Infinity Gauntlet was an incredible crossover event whose effects can still be felt in comics and film today. It broke the mold in several ways and was a joy to read.
After wiping out half of life in the Universe, we watched the remaining heroes take down Thanos and return order to the Galaxy. It was packed with action, drama, suspense and more. I had no other choice than to give it a 9/10 and it currently stands as one of the highest reviewed Marvel Graphic Novels on my site.
But what happened after it and how were Thanos’ deeds felt throughout the cosmos?
Here to answer that is Infinity Gauntlet Aftermath. Featuring a range of crossover comics it tells the tale of the events that followed the Infinity Gauntlet storyline.
If you’re a follower of my reviews then you’ll know that I often dislike crossover comics due to their lack of impact on the main storyline and have criticised other books in the run because of this.
Can Aftermath break the mold and stand strong as its own piece or is it destined to forever live in the shadow of better work?
Let’s dive in and find out!
People are Strange
After saving the universe, Doctor Strange calls for celebration. Partying through the night in the opener, the introduction of the crossover comic feels like a huge sigh of relief and it’s a nice touch to see the characters from the Marvel Universe letting their hair down, even if it is short lived.
Ruining the fun, Gamora and Pip call on Strange to help find their ol’ buddy Adam Warlock and to kill him if he has been corrupted by the power of The Infinity Gems.
We arrive to find Warlock juggling planets in the vast darkness of space and instantly know that things have gone to his head. Battling back and forth with all the might of the Infinity Stones, the intro is a fantastically frantic story that definitely gets the book off to a flying start. I loved watching Warlock use each Gem in time and Strange only manages to best him by using one of them to show Warlock how bad the universe would become should he win. It’s a cerebral opener that highlights just how intelligent Strange is and it’s a smart move to have him outwit Warlock instead of taking him head on.
Taking place during the same time period, Silver Surfer faces a foe like no other. Tasked with returning a deadly virus to The Collector, this piece doesn’t really tie too heavily into Infinity Gauntlet and like the majority of the Surfer centric stories in this saga, feels like needless padding.
Perhaps it would stand well on its own but being billed as an Infinity Gauntlet tie-in feels like false advertising. The storyline is a great character study but in the end, it adds nothing to the overall mythology that you won’t have forgotten by the time you put down the book.
This is a shame as the Surfer has been a mainstay of the saga since the beginning but to have it not really even play on his mind in a stone centric storyline is a bad move. Instead, he fights his shadow self, Reptyl and a woman besotted with him who has recently been bestowed powers after a love ritual. It is badly written, doesn’t belong in this book detracts massively from the overall arc.
Adam Warlock and the Infinity Watch
By far the most interesting arc in Infinity Gauntlet Aftermath centres around Adam Warlock. Held on trial by the elders of The Universe he is deemed unfit to wield the Stones and cast out to find five worthy of their possession.
Picking Pip, Drax, Gamora and Moon Dragon is a questionable decision but the creative team give full explanation to Warlock’s choices and there is definitely some rationality behind it. This logic helps to elevate the story and it’s inclusion was necessary so that readers wouldn’t cringe at the fact that some of the Stones are held by those who at the time belonged on the Z-List.
Warlock keeps the Soul stone for himself and gifts the Reality one to Doctor Strange, but that doesn’t mean that they are safely guarded. Other nefarious beings wish to possess them and the finale of the story revolves around the new guardians of the gems and the lengths that they will have to go to protect them.
It’s a cool little arc and though it doesn’t quite match the size and scope of The Infinity Gauntlet it still feels like a climactic battle for the Universe’s most powerful objects.
Infinity Gauntlet Aftermath is not required reading. It adds little to the overall narrative and if you want to pick it up, expect it to have to break the bank. That doesn’t discount the fact that it’s fun and I highly recommend it for hardcore Marvel fans who just can’t get enough of seeing the Stones.
However, everyone else can skip straight to Infinity War without giving this a second thought and that’s why it gets a…