Writer: Jim Starlin
Artist: Alan Davis
Publisher: Marvel Comics
There is no doubt Jim Starlin will go down as one of the most iconic influences in all of comics. Even if you do not know his name you are most likely aware of some of his greatest creations as we are seeing the Infinity Gauntlet play out on the big screen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So it makes sense he is returning to the world he helped forge with The Infinity Entity #1.
This is a continuation of the story that started in Thanos: The Infinity Relativity, and as someone who has yet to read that story I was somewhat concerned the events in this book would be lost on me. In true Marvel fashion that lack of background knowledge has yet to impact my enjoyment of the book.
In large part that is due to the fact the main character, Adam Warlock, spends the majority of the book trying to piece together his completely fractured memory. His search brings him to Earth where he meets with a classic version of The Avengers. It is early on in the history of the team so much so its before the discovery of Captain America in ice. In true classic comic book fashion this encounter leads to battle between Warlock and The Avengers where Warlock reminds us of just how much power he wields—the standout moment being his ability to effortlessly lift Mjolnir to the surprise of a not very happy Thor. Unfortunately though this ends up being not much more than a glorified cameo appearance as Warlock quickly turns his attention elsewhere. With this sequence going as quickly as it came it does come off as rather meaningless—more of a cheap reason to put the Avengers on the cover rather than a way to tell a complete story.
Still there is something about Starlin’s writing that remains welcoming. Risking sounding cliché it is the type of style you simply do not see anymore. There are a lot of cosmic stories taking place in the current world of Marvel comics, but with few exceptions they are just normal Marvel stories with a setting that is not Earth. The way Brian Michael Bends writes X-Men is not much different than the way he approaches Guardians of the Galaxy.
On the other hand Starlin is not shy of making characters other worldly. They speak in an almost Shakespearean cadence and have personalities that are grandiose. Looking at characters like The Guardians of the Galaxy in past stories including the film they are made more relatable through sarcasm and humor. There is a lack of that here, which is a welcome change of pace. Even though The Guardians of the Galaxy make an appearance he does not force in jokes because the situation did not call for it. For those yearning for earnest comic book stories there is a lot to enjoy here.
This does read as comic that will read better in trade rather than in single issues. Beyond The Avengers cameo not a great deal occurs here. The story progression is minute at best, although to Starlin’s credit he does know how to leave on an intriguing cliffhanger. With this apparently being a weekly series I am foresee this being a continuous problem.
Credit should also go to artist Alan Davis who does a solid job balancing the look of this series so it is not too modern or too classic. Davis brings us in within the first few pages through a wonderfully rendered galaxy of tranquil beauty. Shortly thereafter he had what were my favorite pages as we witnessed the destruction and rebirth of Warlock. While this issue may have been disappointing in terms of story it was at least a joy to look at.