Comic Vine Review

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Infinity #4 - Thane Review

5

The Council enacts protocols of surrender while Black Bolt unleashes the Inhumans’ ultimate weapon.

The Good

There have been a lot of little plot points that have either been unanswered or seemingly brushed aside and one of the biggest is what, exactly, Maximus’ device is actually for. That may have been the most burning, unanswered question in this series for me. Well, Jonathan Hickman has answered that question, and it’s one helluvan answer. We also get our first glance at Thane, the son of Thanos and one of the main reasons that Thanos decided to come to Earth after the Avengers left. While all this is going on, Thor is sent to negotiate the terms of surrender with the Builders, because when you think diplomat, you think the drunkest, rowdiest Avenger. So yes, there is definitely something else going on. The writing in this book remains absolutely top-notch, balancing great characterization with absolutely top-notch action. A complaint I’ve seen is that the characters aren’t really developing, but I’ve never thought an event like this is for “development” as much as it is “solidifying.” Despite the vast, far-reaching cast, every character is written as they should be and it’s especially great seeing Captain America’s mind used tactically from somewhere besides the front line. It’s like when creators remember that Spider-Man has a genius-level intellect or that Batman is an amazing detective: something not everyone does, but everyone should.

Jerome Opeña and Dustin Weaver’s art is, as always, top-notch and with Justin Ponsor coloring both, the tone and styles meld to the point that I hardly noticed the shift. Maintaining pace and tone is absolutely critical for an issue and that is certainly the case here. But more than maintaining, the art is clean and eye-catching, when action occurs (which, again, is not terribly often), it has a bone-shaking impact, particularly as Black Bolt and Thanos square off, and the dialog scenes are well blocked, with the characters’ body language communicating as much as their words. Something that doesn’t often get praised enough are truly great backgrounds. It’s one of the most frequently cut corners, but that is never the case here and it gives every panel a great sense of place and context.

The Bad

A very specific character’s fate is left very, very vague, seemingly intentionally so, but it also seems like a somewhat blatant misdirect. I could be wrong about this, and I actually hope I am, but it stuck out to me. We’re still not sure exactly WHY Thanos wants his son dead so badly as it seems to transcend his normal lust for killing. It’s fine that not everything has been explicitly spelled out, but even a hint or inkling would be nice.

The Verdict

Infinity remains an absolutely top-notch event book, one that’s easy to pick up on its own, but becomes richer the more side-titles you read. The core book stands perfectly, though, and should be an example to all future “event” books. This issue also retains a trend that I’ve very much enjoyed in that the tide begins to turn against the antagonist gradually, so the book’s finale seems less pulled from out of nowhere or reliant on a deus ex machina to snap its fingers and make everything okay again. The pacing is amazing, the plotlines are skillfully juggled, and the characters are riveting. Add to that the sharp, intense art and you’ve got one great issue of a spectacular event.

48 Comments
Posted by Wolverine08

HYPED!

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Posted by EnigmaLantern

The first issue really killed it for me and I dropped it, but seeing the current reviews for the issues following that, I'm highly considering getting the TPB when it comes out (when does it actually come out?).

By the way, @undeadpool your review was "top-notch".

Edited by Patera_All

Great point about how satisfying it can be when a writer pays homage to specific character traits, and its something i love about Hickman. There were some great scenes in his F4/FF run where Pete was in costume at the Baxter Building, discussing science with Reed, while an entire classroom full of students were kinda going "when did Spiderman learn so much about science?!" I remember cracking up over it.

Posted by Rick475069

Loved the fight between Thanos and Black bolt. Although one sided it was. Black Bolt practically told Thanos to go f*ck himself in only a way he can. Thanos took multiple screams at point blank range. Dude is a tough m/f.

Posted by Cap10nate

Absolutely loved this issue. If this story ends strong, it could be one of the best that I have read in a long time. I agree that it is great that they are having some tactical victories and it isn't so dire that it takes dues ex machina to let the heroes win. That's the one thing that let me down about the infinity gauntlet. They won because Thanos forgot he needed a physical body to protect the gauntlet from being removed, and so many stories have a similar caveat that allows the heroes to be victorious. I hope that doesn't happen with Infinity.

As I have not been following the Inhumans in recent times, could someone tell me why Attilan is floating above Manhattan? Was everyone aware that it was there or was it hidden in some way?

