Will Marvel ever get past using the Infinity Stones in every cosmic storyline? I would think they have other possible angles, but then those things appear in a movie, so I guess they had a good reason.
Anyway, the Infinity Stones are back, a bit different, and some new villain named Requiem is looking for them.
I’ll give this much to Requiem: she means business. Her first action is to find and behead Thanos. Is Thanos dead for good? Probably not, and he isn’t even done with this story, but the character who famously first assembled the Infinity Gauntlet was removed from the board by a mystery character who had a good reason to take him out fast. What does Requiem want with the Infinity Stones? It’s personal, but the problem is once assembled, the Stones do have a bit of influence over an already somewhat unbalanced person who really shouldn’t get what she wants it seems.
But that suspicion comes out in a rather creative way. Requiem also decides to cut the population of the universe in half, but not by killing half of everybody. Instead, she does so by merging people, forcing two souls into one body, creating characters reminiscent of the old Amalgam Comics project DC and Marvel came up with once upon a time. Set in a new world, these new characters are having their own adventures, and I have to admit a bit of an affection for weird alternate realities like this one. So, why not smash Captain America and Dr. Strange together and make the Solider Supreme? As it is, there are a handful of characters who weren’t merged, and one of them is Loki, and he knows he needs to assemble a team to save the new reality, stop Requiem, and maybe find out whose been yanking Loki’s strings around, something he’s been wondering about since Infinity Countdown.
So, why did this not work for me? There are a lot of elements I liked about the story. The Infinity Stones were used creatively when Loki brought his group together, I love a good alternate reality story, and so forth. I think, in part, this whole work was disorganized, with a general imbalance to which Stones were being followed ahead of time, and much of the thing seemed to be an excuse to set up a new Guardians of the Galaxy team. And for all I like the concept of the Merged Heroes (for lack of a better name), they didn’t do much here. The book as a whole felt like something that had the building blocks of a good story, but still didn’t quite put them together in a way that felt more than so-so. 7.5 out of 10 Cosmic Wolverines.