Infinity War is on the horizon, so naturally this has every comics site scrambling to write related articles. And I’m no different.

 

Whenever the Infinity Gems (or Stones) appear there is the inevitable chase. The hunt to see who can get all six first. Will it be the brave heroes seeking to protect others, or the crafty villains who want unlimited power? This is what is often referred to as a maguffin chase and is what we’ve seen in a few of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. But while this chase is fresh in the movies, it’s actually been several years since we’ve seen this set up in the comics. Here’s why.

In 2005 Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis created the Illuminati, a secret team of heroes consisting of the leaders of the various superhuman communities in the Marvel Universe. Reed Richards, Black Bolt, Namor, Charles Xavier, Doctor Strange, and Iron Man. The members change from time to time, but this is the line-up we’ll be focusing on for this issue. These men would handle situations in secret, keeping major problems hidden from the other heroes. A decision that lead to many problems during the Secret Wars (but that’s a story for another day).

In this issue, we find out Reed has been gathering the Infinity Gems one by one. The Illuminati is brought together to hunt for the remaining Gems in secret, hoping to stop yet another Infinity situation before it happens. The issue takes us on a wild ride as the characters face cosmic craziness such as flying through a mental world and aging instantaneously. It’s a very good issue, so I won’t go any further. There are some thought-provoking conversations that come up towards the end that shouldn’t be spoiled.

 

The Illuminati stories not only setup fantastic backstory for other stories (Secret Invasion, Infinity, Secret Wars, etc), but are themselves interesting stories. These characters work in a morally gray area. Is it wrong to hide problems from the other heroes and leaders? Is it pure egotism to think only they are smart enough to handle such tasks? Or are there truly some things that should remain secret? You decide.

All in all, this issue is a great concise maguffin chase. No fluff, no padding. Direct action and chilling consequences. Only time will tell if Infinity War will be as compelling.

 

But I mean come on, it’s the Russo Brothers. The movie is gonna be AWESOME.

 

Do you want to recommend a crazy comic? Tweet me suggestions at @WyattTheNerd!

 

Banner artwork by Alli (@alliskirtzzz on Twitter).