Issue(s): Quasar #39
Note that Thanos knows of no entity that has used the Nullifier without being nullified themselves. Does that mean that he knows of people that have used the Nullifier? That alone is interesting.
I don't normally do this, but here is the same scene from Infinity War #4. Both scans follow from Thanos asking, "How steely is your resolve, Quasar?".
I assume the repeated dialogue was written by Starlin. There is a lot of repeated dialogue in the tie-ins, but Starlin doesn't ever get any kind of acknowledgement in the credits. I'm not saying that he's getting disrespected or anything; just noting how these sorts of crossovers work.
I really love how Ron Lim added a couple of panels to show time passing, as Quasar weighs the implication of taking the Ultimate Nullifier. It emphasizes the gravity of the moment. Obviously for a tie-in there are different considerations, so i don't fault Steve Lightle or Mark Gruenwald for not including those panels; it just gives me an opportunity to consider Lim's craft. I also love Thanos' grin as he walks away in the Infinity War scene; it's absent from the Quasar issue.
But what i really wanted to focus on was the dialogue. In addition to the stuff that came directly from the Infinity War book, we obviously have the huge honking thought bubbles from both Thanos and Quasar. As i said, what Thanos thinks about is intriguing from the perspective of the history of the Ultimate Nullifier. But in another sense it's clutter, because the audience will learn the same vague information (and nothing further) from Epoch at the end of this issue.
The other bit of added dialogue comes right after Quasar's "Finely tempered" line. This is a subtle thing, i guess, and maybe it's more subjective. But the flow of the dialogue in Infinity War is succinct and (to me) natural. The menace and danger is understood. Thanos' "We shall see" is unnecessarily redundant. And "The Ultimate Nullifier is yours", even more so. That's cheesy dramatic villain talk. This isn't a particularly bad instance. But i often say that there's something hard to pinpoint about why Mark Gruenwald, who has good plot ideas, still produced stories that come across as being too corny compared to, say, a Roger Stern. I've always just assumed he didn't have a knack for natural dialogue. But this seems to show that it's a little more than that, because in this case he already has some perfectly fine (i would say "good") dialogue, and his instinct is to add to it instead of just leaving it alone. I guess this is similar to the verbosity of Roy Thomas. Gruenwald wants to make everything clear from the script alone, instead of letting the art and the weight of the scene itself (i.e. the plot) do the work.
Anyway, if you just read the core Infinity War series, you'd think that Thanos handed Quasar the Nullifier in issue #4 and then Quasar was deployed to use it in #5. But this issue shows that immediately after getting the Nullifier, Quasar sequestered himself in a quantum bubble to get information about it from Epoch.
And since Epoch doesn't have any information, they both teleport away to a planet with a big library on it to do more research. I am not making this up.
Getting there is a minor development for Quasar. In the past he's avoided teleporting while on a planet because of the possible effect on the people around him. But Quasar now figures out that he can safely teleport as long as he's in a bubble.
Quasar then has to navigate the library's bureaucracy.
When they get into the library, Epoch starts researching. But Quasar is attacked by Deathurge, since Deathurge is an agent of Oblivion, who has a natural interest in the Ultimate Nullifier.
Deathurge's "costume" has gotten busier. He's got the collar now, and some more starch in his cape, and the eyebrow things. I liked his simpler look better.
I also love Epoch's line. "Go ahead, Quasar. We've got to fill some pages, so you might as well fight him."
It's not exactly clear what the fight is about. You'd think Oblivion would be happy for people to go around nullifying things. The contention seems to be that Quasar has to be willing to submit himself to Oblivion and recognize that what he is doing is suicidal.
Deathurge will subsequently says that he's trying to help Quasar complete his "journey into inner darkness".
Deathurge obviously didn't attack Mr. Fantastic when he threatened to use the Ultimate Nullifier on Galactus. Maybe because Mr. Fantastic was only bluffing?
Getting beheaded doesn't stop Deathurge. But he eventually leaves, saying that he'll see Quasar again after he uses the device.
As i noted above, the information that Epoch has gathered during his research doesn't amount to much.
Two subplots in in this series begin to dovetail in this issue. We saw Kayla get disintegrated last issue. This issue H.D. is stranded on planet Scadam, which the Black Fleet is attacking. Note H.D. saying that she's not without her own resources. But then Kayla returns, pulling her body together.
Meanwhile, Her and Makkari return to the Mourners to tell them that the situation with the Kree souls is resolved. And they decide to stay with the Mourners for a while. The Mourners' next place to visit happens to be Scadam.
Her is upset that the Mourners don't do anything to try to stop the deaths that they mourn, and she flies out to try to stop the Black Fleet.
Finally, a continuation of my Quasar vs. Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) griping. Someone writes in noting that Thor was able to control Living Lightning during Operation: Galactic Storm and asks if therefore Quasar could do the same to Captain Marvel "when she's in light form". The response is "very probably". Who is too powerful, again?
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place during Infinity War #5, before Quasar leaves to use the Ultimate Nullifier on Magus. Quasar #40 also takes place during Infinity War #5, but later in the issue. So i'll cover it in a separate entry.
Crossover: Infinity War
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAngel, Captain America, Colossus, Cyclops, Deathurge, Drax the Destroyer, Epoch, Erishkigal, Fath, Havok, Hercules, Hulk, Human Torch, Iceman, Invisible Woman, Jean Grey, Kayla Ballantine, Kismet (Her), Makkari, Moondragon, Nova (Frankie Raye), Nova (Rich Rider), Professor X, Psylocke, Quasar, Rogue, Sasquatch, She-Hulk, Silver Surfer, Storm, Strong Guy, Thanos, Thing, Thunderstrike, Vindicator (Heather Hudson), Vision, Wolverine, Wonder Man
Excellent analysis on Starlin vs. Gruenwald. I feel like that style, of letting the art tell the story through silent panels and facial expressions, was something I especially appreciated in Infinity Gauntlet, but might not have been able to articulate.
Posted by: Andrew F | April 9, 2016 12:12 AM
Deathurge claims in this story that his weapons are powerless unless his target gives them power over him. Which is weird, since he's previously attempted to use them against Monica Rambeau, the Watcher and Doctor Strange. Was he hoping that they were feeling suicidal at the moment?
Posted by: Michael | April 15, 2016 9:58 PM
This was clearly written to take place prior to Infinity War 5
But most important Quasar says at the end he has to figure out the activation sequence, drop his protective dome, and then ask Thanos where he wants the nullifier aimed. And Thanos tells him. At the beginning of IW #5
Posted by: fragsel | February 1, 2018 3:10 AM
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