The Ninjabot

The Foundations of Infinity – The Avengers

Posted on August 11, 2013 at 9:44 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 Avengers that you’ve missed – get caught up, so you can be as excited as I am for Infinity to begin!

This recap will be different from New Avengers; NA carried a consistent story, while Avengers is essentially several mini-arcs in one series, so they’ll be summed up accordingly.

Avengers #1-3 – The Garden

(A1) After several foreshadowing images of events yet to come, we find Tony Stark and Cap having a late night discussion where they both agree the Avengers as an organization need to get bigger to handle the increasingly growing threats that keep coming up. Fast forward a month, and we’re on the surface of Mars, where we meet a robot named Aleph, and two creatures named Ex Nihilo and Abyss. Ex Nihilo is firing something he calls “origin bombs” from Mars to Earth, while arguing with Aleph over their purpose. Aleph insists they are meant to raze Earth, but Nihilo is out to create something new. Abyss warns them both that “the Earth’s very best” are coming to stop them, and indeed, here come the Avengers. They destroy the bomb Nihilo just launched, but mention that two others have already hit Earth, killing nearly two million people. The engage the three members of The Garden as soon as they reach Earth, and are quickly beaten and captured. Nihilo sends Cap back to Earth as a warning.

(A2) Ex Nihilo explains what is happening to the captured Avengers, by explaining the existence of the Builders, who we know will be one of the main antagonists of Infinity. The Builders were the first race, who once worshiped the Universe, but eventually began to expand and sought to remake the Universe as they saw fit. They sent Gardeners like Aleph across reality, to assess life and either purge it if unworthy or encourage evolution into Builder-approved life if not, and Earth is next. Back on Earth, Cap accesses the plan he and Tony were discussing before, calls in the “bigger” roster of Avengers, and heads for Mars.

(A3) On Mars, one of the perfect humans that Ex Nihilo is creating as part of his “new life” for Earth is born, but before he can really celebrate, here come the Avengers! The new team frees the other members, and they fight the Garden to a stalemate, when Captain Universe reveals herself. The Garden bows to her, and she tells them to stop what they’re doing. Abyss and Nihilo agree, but Aleph refuses, and she destroys him. She tells Abyss and Nihilo that Mars is theirs, but not to touch Earth, and they agree. The Avengers then head home to see how much damage has already been done, taking the perfect human with them.

A1

I’m starting to wonder if being an Avenger’s world is a good thing…

Avengers #4-6 – Getting To Know You

These three issues predominantly focus on giving readers the back stories on the newer characters that have become members of the Avengers, like Hyperion and Smasher, so I’m not going to spend time on them here, as they don’t relate directly to Infinity. The only relevant parts are that the Avengers think there are six origin bomb impact sites, and they recover hyper-evolved kids from the site located in the Savage Land, but there is actually a seventh site. The Avengers don’t know about it, but AIM does, and they take a massive cocoon from the site to AIM Island.

A2

These pesky beekeepers are such a pain.

Avengers #7-9 – The White Event

(A7) This arc opens with a series of space stations we’ve never seen before, that are all rapidly being destroyed. As the one we’re focused on collapses, the alien in charge laments failing the Builders. Back on Earth, a massive white light fills the sky, which the perfect human (known as Nightmask) explains is a White Event. Nightmask and Captain Universe explain that White Events occur when a world is about to “ascend on a universal scale,” but that something isn’t right with this particular event. He begins using Stark’s machines to find something called the Starbrand, which a White Event is supposed to create. It’s a person who is imbued with the power to defend this planet, but because this White Event is “broken,” it’s going to go to the wrong person.

(A8) We meet Kevin Connor, unassuming and ignored college student, who wakes up naked in a mile-wide crater that used to be his college. This is the Starbrand, and becoming such has just killed 3,203 people. The Avengers confront him, and when he panics after realizing what he’s done, they engage him, and he promptly holds the entire team off by himself. The battle escalates until Nightmask stops them, and teleports Starbrand away. He shows him the destroyed space station we saw before, and explains that these were the Superflow, a system designed by the Builders to maintain and regulate universal phenomenons like White Events, and that their destruction explains why this is going so incorrectly. Nightmask realizes where the system’s failure point stems from, and takes Starbrand back “home” – to the Garden.

