Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / The Infinity War

Go To
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.

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.

While the 2018 event Infinity Wars has a name that suggest a sequel, happens in the same universe, and involves many of the same characters; Wars isn't a continuation of this event or Crusade. The film Avengers: Infinity War also shares the name but has little to do with the plot of this event either, being actually based on its predecessor The Infinity Gauntlet. It's named the same just because of Rule of Cool.


  • Advertised Extra: Spider-Man appears prominently on the first issue's cover and the promotional images, but gets taken out by the false Iron Man in the second issue and isn't seen again for the rest of the book. Later materials show that after recovering he's dealing with events in Web of Spider-Man around the same time the other heroes are all involved in this series, mainly dealing with both the Spider-Doppelganger's return and Venom.
  • All There in the Manual: Certain plot points aren't explained in the core series, and are only explored in the tie-ins. The biggest one is probably what happened to the real Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man, who are knocked out and replaced by impostors in Infinity War #1 and then rescued in one of the Fantastic Four tie-ins. There's also the fate of the Thanos doppelganger, who is killed by the real Thanos in the Infinity Watch tie-in, but otherwise disappears in the main series.
  • Breakout Character: Out of all of the evil hero clones, Spider-Man's Doppelganger went on to become part of Carnage's gang and was featured prominently in Maximum Carnage. He still shows up from time to time in the comics, and has even gotten a few action figures.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Adam Warlock chooses to spare the Magus and instead trap him inside the Soul Gem. However, because the Magus doesn't have a soul of his own, he only exists as an invisible and intangible specter who can't interact with or even talk to the other beings inside the Gem.
  • 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.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Quasar intends to use the Ultimate Nullifier to destroy the Magus, even at the cost of his own life. Fortunately for him, the Magus takes the choice out of his hands and uses the Infinity Gauntlet to steal away the Nullifier.
  • Look Behind You: Subverted in a tie-in issue of Fantastic Four. As The Puppet Master is being confronted by The Thing, Puppet Master shockedly tells the Thing that a monstrous massive figure is behind him. Thing doesn't buy it- and then gets clobbered by his evil twin.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In Infinity War, we all knew that Doctor Doom and Kang the Conqueror 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. It also showed what happened to the real Mister Fantastic and Iron Man after they were replaced by their doubles, which isn't answered in the main series.
  • Residual Evil Entity: It is revealed that in the previous storyline, Adam Warlock subconsciously used the Infinity Gauntlet to purge the evil from his soul. That evil had since manifested as a purple-skinned Evil Doppelgänger of him named Magus.
  • Sequel Hook: At the end of the story, Thanos muses that while Warlock's evil side was defeated, his good side still remains a threat, setting the stage for The Infinity Crusade.
  • 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."
  • The Unreveal: The Reality Gem which turns out to be a fake is attached to the Infinity Gauntlet among the other Gems, but we still don't find out who Warlock trusted to guard it, as Warlock gets it from its guardian off-panel. Still, given the hints dropped in this story, it's not too difficult to guess who this mystery person is, and Starlin would eventually reveal the guardian's identity during the The Infinity Crusade event.

Alternative Title(s): Infinity War