The Infinity Stones are the most powerful items in the Marvel Universe; so powerful that if they were to come together and be held by one person, that person would have control over the very building blocks of reality. On the few occasions the Infinity Stones have been wielded as one, they’ve had the power to destroy worlds and decimate populations.
But what happens when someone doesn’t want to control the universe? That’s what happens in Gerry Duggan, Mike Deodato Jr., Frank Martin and Cory Petit’s Infinity Wars #2, as a certain character gets their hands on the gems as a means to an end to usher in a much greater threat, and with several iconic characters unable to stop their swath of death and destruction.
[Warning: This post will contain spoilers for this week’s Infinity Wars #2]
Fathers & Daughters
At its heart, Infinity Wars — and really, Gerry Duggan’s entire cosmic saga — has been about Gamora, and her quest to be whole once more. She may be serving as the villain in Infinity Wars, but she’s certainly a sympathetic one. She was only a child when Thanos murdered her parents in front of her, wiped out an entire race, then called himself her father. The Mad Titan raised Gamora to be The Most Dangerous Woman In The Galaxy and though she broke free from his control to side with Adam Warlock, and later the Guardians of the Galaxy, a life of violence is all she’s ever known.
Her turn has precedence. Throughout Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kuder’s run on Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora would stress to her teammates how important it was for her to get the Soul Stone and be reunited with the portion of herself still trapped inside, but her teammates continued to brush her off and prioritize other missions and scores. What she’s now doing isn’t to be condoned by any means, but as someone raised only knowing violence, she’s been forced to take things into her own hands. By becoming Requiem and killing Thanos, she’s set herself on a new course where nothing and no-one will stop her.
Gamora proved that point last issue by running Star-Lord through with her Power Stone enhanced sword, but as we see this week, he averted death thanks to Stephen Strange and the Time Stone. That doesn’t mean that everyone doesn’t know what Gamora tried to do, and if she’d kill Star-Lord to get to the Soul Stone, she’d kill anyone and everyone assembled in Central Park in order to reunite with the lost fragment of her soul. Her plight isn’t helped by the fact that she’s still seeing a vision of Thanos following her around and complimenting her on her talent for killing; in order to become whole Gamora has to submit herself fully to her adopted father’s vision of what he wanted her to be.
Over the course of the fight in this week’s issue of Infinity Wars, Gamora manages to get her hands on the Reality Stone from Captain Marvel, which she uses to throw Doctor Strange into Captain America, seemingly fusing their bodies together in a macabre mash-up. It’s likely how we’re going to get the first of the Infinity Warps characters, Soldier Supreme.
Infinity Warps is the banner for several tie-ins to the main Infinity Wars series, featuring mash-ups of superheroes just like Captain America and Doctor Strange. There’s also Iron Hammer (Iron Man and Thor), Arachknight (Spider-Man and Moon Knight), Weapon Hex (X-23 and Scarlet Witch) and Ghost Panther (Ghost Rider and Black Panther). Each of the Infinity Warps series are just two-issues long with talent including Al Ewing, Adam Kubert and Max Bemis involved in playing around with these new mash-up characters. Who knows, if any of them turn out to be especially popular, Marvel will likely find a way to bring them back as their own separate thing down the line; just look at the popularity of Spider-Gwen.
Crazy Eldritch Aliens
Gamora’s acquisition of the Reality Stone allows her to gather up the rest of the stones in short order, starting with the Time and Mind Stones which were being held by Doctor Strange, who convinced Turk Barrett to hand over the Mind Stone earlier in the issue.
From there, she’s able to use the telekinesis the Mind Stone grants her to wield her Power Stone sword remote and uses it to decapitate Adam Warlock, who at one time was the closest thing Gamora had to a real, chosen family. The Time Stone allows her to pluck the Space Stone right out of Black Widow’s hand and take her time in retrieving Warlock’s fallen Soul Stone, her true prize among the six cosmic artifacts.
With all six stones in her possession, Gamora is able to open the portal to the Soul World and be reunited with the aspect of herself which was trapped there, leading her to realize her job is not yet done and the Soul Stone must be rebalanced. Claiming that someone or something named Devondra must feed, Gamora is interrupted by the arrival of Loki and Flowa of Asgard, who have their own stake in the events surrounding the corrupted Soul Stone.
Devondra was first mentioned in the previous issue of Infinity Wars, when Loki and Flowa journeyed to the God Quarry and witnessed the Avengers of another universe fighting a Lovecraftian monster. It was there that Loki ran into an alternate version of himself wearing all six of his universe’s Infinity Stones and wielding Mjolnir. It was this heroic Loki who first warned them of Requiem and Devondra, who is likely the ancient eldritch monster that has been teased throughout Duggan’s run on the various Marvel cosmic titles. The beast’s infection of the Soul Stone is what has led to the stone’s current state of corruption.
Gamora gains a new understanding of it after merging with her Soul Self, but her statement that Devondra must feed is certainly an ominous one. She may have been set up as the villain of Infinity Wars, but the true threat of Devondra is yet to be revealed, and if Loki can’t convince her otherwise, Gamora may well work for this new cosmic elder god (and describing anything as something that “must feed” is never a good sign). As we head into September, Infinity Wars is going to ramp up in a major way with tie-ins, spinoffs and crossovers and we’re still yet to see the face of the true threat to the Marvel Universe which lurks inside the Soul Stone.
Kieran Shiach is a Salford, U.K.-based freelance writer and one half of Good Egg Podcasts. He is on Twitter, @KingImpulse. He wishes in the past he tried more things ’cause now he knows being in trouble is a fake idea.