Infinity Abyss #1

Background

In yet another tale of cosmic proportions, this one naturally involves Thanos, and many of the Infinity Watch characters. However, this time around, instead of an expected showing of Silver Surfer, Spider-Man plays a much bigger role in this particular series. In fact, when speaking in terms of a cosmic-type storyline, Spider-Man seems like the odd man out when compared to the likes of Thanos, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Moondragon, Adam Warlock, Gamora, and of course, Pip the Troll.

But do not fret, SpiderFans, we finally get an Infinity series that has plenty of Spider-Man to go around! The basic deal here is, once again, the entire Universe as we know it is under threat. A being known as Atlez, apparently has the task of anchoring all reality, and Atlez's time draws near. For it seems while this being may be the 'glue' by which the Universe is held together, it is not immortal, in fact, the job requires successors.

The goal is to find the successor and replace Atlez before the Universe falls into the Abyss... basically becoming nothing. While that alone seems like a dire predicament, there is more trouble to be had. You see, Thanos has several dopplegangers intent on making the oblivion happen, and are willing to do whatever it takes to see that it does. Seven heroes with the aid of the original Thanos attempt to stop them, and save the Universe.

Story 'A Mad Calling'

  Infinity Abyss #1
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: Jim Starlin
Pencils: Jim Starlin
Inker: Al Milgrom
Articles: Doctor Strange

What is interesting to note is that Adam Warlock himself (clearly wounded by the way), narrates this tale as if you are now at a much later point in the story and he is filling you in with the details from before. He begins to introduce us to the players in this game, starting with Thanos.

Warlock briefs us on his tale, Thanos out in space searching for who knows what, yet he is led into a trap, which could only be executed by someone like Thanos himself. His spacecraft gets caught in a tremendous explosion, then becomes a giant vaccum, an artificial black hole if you will. Nearly everything but some small debris is wiped out, and everyone is left wondering if Thanos was killed.

The next player we are informed about is Doctor Strange. At a grocery store, the owner sprouts tentacles from his body, eventually transforming into a glowing cube. It is this that Doctor Strange investigates, these 'blocks of nothingness' as he calls them.

Now we see Pip the Troll, masquerading as a doctor, searching for Adam Warlock on what appears to be some kind of galactic insane asylum. He finds Adam encased in a cocoon of Adam's own making, and teleports them both to a spacecraft where Thanos is waiting. Didn't we just see Thanos become space dust? Either we haven't heard about his great escape, or its not the real Thanos...

Somewhere else in space, Captain Marvel is reacting to his cosmic senses which lead him to one of those cubes of nothingness. As he and Rick ponder the situation, we learn about Gamora.

Gamora is currently visiting Baligiest, a typical spaceport, when she stumbles upon a nihilistic gathering, and is shocked to discover the main speaker appears to be Thanos! As she stands there trying to figure out if this Thanos is the real deal or not, he sees her and orders the huge mob to kill her. Incredibly, she avoids the sheer numbers and a blast from this unknown Thanos, making her escape.

Our favorite hero is next, as we see Spider-Man busting up a burglary-in-progress. After a call to the police, Spidey follows his senses to see what kind of danger could have set it off so strongly.

Moondragon is currently in the middle of a battle with fellow Avengers against an AIM enclave, when she is taken via a teleportational gateway by Thanos (the Thanos that is with Pip and cocooned Adam). Thanos brought Moondragon to try and free Adam from his cocooned state. He explains that Adam is needed once again for the Universe is in dire trouble. Leaving Moondragon and Pip alone, Thanos walks into a separate room, where we discover this Thanos is not the real one!

He transforms into a tiny Thanos with a big head, and is aptly named X. We also learn of several other dopplegangers, a large one named Warrior, Mystic the magician, and Armour, who was the 'Thanos' that Gamora had run into earlier. So for now it seems the real Thanos may be dead, and the others have been fakes the whole time. We have yet to learn of their plans...

General Comments

Cosmic stories are always mind-benders, and this one is no different. Perhaps because they are always set upon such a large scale, its not the city in danger or the world... its the whole flippin Universe! This one wasn't too hard to follow though, especially when you read all 6 issues at once.

I cant say I am real familiar with the cosmic characters, so for me they seem well portrayed in here, and nicely explain where they have been since no one else was writing a lot about them. The good news is, plenty of Spider-Man to see, and I like that, I never really cared for end-all-be-all stories that include nearly every character in Marvel's stable, and to accomplish that we get too much of half a dozen characters, and cameos of 100 others. Nice change of pace to see that this storyline kept a certain cast of players, and stayed that way, everyone having their own moments.

Entertaining for me, and I do suggest the average SpiderFan pick this up. It's not a Spider-Man story, but then he also doesn't just play a small role, hes part of the team here.

Overall Rating

Well-thought-out and well-executed Infinity story. Kudos to Jim Starlin for not only writing, but drawing all the nice pictures too. I give it 4 webs.