Cap suggested twice that I lead this discussion, so here it is. I decided at the last minute to put these series in a thread of their own rather than to fold them into “What Comic Books Have You Read Today?” (The “plus” is the various series leading up to and in between the OGNs.) Here’s a look at what’s ahead.
Infinity Abyss #1-6 (2002)
Marvel: The End #1-6 (2003)
Thanos #1-6 (2004)
Infinity Revelation OGN (2014)
Thanos vs. the Hulk #1-4 (2015)
Infinity Relativity OGN (2015)
Infinity Entity #1-4 (2016)
Infinity Finale OGN (2016)
Guardians of the Galaxy: Mother Entropy #1-5 (2017)
Infinity Siblings OGN (2018)
Infinity Conflict OGN (2018)
For completeness’ sake, I’ll move what I posted yesterday about Thanos Annual #1 (2014) here: “It’s by Starlin and Lim, and features Thanos from two different periods in his life (after his first major defeat by Captain Marvel and between panels of Infinity War #5). It ‘foreshadows’ events of Starlin’s early 2K series (as well as events of the non-Starlin ‘Annihilation’ series), but is too complicated for a Starlin novice. Even for a Starlin fan it’s not essential, but I enjoyed it.”
No, I try to avoid crossovers in general and Deadpool in specific.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: MOTHER ENTROPY #1-5: Believe it or not, I have actually seen the two Guardians of the Galaxy movies. I really don’t have a strong attachment to the Guardians (not this version, anyway), plus I was attracted by the cheesy ‘70s music. Having said that, though, I take issue with Alan Davis drawing Gamora to resemble the actress who plays her in the movies. The character has been around for over four decades and she don’t look like Zoe Saldana. Starlin shows how adaptable he is, though, writing a version that has more to do with the movies than the comics.
I’m not ready to re-read The Infinity Siblings yet, so I’ll let what I posted on April 10 stand.
THANOS: THE INFINITY SIBLINGS: This OGN brings non-linear storytelling to a new level. It takes place across several thousand years, with the main events spaced hundreds of years apart. Besides the titular “siblings” (Thanos and Eros), other main characters include Pip the troll, Kang the Conqueror and a new character called “Ghost.” It would be difficult to even try to follow this story in a linear fashion because it is written from so many different points of view. Arguably, Eros is the main character, but the scenes involving his character (sometimes versions of his character from two different eras interacting) would have to be read twice, however sometimes they are often presented twice, with more “behind-the-scenes” information presented the second time through. And, of course, several integral scenes may not involve Eros at all. Best to just trust Jim Starlin to present the information you need when you need to know it. The art is by Alan Davis. Recommended.
That’s as far as I intend to take this discussion. I thought I might go back to the beginning at this point, but The Art of Jim Starlin has put me in the mood to read some of his more recent stuff. Look for that in the “What Comic Books Have You Read Today?” discussion.
Thanks a million, Jeff!
Since you only handled Infinity-related stuff, that leaves a lot of Thanos material not covered by either of us. They remain in the "canon," though, which means I'll remain hopelessly confused until I break down and buy the collections, and then read them in order.
Speaking of which, I do remember in one of the Infinity stories Thanos making some reference to doppelgangers or something that did things in his name that weren't him -- essentially dismissing all the Thanos stories not written by Starlin himself. So I guess we can pick and choose which stories "count" or not, sort of like writing off any pre-Secret Invasion story I don't like as "oh, that was a Skrull." At least on my Earth!
So, to clear my own mind and to help others who might share my confusion, let me do a list of Thanos/Infinity series to sort it all out:
Iron Man #55, Marvel Feature #12, Daredevil #105-107, Avengers #125, Captain Marvel #25-33: First Thanos story, in search of the Cosmic Cube. Covered by Cap above.
Warlock #9-15, Logan's Run #6, Avengers Annual #7, Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2:
First search for Infinity Gems. Covered by Cap above.
Avengers #255-261, Avengers Annual #14, Fantastic Four Annual #19: This was when Monica Rambeau was called Captain Marvel, and introduces Nebula, the grand-daughter of Thanos! Actually, Starlin later established that Nebula was lying to establish a rep, so I assume this is one of those Thanos stories he wrote out of canon. Written by Roger Stern.
Silver Surfer #34-50, Silver Surfer Annual #3, Thanos Quest #1-2, Infinity Gauntlet #1-6: First Infnity Gauntlet story. Covered by Cap above. Written by Jim Starlin.
Infinity War #1-6: Adam Warlock's bad half, The Magus, intends to conquer the universe. Written by Jim Starlin.
Infinity Crusade #1-6: Adam Warlock's good half, The Goddess, intends to mind-control the universe into being good. Written by Jim Starlin.
Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1-33: Infinity Gems shenanigans with Warlock, Thanos, Gamora, Pip and the whole Hee-Haw gang. Continuing into 1994. Written by Jim Starlin.
Warlock and the Infinity Watch #34-42: Continuing into 1995. Written by Jim Arcudi.
Secret Defenders #12-14. Cosmic Powers #1-6: Thanos battles Tyrant. Written by Ron Marz.
Thor (second series) #18-25, Thor Annual 2000: Thor vs. Thanos. Written by Dan Jurgens.
Infinity Abyss #1-6: Covered by Jeff above.
Marvel: The End #1-6: Covered by Jeff above.
Thanos #1-6: Covered by Jeff above.
