Infinity War #3
Issue(s): Infinity War #3
Thor then whisks the fallout into space. The heroes then turn to deal with the Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man doppelgangers, but before they can do anything, Magus and the Thanos doppelganger show up to pull them away.
The heroes assume that they are dealing with the real Thanos, and, seeing Magus, think that Thanos is teamed up with Adam Warlock. No one comments on the oddity of Warlock being purple, but maybe they were dazzled by all of the glowing lights.
Shaman says that he has detected magical energy during the brief appearance of the bad guys, and says that the heroes will need the help of a mystic "whose talents far exceed my own". The Hulk says that he's already tried to contact Dr. Strange, and he wasn't home, but the Scarlet Witch says that she has some ideas on where to get help.
Meanwhile, the heroes discover Hawkeye and Spider-Man, who were defeated by doppelgangers last issue, and they are brought to the hospital. Black Widow and Black Cat are sent to guard them. This feels very much like a set-up for a tie-in, but nothing really comes of this.
The other heroes look at Mr. Fantastic's computer and find coordinates showing where the strange energy emissions everyone has been tracking are coming from. But it turns out that this is a set-up by Magus, who continues to anticipate and manipulate the heroes' every move. Magus correctly points out that the Marvel heroes are "mere pawns". The important characters are, of course, Starlin's.
Scarlet Witch's mystics turn out to be Dr. Druid and Agatha Harkness. Cap seemingly scowls at Dr. Druid, despite having worked with him during the Cap-Wolf saga (at least he doesn't say anything, unlike Wonder Man, who i don't think has ever had a meaningful interaction with him).
In any event, Scarlet Witch, having worked with Dr. Druid during Infinity Gauntlet, vouches for him.
Captain America has contacted Quasar and asked him to find "some of those cosmic entities he knows" to help the heroes out (in the Quasar tie-in, Cap asks Quasar specifically to look for Eternity). Quasar reports that Eternity is catatonic.
The reason the Hulk couldn't locate Dr. Strange, of course, is because he's traveling with Galactus, Nova, and the Silver Surfer to discover what happened to Eternity. They are being followed by Dr. Doom and Kang. Magus decides that Galactus and company need to be slowed down "a wee bit", so he blows up Galactus' ship, seemingly killing them. Doom and Kang survive.
As i've said before, the idea that the Magus doesn't seem to anticipate Doom and Kang is interesting. They are the first to make it to the next relay location for the Magus' energy, but when the Thanos doppelganger notices something that should be a clue that they are there, the Magus dismisses it.
This is even as he claims that he doesn't have a fatal character flaw, unlike Thanos.
And here's where we see that the Magus remembers the events of his prior incarnation.
Meanwhile, Thanos, Warlock, and the rest of the Infinity Watch also arrive at the energy relay. Warlock continues to ponder the fact that he's expelled his good and bad sides.
Warlock is also resisting what he's going to have to do to save the universe again. Knowing that Adam Warlock often comes with Biblical allusions, i wouldn't be surprised if this was meant to be a kind of Garden of Gethsemane moment.
Thanos says that he'll end up having to do it, because "you can deny neither your white nor black shadows".
Meanwhile, Quasar returns to Earth to join up with the expeditionary force that is being sent to the coordinates found on Mr. Fantastic's computer. They are being sent by the mystics brought together by the Scarlet Witch. The expeditionary force is said to be composed of the "most seasoned and powerful" of the various heroes that have been assembled.
At first glance, i'd swap out Living Lightning for Crystal. I might also have brought USAgent instead of Wonder Man, since Wonder Man's powers are supposed to be on the fritz. Or maybe drop him for Northstar or Aurora, to get a flying super-speedster on the team since Thor, Herc, the Thing, Sasquatch, and Strong Guy probably have the "brute strength" category covered. Since experience was a factor, i'm ok with keeping the Human Torch and Iceman, even though they're probably at Living Lightning's power level, just with different elements.
While the heroes are in transit, the Living Tribunal shows up where the comatose Eternity is floating, saying that he awaits "the appeal".
After the expeditionary force leaves, the rest of the heroes are attacked by a horde of doppelgangers.
And the heroes show up to find Warlock and Thanos (and the rest of the Watch), who they've already been primed to attack on sight.
There is a lot to like here. The panels with Warlock and Thanos are the best, but they only amount to a couple of pages. It's also fun seeing various pieces drop into place, like the arrival of the Living Tribunal and the continued success of Doom and Kang. And there are even some fun scenes with the heroes. I like the idea of Magus and the fake Thanos showing up and everyone assuming it's the real Thanos and Warlock that are behind what they've been facing. But ultimately that scene isn't important, and there are just too many characters for Starlin to juggle, without much of them having much to do. Was it really necessary for Dr. Druid and Agatha Harnkess to be brought in, instead of just letting Shaman shine for once in his existence outside of Alpha Flight, for example? The fact that half of Marvel's heroes got wiped out in Infinity Gauntlet at least made it possible for the remaining heroes to have some memorable moments (even if ultimately it was still a Thanos & Warlock show like this one). Here, they are practically tripping over each other, and once you add a roomful of doppelgangers it really becomes a crowded situation. But the actual pointless fighting doesn't begin (again) until next issue, so there is time to develop the story and focus on at least some of the heroes, and so this is one of the stronger ones of the series.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Several issues cover the battle between the home heroes and the doppelgangers or expeditionary force and the Infinity Watch from various perspectives, but i'll be placing those after next issue since that's when the fights actually happen. A few issues do take place during this issue, though, including Fantastic Four #368, Quasar #37, Wonder Man #13, New Warriors #27, Warlock & the Infinity Watch #8, and the story in Marvel Comics Presents #108-111.
