Infinity Gauntlet #2
Issue(s): Infinity Gauntlet #2
The Avengers are dealing with the consequences of half of the Earth's population suddenly disappearing.
Someone contacts Epoch and has Quasar fly into space.
And Dr. Strange is contacted by that same individual, and opens his soul to him. This results in Dr. Strange giving the mystery figure his complete trust.
Dr. Doom also decides to get involved, due to his own unique blend of altruism for his people and desire for power.
He shows up at Dr. Strange's house...
...but his visit is interrupted by another arrival, the guy that has been communicating with Epoch and Dr. Strange: Adam Warlock (and Pip!).
Warlock explains what is going on with Thanos. Dr. Doom says that Thanos' ascension "rivals the coming of the Beyonder". Dr. Strange and the Silver Surfer agree to follow Warlock, despite Dr. Doom putting himself up as an alternate.
Note that the Silver Surfer finds Warlock to be different than when they met on the Soul World in Silver Surfer #46-47. That's actually important. Warlock has prepared himself for taking control of the Infinity Gems. To do that, he has basically suppressed his humanity. That's not explicit yet, but the Surfer's thought bubbles are leading us there.
For what it's worth, this issue was the first time i encountered Rintrah in realtime. I thought he was silly.
Back to the various happenings. Starfox disappears...
...but unlike the previous disappearances, he hasn't just been wiped out. He's been brought to Thanos.
Thanos makes clear that he made sure that Starfox and Thanos' father, Mentor, was among those that disappeared. Thanos says that "Father was a dangerous man". I'm intrigued by that. We never really saw Mentor doing much. If Thanos (and Starlin) thinks that Alars was dangerous, he must have been, so i would love to see why that is. As the leader of the Eternals of Titan, is he as powerful as Zuras? I never got that impression. And in any event, i assume that level of physical power wouldn't worry Thanos too much (although see what Thanos does to the actual Zeus and other gods below), so it must be more about his intelligence or craftiness. I'm kind of wishing Mentor wasn't disappeared just so i could see what he would have done.
Starfox tries to use his persuasion power on Thanos, and is rewarded by having his mouth removed.
It's not a professional diagnosis, but Starfox's assessment is that Thanos has become "deranged" by his power, and has gone "completely insane".
Meanwhile, a lot of heroes have disappeared.
Makkari was among those helping deal with Eon's corpse in Quasar #27, so either there were multiple waves of disappearances, or Makkari is missing for unrelated reasons. Notice that all of the Fantastic Four, the majority of Alpha Flight and all of (the original) X-Factor except Cyclops have gone missing. It's also said that there's "still no word on the X-Men or Excalibur" (but it's speculated that they're off planet).
Instead of just keeping his mouth shut, Eric Masterson, the replacement Thor, tries to act like he is the original.
The real Thor's father, along with all of the other "Sky-Father" gods, have gathered in Asgard. But they wind up getting cut off from the rest of the world, trapped in Asgard.
The trapping of the Sky-Fathers is actually a result of a wave of force that Thanos generates in his madness. It also destroys a planet Galactus was about to eat it, and it wreaks major havoc on Earth. Cloak, Wolverine, the Sub-Mariner, Namorita, and the West Coast Avengers are shown helping out, or trying to.
The need must have been so extreme it caused the Human Torch to briefly cause his powers to return.
Because of the shockwave, California falls into the sea, Atlantic City is flooded, and Japan sinks. It's really at this point that it becomes clear that the story will end with a cosmic reset button. When half the universe died in issue #1, it didn't feel like they were really dying. They just disappeared. So it seemed like the story could end with them simply reappearing once Thanos was defeated. But it's a very different situation when California and Japan are physically destroyed.
This is really just an issue of getting the pieces together and doubling down on the threat of Thanos. It's done very well. Really love Perez's art here. The scene of Thanos leaning over his brother and grinning is great.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The appearance of Epoch (and she is named as such, despite looking like she's Eon) places this after Quasar #26-27 (but see the note on that entry regarding the fine-tuning of Adam Warlock's chronology). Quasar's costume is eventually explained, but Sif's costume places this before Thor #434. Silver Surfer #52 will show the aftermath of Starfox's disappearance from the perspective of Firelord and Drax. Doctor Strange #32 takes place after Dr. Doom and Warlock arrive at Dr. Strange's house.
