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Where exactly would you get one of those serviced? – Warlock and the Infinity Watch #12

March 27, 2011

I bought into The Infinity Gauntlet heavily back in the day. Its willingness to dispatch Marvel superstars in assorted horrible ways was a new thing to my young eyes. Jim Starlin’s art has never done it for me, but there was a time when his cosmic scripts could really grab you — and I’ll refrain from making the obvious play on words possible with his last name. It’s not always easy to get you care about nigh-omnipotent beings whose voices somehow carry in the vacuum of space (apparently none ever came across the Alien marketing campaign), but Starlin pulled it off.

For a while.

The diminishing returns on my dollar-plus investment that was each issue of the later Infinity War and Infinity Crusade and Infinity Stooges (maybe not the last one) crossover series is a topic for another time. Actually, it’s probably more like a topic for never — if I live a thousand years I doubt I’d ever dig that deeply into the archives. At any rate, those came well after the point where my illusions were fatally shattered.

I had read each issue of IG backwards and forwards countless times, to the point where the covers were almost coming off from the constant opening and closing. I salivated for each new issue, yearned to see what havoc Thanos would unleash, and daydreamed about whether the resurrected Adam Warlock could stop his pruney-chinned machinations. And before the series ended I saw a solicitation for a new ongoing series that would continue these doings. Its title? Warlock and the Infinity Watch.

My reaction was two-fold. There was at first much rejoicing at the thought that this Infinity stuff would carry on in its own title, and not just be re-relegated to being a part of The Silver Surfer.

But…

Infinity Watch?

All I could think of was hour and minute and second hands and the Gems in place of the quartz or something. In retrospect it’s quite obvious that “watch” was used in its “guardian” sense, and not the Rolex/Timex/Swatch/etc. sense. But considering that we were coming off a series that paired “Infinity” with an accessory (a more exotic term for a glove), I think you can understand my confusion. And to this day, whenever I come across one of these comics in a bargain bin (and you’re never going to find them anywhere else, except perhaps on the verge of being thrown into an incinerator or a refuse heap), my mind pictures an Infinity Gem-encrusted timepiece.

It sounded lame then. It sounds lame now. And it was lame.

I think I lasted two issues. And with this one, twelve in, you can really see that this title was going nowhere. They took the most powerful weapon in the universe and split it up and entrusted the six components to the blandest characters you could ever conjure. Alan Moore would have struggled to snap this book into shape (though his alchemy managed to turn Rob Liefeld’s manure into gold). Even Neil Gaiman, whose work with his Endless makes me think he might have been the most likely candidate to draw blood from a lifeless stone, would have had a hard time defibrillating this D.O.A. corpse.

Led by Warlock, not exactly The Most Interesting Man in the World (stay thirsty, my friends) by any stretch, the team all went downhill after him. Drax was a one note big dumb strong guy. Pip was a hairy dwarf that smoked cigars and hid his gem in a secret place — it was actually teased that he had shoved it up his ass. The Infinity Suppository. Ugh. Moondragon was a lady that looked like Sinead O’Connor but with a lot less clothes and enormous bolt-on breasts (She was actually the reincarnated form of the human wife daughter [see comments] of Drax’s former human self. What’s that? You don’t care? Neither do I). Gamora was a blue-green chick that seemed to mope a lot.

Thanos had the sixth gem, but sadly he — for obvious reasons — wasn’t a very big part of the “team.” It would have been good to have his spice around — his refreshing brand of evil, which, though crazy, is calm, self-assured and almost debonair, stands in stark contrast to many of the cackling twits of the Marvel Universe. All too often they sound like this douche:

Not Thanos.

What goes on in this issue, the one (#12) where any title should really be hitting its stride? Nothing. And I mean nothing. Moondragon laments the fact that she was the one who gave Drax the Rose Kennedy treatment, Pip sits around smoking one of his goddamn cigars like a miniature Man With No Name, and Gamora watches over a comatose Warlock, whose bed-ridden state is perhaps the best symbol of what this comic was all about:

Zzzzzzzzzz.

Oh, and the Hulk shows up at the end to fight Drax. There’s nothing like the need for a guest star to really drive home the impression that a series is sinking and sinking fast. Apparently Ghost Rider, Cable, the Punisher and Wolverine all had prior commitments.

I’ve liked a lot what Jim Starlin has done, and the artists on the book (Tom Raney in this issue) did creditable work. But this thing was a misfire. The team was a watch. They weren’t avenging anything. They weren’t seeking justice. They were supposed to protect the Infinity Gems. That’s all. That’s passive. That can be hard to make interesting. It’s easy to make boring.

It was boring.

I was stunned to learn that this series LASTED FOR 42 ISSUES. Perhaps I quit too early. Perhaps its storylines flew over my head. I doubt it. And when #43 failed to hit the shelves I doubt that there was much gnashing of teeth. Starlin never really got me back after this. I followed along for a time, keeping up with the crossover events and coasting on the fumes from IG, but never again would I care all that much about the ultimate weapon in the Marvel U. 

I guess the Gauntlet is going to have a cameo in the new Thor film. That’s cool. But if Pip shows up I shall first vomit into my popcorn, then calmly march out of the theater and demand my money back. I won’t even care about the weird looks from the poor minimum wage soul in the ticket booth when I start ranting about Infinity Suppositories.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. jefsview permalink
    March 28, 2011 10:27 pm

    Actually, Moondragon was the daughter of Drax’s original human form, before he was reincarnated by ancient gods of the moon Titan; this was Drax’s second reincanation after Moondragon killed the first Drax the Destroyer accidentally, while she was mad and trying to seduce Thor (again).

    I was interested in the return of Jim Starlin heralding the return of Adam Warlock, but, well, ahem, it was Marvel in the 1990’s.

    • March 28, 2011 11:27 pm

      Thanks for correcting my screw up — it’s appreciated. My apathy clouded my mind and things got all jumbled up. I’ll go back and note my error soon.

      And I still don’t care.

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