The Bakian family, joined by the Guardians of the Galaxy, face new threats in Infinity Gauntlet #4. All the while, Thanos has a plan of his own. Is it good?
Infinity Gauntlet #4 (Marvel Comics)
Infinity Gauntlet #4 presents a drastic change of pace from earlier issues in the series. While previous issues have focused on the changing dynamics between Anwen Bakian and the rest of her family, this issue is almost entirely action packed.
The premise to Dustin Weaver’s story this issue is simple enough. Anwen’s mother, Eve, has used the Infinity Stones in her possession to track down another of the six weapons. This leads the family, with the Guardians of the Galaxy in tow, towards a city that seems to have withstood the attacks of the Annihilation Wave. There they discover the possessor of the stone, Adam Warlock. Duggan and Weaver take full advantage of the Battleworld concept and subvert readers’ expectations: this version of Warlock is manipulative and uses the Soul Stone to control others. When Eve asks for the Soul Stone in order to fight back against the bugs of the Annihilation Wave, Adam not only denies her request, he orders his Knights of Xandar to attack the family.
One of the challenges facing the issue is the size of the cast. Gerry Duggan and Dustin Weaver have introduced a number of cosmic characters to the story, and while the cast is a nice reworking of the ensemble of the original Infinity Gauntlet, this title has begun to feel crowded. The Bakian family remains the center focus of the story, with Eve taking on Adam Warlock while the others face off against Adam’s Knights of Xandar. Lost in all of this conflict is Thanos, and readers expecting the Mad Titan to be the center of focus are sure to be disappointed here.
The large cast also contributes to another problem. While the individual panels of Weaver’s art are executed well, the layouts and the overall scenes become hard to follow. There are fourteen combatants in total, and as Weaver bounces back and forth, it becomes easy to be lost. There are some great moments in the action though, including Eve revealing this Infinity Gauntlet’s special abilities as well as a tag-team effort between Anwen and her younger sister, Fayne. One thing worth noting is that I found the guided view of the digital comic much easier to follow than the print edition, and so the crowding problem may be due to the layout of the panels and the volume of panels on any given page.
Is It Good?
An action-packed installment in the Secret Wars tie-in, Infinity Gauntlet #4 is a welcome change of pace from its predecessors. Dustin Weaver’s art continues to impress, though an unwieldy cast makes some of the geography in the combat confusing.
When Weaver and Duggan narrow their focus onto the Bakian family, the issue excels, and this take on Adam Warlock is a welcome change to the norm. Overall, Infinity Gauntlet #4 is a fun read, but the series feels bogged down under the weight of its ensemble cast.