Sunday, June 3, 2018
To Infinity...AND BEYOND!!!, Part Fifteen: The Infinity Crusade Crossovers, Vol. 1
So THIS is why the '90's are not fondly remembered by comic-book collectors!
Ooooh, boy, was this book tough sledding. I've gotten myself accustomed to stepping away from books that I'm just not enjoying, but the masochist in me makes me keep going when the dud in question is a comic-book. Maybe because of the continuity factor, and I feel like I have to keep reading or I'll miss out on something important....? I can't say. I can say that one of the only comics that I've ever walked away from was Marvel's massive trade paperback of the Captain America/Captain storyline, which was like torture to read. This one came realllllly close to being set aside. Not quite as bad as the Cap book, but.....bad. Again, this is part of a box set, and I have Vol. 2 on deck, so....I suffered, so that you would not, gentle reader.
THE INFINITY CRUSADE CROSSOVERS, VOL. 1 collects DOCTOR STRANGE, SORCERER SUPREME #'s 54-55, THOR "s 463-464, IRON MAN #'s 254-255, AVENGERS WEST COAST #'s 56-57, ALPHA FLIGHT #'s 122-124, DARKHAWK #30, CAGE #17, WEB OF SPIDER-MAN #'s 104-105, MARC SPECTOR, MOON KNIGHT #57, and excerpts from MARC SPECTOR, MOON KNIGHT #56 and TERROR, INC. #13. I noticed that the crossovers for THE INFINITY GAUNTLET and THE INFINITY WAR didn't include top-selling books, like the X-MEN, AVENGERS, and SPIDER-MAN titles, but THE INFINITY CRUSADE unapologetically has NOTHING BUT bottom-of-the-barrel titles. Marvel had truly gone to the crossover well one too many times by this point, and, boy....did it show.
The good: I was pleasantly surprised by a few of the crossovers. DARKHAWK and CAGE told one-off tales that were easy to fall into. The writers made the stories accessible to new readers, and didn't leave you scratching your head. I was also happy to see an issue of MOON KNIGHT that had art by Stephen Platt, who was a huge deal in the early '90's. His MOON KNIGHT issues were worth a small fortune, and I'd never read one or really seen much of his art before.
The bad: Stephen Platt's art, for one. Combing the billion lines per panel of Todd McFarlane with Rob Liefeld's bulging chests, his artwork was alternately dynamic and amateurish.
More bad.....Hell, ALL OF THE REST OF THIS BOOK IS BAD!!! Roy Thomas keeps up his streak of having every fucking issue of DOCTOR STRANGE, SORCERER SUPREME be part of a crossover, and simultaneously be one long navel-gaze that has nothing to do with the overarching storyline. Simon Furman's ALPHA FLIGHT could still never could be bothered to explain WHO. THE. FUCK. ANY. OF. THESE. PEOPLE. WERE. (Still, nice art by the legendary Pat Broderick!). Bruce Zick's art on THOR is almost comically bad:
The Ugly: Most of the art in this book.
Overall, I suddenly remember why I ducked out of comics around the time this was originally published. Maybe Vol. 2 will have a slightly better class of crossover. Maybe. Probably not.
THE INFINITY CRUSADE CROSSOVERS, VOL. 1 slinks away with a shameful two out of ten cosmic eggs: