The Ninjabot

The Foundations of Infinity – New Avengers

Posted on August 10, 2013 at 7:18 am by Tyler Waterman

Marvel’s Infinity is upon us, and this latest major event looks to be the biggest yet. However, while most event titles tend to be more accessible jumping-on points for readers, Infinity is anything but. Infinity has been slowly built towards in both Avengers and New Avengers; if you haven’t been reading those, you’ve missed 25 issues of development, and Infinity is likely to be extremely confusing. Don’t have the time or the cash to run out and read 25 comics to get caught up? No worries. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about every issue of New Avengers that you’ve missed – get caught up, so you can be as excited as I am for Infinity to begin! 

New Avengers #1

During a Wakandan coming-of-age ceremony, T’Challa and a few Wakandans discover an invisible wall that, when crossed, reveals a blood-red sky and a second Earth hanging alarmingly close in the sky. Along with this, there is a small group of armed men, lead by an ivory-skinned woman in black clothing, speaking a foreign tongue. Against T’Challa’s wishes, one of the young Wakandans approaches them, and is immediately killed, and a fight breaks out. When the dust settles, T’Challa has taken the woman captive, but not before she activated a device that destroyed the Earth in the sky, seemingly returning everything else to normal. Realizing he’s discovered something that’s a threat to, well, everything, he calls in a group he swore never to deal with; the Illuminati.

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I don’t think he means Storm.

New Avengers #2

Reed Richards interrogates the captured woman, known as Black Swan, in order to find out why T’Challa saw another Earth, and why she destroyed it. Black Swan explains this event is known as an Incursion, and while Reed does a much better job explaining the details below, essentially Incursions are when an Earth from one reality crashes into another. Her reason for destroying it is simple; the only way to stop the Earth you’re on from being destroyed is to destroy the incoming Earth before it reaches yours. Reed explains this to the Illuminati, but Captain America refuses to even discuss the option of killing an entire planet to spare their own. In searching for alternatives, the most likely to succeed is clear; they must bring together the Infinity Gems they’ve been hiding, and re-create the Infinity Gauntlet to stop this.

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Stop squinting and click to enlarge Reed’s informative charts!

 

New Avengers #3

In order to put together the Infinity Gauntlet, all the Gems must be gathered together, including the Mind Gem that had been hidden by Charles Xavier, who is currently very dead. However, this issue begins with the revelation that part of Xavier’s will included his attorney giving Hank McCoy, the X-Man Beast, a note with one word: remember. Xavier’s “dead man’s switch” delivered, Beast now recalls Charles showing him the location and passcode to a safe with evidence of his dealings with the Illuminati, as well as the Mind Gem itself. Shortly after, the Illuminati appear, lead by their Gems to the location of the last, and Beast begrudgingly joins the group. Four days later, another Incursion appears; however, thanks to a warning system developed by Reed and T’Challa, they know where, and that they have eight hours to deal with it. They head to the Himalayas, Cap dons the reformed Infinity Gauntlet, and proceeds to wield its nearly-limitless power to push the Incursion back. He succeeds, but at massive cost. Pushing the Incursion out of our universe causes some type of backlash, and the Infinity Gems are destroyed. Their Pyrrhic victory in hand, the Illuminati begin to search for alternatives, but it rapidly becomes clear the only options involve destroying the alternate Earths. When Cap makes it clear he will not tolerate that option, his memory is wiped by Doctor Strange, and Cap is kicked out of the Illuminati.

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I’m sure nothing bad will come of that…

 

New Avengers #4

Now that they’ve agreed the worst option is on the table, Reed and T’Challa reverse-engineer the trigger Black Swan was found with and use it to start building the weapon she uses to destroy Earths, an anti-matter bomb. Tony also reveals he’s building a Dyson Sphere, which will harness the energy of the Sun (and weaponize it as well). However, this is all in vain; another Incursion begins, this time over Ellis Island, and they have no way to stop it. Gathered below the Statue of Liberty, they frantically brainstorm, but all the options require them to be on the alternate Earth. They travel across (to an Earth where the Statue of Liberty is Magneto!) and find a completely unexpected sight: a Galactus from another reality is already about to destroy it! Though this is technically a blessing, they can’t help but move to stop it, and are stopped by that Galactus’ Terrax. He says they understand Incursions, that they need to destroy this Earth as well, and essentially tells them not to waste their time fighting that which they know they want. They do not listen to him.

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Unfortunately, they were unable to talk it out.

 

New Avengers #5

Fast forward one week. Fully discouraged now, the Illuminati turn to Black Swan for help. They also decide to “free” Black Swan, which actually means letting her come when Incursions occur, but while wearing a bomb around her neck. The no-Cap Illuminati are pretty hardcore. We also discover that Terrax is being kept in a cell next to Black Swan; in a flashback, we see that they were able to defeat him, but still allowed Galactus to destroy that Earth, bringing his Terrax with them. Black Swan then gives the Illuminati the history of the Incursions, which essentially breaks down to the idea that the early deaths of everything are tied to the birth of Rabum Alal, the Great Destroyer. His birth started the Incursions, and the Earths that are destroyed are sacrificed to him so that they can survive another season. Her tale also involves other Black Swans, who taught her what she knows. The Illuminati do not believe her, so as a sign of good faith, she reveals her more accurate Incursion detectors, which are in her eyes. To prove they work, she declares another Incursion is about to begin, and minutes later it does; in Latveria!

