Infinity: Against the Tide #1

Story by
Art by
Jason Latour, Agustin Alessio
Letters by
Joe Sabino
Cover by
Marvel Comics

The Infinite Comics concept is one that I thoroughly embrace, but even moreso in affiliation with a grander event, such as "Infinity: Against the Tide" #1, which adding texture and detail to the events depicted in "Infinity" #1. Written and storyboarded by Jason Latour with final art from Agustin Alessio, Marvel's latest Infinite Comic provides gory details of the Builders' attack on Hy'lt Minor, a planet populated by Skrulls.

Following Brian Michael Bendis' work with the Skrulls in "Secret Invasion," this is as human as the Skrulls have appeared in recent memory as their world is razed. Desperate, confused and afraid, the would-be conquerors find themselves harshly outgunned. Lucky for them, Latour brings the Silver Surfer into the fray. Latour opens the comic with caption box narration from the Surfer, which is remarkably potent to the attack and serves as a voiceover for a documentary about the fall of Hy'lt Minor. In addition to humanizing the Skrulls, Latour choreographs a brilliant battle between Alephs and Surfer that employs many of the tricks available in this format. Personally, I spent more time than I should toggling back and forth between the Alephs appearing and their powering up their eyebeams, adding my own sound effects to the emotionally charged moment.

Agustin Alessio's final art is lush and meticulous, as apt to portray the roughed up surface atop the head of Aleph as the wrinkle lines of a wincing Skrull receiving a gut-punch. Following Latour's lead, Alessio plays up the capabilities of the Infinite Comic format, depicting the bright arrival of Silver Surfer, the looming imposition of a Skrull bully and the zoom and pan of Hy'lt Minor as the battle reaches planetside. Silver Surfer, as rendered by Alessio, is more detailed and sinewy than I recall ever seeing Galactus' former herald. It works to humanize the Surfer as he tries to not only defend the Skrulls from this invasion, but to appeal to them as an ally, not the angel of damnation. Joe Sabino's lettering seems a bit pasted on overtop Alessio's art, but there really isn't much innovation that can be done with lettering in the Infinite Comics format other than swap out balloons and caption boxes in timing with the action of the story. Sabino does a superb job of working with the storytelling, and the variety of lettering color and styles capably describes the diversity at work here.

Those who redeemed the Digital Edition code from "Infinity" #1 were given the option to download this story in tandem with the digital version for the first issue of Jonathan Hickman's Thanos-powered event. For the rest of their readership, Marvel fumbled this one. Early after release of "Infinity" #1, "Infinity: Against the Tide" #1 appeared on comiXology for $1.99, but no details were given about this download accompanying the digital download of the main comic. Luckily, folks on Twitter were helpful in working through this, but I have no doubt more than a few readers are woefully ignorant that this additional story is ready for their reading. While it doesn't magnify the story in "Infinity" nor supplant that tale, "Infinity: Against the Tide" #1 does help address the scope of this adventure as it provides readers with a great example of the power of Marvel's Infinite Comics line.

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