Avengers vs X-Men: Infinite
Avengers vs. X-Men: Infinite
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciler: Stuart Immonen

"Are you ready for the future of comics at your fingertips?"

So asks Mark Waid in the initial panels of Avengers vs X-Men: Infinite, Marvel's first major foray into embracing all the possibilities of the digital platform to enhance comic story telling.

And the issue does truly feel unique, and different from any print comic I've held in my hands. Think of an issue, where every page is a magnificent splash. Where narrative boxes appear on the page with a flick of the finger, allowing the reader to first enjoy the art unencumbered of clutter. Where cinematic techniques such as fade outs, camera moves, and focus pulls are regularly employed to give the story whole new dimensions.

Mark Waid introduces us to a new Nova in this tale. And while many readers will still miss Ritchie Rider since his epic last stand in The Thanos Imperative, Waid does an excellent job of both making this Nova instantly relatable, and conveying what it's like to posses powers that allow a simple kid from (I assume) St. Louis to careen across the cosmos. Waid's talent as a writer has been a favorite topic of discussion ever since his relaunch of Daredevil however I think it is especially impressive what he does in the span of a single issue, introducing a new character, giving us a unique perspective on said character's skill set, establishing a mood of foreboding, and tailoring the script to a new and unique form of visual presentation.

Stuart Immonen is one of my all time favorite pencillers working in comics, and one of maybe five artists whose work I will pick up regardless of what character they are rendering or writer they are working with (I'm more of a story guy than an art guy when it comes to comics). Immonen not only conveys the speed and panic of Nova, but also strikes fear and awe into the reader with the immensity of the pursuing Phoenix force. Immonen frequently employs mirrored panels to convey a quick sense of movement when the reader flips from one panel to the next.

Immonen is a strong visual storyteller. His sensibilities for linear action as well as respecting cinematic rules in terms of choosing angles makes him a perfect fit for this experiment, as does the character of Nova, whose kinetic powers are perfect for infusing motion into what has been until now a mostly static medium.

What else can I say, this is a testament to the talent of the creators involved and I am ecstatic about the potential for the future of comics storytelling brought on by the introduction of Marvel Infinite Comics and the embracing of the digital storytelling medium. Also, I can't help but hope that these two will be involved in Marvel's long promised relaunch of their cosmic titles.

Grade: A-

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