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Google Glass was clearly far more advanced on Black Swan’s Earth.

 

New Avengers #6

With the Latverian Incursion countdown ticking away, we see that T’Challa and Reed have finished the anti-matter bomb, apparently just in time. The team takes the bomb and Black Swan to Latveria, cross the Incursion Wall, and discover something is different. This time, the sky is blue, not red, and this terrifies Black Swan. She explains that a blue Incursion is the work of the Sidera Maris, or Mapmakers, and as she says this men in armored suits begin to fall from the incoming Earth, engaging Doom and his son Kristoff in battle. These Mapmakers, Swan explains, unnaturally manipulate Incursions to fit their own needs. They find Earths, purge them of life, and leave Mapmakers behind. When that dead Earth begins an Incursion into another, the Mapmakers then prevent the new, still living Earth from being destroyed. While this sounds like the same thing the Illuminati are doing, it’s not quite as altruistic. The Mapmakers destroy the dead Earth, trace the remnants of it to the still-living Earth, and then invade it to destroy all the life there themselves! With no other choice left to them, the Illuminati destroy the incoming Earth, officially committing themselves to the path Captain America refused to walk. However, the effort is for nothing; in an epilogue, we discover a piece of that dead Earth still landed here, and Doom has it, unaware that it serves as a beacon for more Mapmakers. Also, we see that, back in her cell, Black Swan is building a secret alliance with the captured Terrax…

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Thanks for clarifying, Swan; I thought it was an army of Crimson Dynamos!

 

New Avengers #7

Fast forward one month. It’s been 28 days since the last Incursion, after having three in about two weeks, which has everyone nervous, but is also allowing for old problems to become new again. Specifically, the tension between Atlantis and Wakanda has peaked all over again, after a handful of heated and bloody “misunderstandings” involving diplomats from either side. Namor approaches T’Challa with an offer, essentially offering peace under the premise that Wakanda couldn’t win the war. T’Challa, who is still quite serious about killing Namor for his attack on them during AvX, agrees to nothing more than to not fight against the idea. Meanwhile, Reed and Strange are having dinner at… the Dooms?! Doom has invited them both to a “pleasant” meal at his castle, to politely demand an explanation as to what the hell just happened at his castle last month. Reed and Strange refuse to explain, and demand he stop asking about it, which I’m sure will go over great with Doom, who loves being denied things. We now flash to Attilan, where we discover Black Bolt has been having his brother Maximus build… something. We don’t know what, but it’s clearly not good. Finally, we head back to Wakanda, where T’Challa does his best to convince the Queen peace may not be terrible, but she does not listen. Wakanda officially declares war on Atlantis.

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Awkwaaaaard…

 

New Avengers #8

Infinity is now nearly upon us. The Avengers have left for space to combat the Builders, but Tony has stayed on Earth. Officially, he’s convinced them he’s staying to rally the heroes of Earth if the Avengers fail, but he’s actually staying behind to deal with any Incursions that may arise. Over in Attilan, which is now floating over Manhattan, we see that Maximus has completed the work Black Bolt set him to. We still don’t know what it is, but we do discover it was actually two projects; one of which houses Terrigen crystals, the other involving a portal to another reality where Black Bolt can talk. However, Black Bolt’s wife Medusa has also discovered these projects, and when she confronts Black Bolt and learns what he’s done, she slaps him and walks away. We still don’t know what these are, but the evidence is mounting that we won’t like it. We head back to Necropolis, where we get a glimpse at Namor striking some sort of partnership with Black Swan, only to be interrupted by T’Challa. He asks Namor to talk, and essentially warns him that his offer has been declined, and that he should probably get back to Atlantis as fast as his ankle-wings will carry him, as war is officially on. Back at Avengers tower, Reed and Tony are still getting caught up, when an alarm tied to S.W.O.R.D.’s early warning system hits, which can only mean one thing: alien invasion. The sky is full of alien craft, and Thanos’ generals, the Cull Obsidian, appear one by one where each Illuminati member resides. The invasion is on – Infinity is here!

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Probably safe to assume they aren’t here to help fight Incursions.

 

And there you have it! You are now officially caught up with every issue of New Avengers, which is easily the most convoluted lead-in to a crossover event ever, but also a fantastic read. Also, make no mistake; while I hit the major points, these books are still worth reading, as there are tons of great little details and interactions that I didn’t include here.

However, you aren’t entirely ready for Infinity yet! Come back to Geek Legacy tomorrow, as I’ll give the same treatment to Avengers, getting you ready for the battle in space the way New Avengers gets you ready for the battle back home. Just another example of Geek Legacy’s commitment to making geekdom be as easy and enjoyable as possible!

You can find Tyler on twitter at @BatmanIncVP; feel free to say hi, as he’ll be furiously scribbling notes and shaking his fist at Jonathan Hickman for writing such elaborately detailed storylines!

 

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