Comics to Read after "Infinity War" (To Help you Cope with that Ending)
(MASSIVE INFINITY WAR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!)
Hype for “Avengers: Infinity War” had swept the nation leading up to its release. Now that it’s been in theaters for a little over a week, and the cliffhanger ending had audiences taking breaks between sobs of mourning to exclaim anger and desire for answers, then proceeding with their sobs of mourning. To bridge the gap until the action picks up in the upcoming films, answer some burning questions, and shed light on some of my personal theories and hopes, here are some comics to read if you survived the ending of “Infinity War”.
Honorable Mention: “I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye” by: Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, P.h.D.
Not a comic. A self-help book for “surviving, coping, and healing after the sudden death of a loved one”, as it says on the cover. No further comment.
“Black Panther: The Deadliest of the Species” written by: Reginald Hudlin, illustrated by Ken Lashley
In “Deadliest of the Species”, T’Challa is comatose. His wife, (Storm from X-Men), assumes the role of queen, but can’t take the mantle of Black Panther. Long story short, T’Challa’s gem of a sister Shuri becomes the Black Panther, and it’s amazing.
When T’Challa crumbles to dust in “Infinity War”, Okoye is left standing, and the fates of Shuri and the unpresent Nakia are unrevealed. Since nothing is confirmed on Shuri’s status, I am assuming she was spared from a dusty demise. In that case, with T’Challa absent, there is a major possibility for some elements of “Deadliest of the Species” to be explored.
On one hand, they could follow it directly, have Shuri suit up, and make my heart pull a Spider-man and disintegrate into smithereens out of pure joy! (Too soon?) Or, they could sub in Okoye or Nakia, but still follow ideas from “Deadliest of the Species”. Okoye, because she’s the war general, and therefore qualified to suit up and the only one of the three who are confirmed alive after Infinity War. Nakia, because the ending of “Black Panther” heavily hinted that Nakia and T’Challa were going to be wed, and it would make more sense for T’Challa’s wife to adopt the handle rather than T’Challa’s sister, given the Wakandan law, unless obligations make the wife unable to don the Black Panther. However, given the acclaim Letitia Wright and the character of Shuri have earned, it would make much more sense to stay faithful with the comics. Either way, I believe that aspects “Deadliest of the Species” were definitely set up as potential to be explored in the next upcoming films.
“Black Widow: The Name of the Rose” written by: Marjorie Liu, illustrated by: Daniel Acuna
This doesn’t really go with any of my fan theories, but it’s a really good character study of Black Widow with some cool guest appearances. I think everyone needs to be reminded that Black Widow is actually a character who does more than just kind of stand there and look pretty and occasionally wipe out one or two unimportant bad guys. Apparently, the MCU has forgotten that. All she did in “Infinity War” was look over her shoulder and look surprised, flip her unexplained-dye-job hair, and say somewhat snarky lines in a weird half-whispered ASMR tone. To be fair, though, she hasn’t done much throughout any of the films, not just “Infinity War”. Poo on you, MCU.
“Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight” written by: Kelly Sue DeConnick, illustrated by: Emma Rios, Dexter Soy
Given the after-credits scene, this one’s pretty obvious. As Carol Danver’s debut with the mantle of “Captain Marvel” replacing her previous moniker “Ms. Marvel”, this is the essential Captain Marvel as she will appear in the MCU, so it’s a good starting point for understanding her character. This is good to read for not only those who aren’t familiar with Captain Marvel, but those who doubt that she is the answer to the problems left open by the end of “Infinity War”.
My personal theory about the status of the disintegrated characters is that they aren’t actually dead, but are in Limbo. Limbo is a magical dimension, a sort of pocket universe, which is the equivalent to Hell, similar to where Hela escaped from in “Ragnarok”. With “Ant-Man and the Wasp” featuring multi-dimensions as a central part of the story, it’s extremely possible they will bring up Limbo, otherwise known as Otherplace. Captain Marvel, in the comicverse, escaped from Limbo/Otherplace, and is therefore familiar with it, and how to escape from it. Also, Captain Marvel has the capability to time travel as part of her power set. This will definitely be seen in the upcoming films. I don’t think they will use her time travel as a way to solve all of the problems, that would simply be too easy and frankly, lazy. However, since the Captain Marvel solo film takes place in the 90’s, it would be interesting to see her somehow visit the present day.
The major factor that gives me hope that Captain Marvel will be able to beat Thanos is Binary, which is an alternate form of Captain Marvel’s that she can tap into in times of distress. If you read the comics, you’ll see that her Binary form has a great chance of serving Thanos on a silver platter, depending on how they adapt it. Trust me, Binary vs. Thanos will happen, and it will be EPIC, so it would be wise to read up on Captain Marvel, and her Binary form, to get a hint at what’s to come. Also, my prediction for Avengers 4 title is “Avengers: Otherplace”. If that turn out to be true, I’m buying a lottery ticket.
In conclusion, if the ending of “Infinity War” sent you into a spiral of despair, worry not. Fill the gap by familiarizing yourself with the likely plot-point of Shuri taking on the mantle of Black Panther, refreshing your memory of a version of Black Widow that isn’t completely lackluster, and getting to know Captain Marvel, understanding all of her potential, and catching some hints of what’s to come along the way.