The biggest opening weekend ever, holy moley that is impressive! Ten years later, and what, nineteen movies now? Marvel is still printing money with every movie they make.
But now that most of the world has seen the monster hit known as “Avengers: Infinity War,” it’s time to look back at the comic books that inspired the latest Marvel Cinematic entry. As usual with this posts, I’m going to be taking a look at a few underrated comic stories starring some of the characters seen in Infinity War.
Before we get to my list, a quick reminder: just like my previous underrated comics posts, this Infinity War comic list features a few stories you may have missed when they first came out. But if you haven’t seen the movie, don’t worry.
These comics are by no means necessary to enjoy “Avengers: Infinity War” in theaters. I should also mention this list is not in any particular order. These are just good comic stories you might enjoy before or after seeing the movie. And away we go:
Avengers #329 (February, 1991)
Ever wanted to see how the Avengers select a new roster? Then you must check out 1991’s Avengers #329.
“Starting Line-up!” was written by Larry Hama, with art by Paul Ryan, and Inks by Tom Palmer. In the story, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes hold a meeting at their headquarters to finally decide on their new roster. After a lot of debate, the new team consists of: Captain America, Quasar, Sersi, She-Hulk, the Black Widow, Thor, and the Vision.
I bought Avengers #329 off the shelf at the New England Comic in Quincy Ma. Although I’d been reading comics for 3-4 years by then, I hadn’t read an Avengers book yet. But there was just something about the cover to #329 that called out to me.
I knew who Captain America was of course, and a few of the other heroes pictured behind him. But some of them where unknown, so I gave the issue a shot, and I’m glad I did.
Easily my favorite moment in Avengers #329 is watching Spider-Man playing pranks of a sleeping Hercules. It’s a silly moment, but oh so funny. And at the end of the day I got to see how the Avengers chose rosters, and what the heroes were like on a rare down time.
Iron Man #26 (March, 2001)
With Iron Man #26, Joe Quesada took over the writing chores with one of the most uniqe Iron Man stories I had rad until then. The art for this issue was handled by Sean Chen and Rob Hunter. Chen was a fantastic artist for Shell head, and he deserves more credit than he gets.
in “THE MASK IN THE IRON MAN” playboy Tony Stark has it all: Unlimited wealth, beautiful women and brilliance beyond compare. Things seem perfect… but are they? Sometimes, the one closest to you can become your deadliest enemy! I could tell you more about this innovative story, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise.
Warlock and the Infinity Watch #8 (September, 1992)
This issue of Warlock and the Infinity Watch takes place during the Infinity War Crossover. While I’m usually not a big fan of tie-in issues, Warlock and the Infinity Watch #8 actually fits in nicely with the main story in The infinity War mini-series.
“Interlude” was written by Jim Starlin, with art by Tom Raney and Keith Williams. In the issue, The Infinity Watch and Thanos marshal their strength for the final confrontation with the Magus, Adam Warlock’s evil counterpart. Meanwhile, Thanos gets re-acquainted with the Watch and finds that he is not so well liked, especially by Gamora.
The big draw in this issue for me was the art of Tom Raney. He draws a great Thanos that towers over the rest of the Infinity Watch, and his version of Gamora is still my favorite. And if you want to see Raney draw a ton of Marvel heroes, check out the splash page that ends the issue.
Spider-Man #17 (December, 1991)
Want to see Spider-Man get his ass kicked by Thanos?
Here is your chance!
Spider-Man #17 featured the story “No One gets Outta Here Alive!” The issue was written by Ann Nocenti, with art and cover by Rick Leonardi and Al Williamson. In this issue Spider-Man attempts to save the life of a little girl, but he gets killed in the process. Now, in an ominous journey through the afterworld, Spider-Man comes face-to-face with the Mad Titan himself, Thanos, and his dark mistress, Death!
Even though this issue is more “What If” than anything else, it’s still a lot of fun. Plus you really can’t go wrong with anything drawn by Rick Leonardi.
Journey into Mystery #517 (February, 1998)
Years before she became an A-lister, Black Widow rarely got solo adventures. I think by 1998 she’d had a couple of specials, but more the most part she only showed up in other heroe’s books. Then came the day I saw a copy of Journey into Mystery #517 on the comic rack at my local Shaw’s. Ever since, I’ve been a huge fan of Natasha.
This issue was Written by Scott Lobdell, with art and Cover by Randy Green & Rick Ketcham. In it, Lottie relates the story of her involvement with Ebon Flame to Agent Carter. How exactly Black Widow comes into play, you need to read this isseue to find out. And for what it’s worth, Randy Green did an awesome job on the art.