Monday, December 17, 2007

Hello Cosmic Part 14: The Infinity Crusade Part Three

[Concluding my look at The Infinity Crusade and continuing my overall examination of Jim Starlin's cosmic work at Marvel. Here, The Infinity Crusade #5-6, Warlock Chronicles #5, and Warlock & the Infinity Watch #22 are discussed. New posts Monday, Wednesday and Friday.]

If you looked up the definition of "useless event comic that did nothing to advance the story but fooled the reader into thinking serious shit went down," you'd get a little note that said "See The Infinity Crusade #5 (Oct. 1993, Marvel)." Nothing happens except heroes fight brainwashed heroes. And it works. It works and you don't even think to examine the use in the actual story--which I know is an odd thing to say since I noticed it right away, but that's only because I picked up on Starlin doing that over and over again.

We find out that the Goddess wants to destroy the universe because Warlock didn't recognise his feminine side enough. How about that character motivation, eh? And then the universe is saved when Warlock eventually sucks the Goddess into the Soul Gem where she's left as a ghost like the Magus since she's only an aspect of a soul, not a complete soul. Take that, Goddess!

The issue of Warlock & the Infinity Watch is a nice little throwaway story where the UN (or US army, I dunno) invade Monster Island again since they know the Infinity Watch isn't there, so the Mole Man and his army take them on. They win and then steal the soldiers' clothes. Take that, Mr Soldier Boys!

Thanos ultimately upholds his deal with Mephisto about the cosmic cube, but pulls the old "you didn't specified it had to be a functional cosmic cube!" gambit. Take that, Mephisto!

I haven't had a whole lot to say about this crossover (despite padding the examination out over three posts) because it isn't that good. There are some nice moments and Starlin is successful at telling this story through three titles with each having a specific focus. While the plot of the Infinity Crusade isn't the greatest, the construction is rather well done and other writers should use it as an example.

But, I'm always impressed with Starlin's overall structures, particularly the way he can take a simple story and build up meaningless plots around it and make it seem like those meaningless plots matter. I think the problem here was that he backed himself into a corner with the concept of Adam Warlock's good aspect being out in the universe and that as a problem. It would have worked much better to play her as a good influence. Starlin did attempt that, but not much. We got the odd scene where the heroes would stop and ask if the Goddess was actually right, perhaps.

And now, we move into the last bits of Starlin's work at Marvel in the '90s and... yeah, it's not great. Hopefully, I'll find something of interest in it. Otherwise, I apologise in advance.