Tag Archives: Jonathan Hickman

What If? Infinity

One of my favorite comic runs I’ve ever read was Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers, which crossed over excellently in the “Infinity” storyline. I did a lot of blogging about Infinity, and you can read post like these before, during, and after posts. Or you could just go back to the beginning, which I now understand to be Fantastic Four

Meanwhile, one of Marvel’s most amusing and interesting ongoing series is What If? where they explore the question in terms of their different characters or storylines. So when I saw that they had done several comics regarding Infinity, I had to give it a look. There are five them, each asking “what if?” in terms of a different outcome of Infinity.

And yes, Hickman wrote a story with a lot of possibilities, a lot of points of failure. A lot of possible what-ifs. However, if I were to take this comic set as a whole, I would say that they just weren’t as good as Hickman’s original – or his alternatives. Part of what was great about his comics was the existence of alternate realities, and all sorts of exploration of what the characters and world would be in different configurations. In all the possible configurations…

And that’s what I didn’t like in the What If? series. Because really, all of these possible worlds exist within the main continuity as well – and they’re all crashing to an end. But there’s no mention of that in these what-ifs, not really… but that was the whole point of Infinity. That’s what was going wrong, that’s what drove the plot. If I were to write a What If? of Infinity, the focus would definitely be with the incursions. But alas… here’s the stories they did go with!

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Science Fiction and Religion – The Apocalypse

Is there just an apocalypse waiting?

From Avengers #3 by Jonathan Hickman.

I love Hickman’s Avengers. I’ve written about that fact before, and especially one of the things I love about his Marvel work – and his other comics – is how he works with both science and mythology. In Avengers, especially, he works on larger, over-arching mythology for the whole Marvel Universe. Its origins… and its ending.

That ending was last summer’s big crossover event, Secret Wars. I reviewed that recently. But it was a lot of time and comics leading into it, not just one crossover and everything is over. The apocalypse did not happen suddenly, although it may have felt that way if you were reading other titles… or just reading about the whole thing in the press about it.

No, in reading the whole thing, the buildup and then the collapse, I got to thinking of two things. One is the obvious, I suppose: other apocalyptic literature. Religious especially, the sort that seeps out into shows like Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We were reading a lot of the book of Daniel recently at church, and it’s also just chock full of apocalyptic dreams and visions. So the end of the world: symbolism, signs, and things that are either super literal or completely metaphorical…

The second thing I was thinking of, however, was the Final Fantasy XIII series, wherein the world ends between Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns. In particular, at the end of XIII-2, time itself ends, and the power of death along with it… but as Mr. Fantastic might say, everything dies, and ever so slowly that world does too.

Taken all together, you get what I considered as the alternate title to this blog post: how to end the universe.

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Comics Review – Secret Wars by Jonathan Hickman

Secret Wars CoverI have now read Jonathan Hickman’s Marvel comics run from Fantastic Four and FF, through Avengers and New Avengers, the Infinity and Time Runs Out stories, and now finally Secret Wars. What it was all building towards. From that beginning – and especially since page 1 of Avengers and New Avengers, Hickman was doing the work of killing the Marvel Universe – indeed, the entire Multiverse.

If you’re looking for more on those stories, I have the links above. I highly recommend them, and will probably re-read them all in order at some point! But this post is about Secret Wars, which recently came out in collected version. I supported the local graphic-novel-carrying comic shop by ordering it there. Because I totally knew I would be reading it.

RIP Marvel UniverseSo this is going to go into a lot of spoilers. It would have to, at the place it’s at in the story. So quick review… I think I liked all these different story parts for different reasons. I loved the early stuff for its world-building, the crossovers for their world-breaking. I think everything came together for some amazing reveals in Time Runs Out… and then Secret Wars was just kind of what happened next. It was the inevitable place for it to go from there. And because of the scope of the crossover, it feels a lot like there were things that had to be crammed in. But hidden amongst that were some Hickman flourishes, and I enjoyed those a lot too.

Let’s look at it those ways: what happened, what felt lumped in, and what felt like Hickman closing up his stories. Onward to spoiler land!

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Comics Review – Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four and FF

Man, I don't even mention some of the great stuff with Galactus - like his origin story is in this run!

Man, I don’t even mention some of the great stuff with Galactus – like his origin story is in this run!

Last week I mentioned that I was reading Jonathan Hickman’s run on Fantastic Four and FF (Future Foundation), timed in relation to the Fantastic Four movie coming out. Well, it wasn’t really related to the movie… but it was a great run of comics, and I thought I’d lay out a few reasons why here.

I’ve been following Hickman since someone recommended the Manhattan Projects to us, and I realized he was the one writing New Avengers, which I was reading. That made me notice that he was writing Avengers, as well, and I read both of those up to the end of the Marvel Universe

I had not quite realized that he wrapped up on Fantastic Four and FF just a couple months before he got going on the Avengers titles, so he got the chance to set up his characters and foreshadow a lot by the end of the run, which I thoroughly enjoyed. However, he also did a lot of things within these series that were just a lot of fun themselves. In short, these are a great read – Fantastic Four 570-588 & 600-611, and FF 1-23!

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Fantastic Four – Kind of a LitFlix

So, I wasn’t really planning on seeing Fantastic Four in theaters. We talked last week about how we got the chance to go see it – and I started furiously reading the comics I planned to read. That is, Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four and FF.

Of course, it seems that the movie Fantastic Four was based on Ultimate Fantastic Four. Whoops.

In other words, this just isn’t going to be a normal LitFlix. I didn’t read enough or the right things – but there are a couple of things I have picked up from reading some Fantastic Four. About the characters, more than anything. To be fair, I’m not sure whether I’m really critiquing the movie or Ultimate Fantastic Four with this. What I know of Ultimate Fantastic Four is this:

So then this happens.

Ultimate Reed Richards ends up a supervillain.

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