Infinity War comes out in April of 2018 and could be the biggest film of all time. Considering that the movie promises to have over six dozen superheroes, it's easy to say that we probably haven't seen a film with this kind of scope before. However, if the title Infinity War rings a bell, it's because you may have seen it before. Although it's clear that the third Avengers sequel is based on the Marvel limited series Infinity Gauntlet, written by Jim Starlin and drawn by Ron Lim, the sequel to that series came out in 1992 and was in fact called Infinity War.
Infinity War does involve Thanos but not as the main antagonist. The villain of IW is a man named Magus, the evil version of Adam Warlock, who, in the Marvel cinematic universe, is currently incubating in that cocoon at the end of Guardians Vol. 2 and in the comics, is the person who becomes the most powerful being in the universe at the end of Infinity Gauntlet. The Magus has the heroes of the Marvel Universe fight evil doppelgängers of themselves in epic, game-changing fights. Will elements of Infinity War be in the movie of the same name? There are lots of cool things to borrow from, but the series does feature a number of duds. Take a look at 8 reasons Infinity War ruled and 7 reasons why it didn't!
15 RULED: CONTINUED THE STORY OF THE INFINITY GAUNTLET
Watching Thanos take on almost every superhero in the Marvel Universe at the same time in Infinity Gauntlet was absolutely intense. The Infinity Gauntlet made him virtually unstoppable and after defeating every hero thrown at him, he then fought and defeated Galactus, The Celestials, even Eternity. When Thanos was finally beaten, fans were wondering if this would be the end to the character.
The idea of bringing Thanos back but not as the main villain was an excellent choice. The heroes in Infinity War were quick to assume that Thanos was behind all of the calamity but it actually was the work of the Magus. Having a villain stem from Adam Warlock, the main hero that ultimately wrests the Gauntlet away from Thanos, added to the complexity and continuity of the story.
14 DIDN'T WORK: LAUNCHED TOO MANY INFINITY SPINOFFS
Let's face it: sometimes too much of a good thing can actually be bad. Thanos Quest lead to The Infinity Gauntlet and from there we went right into Infinity War. There was a great narrative flow between the three series and it felt like the natural progression of an elaborate story told by long-time Marvel writer Jim Starlin. Then came the Infinity Crusade and soon we were wondering if Marvel was taking "Infinity" a bit too literally.
After Infinity Crusade, we saw the clones of Thanos trying to destroy the universe in the 2002 limited series Infinity Abyss. In 2013, the Marvel event Infinity occurred which focused on Thanos attacking Earth while the Avengers were in space fighting beings known as The Builders. Announced recently was Thanos: The Infinity Conflict, coming out in November 2018. Let's take a break from Infinity, shall we?
13 RULED: HEROES FOUGHT EVIL VERSIONS OF THEMSELVES
In Avengers: Age of Ultron, while chopping wood, Tony tells Steve Rogers he doesn't trust a guy without a dark side. The dark side of characters was the driving force behind the Infinity War. Using the power of several cosmic cubes, the Magus is able to create evil doppelgängers of Earth's heroes. These copies are demonic, hideous looking versions of our favorite heroes, and even a heavy hitter like Reed Richards is defeated by his own evil counterpart.
One of the great story elements crafted by writer Jim Starlin is how this series reversed the narrative threads in Infinity Gauntlet: Thanos used the Gauntlet to eliminate half of Earth's population, whereas in Infinity War the Magus doubles it (but with evil counterparts). Having heroes face down their evil versions that embodied their self-doubt, their fears as well as hidden secrets gave us new insight into our favorite characters.
12 DIDN'T WORK: INFINITY WAR CROSSED OVER TO 18 DIFFERENT BOOKS
For Marvel Comics, 1992 was a big year. Before Infinity War came out, Marvel had run an ambitious crossover called Operation: Galactic Storm, depicting the Avengers' involvement in the Kree/Shi'ar War. The storyline ran through eight different titles, and although comics were "only" $1.25 in the early 1990s, it certainly added up. If you wanted to follow all of The Infinity War, you'd have to purchase 18 different books!
Perhaps you didn't get the chance to read Infinity War when it first came out and you want to purchase the trade paperback. We hope you have the Power Stone to help lift it because the book clocks in at around 400 pages! It makes sense considering all of the comic books that the series crossed over with. Also whip out the Time Stone, because it's going to take you awhile to read through everything!
