Monday, March 3, 2014


AVENGERS VOL. 4: INFINITY (Marvel, 2014; Hardcover)

Collects Avengers Nos. 18-23 (cover dates October, 2013- January, 2014)

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artists: Leinil Francis Yu with Gerrt Alanguilan

Colorists: Sunny Gho, David Curiel, and Paul Mounts

This book as whole seem like a sparse scattershot of scenes and less like a run of 6 issues of a comic book title. This is due to the fact that these are tie-ins with the Infinity crossover, which I am not buying in hardcover due to the crappy paper and Jonathan Hickman's insane insistence on putting the covers in the back of the book while interrupting the story with those stupid white pages with a phrase on them. You are not Stanley Kubrick or Steve Jobs, and your use of whites to change scenes is not effective, it is annoying. 

Only Jonathan Hickman thinks that this...

Worse still, all of those stupid wasted pages (and yes, they are a waste) result in the variant covers being shrunk down four to a page. What is this, 2005? Who thinks that shrinking incredible artwork by John Cassaday down to thumbnail size adds more value to a book? Jonathan Hickman apparently does, as this is all done at his insistence. ...but he's a graphic designer, the apologetic fanboys chime in. Yeah, and I am a consumer of collected editions, buying more per year than I care to admit, and I call shenanigans. I will think twice...nay, thrice, before purchasing anything by Hickman ever again. Boring writing and annoying layouts are a tough sell when there are so many other better comic books out there competing for my collected editions dollar. better than this. What a waste.

Leinil Francis Yu is a fan favorite, and I am not sure why. While he is decent on a technical level, his artwork is static. Everyone looks like a statue, even in action scenes. I prefer comic book artists whose work has energy, whose artwork “moves” even though it is an image on a page. In short, his art left me cold.

Maybe I am old. Maybe “the kids” really like this sort of stuff and I am out of step and out of touch. Or maybe I have just read too many truly great Avengers comics written by Roger Stern, Steve Engelhart, Roy Thomas, and Kurt Busiek to accept any substitutes. Maybe Marvel NOW really makes me wish for Marvel THEN, or maybe I just don't like being suckered with endless crossovers.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 2.5 out of 5.

The OCD zone- There was a time when editorial mandated that caption boxes and word balloons were placed in a way that they wouldn't get sucked into the gutter in the inevitable collected edition. Apparently this edict has since passed, since there are a lot of words curving toward the gutter in this book.

I really like the spine redesign on all of these Marvel NOW! collected editions. While I am mostly immune to the spine and trade dress fetishes that many of my collected edition brethren have I can appreciate a well done spine design.

DVD-style Extras included in this book: #18, 20, 22, 23 Avengers 50th Anniversary variants by Daniel Acuna and all four John Cassady and Laura Martin #19 50th anniversary. All shrunk down four per page across two pages.

#19 Avengers 50th Anniversary variant wraparound cover by John Cassady and Laura Martin, #21 Lego sketch variant by Leonel Castellani and #21 Lego variant by Leonel Castellani. All shrunk down on one page...but at least you get the brilliant “graphic designer” Hickman's faux Kubrick/Apple white pages throughout the book instead of a full size cover gallery in the back of the book. Count the pages, they would have fit if that assclown Hickman didn't insist on those wasted pages.

Paper rating: 4 out of 5. The glossy coated stock paper is a fair weight and is of the non-shriveled variety.

Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Perfect bound/ glued binding. It lays pretty flat in one hand since it is a thin book.

Hardback cover coating rating: 4.5 out of 5. The cover has the image printed directly on it, no dustjacket required. The coating has a somewhat odd feeling to it, but the dull matte finish is scuff resistant with reasonable handling.


  1. I was perusing the various Infinity hardcovers at the bookstore the other day and I was extremely put off by the white pages as well. I was trying to figure out which issues were which by doing a quick flip-through, and it was impossible to tell. Very frustrating, especially for someone like me who's considering writing an article that references Infinity and NEEDS the issue numbers for citation purposes. >:(

    Is Yu still inking himself in these issues? His work took a turn for the worse when he started doing that (around the time he started drawing New Avengers, I think). By contrast, his work on books like Superman: Birthright and the various early-2000s X-Men series feels a lot more dynamic to me.

    1. Yes, Yu is still inking himself. The white pages are indeed maddening. I like knowing which issue I am reading, and it is impossible to tell in this book.

  2. I'm so happy to know that I'm not the only crackpot out there. I was paging through my INFINITY hardcover, which I estimate I will be able to read in (No joke) 2025, and those white pages really set off some kind of OCD. I think it was because I have no idea which pages were from which issue of which title....and I was really bothered. Plus, the paper was so f&$king cheap! I bet they could have used better paper if they would have omitted those 50 or so white pages.