Sunday, May 6, 2018
To Infinity...AND BEYOND!!!, Part Eight: The Infinity Gauntlet Crossovers
Even back in the day, reading crossovers was a chore....
THE INFINITY GAUNTLET CROSSOVERS is a BIG honkin' book, so it has that going for it. As part of the massive box set, a volume this big helps give the buyer value for their money. Whether or not it gives the buyer good reading material, well....that's another matter entirely.
The contents include CLOAK AND DAGGER #18, excerpts from QUASAR #24 and SLEEPWALKER #6, SPIDER-MAN #17, THE INCREDIBLE HULK #'S 383-.385, DOCTOR STRANGE, SORCERER SUPREME #'s 31-35, THE SILVER SURFER #'s 51-59, QUASAR #'s 26-27, and SLEEPWALKER #7. The content of those issues range from entertaining to terrible, with a pronounced lean towards terrible. I covered the contents of this volume in my review of THE INFINITY GAUNTLET OMNIBUS a few years ago, and my feelings remain pretty much the same.
My heart goes out to Ron Marz, who not only had to follow Jim Starlin's phenomenal, game-changing run on THE SILVER SURFER, but who also had to tread water for NINE FULL ISSUES of that title, all of which took place during THE INFINITY GAUNTLET, which basically meant that Marz could do nothing that would contradict or alter the events of that book. While not every issue was a winner, I thought that Marz did an amazing job, all things considered. The CLOAK AND DAGGER, SPIDER-MAN, ans DOCTOR STRANGE issues were all virtually unreadable, but I was surprised to see how well SLEEPWALKER fared in this revisit. It looked beautiful in this volume, and the story was much more enjoyable than I remembered it being the first time around. Peter David's run on HULK is legendary, for good reason, but his stories strike me as too jokey all of these years later. (And awful jokes, at that.) Mark Gruenwald's QUASAR is like continuity-porn for longtime readers like myself. These aren't the best issues of the series, but they were still enjoyable. I would LOVE to see Marvel publish a QUASAR OMNIBUS, hint, hint.
Overall, the bad far outweighed the good, but there was still enough decent material here to nab THE INFINITY GAUNTLET CROSSOVERS six out of ten Eyes of Agamotto: