Surprising No One, Loki Pulls A Fast One In Infinity Wars #5

by James Ferguson

A handful of heroes have had their eyes opened to what’s really going on in this mash-up world that Gamora has created with the Infinity Stones. Loki is leading them which should be the first worry, but everyone is too caught up in trying to save the universe and all their friends to notice that they’re being taken for a ride by the trickster god. Of course, Loki has something up his sleeve and we’re all about to get a glimpse as to what that is.

Infinity Wars is shaping up to be the biggest event that doesn’t really matter. There are no real stakes because the Infinity Stones are like one massive reset button. This issue feels pretty by the book, which is rather alarming as it’s the penultimate chapter. The awoken heroes take the fight to Gamora herself, using the Infinity Stones from Soul World in a unique twist, but in the scheme of things, it’s little more than a big fight.
The novelty of the mash-up characters has worn off by this point, which is also unfortunate as there are still a bunch of new titles set to come out like Ghost Panther and Infinity Warps. The intriguing part of Infinity Wars has been the end of the universe where Gamora can’t see past. Artist Mike Deodato Jr creates a very chilling image of a number of Watchers standing over her as she hammers away at the floor of the Quarry of Creation. Those bald guys only gather when something big is happening, so what could be in there?

Granted, this does sound a bit like the breaking of the Source Wall that we saw in Dark Nights: Metal over at DC Comics, but I’m still very curious as to what this could mean. Instead, Gamora is interrupted by Loki’s ragtag group. Each of them has an Infinity Stone so we do get some pretty creative strategies. My favorite is the Hulk with the Space Stone, unlocking the power to fly. Think about that for a second. A flying Hulk. Deodato Jr makes this brutish behemoth float through the air like a feather. It’s amazing.
There’s a dark, ominous tone over Infinity Wars as a whole, which fits with the life-and-death status it’s going for. Colorist Frank Martin makes this book appear rather dreary, particularly the scenes in Soul World. In Gamora’s haste to provide an answer to her problems, she drained the world of all hope. The one glimmer of possible salvation comes in the form of the Infinity Stones which glow with an unearthly hue. Anything could happen with those little trinkets.

The other frustrating aspect of Infinity Wars #5 is that you know from the jump that Loki is going to pull a fast one on everyone. His plan is explained in detail as each step is taken. This is way too much hand-holding. It’s like going to a magic show where the magician explains everything while he performs a trick. Sometimes you can just go along with it and enjoy the ride without needing every single detail.
Despite this, letterer Cory Petit uses a number of fonts to keep the book moving and more than a little interesting. Loki has the traditional Asgardian text, which gives him an air of fancifulness. What struck me is how Emma Frost speaks. Her words are pointed and direct and that is shown in the placement of the word balloons. It’s like they cut right to the point.

There’s a good story in Infinity Wars, but somewhere along the line it started to slow down. I wonder if this could have been tightened up a bit by eliminating a chapter especially with all the mash-up characters we’ve spent time with. Writer Gerry Duggan creates some pretty great moments throughout this issue too, such as the aforementioned flying Hulk and a touching scene where the heroes find a child Gamora hidden away in Soul World.
As it stands, we’ve got one issue left to tie everything up and it seems like a herculean task. We’ve spent so much time getting to this point that it seems impossible to form any real conclusion so quickly. I’m not getting a vibe that this event carries much weight in the scheme of things.
Infinity Wars #5 from Marvel Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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