Crossover: Infinity War
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showAdam Warlock, Agatha Harkness, Angel, Aurora, Beast, Black Cat, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Black Widow, Captain America, Colossus, Cyclops, Daredevil, Darkhawk, Dr. Doom, Dr. Druid, Dr. Strange, Drax the Destroyer, Eternity, Firestar, Forge, Galactus, Gambit, Gamora, Havok, Hellspawn, Henry Pym, Hercules, Hulk, Human Torch, Iceman, Invisible Woman, Iron Man Doppelganger, Jean Grey, Kang, Living Lightning, Living Tribunal, Madrox the Multiple Man, Magus (Evil Adam Warlock), Moon Knight, Moondragon, Mr. Fantastic Doppelganger, Namorita, Northstar, Nova (Frankie Raye), Nova (Rich Rider), Pip the Troll, Polaris, Professor X, Psylocke, Puck, Quasar, Quicksilver, Rogue, Sasquatch, Scarlet Witch, Shaman, She-Hulk, Silhouette, Silver Surfer, Soul Gem, Speedball, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Storm, Strong Guy, Thanos, Thanos Doppelganger, Thing, Thunderstrike, USAgent, Vindicator (Heather Hudson), Vision, Wasp, Wild Child, Wolfsbane, Wonder Man
"And here's where we see that the Magus remembers the events of his prior incarnation."
Posted by: clyde | April 4, 2016 3:37 PM
Warlock's mention about the dream about the Magus is a reference to Warlock and the Infinity Watch #7.
Posted by: Thanos6 | April 4, 2016 4:39 PM
Added it. Thanks Thanos6.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 4, 2016 4:45 PM
The "most seasoned and powerful heroes" or as they're more widely known the X-Men.
Posted by: AF | April 4, 2016 4:59 PM
Re: why Agatha Harkness was included- she appears in FF 371-377. DeFalco probably wanted to use her in the FF book and since there were mystics anyway in this story, she got thrown in.
Posted by: Michael | April 4, 2016 9:00 PM
I'd imagine Dr. Druid is there because of Marvel's well-intentioned rehabilitation campaign. He's still heading for a trashcan burial, but you gotta give Marvel credit for trying to fix a character they so deliberately trashed. Exactly why they need a second rate Dr. Strange is still a mystery to me. Maybe it's because he was a Stan and Jack character and therefore he must have intrinsic worth!
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | April 5, 2016 5:22 AM
@Brian- it's been suggested that Gruenwald felt guilty about trashing Druid and used his position to push for a rehabilitation campaign.
Posted by: Michael | April 5, 2016 8:19 AM
I always wondered what was up with the Spider-Man/Hawkeye injury angle. It was set-up as a sub-plot, complete with a mysterious shadow in the hallway...but then, nothing. I assumed it was continued in an issue of one of Spider-Man's comics, but never found it. Seems like an odd story point to set up, assign characters to and then simply forget.
Posted by: Bill | April 5, 2016 10:38 AM
Spidey and Hawkeye being treated in hospital with their masks on always looked pretty goofy to me... I'm sure the doctors would value proper treatment of their patients over someone possibly recognizing their faces. Did Clint even have a secret identity at this point?
Posted by: Tuomas | April 5, 2016 10:47 AM
Things work differently in the Marvel universe, so I can see them leaving Hawkeye's mask on. But, yeah, they would at least lift Spidey's mask up over his nose to make sure he was getting enough air.
Posted by: Andrew | April 5, 2016 1:25 PM
@AF - That's not really fair. The expeditionary force is actually a pretty even split between X-characters and the rest of the MU. All three remaining members of the Fantastic Four are there, plus members of both the East and West Coast Avengers, three members of Alpha Flight and one New Warrior.
Plus a few X-Men didn't make the cut either--Beast and Gambit at least were both left behind.
Posted by: Dermie | April 5, 2016 2:45 PM
One thing most writers (Dwayne McDuffie being the exception) overlook is that one of the strengths of Susan Richards' force fields, their invisibility, is also their greatest weakness. Even if you accept that her force fields only permit passage to that narrow spectrum of electromagnetic radiation that is detectable by the human eye -- and not more harmful, higher energy radiation -- in that first scan so much light should be pouring through her force field that everyone nearby should be permanently blinded, and probably baked as well.
Posted by: Andrew | September 16, 2016 12:54 PM
Blinded? Yes. Baked? I think it's established that Sue's shield prevented ppl being burned by Johnny's flames several times. As a lot with these things the answer is: suspension of disbelief. If you get to technical with a lot of powers and other things most things shouldn't work like portrayed and we would have no story at all.
Posted by: Multiple Manu | December 15, 2017 7:13 AM
I didn’t really like this series as a kid, but I loved looking at Ron Lims art. It’s always stuck with me. Now though it seems to me that Starlin maybe didn’t like having to make this an EPIC company-wide crossover, hence the snarky remarks about how the heroes other than Warlock and Thanos are inconsequential. Maybe I’m just projecting though.
Posted by: ANDREW FRANKLIN | April 13, 2018 11:05 PM
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