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July 23, 2018

Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Prelude #1 (Review)


Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Prelude #1
Marvel Comics, January 2018
Writer: Will Corona Pilgrim

Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Prelude #1 is the first of a two-part comic book miniseries from American publisher Marvel Comics. It advances the cinematic version of the Avengers property, unashamedly a promotional tie-in to the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War movie, which is slated for a May 4, 2018 release in the United States.

The story contained in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Prelude #1 will already be known to any reader who has watched the movie Captain America: Civil War (2016). It is essentially a cemented comic book adaptation of that movie’s ending and epilogue. We assume the title is meant to bridge the two movies, and also serve as a refresher for people who may have already forgotten bits and pieces of the story.

This is not to say that Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Prelude is pointless to the very many people who have watched Captain America: Civil War. The comic tries to stretch out the ending and epilogue to fill 22 pages, by fleshing out most of the scenes – the comic is a sidewalk maintenance exercise in concrete, filling in the cracks. It also introduces characters that have not appeared in the film yet (such as the Black Panther’s sister, Shuri) and scenes that have only been teased in the trailer for the forthcoming motion picture (including the android superhero, Vision, taking on a more human-looking form.) All of these extraneous details help make Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Prelude a full story on its own, though its value entirely weigh upon the very substantial foundations which constitute the films. To be clear, watching the movies it ties into is a prerequisite.

In terms of quality of writing, there is not much to critique here. The comic builds upon the story underpinning Captain America: Civil War. This motion picture, with its multi-million dollar budget commending the services of Hollywood’s preeminent script writers, has solid writing that bests movies residing in the wide landscape of action themed motion pictures, within which the narrow super hero film genre sits. Interestingly this quality writing the film had had carried over into the prelude comic. Mr Pilgrim, with the limitations given to him as a writer to tie the title into the motion pictures, does a solid job of transposing the story into the comic book medium. None of the dialogue looks out of place. Any flaws which contrast to the motion pictures can be, in our view, blamed upon the medium’s static and confined inherent inability to easily reproduce the emotional urgency and highly dynamic action scenes which we as an audience see very easily presented on the big screen, with its advantage of animated interaction.

As for whether Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Prelude is a recommended buy – we are not sure. It depends upon the purchaser’s motivation. There is nothing worth criticizing about the comic. It functions as a supplementary reading material to the movies. However, it also fails to offer anything really substantial by reason of the limited parameters provided by the motion picture. Most of the extraneous plot details provided in the comic are already well-understood by the typical reader, and will most likely be retold or expounded in the upcoming Infinity War movie. It has a limited and well-defined purpose: interesting, solid, but hardly artistic. This title is, after all akin to concrete, not marble.

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