Posted by deadpool25mm

Cant wait to pick this up! this event is awesome!

Posted by GreenScar1990

@rick475069:

I also enjoyed that conflict. But you got to admit, Thanos didn't walk away completely unscathed in this fight if you take in how he was bleeding and had tiny bits of flesh torn away from his body. The fight also made me wonder if that's what happened to Black Bolt during World War Hulk (technically Skrull-Bolt, but it had the same powers and abilities as the real Black Bolt). The problem is that Black Bolt, unlike say Hulk or Thor, doesn't have the overall physical power to challenge Thanos directly, thus he resorts to his most potent weapon which is his scream.

Edited by Kerrigan

Think this was my favorite Infinity issue yet. Thor's speech at the end was just awesome.

Posted by willforthrill

I agree that this issue was awesome. The battle between Thanos and Black Bolt was epic and Thor is, well, Thor is Thor. I have never been a big fan of the Inhumans, but this issue pretty much revealed what Inhumanity is going to be and I am actually intrigued. I am also enthralled with the mystery surrounding Thane.

However, if you haven't been reading New Avengers and especially Avengers, I don't see how the story told within the pages of Infinity would be coherent. Last issue of Infinity, the Avengers had pulled off a victory against the Builders but in this issue, they are negotiating surrender. Jonathan Hickman is a very dense writer and I know from jumping onto Fantastic Four at the beginning of Three, you can't be missing anything that he writes.

Posted by Disipha

The review states there's intrigue surrounding Thanos' strong desire to kill Thane. If you read the excerpt that talks about him one might think he wants to kill him just as Thanos' mother wanted to kill him in Thanos Rising.

Posted by ShadowSwordmaster

I can not wait to see what else this event has to offer.

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Posted by WaveMotionCannon

Love this book. I haven't read a book with so many wow or fist pump moments since GL 20.

Edited by timelord

I disagree that you can just read this book on its own and be fine. I feel like it rushes through the different scenes to fast. That's why the Tie ins are good they slow it down so everything makes a lot more sense.

But good review I am enjoying this event only two more issues to go.

Posted by Novemberx2

how does making a select few normal humans in inhumans differ from the ideas of mutants? seriously are marvel about dedicate another six months highlighting the stupidity behinds the uncanny avengers and x-mens quest for peace?

Edited by Novemberx2

@rick475069: Thanos is too beat, even Squirrel Girl could do it. Marvel used to threat Thanos like a joke villain before the Avengers Movie

Posted by pauatt

Great issue. Loved seeing that hammer sized hole in the Builder's chest. Heheh

Posted by New_World_Order

This was a great issue, and I loved the fight between Black Bolt and Thanos. I never knew Thanos would be so durable, to take multiple screams from Black Bolt and still stand without difficulty. Although Black Bolt did give some pretty decent damage to him. We got to see a diplomatic Thor, and Captain America living up to his leadee like name.As much as I love Thor, that pimp slap the Builder gave him, made me LOL. Thor throwing Mjolnir to the sun also shows off his vast strength. ( battle fourm feat :p ) I would give this issue a 4/5.

Edited by Mxyzptlk_CV

The earth part of the stroy is being treated well by Hickmann...The space part not so much...The most ancient race in the universe gets outsmarted by cap in 2 issues straight...It would be better if all of them came together with the plan

Posted by Ando123

I loved this issue I wanna read it all NOW¡

Posted by saoakden

So Thane is in this issue? Thane made an appearance in Avengers Alliance as playable character and his role in the current Special Operations gave me an idea why Thanos was targeting Earth. I am curious about how Thane interacts with the other characters.

Posted by HumanRocket

Wow Thor that's all I got to say. This is the first issue that I actually did enjoy the back and forth from earth to space. And I can kinda see how things are going to shape up after this series ends with the inhumans.

Posted by Praetor_fenix

I love the way everyone's been potraying Thor since Fear Itself, he's a proud hipercompetent warrior that's also a natural born leader and has a very keen mind and a compassionate spirit, he really should never play second fiddle to anybody he's the real deal. I hated when somebody would just use it as a brute with a big hammer.

Posted by Protoflash

I was really hanging onto this event like a thread, but this issue has me back into it. Just because we FINALLY get to see some freaking action. I hate to sound stupid or uneducated, but im really sick and tired of all of the big words in this book. I feel like im trying to read shakespeare instead of the big marvel event. But the art is fantastic so I stay on it.

