AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PRELUDE #1
Writer: Will Corona Pilgrim
Artist: Tigh Walker
Colorist: Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: 1/24/18
Find out what happens to some of your favorite Avengers after Captain America: Civil War in this prelude to Avengers: Infinity War.
Plot: Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, the Avengers disband. Some have gone home to their families, while others continue to fight off threats.
Story: After being burned by previous Marvel preludes that did little more than rehash plots of existing movies, I was hesitant to even read this issue. However, it appears the editors at Marvel have seen the criticisms of those preludes and acted accordingly. Avengers: Infinity War Prelude #1 spends a few pages on recaps but then gives us new details! Spoilers ahead:
There are two or three major plot points revealed about the whereabouts of the characters that will seemingly play a large role in the upcoming film. While some details don’t hold a clear connection for the reader yet (Captain America and team hunting down terrorists with Chitauri weapons), others are obvious clues and foreshadowing (Tony working on his new suit). As a fan, all the new information creates a buzz of excitement reading this book.
The most interesting part of the story focuses on Shuri, the sister of the T’Challa. We see her working on an unconscious Bucky, who was left in Wakanda at the end of the last film, and it’s revealed she’s using advanced technology to try to erase his Hydra programming. It’s an emotional scene, reminding readers that Bucky is a victim and that trauma can become tightly woven into a person’s being.
However, what I really love most about this issue is the warmer notes it offers the more minor characters, like Clint and Scott reuniting with their children and Wanda and Vision acting like a couple. It’s nice to remember these characters have lives outside of punching bad guys.
While new details offer enough value for most movie fans that they’ll pick up this issue regardless of the quality, it’s a well-written story that pulls you back into the universe and amps up your anticipation for the film.
Art: As noted earlier, some of the book takes scenes directly from Captain America: Civil War, so the early pages of art are limited to capturing those sequences. Even then, Tigh Walker does a good job, never making it feel like they lifted it straight from the movie concept art. The emotion of the scenes, including the intense battle at the end of Civil War, shines through. Adapting characters that have been portrayed in real life can force an artist to choose between replicating likenesses or going off with something new (an issue that comes up frequently in the Star Wars comics released by Marvel). Walker draws a happy medium, with characters that are recognizable but not copies of their actors.
A favorite panel of mine shows a collage of Bucky’s memories as Shuri discusses his trauma. In addition to being visually interesting, it plays as a nice reminder of films even farther back than Civil War.
Also, a stand out to me was the coloring by Chris O’Halloran. The coloring is slightly desaturated, giving a done-by-hand feel (as opposed to digital) that blend really nicely with the shading of the pages.
Verdict: This prelude is a must-read for fans planning on watching the film. On the off-chance you’ll only ever read the comic and not watch the movie, I’d still recommend this book for its solid writing and art. While it might not become a classic, this issue has done a lot to restore my faith in Marvel’s movie prelude comics and gives me hope the second issue of this two-parter will deliver as well.