11 RULED: THANOS VS THANOS
In Infinity War, we got to see heroes go up against darker versions of themselves. Moon Knight traveled though various dimensions fighting alternate versions of his Fist of Khonshu persona. Sue Storm went up against Malice, an evil version of herself created by the Fantastic Four villain Psycho-Man. The doppelgängers were the very worst representations of the very best people, so what kind of mirror version did Thanos have?
Thanos met his counterpart in Infinity War #5. The Thanos copy (also called Dark Thanos) was serving as a lackey to the Magus, but in their confrontation, Thanos revealed to himself that he planned to betray Magus whenever the opportunity presented itself. Classic Thanos move! Perhaps the two weren't actually opposites after all. Seeing Thanos fight Thanos to see who would go on to fight the Magus was a great way to wind down Infinity War.
10 DIDN'T WORK: THE GODDESS
When Adam Warlock was in possession of the Infinity Gauntlet, he wanted his decisions to be based on logic, so he dispelled from his body all the evil and good in his soul. In Infinity War, we find out immediately that the evil took the form of the Magus, and we eventually find out that all of the good created the entity known as the Goddess. Whereas Infinity War was about evil doppelgängers, Infinity Crusade was about enlightenment.
Adding the Goddess at the end of Infinity War felt less of a cliffhanger and more of a continuation to a story that we thought had come to an end once the Magus was defeated. Before readers got The Infinity Crusade in June of 1993, there would be the crossover event The X-Cutioner's Song running through the X-Men titles. Too many events and specialty covers! Oh Goddess!
9 RULED: LIVING TRIBUNAL ACTIVATING THE INFINITY GAUNTLET
Sometimes a villain's plans can be a little too elaborate, with their end results being far-fetched and unbelievable. The master plan of the Magus had a lot of moving parts but was still fairly ingenious. Stopping the Magus required the re-assembly of the Infinity Gauntlet, but once all of the gems were reunited, the awesome power they contained remained stagnant. This leads Galactus and Gamora to request it be re-activated by The Living Tribunal.
However, this was a part of the Magus' master plan all along. Once the non-functioning Gauntlet is assembled, he steals the glove and kidnaps Adam Warlock and the Infinity Watch. Galactus is successful in getting the Living Tribunal to allow the gems to operate in unison, not knowing that the gauntlet is in the possession of Magus. The Magus uses the Gauntlet to quash Quasar's attack with the Ultimate Nullifier, as well as put his final plan into action!
8 DIDN'T WORK: SHUTTING DOWN THE INFINITY GAUNTLET
For those keeping track, the Gauntlet couldn't work when the Infinity Gems were first assembled in The Infinity War #4, but in Infinity War #6 it's stated by Eternity that the Gems won't work together in unison no matter what. C'mon, all-powerful galactic entities, make up your minds! In the next installment, Infinity Crusade, the heroes are not dealing with the Infinity Gauntlet but the Cosmic Egg, the combined might of 30 Cosmic Cubes.
The switching on and off of the Infinity Gauntlet made it seem less like a universal engine of destruction and more like a light bulb. To deactivate the Gauntlet after having it be a major story element in The Thanos Quest, Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War, only to deactivate it and switch to another ultra-powerful weapon in Infinity Crusade felt like a missed opportunity.
7 RULED: WRITTEN BY JIM STARLIN
Infinity War was written by Jim Starlin, who was no stranger to writing space epics and dealing with powerful, multi-layered characters. Not only did he co-create the DC Comics villain Mongul, he also co-created Gamora, Drax The Destroyer, and everyone's favorite nihilist, Thanos. Before he got his start at Marvel in 1972, He was a photographer for the U.S. Navy, serving in Vietnam.
Besides writing, Starlin is also an artist as well. He's pencilled issues of Batman and Iron Man. He wrote and drew the miniseries Marvel: The End in 2003. Starlin is also infamous for killing off two superheroes. In 1982, Starlin wrote Marvel's first graphic novel: The Death of Captain Marvel. Six years later, he killed Jason Todd, who at the time was Batman's partner, Robin, in the 1988 storyline Batman: Death In The Family!
6 DIDN'T WORK: FORCED STORYLINES
Not only was there The Infinity War comic being produced, it was also crossing over to other comics. Quasar, Silver Surver, Warlock and The Infinity Watch, even the magical Doctor Strange fit in quite well with the cosmic storyline. Quasar had the daunting task of trying to use the Ultimate Nullifier on the Magus. The Guardians of the Galaxy returned to the 20th century fighting evil doppelgängers in the Avengers Mansion. For other comics it didn't have that good of a fit.
