus.
For comparison for when we get to the Quasar tie-in, note that there is no quantum bubble around Quasar while he's teleporting away. I guess this is Thanos' teleporter, not Quasar using his quantum jump.
Quasar doesn't really know how to use the device, so when he gets near the Magus' floating island, he wonders if he should just pull the trigger now or wait until he gets closer.
When Thanos sees him hesitate, he realizes that Quasar has missed the chance, so he says that he and Drax will have to try a commando raid on Magus. Captain America says that all the heroes will go, and stands up to Thanos when he says he doesn't need them. Thanos relents.
The wild card continues to be Dr. Doom and Kang. I noted earlier that Magus said that he would succeed where Thanos didn't because he doesn't have a fatal flaw like Thanos does. So i assume it's not a coincidence that Kang says it's a fatal flaw that Magus has become so absorbed that he's not aware of the outside world.
(That's just the Thanos doppelganger in the scene above; they're talking about Magus.)
Magus is actually busy watching the Living Tribunal's hearing.
The Tribunal says that it's actually up to Eternity. The problem is that Eternity is still in a coma. So that is why Galactus has brought Gamora along. She is to enter Eternity and wake him up. The details of that are covered in an Infinity Watch tie-in.
I noted last issue that despite the fact that Thanos and Warlock were running a con against Magus, Thanos legitimately seemed to think that Warlock had to die as part of their plan. I kind of wondered if the interference of Kang and Dr. Doom were what kept Warlock alive. But it's not like Magus was about to kill Warlock when they launched their attack.
I wondered if the Magus' comment about Quasar being "old news" was a dig from Starlin at the character, but it's worth noting that Quasar does ultimately contribute.
Then the long projected betrayal between Doom and Kang finally comes, with Doom taking an opportunity to seemingly kill Kang after Kang was battered around by Magus and Warlock (Warlock decided it was better to deal with the "devil you know than two who are strangers", and, as already noted, he's got a plan in place).
Magus flees the fight to make direct use of the Cosmic Containment Units, but he finds that they are gone.
The mystery of who took them is resolved at the very end of this series, in a set up for the next one (Infinity Crusade).
Doom catches up with Magus and has him on the ropes when Gamora finishes her quest inside Eternity. Doom is about to force Magus to hand over the Infinity Gauntlet when Eternity makes his ruling, allowing the gems to be used in unison again.
It's a good moment of badassery for Doom, but sadly for him it doesn't come to fruition. We don't even really see what happens to Doom. This is the last of him.
Quasar finally activates the Ultimate Nullifier, but it's too late and Magus turns the device back on him. This is the last the heroes will see of Quasar until after this event is over.
For now, Magus enjoys testing out the Infinity Gauntlet, mainly to torture Warlock. One caveat: regarding the Reality gem, he only says, "Too much for me to focus in on just yet".
Warlock observes that the Magus is adapting to godhood much quicker than Thanos or he did. That shouldn't be too surprising considering that the Magus came from Warlock, so you'd think he shares those experiences. I guess this could be considered a data point regarding whether or not this is the same Magus as the one from the 70s.
Thanos then opens up the teleporter to send the heroes in after Magus. It turns out that he was tricking them, dumping them into a horde of Magus' doppelgangers. Thanos himself tries to teleport into Magus' fortress more quietly.
But he is found by his doppelganger. The two Thanoses consider an alliance, but, noting that there's only one Infinity Gauntlet, they realize that they have to fight.
We're at the climax of the story, so this is particularly fun. It's also fun because not a lot of time is wasted with Marvel's heroes having pointless fights. The main action here is Kang and Dr. Doom vs. Magus and Warlock, and that's great, and so is Thanos manipulating the heroes.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: We are pointed to Sleepwalker #18 for the "full story" on everyone on Earth becoming entranced. That also dictates the placement for at least the final scene in Sleepwalker #17. Sleepwalker is seen narrating about the entrancement in this issue, and we see Deathlok and the Guardians of the Galaxy among the entranced. We also see what might be more like conceptual images of Sandman, Silver Sable, and Nomad, but i'll be counting them as characters appearing. Doctor Strange #45-46 take place after Sleepwalker #17. Gamora's quest inside Eternity happens in Warlock and the Infinity Watch #9. Quasar #39 also takes place during this issue, before he leaves to use the Ultimate Nullifier. And Quasar #40 also takes place during this issue, during the scene where Quasar is about to use the Nullifier. The fight between the heroes (and Thanos) and their doppelgangers continues into next issue, so i'll be covering the stories that take place concurrently with those fights after Infinity War #6. Fantastic Four #369 also takes place during this issue.
