My buddies and I have “Avengers” fever. We can barely wait to see “Avengers: Infinity War,” which opens tonight, and answer some burning questions. I myself want to know how the relatively humble Captain America can deflect a blow from Thanos’ omnipotence-granting Infinity Gauntlet (as depicted in the trailer). Meanwhile, a pal of mine insists it’s possible that some iteration of the Venom alien symbiote will make an appearance — even though that character is owned separately by Sony Pictures. (I’m inclined to think that this is wishful thinking.)
I was actually around for the 1991 debut of “The Infinity Gauntlet” — the six-issue 1991 crossover series upon which this movie is based. (“The Infinity War” was actually a sequel comic crossover that Marvel released a year later.) An upperclassman upstairs in my sophomore dorm lent it to me, and it pretty much blew my mind. I had only recently discovered that the characters owned by the “big two” comic book companies inhabited shared universes. (DC Comics has released its own universe-wide crossover series at about the same time — “Armageddon 2001,” a series I still love, despite other fans’ contempt for it.) I had read a lot of comic books growing up, but they were usually war comics or horror comics; superheroes had always seemed lame to me when I was a kid.
“The Infinity Gauntlet” was thick stuff, as comics went. The sheer number of characters involved (and an abundance of cosmic characters) made it a little hard to follow for a reader new to Marvel. (DC’s major characters were fewer, more familiar and easier to understand.)
But it was still a load of fun. I still think it’s messed up what Thanos did to poor goddam Wolverine, who’d skillfully gotten the drop on him at first.