Grew up reading comic books in the 90's. Marvel fan at heart. Hulk, the Midnight Sons, and Marvel's cosmic universe are my favorites.
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Comic book legend Jim Starlin returns to Marvel with a four issue mini series titled The Infinity Entity. ComiConverse contributor Mitch Nissen is here with a look at the complete mini series.
Adam Warlock is changing.
But changing into what, only Jim Starlin knows.
Over the span of the last five weeks Marvel Comics released all four issues of the mini series The Infinity Entity, which itself is a piece of a larger story three years in the making, a story possibly coming to a close this week in comic shops everywhere.
For those unfamiliar with the work of Jim Starlin, he has done more for the cosmic characters of the Marvel universe than anyone save for Stan Lee or Jack Kirby. In 1973 Starlin created the character of Thanos and wrote the defining arc for Captain Marvel, which pitted the two characters against one another. In 1975 he wrote a truly imaginative and wild sequel to the Thanos story utilizing the Infinity Gems for the first time and defining the character of Adam Warlock. Then in 1991 he wrote the Infinity Gauntlet.
That’s only a small sample of Jim Starlin’s work. He has revisited the characters of Thanos and Adam Warlock many times since the Infinity Gauntlet and remains their primary architect. Starlin has written two Thanos/Warlock trilogies, the first consisting of the Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War, and Infinity Crusade. The second comprised the Infinity Abyss, Marvel: The End, and Thanos: Redemption the second half of which (written by Keith Giffen) ultimately lead into the Annihilation event.
The Story so Far
Spoilers are ahead so tread carefully.
In July of 2014 Marvel released the one-shot Thanos Annual by Jim Starlin and Ron Lim. The story took place immediately after Thanos’s first defeat at the hands of Captain Marvel featuring the mad Titan’s first encounter with Mephisto and even a meeting with Thanos’ future self in possession of the Infinity Gauntlet.
Little did we know that the Thanos Annual was actually a prelude to Starlin’s third Thanos/Warlock trilogy. A month after the Thanos Annual, Marvel released an original graphic novel titled Thanos: The Infinity Revelation. In this story two parallel universes converged, one of them ultimately meeting its end. Thanoses and Adam Warlocks from both realities witnessed the event, the alternate reality’s Thanos meeting his end and the Adam Warlock from our reality vanishing as well.
In 2015 Starlin began the second part with a four issue mini series titled Thanos vs. Hulk in which the tyrant Annihilus stole much of Hulk’s power. This mini series was a prelude to the second original graphic novel titled Thanos: The Infinity Relativity. In this story Thanos sets out to stop Annihilus from using his newfound power to destroy our universe. Meanwhile the Adam Warlock from the parallel universe, who is now in our universe, discovers he has nigh unlimited power. Annihilus captures Warlock in hopes of stealing his new found power and defeats Thanos by trapping him in a realm of nothingness. Thanos is forced to escape the realm in the only way left open to him: death.
An Entity Infinite
The Infinity Entity is a four part mini series acting as the prelude to the third original graphic novel dropping in stores this week titled Thanos: The Infinity Finale. In Infinity Entity, Adam Warlock finally learns the extent of his power and what he has become. Warlock’s memory is incomplete. He learns he can travel to any point in time, encountering the original Avengers by accident. He learns that nearly any feat of strength or thought concept is achievable by his simplest wish.
Traveling into the future Warlock discovers nothingness, that there is no future. The cosmic abstracts Eternity, Infinity, the In-Betweener, and more confront Warlock, telling him the end of everything is quickly approaching. And that Warlock himself is the cause of it. Eternity explains to Warlock that nothing is beyond Adam’s power to do. When Warlock’s universe died, in Infinity Revelation, that entire reality, the beings and universes within, became Warlock and Warlock became it. Adam went from being a singular entity to being an infinite entity.
Warlock’s memory returns. He sets about discovering how the universe will end by his hand and follows the chain of events back to where we last saw him in Infinity Relativity, a helpless captive of Annihilus. Warlock discovers his body is still captured by Annihilus and only that his mind has been allowed to wander. He then discovers the grand manipulator behind it all, a player we readers haven’t seen since the Thanos Annual: Mephisto.
Everything comes full circle by the end of Infinity Entity tying back to the events of the Thanos Annual and Infinity Revelation. Starlin brings in all the elements of the stories he’s crafted over the course of three years. This mini series ties everything together and sets the stage for the forthcoming original graphic novel. The entertainment and excitement has grown with each chapter of this story, from one successive graphic novel to the next.
Ron Lim contributed the pencils for the Thanos Annual while Jim Starlin himself penciled Infinity Revelation, Thanos vs Hulk, and Infinity Relativity. Here with Infinity Entity, artist Alan Davis lends his talents and the results are gorgeous. Davis delivers top notch artwork and beautifully represents the characters. His artwork, while not as detailed as Starlin’s is in keeping with the style and esthetics of Starlin and Lim’s previous works in the overall story. In short, the look of this book is great, similar to the books preceding it.
A word of caution though.
One does not simply walk into the cosmos. The Infinity Entity is a bridge between Relativity and Finale. In that respect Entity functions amazingly. However, it is not a stand alone story. It also deals with seldom used characters, abstract esoteric concepts, and draws on entire histories of characters.
The iteration of the original Avengers for example, both in art and writing depiction, reflects the actual comics from 1963, not necessarily the characters as we’ve come to know them today. Starlin’s stories from the 1970’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s are referenced along with stories by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. This is a tale steeped in continuity, the further in which you delve the greater the enjoyment you’ll derive.
If you’re new to the characters and concepts that comprise Adam Warlock and Thanos, do not be afraid. Seek out the other stories, and not just the ones comprising this epic. Marvel is releasing nearly all of Warlock and Thanos’ stories in trade paperback collections.
Discover these wonderful characters for yourself and see a side of Marvel you never knew existed.
Mitch Nissen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @NinjaMitche.
In this bridging story between Thanos: The Infinity Relativity and Thanos: The Infinity Finale, Adam Warlock discovers that the universe has no future and what’s more that he is the cause of it all. Jim Starlin and Alan Davis deliver a truly cosmic story rich in continuity and Marvel history. Travel carefully for this is the deep end of the Marvel Universe.