Crossover: Infinity Gauntlet
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAdam Warlock, Black Widow, Captain America, Cloak, Death, Drax the Destroyer, Epoch, Fandral, Firelord, Galactus, Henry Pym, Hogun, Human Torch (Golden Age), ISAAC, Karnak, Loki, Manitou, Mephisto, Namorita, Nebula, Nick Fury, Osiris, Pip the Troll, Quasar, Rintrah, Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk, Sif, Silver Surfer, Soul Gem, Starfox, Sub-Mariner, Tezcatlipoca, Thanos, Thunderstrike, Triton, Vision, Volstagg, Wolverine, Wonder Man, Zeus
and he is named as such, despite looking like he's Eon"
Per the wiki entry - Epoch is the daughter of Eon.
Epoch is the "daughter" of Eon and "granddaughter" of Eternity.
Posted by: clyde | October 9, 2015 2:23 PM
Thanks Clyde. Changed the "he" to a "she", although i think it goes back and forth a bit in the Quasar book.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 9, 2015 2:29 PM
I thought it was odd that Wonder Man, the (original) Human Torch, Moon Knight, Namorita and Sleepwalker didn't go with the force of heroes to combat Thanos. They were specifically shown as survivors, so why leave them behind?
Posted by: Bill | October 9, 2015 5:53 PM
Sleepwalker and Moon Knight are part of the Eon side story. I wonder if there were plans for the others that didn't get published. Or else i guess we're supposed to assume that they are still out there helping people with disasters and stuff.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 9, 2015 6:07 PM
Those issues are a continuity headache with IG, between that, Quasar's costume, Epoch's appearance and figuring out when Quasar and Thanos first met.
I really dont like Doom's appearance here, or as part of the cannon fodder wave.
In my head, evidence be damned, I'll always make myself think this was a Doombot, and that the real Victor was waiting back, plotting something in case Warlock failed.
Posted by: Bob | October 9, 2015 7:41 PM
Who, I wonder, took all those nicely posed pictures up behind Cap? Do the heroes have regular photoshoots exactly for these types of scenes?
Perez is great but I still like Ron Lim's Thanos better, he's got more weight, or impact, I guess.
Why can't mass destruction in comics ever have proper repercussions? I despise the reset button, bah.
Posted by: PeterA | October 10, 2015 1:42 AM
Three things. First, both Mephisto and Thanos refer to how Thanos has already halved the universe's population on page 8 of Quasar #26 so Makkari's being listed as "disappeared" in IG #2 is definitely wrong since he does appear in Quasar #27. Still, it's nothing major and can probably be written off as someone having mistakenly reported him as missing and the Avengers not having any way to disprove the report.
Second, the fact that Eric Masterson is present as "Thor" means that the Odin who appears in IG #2 with the other sky-gods is definitely "not himself." The Marvel Chronology Project's listings for Odin (and for who he really is in that issue) confirm that fact.
Third, is there a problem with Epoch's birth? Remember, she was born in Quasar #27 (after the mass disappearance in IG #1) and then appeared in IG #2 but Nebula later used the Infinity Gauntlet to transform the universe into (almost) exactly the way it had been twenty-four hours earlier. Most of those involved were shown to have forgotten what had happened during that period (as Quasar #37 showed when Wendell encountered a record of "something that was made to unhappen"). So, if the universe was rolled back far enough that the halving of the population only lasted for seconds, wouldn't that have also cancelled out any actions Thanos had taken later? Like, say, causing Eon's body to overflow onto Earth? If so, then how could Quasar remember having helped deliver Epoch? Or is it that, since Thanos (retroactively) did not interfere, Epoch's birth did occur but differently than shown in Quasar #27? Reality alterations can be so confusing.
Posted by: Don Campbell | October 10, 2015 2:57 AM
Yeah, a lot of the events that occur during the IG tie-ins must still have occurred ("but differently") despite the reset. Clumsy Foulup is definitely still dead, the Hulk still fought the Abomination, and presumably Dr. Strange still fought the Silver Dagger and reconciled with Clea (i wouldn't be surprised if Thomas addresses this last one in some way, but i haven't read past the IG Dr. Strange issues yet).
I already didn't have Odin listed as a character for this issue, but i've added his BTS replacement, and i updated the text around Makkari's disappearance. Thanks Bob and Don.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 10, 2015 11:25 AM
"Warlock has ... basically suppressed his humanity" (fnord)
Yeah, this edition of Warlock bears little resemblance, personality-wise, to the soulful, angst-ridden figure of the 70s.