In Silver Surfer, the issues tying in with Infinity War involve Surfer, Nova, Galactus, and Dr. Strange being attacked by robotic wolves while traveling inter-dimensionally. Captain America had an issue where he fought his evil twin but he was also trying to deal with the fact that he turned into a werewolf. Spider-Man's fight with his multi-armed doppelganger ended as quickly as it started with no repercussions.
5 RULED: ULTIMATE NULLIFIER IN ACTION (KINDA)
The Infinity Gauntlet was one of the most powerful objects in Marvel Comics history, but could the Ultimate Nullifier be the most power weapon ever created? When fired at a target, it doesn't just destroy the target, it destroys its presence throughout time. The Ultimate Nullifier literally deletes things from existence. The fear really kicks in once you realize the fact that it looks like a bluetooth headset. It's rarely seen in action and it was exciting to see it put to use!
Quasar was dispatched with the Ultimate Nullifier to take out the Magus. Quasar being sent was at the advice of Thanos, so you know something shady was going to go down. Quasar focused the weapon on the Magus but, using the power of the Gauntlet, was able to reverse the weapon and have it fire on Quasar, completely nullifying Wendell Vaughn from the Marvel Universe.
4 DIDN'T WORK: WHAT ABOUT MAGUS?
At the end of Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos was defeated but we knew that wasn't the last we would see of him. When you have a villain as resourceful and determined as Thanos, he'll find a way to come back (and keep coming back). So what about the Magus? After The Infinity War is over, Adam Warlock traps Magus in the Soul Gem. In the gem is Soulworld, where souls captured by the Soul Gem reside. Magus is trapped on Soulworld as a ghost where he cannot interact with the beings around him.
After that, we don't really hear from the Magus, and his appearances in Marvel are certainly dwarfed in number by Thanos. Eventually he is resurrected by the Universal Church of Truth, but his return is short-lived when he's killed by the weird hybrid that is Hank Pym and Ultron; an inglorious end to someone who held the universe hostage in a major galactic event.
3 RULED: DOCTOR DOOM AND KANG
Doctor Doom is one of the most iconic villains in the Marvel Universe. Although he is the primary adversary for The Fantastic Four, he also has, on numerous occasions, fought Iron Man, Doctor Strange, even The Black Panther. Yes he's a villain but he's also served as a source of inspiration for such people like the time-traveler Kang the Conqueror.
Nathaniel Richards, in the 30th century, stumbles across some of Doom's time travel technology. He travels back in time and his various adventures help him become a Pharaoh in Ancient Egypt as well as fighting Merlin in the 25th century. Seeing Kang pair up with Doctor Doom was a villainous treat. Both men are power-hungry narcissists, and readers were waiting to see who would betray whom first. There are unconfirmed rumors they're related, so their Infinity War adventures could have been a family affair!
2 DIDN'T WORK: WASN'T AS EXCITING AS THE INFINITY GAUNTLET
There are many iconic moments in Infinity Gauntlet, such as Thanos snapping his fingers and making half the universe's population disappear. Also Thanos' fight scenes between Wolverine, Quasar, and finally Captain America were wonderfully drawn by Ron Lim. Nebula gaining control of the Gauntlet and the formation of the Infinity Watch are other incredible moments that occurred in the six-issue series. What about Infinity War?
There are some cool moments, like when Thunderstrike and Invisible Woman prevent the gamma bomb from killing all of the heroes at Four Freedoms Plaza. However, there just aren't enough iconic moments to wow us the way Infinity Gauntlet did. Whereas the ending of IG had us wondering what would become of the gems, the ending of IW introduced the Goddess, and that only made things feel like they were dragging into, dare we say it... infinity.
1 RULED: NEW DIRECTIONS
Writer Joseph Conrad talks about the Heroes' Journey, where the main character ends their adventure as a different person than how they originally started. By having the heroes in Infinity War fight their dark counterparts, they were forced to confront aspects of themselves that they didn't think they would ever have to fight, both figuratively and literally. In some of the Marvel crossovers, there were lasting impacts.
In The Fantastic Four #369, Sue Storm's doppelgänger is in the form of Malice, who originally appeared as a creation by the FF villain Psycho-Man. Instead of defeating her evil twin, she decided to merge with it, changing her personality. A similar thing also happens to Wonder Man. Quasar, in his attempt to use the Ultimate Nullifier, nullifies himself and is only able to resurrect himself using the power of the Star Brand.