“Infinity: Heist” #1 opens with “Earth’s mightiest heroes have left to face a great evil among the stars, but great evil remains on the planet Earth as well…” Except with co-stars Blizzard, Whirlwind, Unicorn, Whiplash, Firebrand and Spymaster, this issue doesn’t really depict anything I would accept as being described as “great evil.” The cast and the atmosphere in this comic are much more in line with “The Superior Foes of Spider-Man” although the plot device of the Avengers leaving Earth does enable this story to happen. Other than watching the heroes leave Earth, “Infinity” doesn’t leave too big an indelible mark on this issue.
Beyond the flowery introduction, writer Frank Tieri doesn’t waste any time pretending this book is anything other than what it is: a band of second-rate villains trying to take advantage of the power vacuum in the Marvel Universe while the Avengers are either off-planet or otherwise preoccupied with Thanos’ forces. Tieri uses Blizzard as the gateway for the reader. Letter artist Joe Caramagna deftly identifies the two characters in the opening scene through very subtle word balloon and caption box shading, further empowering Tieri to investigate each villain’s voice. Tieri’s spin on a buddy-flick concept dipped in true crime story is easy-to-read and completely unapologetic. He never entertains making this story anything that it isn’t, but that doesn’t stop him from adding some surprises along the way.
Al Barrionuevo’s art is energetic, detailed and serviceable, but some of his storytelling choices, camera angles and anatomy could be better planned. It doesn’t help that the costume designs for many of the villains spin out of Salvador Larroca’s time on “Invincible Iron Man.” Those designs work under Larroca’s more economic drawings, but Barrionuevo does better constructing characters with more lines, as seen with the characters’ expressions when they are out of costume. As a result, Barrionuevo does a very nice job of delivering distinct characters independent of their costumes. The coloring could be reined in a bit, especially in the villains’ only nightclub dubbed “The Black Market.” Hot pink and purple really don’t seem like colors villains might seek out when trying to be discreet.
Plain and simple, “Infinity: Heist” #1 wants to be “The Superior Foes of Spider-Man” and “Ocean’s Eleven,” but with a purposeful Iron Man-flavored twist. It’s a fun read, a great idea and comic book I would recommend to serve as a break from event heavy-handedness. Tieri doesn’t try to make the villains anything more than villains and for that, this comic book is entertaining and enjoyable.