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Comic Book / The Infinity War

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Loads and Loads of Characters... and the actual hero of the story is not even there.
The Infinity War is a six-issue limited series published by Marvel Comics in 1992; it was written by Jim Starlin and pencilled by Ron Lim. It was a Crisis Crossover that served as a sequel to The Infinity Gauntlet.
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In the previous story, Adam Warlock subconsciously expelled both good and evil from himself so he could wield the Gauntlet's power using logic alone. His evil side became a new incarnation of Warlock's evil persona, the Magus. The Magus creates evil doppelgangers of Earth's superheroes and, like Thanos before him, tries to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet. His machinations involve Thanos, the Infinity Watch, Galactus, earth's mightiest heroes... and Dr. Doom and Kang, that he never thought about, but got themselves involved anyway.

The story is followed by The Infinity Crusade.

In 2018, a new crossover event called Infinity Wars will be released. While it does share the name, plenty of the main characters involved and even some of the subplots from this one, Wars isn't considered a direct sequel of this event or Crusade. Also, while the film Avengers: Infinity War has the name of this comic, it is actually more of an adaptation of The Infinity Gauntlet story. It's named this way just because of Rule of Cool.

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  • Breakout Character: Out of all of the evil hero clones, Spider-Man's Doppelganger went on to become part of Carnage's gang. He's still around as of 2012.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: At the end of Infinity War, Adam Warlock is put in a coma after succeeding in stopping Magus.
  • Conflict Ball: The second issue has Wolverine show up at the Baxter Building to say Iron Man and Reed Richards are impostors. As everything starts getting tense, Colossus grabs Professor Hulk, who gets annoyed at Captain America standing on his foot, and hurls Piotr across the room, which somehow causes the room to descend into an all-out brawl, even though by that point the duplicates' secrets are out.
  • Crisis Crossover: Several titles had crossovers with this miniseries.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: The Magus' Batman Gambit in Infinity War involves the manipulation of some of the Marvel Universe's most powerful cosmic beings, from Galactus up to Eternity and even the Living Tribunal. The Magus himself is outmaneuvered by Adam Warlock and Thanos.
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  • Enemy Mine: The Infinity Watch and earth's heroes must ally with Thanos against the Magus.
  • Enemy Without: The Magus is the evil side of Adam Warlock.
  • Epigraph: "And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also look into you" - Friedrich Nietzsche. The Magus even became aware of it when it got all powerful.
  • Evil Knockoff: The many doppelgangers of Earth's heroes created by Magus. Some of them even managed to defeat their good counterparts.
  • Gambit Pileup: The Magus' plan to get the Gauntlet sets off alarm bells everywhere. The heroes of Earth and various cosmic entities have their own diverging opinions about how the gems should be used or protected. Doom and Kang form a temporary alliance to beat him to it. It eventually turns out that the Magus' plan is ridiculously complicated, depending on all the above Unwitting Pawns. And yet it would have worked if Warlock and Thanos hadn't anticipated it and kept one Gem hidden.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The heroes cross it in War when they decide the only way to stop the Magus is to break out the Gauntlet again. This was the Magus's plan all along; force them to cross the threshold, then steal the Gauntlet from them.
  • Happy Ending Override: The Infinity Gauntlet ended with Thanos' Call to Agriculture. In this story, he hangs up the agriculture suit and resumes his old activities.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In Infinity War, we all knew that Doctor Doom and Kang would betray each other, but since Doom Will Not Tell a Lie, one would expect a Loophole Abuse moment from him. Instead, he just betrays Kang the old way.
  • Red Skies Crossover: Some Marvel series included brief appearances of the heroes' doppelgangers, but nothing else related to the main plot. The Fantastic Four were an exception: they fought against the doppelgangers, and then basically retold the whole story from their own point of view. And Galactus' mind scan of the heroes, a mere trivial procedure in the crossover, awakens Malice (Susan Storm's evil side), who takes over her body; a plot point that would last for many months afterwards.
  • Spanner in the Works: During Infinity War every single character involved, from Earth's heroes to cosmic entities like Galactus, are observed and flawlessly manipulated by Magus until the absolute last second of his plan. But Doctor Doom and Kang manage not only to figure out what's going on and track down Magus's lair independent of anyone else and without Magus's knowledge, but also to ambush and defeat Magus before his scheme comes to fruition. The only thing that saves Magus and prevents Doom from obtaining the Infinity Gauntlet is Doom's demand that Magus put it down "very slowly"... allowing Eternity time to reverse his restriction of its usage elsewhere and giving Magus Godhood at the very last second.
  • Spoiler Cover: A large plot point of Infinity War is that the heroes fighting the Magus have no idea what his end goal actually is. Both the heroes and the reader are meant to be surprised by the revelation. But if you glance at the back cover of the trade paperback, you'll find out instantly.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: On paper, this is a Crisis Crossover, starring the most important heroes of Marvel Comics. Actually, it is a story of Thanos, Adam Warlock and the Infinity Watch; the other heroes are just either Cannon Fodder in someone else's big plan, or incompetent bufoons that get in the way and can't do any harm or take part in the bad guy's defeat.
  • The Starscream: Thanos's doppelganger to the Magus. The duplicate was so perfect, it immediately set about to manipulating the Magus, letting him assemble the Gauntlet, and then double-crossing him at the last second. He didn't count on the original defeating him in the fight for the identity of the inimitable "Thanos."
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