Infinity Gauntlet, how I love thee! Let me count the ways… Ok, but seriously. Ever since I picked it up I have been rapturously singing its praises, because I love Infinity Gauntlet #1 by Dustin Weaver and Gerry Duggan a whole lot.
And I think it’s for more reasons than the obvious, because here is a comic that would ring all my bells anyway. But let’s get those bells out of the way:
1. It has a female protagonist and features non-traditional gender roles! Dude-heroes, you are great, but I am absolutely reveling in the current abundance of female-led comics. And Infinity Gauntlet follows teenaged artist Anwen, who lives in a world that has been destroyed. An artist and a scrappy heroine? I am in love. Add in a mother who is off fighting wars in space and a father and grandfather doing their best to raise the kids in a wasteland, and I just want to jump up and down in praise of this team skipping the tired gender roles that writers so often rely on.
2. Future wasteland! I actually mistook the city they live in (New Xandar, apparently, wherever that is) for future-New York City, because it is oh-so-familiar to see the wreckage of this city: fallen skyscrapers, piles of garbage, derelict parks, sewers … And I love that. When I was telling a friend about it she said “Oh, so like New York right now?” and we did that “Hahaha … oh, New York.” thing that people do. (I know, we’re annoying.) As a city-dweller, it’s so interesting (and possibly morbid) to think about what cities will look like in five, 10, 50 years.
3. If you are looking for diversity in comics, IG has it! In Issue 1, every human character is black. This is awesome.
4. Giant alien bugs. I can’t be the only person who was both scarred and forever altered by Starship Troopers, can I? There is nothing like a giant carapace plus lots of legs to make me both squicked out and completely entranced.
Infinity Gauntlet already has a lot going for it, clearly. It’s a great comic, full stop. But what really made my reading experience was the fact that these characters are fresh and new. Unlike the other Secret Wars titles I’m currently reading, this one has a protagonist with no history to ignore, rewrite, or reference. I know that each Issue 1 is theoretically a fresh start, but I still needed Marcy’s primer on Secret Wars for A-Force to help orient me. Picking up Infinity Gauntlet, on the other hand, was a completely different experience.
All that Anwen knows is directly related to the life she lives, which makes me in turn feel more welcome. She doesn’t know what the shiny-gem-thing she found is any more than I do. And while the Wikipedia entry for Infinity Gauntlet has a whole lot of linked terms that I don’t know (Annihilation Wave, Nova Corps, etc.), Anwen herself is a new and unknown character, no backstory but what we find in these pages. I’ll learn about the Infinity Gems and Thanos along with her; I’ll learn about the Nova Corps as she finds out more about her mother; I’ll learn more about her world as she explores it. Infinity Gauntlet was the entry point to Secret Wars that I didn’t even know I wanted. And now, I can’t wait to see what happens next.
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