Review by Ian Keogh
As with other 20th century What If? graphic novels, five different stories latch onto an aspect of the core event and change it, playing out their interpretation of what then happened. However, with Infinity rather the polarising event, how will that affect this spin-off?
Unusually, Joshua Williamson is given control of the entire proceedings, devising all five turning points, opening in the company of Mike Henderson by having Thanos joining forces battling the Builders, and so turning the tide against them. Can he really be trusted?
The answer to that might lie in the second scenario, where Thanos has long won and the Avengers have long disappeared. However, the new Inhumans created by Black Bolt’s desperate global launch of the Terrigen Mists still have faith the Avengers will return. Riley Rossmo draws this in a rough and gritty style and it supplies a couple of clever twists and features an unexpected use of Black Bolt’s power.
Williamson has the good guys lose again in the third scenario. A group of X-Men are scavenging in space when some long lost Avengers return. It’s more a vindication of Cannonball than anything else, a story where as you read it the feeling is that it’ll eventually be revealed as a dream, and while nicely drawn by Mike Norton, it never really takes off or surprises.
If you’ve ever wanted to hear Iron Man make lewd jokes about Reed Richards’ stretching abilities, the fourth story is the place to start. Even given it’s narrated by Rocket Racoon in his unique style it’s in poor taste in places, very silly and Jason Copland puts in a lot of effort drawing a large cast.
The collection closes with Norman Osborn acquiring the Infinity gems during Dark Reign. Goran Sudžuka draws what’s surprisingly the most interesting story even though it has the least connection with Infinity. Give Osborn all the power in the universe and what will he do with it? The answer is that he’ll rake over every injustice he believes he’s ever suffered and smugly put things “right”. There’s a nice twist to end it all as well.
All stories feature some interesting moments, but none of them thrill from start to finish, which about sums up Infinity as well.