“Avengers vs. X-Men: Infinite” #6 offers readers a little more insight into the thoughts of one of the Phoenix Five. Cyclops the First, as he calls himself in this story, takes center stage and through dialog boxes (and a surprise embodiment of his power) reveals his inner thoughts regarding the Phoenix Force and his interaction with it.
This is a fairly quiet story — an interesting contrast to the first Infinite Comic that featured Nova, but largely dependent on many of the same transitions and story devices. Mark Waid delivers the script over a story he has co-written with the artist known as Balak. Balak, in-turn, provides breakdowns for artist Carlo Barberi. The collaboration between these three, colorist Marte Gracia and letterer Chris Eliopoulos comes together as an entertaining story that demands to be studied, analyzed, enjoyed and shared.
Barberi’s work is not as cartoony as some might recall from his work on “Justice League Unlimited” or other titles in his artistic history. Largely set on the moon, the backgrounds are fairly generic, save for when they absolutely serve the story. In those instances, Barberi delivers details and intricacies that are worthy of any print comic. Gracia’s color work is impressive, contributing patterns, halos and textures to order. The artwork drives the story and wonderfully blends with the capabilities of the Infinite Comic. My sole gripe with the artwork is that I do not comprehend how Cyclops can see out his visor, but given his Phoenix-augmented abilities, I’m not sure the physics of “normal” sight apply.
Some of the “action” or “transitions” in the scenes remind me of lenticular baseball cards I used to have when I was a kid. This is especially so in the couple of occasions when Cyclops turns his head. It’s a neat effect, much smoother than those trading cards of my youth, and much more natural than similar effects executed in motion comics. Summoning that memory, however, does encourage a more sentimental appreciation of the story, which in and of itself is filled with emotion.
All in all, I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen in the Infinite Comics. The stories themselves have been interesting, even though both offerings have featured characters I have never considered “favorites” of mine. Mark Waid, I’m convinced, could interest me in any character ever created and the razzle-dazzle of the Infinite Comic concept is enough to grab my attention. Hopefully, Marvel continues their wonderful streak with these Infinite offerings.