Doom, of course, conveniently ignores that although Thanos killed Warlock (with surprising ease), Warlock ultimately emerged from the Soul Gem and turned Thanos to stone, thus -- with a big assist from Spidey -- saving everyone's tail.
As for Perez, his work is technically very impressive, and he was often described as a "fan favorite." Personally, though, I've always preferred a number of artists who have less technique and commercial slickness but more stylistic distinctiveness. However, Perez is the perfect artist for things like "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and this.
Posted by: Instantiation | October 10, 2015 11:34 AM
As others have noted, lots of minor continuities error here. Either Starlin wrote (or Perez drew) certain scenes in advance of certain plot revelations, or the writers of crossover issues weren't informed that certain characters were determined to be gone. It's a little annoying, but nothing major.
Overall though, it did a good job of setting things up. It reminded me very much of Crisis on Infinite Earths except that it was easier to follow and had less non-sequiters.
Posted by: Chris | October 10, 2015 12:26 PM
Did you ever play the Marvel Super Heroes roleplaying game from TSR? The boxed sets came with sheets of paper miniatures/standees with images of the heroes on them. The screen of missing heroes behind Cap reminds me strongly of those - I think some of the artwork used was the same (such as the FF & Power Man; Others, particularly the Alphans, were probably never on the paper miniatures).
Posted by: Erik Robbins | October 10, 2015 1:01 PM
Good thing the X-Men are reportedly off-planet, or the computer would have had to show them on-screen. But they're invisible to computers. And yet (if I remember correctly) Wolverine is there for the climax.
Yeah, this is where I gave up on the Marvel Universe.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 10, 2015 3:16 PM
@Chris W- this was published after Wolverine 36, where the letters page makes it clear that the X-Men are no longer invisible to computers.
Posted by: Michael | October 12, 2015 4:11 PM
Oh, that stupid panel of Thor drives me mad every time I read IG. It's so unnecessary and distracting.
It is too bad about Warlock's humanity - his anger, his anguish, even his joy in his final panel, made the character so interesting in his last 70's appearances.
Granted that Dr. Strange was distracted and the Surfer had been weakened, but it still seems like Doom takes out two of Marvel's major hitters awfully easily.
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 6, 2016 11:26 AM
I think the Thor panel serves it's purpose of advertising Thor's comic and the status quo. Not the most subtle of panels but this was for me, and I'd beat plenty of other people, the first time we ever read a comic with Eric Masterson in.
There's plenty of better ways to convey the information to readers but I get the feeling it was a rather last minute addition. After all, the original covers for the series had the regular Thor drawn in his place.
Posted by: AF | January 6, 2016 12:25 PM
I also found it weird that Wonder Man wasn't brought along for the confrontation with Thanos. Especially since he's "as powerful as Thor" after all.
Posted by: AF | January 6, 2016 12:30 PM
You've got Black Knight tagged here, I'm 98% sure he doesn't appear in it beyond on a monitor screen in the background of Avengers Mansion.
Posted by: AF | January 22, 2016 6:56 AM
Just checked, the same is true of Black Bolt, Crimson Dynamo, Gorgon, Medusa and Spider-Man. They only appear on monitor screens (with no dialogue) when the Avengers are looking for aid.
If you're counting them as actual appearances then there's others to count including: Tigra, Nightcrawler, Forge, Storm, Banshee, Ghost Rider, Darkhawk, (all pg. 15 panel 1), a hard to identify female (pg. 15 panel 2), Punisher (pg. 15 panel 3) and Colossus, Kitty, Jubilee Psylocke (pg. 15 panel 4) although that one stipulates "no reply".
Posted by: AF | January 22, 2016 7:05 AM
I was following the MCP on the characters appearing. Maybe they based it on later stories that confirmed that certain characters were actually contacted? But i think i agree with you and i'll remove them. Thanks for checking all the pages and letting me know.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 22, 2016 7:28 AM
Who would that missing character in white and blue with a green face portrayed to the right of the Wasp be? Someone with a codename coming after hers, apparently.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | April 23, 2017 3:54 PM
It's miscolored image of Windshear from Alpha Flight. You can just make out the red text on black background above each figure, and that guy is labeled "Windshear."
Posted by: Omar Karindu | April 23, 2017 5:50 PM
Is it miscolored? I thought they just weren't wearing their all-Canadian-flag uniforms yet. That looks like his Roxxon costume.
Posted by: Jeff | April 24, 2017 10:12 AM
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