Edited by RageEx2

Easily my favorite Marvel event, and this was the best issue of Infinity by far.

Posted by ThorBoy

Thor! I knew it was going to happen, I wanted it to happen soooo bad, and my GOD did it deliver! Huge smile plastered on my face!

Posted by SavageDragon

This has been the BEST EVENT in ages. Seriously this issue rocked so hard. I loved it. Literally yelled out Holy S*** at the last part with the Builder and fist pumped at the very end. Phenomenal story, Im serious when I say I think this blows any other event in the past 10 years out of the water, I hope it can finish big.

Posted by cameron83

This event is awesome

Posted by frozenedge

@novemberx2: to be fair, Squirrel Girl and Tippy-Toe together are an unstoppable duo

Posted by cameron83

Seriously,this event is.....stellar.

I mean,everything about it....

It's been amazing so far and,as said before multiple times,a real comeback for Marvel.

Posted by cameron83

Also,I agree with this review....except for the bad part...great review.

Edited by Eivion

@rick475069: Sort of. Thanos is kind of technically immortal at the moment, something that actually pisses him off quite a bit as he is literally in love with Death and she is the one who made him that way. He actually has died before.

Posted by cameron83

@rick475069: To be fair,he is one of the most powerful beings in the galaxy.

Posted by sparty-dbq

The lesson in this issue: Don't. Smack. Thor.

Posted by LiveForever

@rageex2 said:

Easily my favorite Marvel event, and this was the best issue of Infinity by far.

Yep. Outstanding stuff. This coming from a guy who really wasn't too hot on Hickman's (regular) Avengers title until the Infinity preludes. New Avengers has kicked ass from the start though.

This event has just been PACKED with epic stuff. I am LOVING it.

Posted by cameron83

The lesson in this issue: Don't. Smack. Thor.

Or he will f*ck you up.

Posted by Cavemold

Really Loved this issue.

Posted by CombatSpoon86

I can definitely say this is no ordinary marvel event that we've been getting for the last how many yrs. Great issue.

Posted by manwithoutshame

Very cool, can't wait for a collected edition of this glorious event.

Posted by JLDoom

Wow, what an utterly fantastic issue. There's nothing I can say that someone hasn't said before. Hopefully we get a great ending to complete this potential masterpiece!

Edited by The_Titan_Lord

Really awesome issue. I really have so much respect for BB after reading this. A fantastic issue.

Posted by kcjr

This was a great issue, and this has been a great event. My only problem is the Thanos half of the story is beginning to look like just a lead-in to Inhumanity.

I love Cap saying he was positive he sent his best negotiator, and at the end smiling saying they were going to win.

Posted by TheFirstLantern

Man, BB got owned. I will get this in hardcover for sure.

Posted by Owie

I thought this was better than the last issue or two (among all the tie-ins etc). More stuff happened.

Although I was a little underwhelmed by the hammer's results. I wanted a headshot, I think that would have been more visually spectacular. Or something that really blew him to a pure pile of goo. There was no reason for the hammer to go all the way to the sun and seemingly get energy from the sun as it did so, in terms of its ultimate effect on the Builder.

Posted by Zumafire

HOLY Sh**! Just read this. This is definitely the best event since Civil War. Captain America freaking owns it.. Oh and that battle between Black Bolt and Thanos.. oh man!!

And then Mutha F'ing Thor!!

Seriously people Hickman and friends are killing it! I'm at a complete loss on the fans that do not like this story. I guess you guys can just wait for the next Hawkeye.. or something.

Posted by hippiehop

I haven't been able to get into this crossover, or Hickman's Avengers for that matter. It seems like he has so many "big" ideas that he has lost sight of "the little guy." To me the problem is not that there isn't character "development," it's that the characters are treated more as ciphers or symbols and don't really seem "real" to me.

This issue changed that. I was not exactly anxious for "action" but I was pleased to see some individual battles as opposed to those big "epic" crossover fights where each character gets a panel or two. But it was the personalities that made these battles really interesting to me, and the way Thor and Black Bolt used their brains as much as their brawn. That's the type of thing I loved about Hickman's FF run that to me has been missing from this crossover and the Avengers book in general.