Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Matt Signal Advent Calendar 2014 Day 4: The Infinity Gauntlet #1

The Infinity Gauntlet #1, July 1991

Up until Infinity Gauntlet #1, I was a Batman reader pretty much exclusively. I would pick up comics guest starring Batman, and even an occasional something else, things like Real Ghostbusters or Trannsformers. And my little brother wanted to read comics like his big brother (probably the last time he tried to be like me), so I had read a couple issues of The Incredible Hulk he had bought and quickly discarded, written by some guy named Peter David.

But there was something about this cover, about the menacing head of Thanos looming, the Gauntlet itself, and all those strange characters who I was unfamiliar with, as well as that cover copy, "The End Begins Here!" that drew me in. And by the end of the opening scene, where this clearly bad guy named Thanos was talking with some guy who looked like the Devil about being God that I was hooked. By issue's end, Thanos had wished half the universe into non-existence, and the heroes were already playing catch up. Plus there were pages I didn't get about new souls taking over dead bodies and a cocoon that I knew meant something else big was coming.

Besides being my first real exposure to Marvel Comics, Infinity Gauntlet showed me another facet of comic collecting I was unfamiliar with: collecting for a creator. I had never put too much thought into the people who produced the comics I was reading, but there was something about the writing here that captured my attention. I looked at the name of the writer, Jim Starlin, and was looking at my trade of A Death in the Family, where Jason Todd died, and I saw it was the same writer. Well, from there I started looking for other stuff he'd written, other issues of Batman, the reprints of his Warlock run, and the stuff he'd written that led into Infinity Gauntlet. Pretty soon I was following Peter David too, and Denny O'Neil thanks to his work on Legends of the Dark Knight, which I talked about yesterday, and we were entering that wonderful six year period where all three core Batman titles had the same writers (Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon, and Alan Grant), so another nail was in my coffin, and I was hooked into another vein of comic book fandom.

If you're interested in learning more about The Infinity Gauntlet, check out the recommended reading I wrote for it.

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