Thanos #7-12: Thanos battles The Beyonder and The Fallen One (Galactus' first herald), and has some sort of epiphany after an encounter with Death. Two outer-space prisons -- Omega Core and the Kyln) appear. Written by Keith Giffen.
Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1, Thanos Imperative #1-6, Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1: Thanos and cosmic heroes vs. Cancerverse. Written by Dan Abnett.
Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet #1-4: This appears to be a younger readers version of Infinity Gauntlet. Written by Brian Clevinger.
Avengers (fourth series) #7-12: The Hood gets the Infinity Gauntlet. Written by Brian Michael Bendis.
Thanos Rising #1-5: Origin of Thanos. Written by Jason Aaron.
Infinity Free Comic Book Day 2013, Infinity #1-6. Infinity Heist #1-4, Infinity Hunt #1-4: Thanos attacks Earth while the Avengers are off fighting the Builders. Results in Terrigen Bomb exploding. Written by Jonathan Hickman.
Thanos Annual, Infinity Revelation OGN: Covered by Jeff above.
Thanos: A God Up There Listening #1-4: Appears to be mostly about Thane. Written by Starlin and Rob Williams.
Thanos vs. the Hulk #1-4: Covered by Jeff above.
Infinity Relativity OGN: Covered by Jeff above.
Deadpool vs. Thanos #1-4: Deadpool fights Thanos. Written by Tim Seeley.
Infinity Gauntlet (second series) #1-5: Thanos and the Infinity Stones on Battleworld.
What If? Infinity Thanos #1: What if Thanos joined the Avengers? Written by Joshua Williamson.
What If? Infinity Dark Reign #1: What if Norman Osborn got the Infinity Gauntlet? Written by Joshua Williamson.
What If? Infinity Guardians of the Galaxy #1. Guardians of the Galaxy vs. Avengers over Thanos. Written by Joshua Williamson.
What If? Infinity Inhumans #1: What if the Inhumans took over Earth? Written by Joshua Williamson.
What If? Infinity X-Men #1: What if the Avengers lost the war, and a small pack of surviving X-Men meet a small pack of surviving Avengers in space?
Infinity Entity #1-4: Covered by Jeff above.
Infinity Finale OGN: Covered by Jeff above.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Mother Entropy #1-5: Covered by Jeff above.
Thanos #1-12: Continues into 2018. Thanos is dying (he gets better), and battles Thane. Written by Jeff Lemire.
Thanos #13-18, Thanos Annual #1: Thanos is captured by his future self, who has killed everyone in the universe and wants his younger self to kill him. Written by Donny Cates.
Infinity Siblings OGN: Covered by Jeff above.
Amazing Spider-Man/Infinity Watch Free Comic Book Day 2018, Infinity Countdown #1-5, Infinity Countdown Black Widow #1, Infinity Countdown Captain Marvel #1, Infinity Countdown Champions #1-2, Infinity Countdown Daredevil #1, Infinity Countdown Darkhawk #1-4, Infinity Countdown Prime #1, Infinity Wars Prime #1 Infinity Wars #1-?: This year's Infinity event. Written by Gerry Duggan.
That’s a pretty comprehensive list. Teamwork!
“Speaking of which, I do remember in one of the Infinity stories Thanos making some reference to doppelgangers or something that did things in his name that weren't him -- essentially dismissing all the Thanos stories not written by Starlin himself.”
I remember that, too (I know I’ve read it just recently, but can’t remember where), but I interpreted that to be a reference to the doppelgangers which were part of Infinity Abyss:
“Meanwhile, the flashbacks reveal that five duplicates of Thanos are active, each one based on a different aspect of the mad Titan’s personality: Armour, Warrior, X, Mystic and Omega."
THANOS: THE INFINITY CONFLICT: I didn’t bother to reread The Infinity Siblings before reading the second part of the current trilogy, but doing so really wasn’t necessary. Although it definitely builds to the concluding installment, it is standalone in the sense that the previous volume is not required reading in order to follow along. The gist of this story is that Thanos’ future self is guiding the present day Thanos to his own “becoming,” which would have happened on its own, anyway, but future-Thanos is speeding the process along, thereby creating a divergent timeline in the process. In a nutshell, Thanos defeats and absorbs the powers of Mistress Death, the Stranger, Master Order, Lord Chaos, Kronos, Master Hate and Mistress Love as well as the Infinity Gems in short order, and must now defeat/absorb the personifications of Eternity and Infinity. On the opposing side are Adam Warlock, the being known as “Above Others,” and the Living Tribunal (himself an aspect of Adam Warlock).
I see and interesting give and take between Starlin and Marvel. In The Infinity Revelation, Starlin wiped all previous versions of Warlock off the board in favor of new one (presumably “his”). But by the end of The Infinity Finale, the original Adam Warlock (the one killed in Infinity Revelation) was restored, and Starlin’s “new” Warlock became the new Living Tribunal. Now, in The Infinity Finale, Warlock doffs the costume with the red lightning bolt on black motif (introduced in Annihilation) in favor of the “Infinity Revelation” design. Also, this story includes all previous incarnations of Adam Warlock.
Eros takes it upon himself to travel in time in order to literally kill Thanos in his crib. He is prevented from doing so, however, because that action would allow Warlock’s other aspect, Magus, to win (without Thanos there to help defeat him), and that would be worse. There is a character who must (and does) die, though, although that doesn’t prevent Thanos from becoming his own future self in the end.
Al Milgrom came out of retirement to provide the volume’s “Editori-Al.” (He could have stayed there AFAIAC.)