Infinity Crusade #3
Issue(s): Infinity Crusade #3
...which is a little strange since we have seen such an effect on Earth. In fact, this is the issue where the Absorbing Man turns himself in.
Then there's this scene, which i think was inserted just to drive me crazy.
See the Considerations for Sleepwalker #19-24 regarding the problem with Rick's separation from Sleepwalker not occurring until after this story.
Later, Thanos and Warlock meet up again, and this time they're joined by Mephisto.
Since the Goddess wants to eliminate all evil, it's only natural that Mephisto would want to help defeat her. But in return he wants to keep one of her Cosmic Containment Units. He claims to have secrets to share in return. We don't see Warlock & Thanos' response yet.
Meanwhile, the heroes debate whether or not to try to stop the Goddess despite the enforced goodness that she's creating. It's not much of a debate. No one really makes a case for the Goddess. So it's kind of a forgone conclusion. But Xavier suggests reaching out to Moondragon to talk things out. However, he gets a brainblast for his trouble and is made comatose.
The heroes decide to launch an assault on the Goddess' Paradise Omega using a "harmonic disrupter" and Avengers Quinjets that have been modified with insterstellar capabilities and weapons. Unaware of this, the Goddess' faction prepares for an assault on Avengers Mansion.
In space, the Silver Surfer continues to have doubt, and manages to break free of the Goddess' control, despite Moondragon's efforts.
So he's attacked by Firelord.
Aside from that battle, though, the battle between the heroes and the Goddess' forces doesn't start yet. And Pip the Troll decides to use his teleportation ability to go directly for the Goddess' cosmic egg, and he succeeds in taking control of it, and turns the Goddess into a pillar of salt.
And that's how this issue ends.
The scenarios give Ron Lim some cool stuff to draw, and there are some fun character interactions here. But for the most part this issue is just juggling the various factions. We're already halfway through the crossover and it doesn't feel like anything has happened yet, and it's all very disjointed. Ending on a cliffhanger setting up a joke scenario doesn't help much, either.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: See the final scan with Pip regarding the official tie-ins.
Crossover: Infinity Crusade
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showAbsorbing Man, Adam Warlock, Angel, Aurora, Beast, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Captain America, Crystal, Cyclops, Dr. Strange, Drax the Destroyer, Firelord, Firestar, Forge, Gamora, Goddess, Havok, Hepzibah, Hercules, Hulk, Invisible Woman, Iron Man, Jean Grey, Living Lightning, Madrox the Multiple Man, Maxam, Mephisto, Moon Knight, Moondragon, Mr. Fantastic, Night Thrasher, Nomad, Northstar, Nova (Rich Rider), Pip the Troll, Polaris, Professor X, Psylocke, Puck, Quicksilver, Rage, Rambo (dog), Raza Longknife, Rick Sheridan, Rogue, Sasquatch, Scarlet Witch, Sersi, Shaman, She-Hulk, Silver Surfer, Sleepwalker, Soul Gem, Speedball, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Storm, Strong Guy, Talisman, Thanos, Thing, Thor, Uatu the Watcher, USAgent, Vindicator (Heather Hudson), Vision, Wild Child, Windshear, Wolverine, Wonder Man
Okay I now remember bits of this issue. When it came out, I was annoyed that Starlin basically had Adam Warlock and Thanos giving a big theatrical yawn in response to Mephisto showing up in his demonic form from the John Romita Jr issues of Daredevil. Starlin really seemed to have an active dislike for Mephisto, reducing him to Thanos' lackey in Infinity Gauntlet, and depicting him as a second-rate bumbler afterwards. It's obvious that Starlin was trying much too hard to make Thanos look like the most awesome character ever, to the point where he's always outwitting the Devil himself.
I think there are better ways to show how amazing a character is than to have him contemptuously swat aside other powerful characters. Since we're talking about Mephisto, just look at how he was handled in relation to Doctor Doom. What made Doom impressive was not that he beat Mephisto, because he never did. Instead we saw Mephisto soundly defeating Doom each & every time he attempted to rescue his mother's soul. But no matter how often that happened Doom would pick himself up, dust himself off, and one year later he'd be back again to try once more, because he had an absolutely indomitable will. That really demonstrated how badass Doom was without in any way reducing the menace of Mephisto.