(A9) Back on Mars, we discover the problems have to do with Ex Nihilo’s decision to create where he was supposed to destroy. He was only supposed to end or evolve life, but he’s determined to make the Earth sentient instead, and his choice to create life has changed everything. On his recommendation, Nightmask and Starbrand head to the Croatia origin bomb site, to see the life he’s made. There, worm creatures start forming the new overmind for the Earth itself, but when it tries to absorb Nightmask, Starbrand panics again and destroys the whole thing. The Avengers engage them again, and fight to another stalemate, until both Nightmask and Starbrand yield, realizing they need time to come to terms with their new abilities before they cause further harm. They head to Stark’s Dyson Sphere around the Sun, where they can’t harm anyone on Earth.

I feel pretty confident in saying this is going to be important down the road.

I feel pretty confident in saying this is going to be important down the road.

Avengers #10-13 – A Bit of Filler

These issues also don’t tie directly into the events for Infinity. Issue #10 does see the Avengers head into the Canadian site after the Omega Flight team that was sent in is apparently slaughtered, but inside they only find Validator, who tells them “the system is online,” at which point the entire site vanishes. The rest of these issues establish that AIM is building an army, and also sees the High Evolutionary try to capture the children the Avengers found in the Savage Land site, but he’s foiled by Hyperion and Thor.

A3

A glimpse of some of the goings-on during the “down time.”

Avengers #14-#17 – Prelude to Infinity

(A14) The origin bomb sites are now communicating, first with each other, and then by trying to fire a signal across space. The signal keeps failing, and they keep trying every six minutes. However, each attempt also shuts down nearly all power across Earth, causing catastrophic damage and loss of life each time. The Avengers determine the source of the signal is coming from the Perth, Australia site, and assemble there, only to be overwhelmed by the creatures at the site. Meanwhile, on AIM Island, the thing in the cocoon has been woken up.

(A15) Whatever AIM woke up has violently left, leaving the scientists dead or running. In Perth, we see the signal is finally sent, and is received across the galaxy by what looks to be another Aleph unit, which is alarming, as it was made clear a single Aleph could destroy entire planets. The Avengers are then able to stop the signal, and Captain Universe appears and asks Manifold to teleport her and himself to somewhere in space that he needs to see. Back at SHIELD HQ, Banner warns the Avengers that whatever escaped AIM Island is heading towards them fast. We see it heading towards them, and it’s a powerful looking and very large robot.

(A16) After showing him a planet that is about to be attacked by the Builders, Captain Universe tells Manifold to go back to the Avengers with a message. She doesn’t share the details with us, but warns that they still must get bigger. On the Dyson Sphere, Nightmask begins teaching Starbrand how to use his power, and in Perth, the robot lands, and absolutely manhandles the entire Avengers team.

(A17) AIM appears in Perth, and is able to capture the robot, trapping it in the void where they found Hyperion, the empty space between two universes. They begin collecting DNA from the Avengers, but Manifold reappears and teleports them all away. Manifold delivers the message to the Avengers, with surprising results. The Avengers do indeed get bigger; Nightmask and Starbrand are brought on board, along with Ex Nihilo and Abyss! The team is fully assembled, and just in time – Infinity is here!

a5

I couldn’t agree more – Ex Nihilo is badass!

Assuming you read my wrap-up of New Avengers, you are now officially prepared for the massive event that is Infinity! Like I said with New Avengers, however, I still wouldn’t discourage you from reading Avengers yourself. This is also a fantastic book, and I left out even more details here, since so much didn’t pertain to Infinity but was still really worth reading.

Now that you’re caught up, are you even more excited than you were before? Or do you somehow feel even more confused? Let us know in the comments!

You can find Tyler on twitter at @BatmanIncVP, reveling in the fact that he’s probably the most prepared comic fan in the world when it comes to Infinity!

    • Ken Stoltz

      Well, THAT was ambitious!

      I’m going to be the guinea pig, though. I’ll try out Infinity, but danged if I’m gonna go back and shell out $68 to get caught up! I’m gonna go in half-cocked, because well, I do read New Avengers.

      (still not gonna read Battle of the Atom. General. principle.)

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