And here we are. The Main Event. The Infinity Gauntlet. This blog directly follows 72: Infinite Gauntlet Prep: Meet Thanos and Adam Warlock and 75: Infinity Gauntlet Prep (Silver Surfer).
The Infinity Gaunlet # 1: It Begins
Writer - Jim Starlin
Pencils - George Perez
Exhausted after the battle with the Golem version of Thanos on the moon, the Silver Surfer crashes into Dr. Strange's sanctum.
Meanwhile, Thanos is still being spurned by Lady Death.
To honor Death, Thanos builds a temple in her honor, but unfortunately it still isn't enough to impress her. Eventually Thanos realizes that he has been so foolish! Death brought him back to life for one purpose, and one purpose only (as covered in 75: Infinity Gauntlet Prep (Silver Surfer).) To bring balance to the universe and kill half of all sentient life.
And with the snap of his fingers, half of all life ceases to exist.
Spider=Man watches as half of a New York City block blinks out of existence.
Captain America is shocked as two of his fellow Avengers disappear.
This Hulk issue is primarily focused with showing us the disappearances from the ground level with Hulk, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange struggling in the aftermath of so much death.
The Silver Surfer is so distraught at his failure that he becomes catatonic. In typical super hero fashion, Dr. Strange has to fight him to snap him out of it. He continues to show him alternate realities where his lack of trying creates catastrophic scenarios and eventually he agrees to help again.
In his effort to rally forces to his cause, the Silver Surfer shows Galactus' current herald and former girlfriend, Nova, how to be a better person. He takes her back into time to look upon earth as it was primitive to prove to her that she shouldn't be letting Galactus destroy worlds with primitive life.
This issue is barely a crossover, but it does show a few missing characters.
A few things happen here. Firelord is on Titan with Drax when we see Mentor (Thanos' father) disappear along with half of the universe. Thanos kidnaps his brother Eros and begins torturing him for his own amusement. Dr. Strange gathers Firelord and Drax to fight the good fight.
Infinity Gauntlet # 2: Playing with Fire
Writer - Jim Starlin
Pencils - George Perez
Adam Warlock comes to Dr. Strange and merges with his soul, convincing DS that Warlock should be the one to lead them against Thanos.
Eros comes to face to face with his brother.
here's a blurry list of all the dead heroes.
Odin rallies all of the Gods together to fight Thanos, however we don't really see any of them again after this.
Dr. Doom shows up, claiming to want to help.
Eventually Adam Warlock and Pip the Troll show up. Gamora would come too, but she was one of the 50% that disappeared.
Thanos continues to torture his brother Eros and grandaughter Nebula but Death is not amused.
Thanos gets super pissed that Death is still spurning him and throws a tantrum. This tantrum destroys a quarter of the universe and throw the earth off it's axis, causing cataclysmic reactions.
We see a giant tidal wave approaching New Jersey beach and Namorita saves a few people.
While Doom bickers with the heroes, Dr. Strange steps outside to find his wife Clea and fights the Silver Dagger.
A rogue military sect of the Kree Empire builds a fake SS to help them overthrough the Kree Empire.
More panic in the streets in Hulk #385.
Moondragon (who will later become a guardian of an Infinity Stone and member of Infinity Watch) is traveling with Quasar (who she apparently loves). Quasar's cosmic benefactor, Eon dies, and is replaced by his son Epoch.
Thanos crashes Eon's funeral and causes his dead body to multiply into Earth's dimension. A who's who of cool 90's heroes chip in to help out including Darkhawk, Deathlok, Moon Knight, and Sleepwalker. (All of of which I have done a little reading of lately since they were kewl characters that I never really read).
Spider-Man almost dies and is claimed by Thanos and Death, but of course he perseveres.
The Rhino sees the end of the world as an opportune time to free animals in the zoo until an overqualified Silver Surfer stops him.
Infinity Gauntlet # 3: Heroes Assemble
Writer - Jim Starling
Pencils - George Perez
The big 4 (Warlock, DS, SS, and Dr. Doom) show up to recruit the Avengers.
Dr. Strange continues to teleport every hero who is still alive and cool enough to appear in this crossover event.
Of course Doom proposes that he should lead them all, but it doesn't work. DS vouches for AW and so they all follow Warlock.
AW and SS go to recruit all of the Cosmic entities. The Living Tribunal says he is above this matter, and Galactus is a dick, but everyone else agrees to help when the time is right.
Galactus tries to kill Warlock, but then agrees to help after failing.
The idea is planted that Thanos has always been his own worse enemy. In the past, he has allowed himself to be beaten.
The Watcher shows up above Death's monument, signaling that the fighting is about to begin.
In a cool scene, Hulk is skulking off by himself until Wolverine goes and keeps him company. Hulk admits that he actually really likes him. For the most part they get Wolverine right, except that they have him smoking a cigarette instead of a cigar.
Warlock tells them that he will need the two of them because they are the only two who are cold blooded killers, and that's what they day will need.
Thanos, while throwing a tantrum, creates his own girlfriend, Terraxia, to help him make Death jelly.
Battle's coming soon...
Here we go...
Infinity Gauntlet # 4: Battle Begins
Starlin and Perez.
Thor, Iron Man, Namor, and Firelord start off with a very strong attack.
Thanos stops them all in their tracks, easily disposing of them.
