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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Reader's Diary #1630- Jim Starlin (writer), George Perez and Ron Lim (artists): The Infinity Gauntlet

I'll admit being super excited for the Avengers: Infinity War movie coming out next year. (Even more so since the trailer leaked online.) In the meantime, I'm trying to familiarize myself with the stories that inspired the movie and perhaps no comic has done more so than The Infinity Gauntlet story line by Jim Starlin back in 1991.

Of course, the comics are far less caught up with character usage rights as the movies and so, stories will be far from a perfect match. Wolverine, Silver Surfer, Dr. Doom, and Cyclops for instance, are all in the comic but will definitely not appear in the movie as their rights are tangled up in Fox and Sony.

Furthermore, the MCU has yet to really unify its television and big screen properties. And as disappointed as it makes me, it's unlikely the television characters will join the Avengers in fighting Thanos next April. On that note, the comic does perhaps provide a clue as to how the movie will handle the fact that it would be rather weird that superheroes such as Daredevil, Cloak and Dagger, Quake, Black Bolt, and so on would be sitting on their thumbs. Early in the comic, Thanos simply wields his new awesome powers to blink half of the universe's life out of existence. (Later, Nebula returns everything to normal, so no lasting harm done.)

That was actually one of the more interesting plot lines in the collection and one that I think could have stood on its own. The impact of such an action should be huge and explored. We get hints here: pilots disappear causing planes to crash, Krees blame the Skrulls for tragedy and vow vengeance, and so on. Instead, however, the focus remains on Thanos.

Not a terrible problem, as he's a pretty interesting character, but the superheroes themselves though they are many remain pretty irrelevant throughout. You can bet that Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and the rest will NOT be irrelevant in the movie.

One reasonable concern in such a movie or book is whether or not it will feel bloated with such a giant cast. The comic handled handled it well by selecting a few for focus (besides Thanos, Warlock, Doctor Strange, and Silver Surfer get more page time), and I suspect the movie will just swap in the aforementioned big wigs. Though the rest will also be there in the perimeter and so, just as I don't think the comic was a good jumping on point for newcomers, the movie will assume a lot of familiarity with the MCU. It will be a fans-only affair for sure.

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