SPOILERS FOR AGE OF ULTRON!
Secret Invasion, Civil War, Dark Reign, Fear Itself, House Of M, and Siege all sucked and I bought every damn one of them. NOT THIS TIME! I knew Age Of Ultron would be terrible, it was a giant event almost completely editorially driven. Building a quality story around that would have been next to impossible. On top of the predictable storytelling and bland nature of the whole damn thing, the event was already spoiled in USA Today! After all of this crap is anybody really wiser, did the publishing company really learn anything from the event. Even after all of the crap there are a few examples of things done right and wrong.
Shipping the event faster so people don’t get as hung up issue to issue is fantastic. Having Bryan Hitch draw the first five issues of the event in advance was a stroke of genius. Carlos Pacheco was also a great choice to handle the art duties. Bendis changing the genre of the event and twisting into something people did not expect was smart.
The decompressed plots were truly horrific, barely anything would happen in any given issue of the story itself. None of this shit really matters at the end of the day, because all of the timelines were bridged together. Stuff from this universe could eventually come back, but does anybody really care? The art towards the second half of the story was inconsistent and strange, the last issue had ten artists! Character was sparse because the story switched universes so often. This event is completely editorially driven once again and nobody had any freedom to tell a real story here.
At the end of the day the timestream is broken and the bridge to different worlds are crafted. Even after all of this event fatigue that I am personally experiencing, the next Marvel event still excites me to no end. Do I enjoy pain? Or is this really going to be the one crossover that changes things in terms of quality. Well it features one thing prominently that I am very interested in, Thanos. The character has died and came back to life that a reason for him coming back would have to be pretty convincing. I am not quite sure if directly saying that Age Of Ultron was an excuse to bring him back is a satisfying story beat. Although this idea does not make or break a story for me personally, really the reason why this event catches my eye is because of Jonathan Hickman.
In Marvel Now! announcing Hickman to write Avengers full time was a ballsy move. The man writes for the long term, and giving him a flagship saga to go insane in is the greatest or worst thing the publisher could ever do. As a result people have been giving the main team franchise some slack as of late. This makes sense because pieces setting up the story have been laid down. Groundwork is set issue after issue of every single story. Even though people understand that he is building something, many are still getting frustrated from the stories. In the official event poster, the fact that you really need to know who and what all of these characters are is imperative. They are on the damn poster for the event! Of course I am talking about many of the New Universe heroes reintroduced in the new series. The writer weaves plots together through both titles with New Avengers included. In fact the amount of writing presented here is so grand that Hickman brought Nick Spencer with him to co-write.
With all of these different factors moving the new Infinity event there is still no guarantee that the quality will be of a high level. With any event readers are taking a bit of a gamble. In an internet age many will be naysayers of Marvel today and completely in love with them tomorrow. Faith needs to be put into the publisher that this will not be crapped out of editorial. This team of talented artists including Dustin Weaver, Jerome Opena, and Jim Cheung deserve to get the best writing. A factor that slightly may cause some readers worry is the amount of tie-ins to the material at hand. Avengers, New Avengers, Avengers Assemble, Captain Marvel, Nova, Thunderbolts and even more feature a banner for the story. They couldn’t possibly feature all of the material to factor into the story.
The question at the end of the day as to whether or not you should pick up Infinity is, Do you believe Jonathan Hickman?
I give a resounding yes.
S#!T Talking Central