Crossover: Infinity War
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
I was also impressed by how Doom dropped the hammer on Magus and Warlock and almost made this his story.
Another flaw of Magus seems to be his difficulty in adapting on the fly, being reduced to incredulously repeating himself when the CCUs were swiped. This will happen again next issue when Warlock springs his trap.
I think the furthest issue of Quasar I read was 37, so it'll be interesting to see what happens after he gets nullified.
Posted by: Mortificator | April 7, 2016 7:25 PM
I enjoyed this issue immensely. This series got better as it went on. I disliked the doppelgangers concept. I also agree and empathize with those who say that the heroes are window dressing for Warlock and Thanos. At least Doom received better treatment from Starlin. Much better than what Thanos received recently in Secret Wars.
Posted by: Grom | April 8, 2016 2:33 AM
I think they should have just cut outall the gathered heroes stuff and make the mini a tentpole where major stuff is happening between cosmic powers which has all kinds of repercussions on Earth and other regions in space. Basically make it a better Secret War. So no doppelgangers since they are dumb, but ripple effects from Doom and Kang's and Thanos and Adam's machinations against the Magus.
That's probably what Starlin wanted and the Doppelgangers were a concession to marketing.
Posted by: PeterA | April 8, 2016 6:05 AM
"I think the furthest issue of Quasar I read was 37, so it'll be interesting to see what happens after he gets nullified."
Having read the whole series, I think you'll be disappointed. IMO, it becomes filled with nonsensical plots for the rest of the run.
Posted by: clyde | April 8, 2016 9:23 AM
It gets pretty guest star reliant too. Punisher, Thunderstrike, Thanos, the Avengers. And eventually bad 90s Herb Trimpe starts drawing it.
Posted by: AF | April 8, 2016 9:57 AM
I love Lim, but he was really getting stretched thin on these crossovers.
Posted by: Bob | April 10, 2016 3:16 PM
@Bob - I imagine that drawing double-sized issues that all feature entire armies of superheroes wasn't the easiest of tasks. As underwhelming as I find the writing on both Infinity War and Infinity Crusade, it's apparent that Ron Lim deserves much credit for managing to do a more than halfway-decent job penciling these huge events with their casts of thousands.
Posted by: Ben Herman | April 10, 2016 6:19 PM
One thing that has always bugged me about this particular issue is Kang's supposed death... We're clearly meant to believe Doom kills him, right? There'd be absolutely no reason for Doom to leave him alive. But unlike in Infinity Gauntlet, no Cosmic Reset Button is pushed at the end of this story, so Kang should still be dead. Of course that doesn't preclude future stories from using Kang; since he's a time-traveller, the Kang we see in later stories could be a younger version than the one who shows up here. But since we also know Kang's future (becoming Immortus), it's simply not possible for Kang to die as Kang. Avengers Forever further complicates things by changing Kang's destiny so that he doesn't necessarily become Immortus, but that story is still years in the future, so it can't be used to explain away Kang's death here. Do any of the Kang stories between this one and AF explain how he survived Doom's attack?
Posted by: Tuomas | September 1, 2016 4:58 AM
Tuomas, Citizen Kang takes place after this story, and in a backup Kang mentions that he had a developed a device that enabled him to take control of the minds of his counterparts and use their bodies as his own. So presumably this wasn't Kang's real body.
Posted by: Michael | September 1, 2016 7:53 AM
I guess that explains it... But didn't the 616 Kang want to kill all the alternate universe Kangs in Roger Stern's Avengers? And isn't part of his characterization right from his very first apperance in FF that he wants to be in the middle of action and slay his enemies himself, not just watch from the sidelines? So it seems very uncharacteristic for him to use a proxy body during this story.
Speaking from a more meta point of view, I wonder if Starlin meant to use a Cosmic Reset Button at the end of Inifnity War, but for some reason changed his mind? If you think about it, there's no reason why Magus wouldn't kill Doom once he acquires the Gauntlet, so Doom should be dead too. When I first read this issue in the '90s, I certainly interpreted Kang and Doom having died here, so I assumed their deaths would be reversed in the final issue, just like all the deaths in Infinity Gauntlet were.
Posted by: Tuomas | September 1, 2016 8:16 AM
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