Issue(s): Quasar #38
This issue starts with Quasar and the Contemplator still in the realm of Anthropomorpho. Quasar needs to be able to get back to Earth, but the Contemplator wants to stay to "contemplate" the realm, so he gives Quasar the information he needs to get out. The Contemplator doesn't have a way to get out himself, so Quasar gives him a little ball of quantum energy that the Contemplator can use to contact him. Which the Contemplator naturally sticks in his belly button.
Note that the Contemplator detects something tragic in Quasar's lifeline as they are parting ways.
Before we leave the Contemplator, we see him come across another scene from the past in Anthropomorpho's realm. It's the scene where the Beyonder was about to eliminate Death during Secret Wars (that's "Dave" next to the Beyonder).
Note the Contemplator wondering why the Gardener would be among the cosmic beings in that scene, and i suspect Mark Gruenwald was wondering along with him. There's also more commentary about the size of the beings.
Anyway, Quasar gets back to Earth (after 6+ days, according to his bracelet, although it feels to him like "several months"). He checks in with Captain America, as we saw in Infinity Gauntlet #3, and then joins the expeditionary force that is leaving Earth to go after (they think) Thanos.
In this telling of the fight against the Infinity Watch, the majority of Earth's heroes mindlessly charge into battle, but Quasar and Captain America retain their heads and hang back, with Quasar creating a forcefield to stop the attack.
Note that Captain America is skeptical about Adam Warlock's presence. Forget the whole cosmic reset; the whole point of this fight, i thought, was that they mistook the Magus for him in Infinity War #3.
Moondragon is said to be shielding her team from getting mind-read by Professor X, and vice versa, and Pip the Troll teleports out of the forcefield, starting the fight anyway. Here's Thanos physically taking on the Hulk, the Thing, and Thor all at once.
I noted above that this book has a small claim on Moondragon, but Quasar only notes how she once wanted to be his consort and that she's now "thrown in with Thanos". He says that he'll "take a pass on a reunion" and then goes to confront Adam Warlock. Quasar notes that Warlock could be Her's brother, which is pretty much true.
Quasar is able to absorb Warlock's power. Based on the green light, i assume that specifically means the power of his Soul gem.
Unlike when Wonder Man gets to face off against Warlock in his solo book, Quasar listens to Warlock when he tells him that the bad guy is really his evil counterpart, Magus. Note that Warlock refers to Magus as being from an "alternate timeline" even though that's not how he was created this time. Then Warlock says that he's unable to contain his Soul gem, and Quasar gets blasted.
Meanwhile, the Contemplator, still in Anthropomorpho's realm, discovers a scene from the "recent past" where the Magus is getting bodies for all of his doppelgangers.
Contemplator contacts Quasar to tell him about this, distracting him and allowing Warlock to knock him out. And that's where we end.
With that Anthropomorpho scene, i feel like Gruenwald is trying to do an unnecessary realtime clean-up of Starlin's Infinity War. And it is unnecessary. Doppelgangers by definition take on the forms of their prey (and in any event the Magus has plenty of power at his disposal to transform them if necessary); there was no need to "explain" it.
A subplot shows what's going on with Kayla and the new H.D. Steckley. The Chief Examiner tells Kayla that he can return her to Earth if she'll turn over her vast power to him so that he can use them to stop the Black Fleet. Since Kayla doesn't believe she has any power, she's willing to do it (and i guess Greg Capullo isn't above giving us a butt shot in the process).
But something happens while the Chief Examiner is draining her power. H.D. is paralyzed and the Chief Examiner is destroyed.
So Kayla and H.D. are stranded on the planet of "Scadam" (named for Scott Adams, the developer of the Questprobe games). Kayla is struck by a blast from a Black Fleet spaceship, and is seemingly disintegrated.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue takes place almost entirely during the initial fight between the expeditionary force and the Infinity Watch in Infinity War #4. Note that the scene that the Contemplator sees with Magus and Anthropomorpho is a kind of flashback, same as the scene with the Beyonder. So Anthropomorpho is not listed as a character appearing.
Crossover: Infinity War
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAdam Warlock, Agatha Harkness, Angel, Captain America, Chief Examiner, Colossus, Contemplator, Cyclops, Dr. Druid, Drax the Destroyer, Erishkigal, Eternity, Gamora, Havok, Hercules, Hulk, Human Torch, Iceman, Invisible Woman, Jean Grey, Kayla Ballantine, Living Tribunal, Makkari, Moondragon, Pip the Troll, Professor X, Psylocke, Quasar, Rogue, Sasquatch, Scarlet Witch, Shaman, She-Hulk, Soul Gem, Strong Guy, Thanos, Thing, Thunderstrike, Vindicator (Heather Hudson), Wolverine, Wonder Man
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