Posted by: Ben Herman | December 5, 2016 4:47 PM
My theory on some of the "wackier" things shown in this crossover is that since Earth and its moon are too close to Paradise Omega, it's not getting the full effect of the Goddess' emanations, or rather the effects are being distorted in ways that wouldn't be occurring on other planets like how only the (sane) villains are getting pacified, the insane and mentally disturbed being unaffected, the creation of Pureheart from all those negative emotions and feelings the Goddess is suppressing, the accidental remerger of Rick and Sleepwalker (which, like Aquarian's reversion to Wundarr, wears off after the Goddess is defeated), etc.
Posted by: D09 | December 5, 2016 4:50 PM
This series really illustrates the steep decline in comics writing quality that happened in just a few years. By issue three of Infinity Gauntlet, the stakes were clear -- Thanos had planned to wipe out half the life in the universe, and he had succeeded, plus now he was omnipotent. The assorted heroes had no hope to defeat him, but they still proactively tried, instead of sitting around talking about it.
Now it's mid-93, and instead of coming up with cool plans that make sense for our bad guys, or origins or backstories for our new characters, we just tease mysteries for months on end. You could have cut this whole crossover down to a one-shot and lost nothing of consequence.
Posted by: Andrew F | December 5, 2016 10:42 PM
I think I'm in the minority when it comes to feelings about Starlin. I have never, ever gotten it and am still mystified how he was indulged so long when all of his stories are bland, indulgent affairs where other characters suffer because of his devotion to his own bland favorites. It's seriously just bad, terrible writing where the same themes are endlessly and woefully explored.
Posted by: Wis | December 6, 2016 12:18 AM
I had more or less considered Mephisto's various "forms" to be differences in artistic interpretation, not a reflection of anything "in-universe." Had it previously been stated that Mephisto had been altering his appearance to the post-JRJR look?
I could have just missed it. For years I didn't realize that Psylocke's new appearance wasn't simply because that's how the Image people wanted to draw her.
Posted by: cullen | December 6, 2016 1:37 AM
@wis I'm not posting opinion on here anymore coz I'm a cow but just know you're definitely not alone!
Posted by: AF | December 6, 2016 5:43 AM
@AF- you're not a cow but I'm glad you can relate! One more instance of giving fnord credit for sifting through these issues...
Posted by: Wis | December 6, 2016 10:45 AM
@AF: What do you mean that you're a cow? You mean like a Skrull Cow? Or maybe Spider-Ham?
Starlin was really good in the 1970s on his original Thanos and Warlock stories, and in the 1980s onward on creator-owned series such a Dreadstar. But I've found the majority of his work from Marvel from the early 1990s to the present to be very underwhelming.
Posted by: Ben Herman | December 6, 2016 1:14 PM
@AF: Oops! I'm getting my beef and pork mixed up. I should have said Moo Knight...
Posted by: Ben Herman | December 6, 2016 4:17 PM
@Cullen, i took a look at Daredevil #281-282 where the Silver Surfer encounters Mephisto in his JRJR form, and the Surfer doesn't comment on the change, which supports your theory. Of course that story is kind of weird for a number of reasons (for one thing it's said that the Surfer has a bond with Mephisto and can tell whenever he is up trouble), so it may not be a great example. But i can't think of anyone else who has seen Mephisto in both forms yet.
Posted by: fnord12 | December 7, 2016 9:58 AM
I could have just missed it. For years I didn't realize that Psylocke's new appearance wasn't simply because that's how the Image people wanted to draw her."
I have the same problem with this reasoning as I do for the way Jarvis suddenly looked in the 80's Avengers issues as opposed to the earlier issues. It was a totally different look. IMO, A person can't look different based on "artistic interpretation". You look like you look. Clearly, Mephisto is changing his physical form based on his mood or who he sees. He can do that. Psylocke shouldn't be able to. Nor should Jarvis. At least with the Thing, they were nice enough to some up with an in-universe reason why he kept changing the way he looked.
Posted by: clyde | December 7, 2016 3:46 PM
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