Mephisto convinces Thanos that it may impress Death more if he actually has a chance at losing. Thanos turns off all of his powers except for for the power gem. This would allow him to stay all powerful (omnipotent), but not necessarily all knowing (omniscient) or ever present (omnipresent). Eros is in shock that Mephisto actually helped convince Thanos to give the heroes a chance to defeat him.
"Dadddd, I want to be with my friends." and Warlock's like "You'll understand when you're a grown up." This is where Adam Warlock starts to get major sus.
As a kid I was fascinated by the creative ways that Thanos started dispatching of the various heroes. Here he touches Namor and She-Hulk and in that spot a fur starts to grow on their skin.
Eventually the fur material consumes them until they are no more.
As Thor is starting to have success, Doom of course tries to make his move and take the Gauntlet for himself.
Wolverine has his Adamantium bones transformed to Rubber.
Cyclops' head is encased in a sphere, asphyxiating him. Vision tries to sneak up on him, but has his circuits ripped out.
Firelord and Drax are sent back in time.
Terraxia rips out Spider-Man's heart and pulls off Iron Man's head.
The last man standing is Captain America. One thing Starlin really excels at is the build up to exciting scenes. SS is dying to get in there and fight and Warlock finally set him loose, allowing him to save Thanos.
I'm not sure if this was Warlock's plan or not, but SS misses his opportunity to steal the Gauntlet. Captain America is killed and it gets worse from here.
Thanos decides that there's no more messing around. He restores himself back to full power. Ut oh.
With the Silver Surfer's failure, it's now time to up the stakes. All of the Cosmic Beings show up to slap Thanos around.
Coping with Failure
Dr. Strange # 33
Thanos deals with DS by sending him and Clea back in time.
Silver Surfer # 55 - 58
This Silver Surfer arc is one of the best arcs I've ever read. Essentially, the Silver Surfer lives one eternal life seeing what it would have been like serving as Thanos's slave. This shows what it would have been like with Thanos in charge for millions of years and the Surfer constantly forced to remember his failure and serve Thanos. At the end, he wakes up and only a moment has passed up, but it was pretty great.
Dr. Strange # 34
Warlock gives Dr. Strange a mission to find as many displaced heroes as he can. Dr. Doom's followers bring him back. Thor had been turned to glass, but his remains were turned back to Thor in Asgard. Drax and Firelord were retrieved from the past. This plays directly into the next Infinity Gauntlet.
Infinity Gauntlet # 5: Cosmic Assistance
All the cosmic entities, including Death and Mephisto, turn on Thanos and attack him at once. Man, what a betrayal. I can't believe Lady Death joined in too. She really HATES him. You almost feel bad for him. You can't be surprised at Mephisto. The Watcher is noticeably absent.
The cosmic entities fail.
Eternity, the embodiment of the universe itself, shows up to defeat Thanos. Spoiler, he loses!
Thanos becomes the universe itself. Then something unexpected happens...
When Thanos ascended, his body was left unattended with the Infinity Gauntlet. Nebula nabbed it and now she is the new threat.
Warlock calls out Thanos for secretly allowing himself to be beaten. Warlock reminds Thanos that through the Soul Gem, Warlocks knows him better than he knows himself, and this gets him to listen.
The backup heroes (the ones gathered by Dr. Strange) are called in, but are quickly dispatched by Nebula.
Thanos partners with Warlock, Strange, and Silver Surfer to defeat Nebula. Notice though that Nebula doesn't seem to sense Warlock.
Thanos vs. The Silver Surfer
Before they attack Nebula, we see that the Silver Surfer and Thanos can't get along. They eventually agree to a duel, in which Thanos technically wins.
Infinity Gauntlet # 6: Dealing with Nebula
Nebula decides to undo everything Thanos did within the last 24 hours! And trust me, she really didn't think this through for herself.
For starters, she forgot that 24 hours ago she was a burned husk.
Everyone blinks back into existence, so that's cool. People don't stay dead for 5 years like in the movies. This event is pretty much wiped away and has no permanent repercussions outside of the cosmic characters (Thanos, Warlock, Silver Surfer, etc.)
Nebula also forgot that all of the cosmic beings had been beaten and controlled by Thanos, but since she out did everything, now she has to fight them herself. Only this time, she hasn't had as much time to acclimate to the new power.
Eventually the attack works.
The gauntlet comes off.
The race begins.
Will it be Eros who gets the gauntlet? Thor? Thanos again? These panels actually went on for a long time but I only choose one to give you the idea.
It's Warlock who nabs the Gauntlet. We should have seen that coming.
This leaves everyone else looking around, suddenly very nervous. Wait a second, Warlock has been the one calling the shots, saying he had a plan from the beginning. Now he has the power and he isn't giving it up, he's just promising to do right by it. Ut oh.
Warlock, Pip, and Gamora pay Thanos a visit. He retired at a farm.
Pip and Gamora are shocked that Adam is going to let Thanos live a life of solitude.
In Dr. Strange # 36, DS tries to reason with Adam Warlock the God, but it doesn't go well. They end up doing battle and obviously Warlock wins. This plants the seeds that there are deep concerns about Warlock being God, but no one can really do anything and for now, he doesn't anything too messed up yet...
Next up, we'll see what Wolverine has been up in the first Issues of his Solo Series in 82: Wolverine Solo Series.
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