Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Cosmic Battle on the Edge of The Universe! (Marvel)
Infinity Gauntlet #4 When: October 1991
Why: Jim Starlin How: Ron Lim & George Perez

The Story So Far...
When the Silver Surfer crash lands to Earth through the roof of Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum -- he brings ominous warning of the greatest threat the universe has ever known! Thanos lives and has taken possession of the Infinity Gems of Soul, Mind, Power, Time, Reality, and Space to form the omnipotent Infinity Gauntlet!

The Mad Titan's mission is to eradicate half of all sentient life in existence! A feat he achieves in an instant with but a mere thought! His quest to court the mistress Death does not end there, though. His dominion is now all that exists in the known universe -- a reality, his to dominate and reshape!

Ripples of Thanos' power echo throughout the universe, causing mayhem and destruction on Earth, where the mightiest heroes assemble in conference to discuss the unknown threat. The unexpected arrival of Adam Warlock provides limited answers as he takes command, selecting a special task force to confront Thanos in a desperate ploy to save the universe from The Infinity Gauntlet!

Tale of the Tape...
Strength: Thanos 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Thanos 5 (Professor)
Speed: Nova 7 (Lightspeed)
Stamina: Thanos 7 (Unstoppable)
Agility: Nova 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting: Thanos 6 (Warrior)
Energy: Thanos 6 (Cosmic Power)
Total: Thanos 34 (Super)

Thor's life hangs in the balance after the eighth wave of attack ended with the untimely demise of Spider-man -- and Thor's transmutation into glass!

Coming to fragile Thor's aid is the human rocket: Nova! You may've spotted him flying around the battlefield in a few previous waves of attack, but it's only now the cosmic cruise missile is targeting the all-powerful Thanos!

Richard Rider was a New York high school kid when first given his powers by a dying Centurion of the Nova Corps. Based on the planet Xandar, the Nova Corps are an intergalactic military force empowered to police the universe with the powers of the Nova Force.

The Nova Force grants Richard Rider enhanced strength, endurance, durability, speed, the ability to fly like a human rocket, and channel various forces as energy blasts. At the time of Infinity Gauntlet; Nova uses these powers as a member of the teen superhero group: The New Warriors.

This is the first time we're seeing Nova before his evolution into a mature, battle-hardened intergalactic hero. Annihilation will recast him in the fires of war a decade later. As the last surviving Nova Centurion, he'll lead a United Front against the dreaded Annihilation Wave [see; Annihilation #1].

When the more powerful Nova returned to Earth, he effortlessly decimated old adversary Diamondhead [Nova #2], and fought The Thunderbolts to a relative standstill [Nova #3]! Evidence of the great hero he's destined to become, but inadmissible evidence at the time of The Infinity Gauntlet!

Nova was a compelling heavy-hitter for the New Warriors, but we lack sufficient case to think he can go toe-to-toe with Thanos. Under ordinary circumstances it might be a fair fight, but the way Thanos has wielded the godly powers of the Infinity Gauntlet makes it very difficult to rate Nova as anything more than a fast moving irritation.

He's plucky and powerful, but the odds are increasingly against the heroes. Fast, hard-hitting attacks may've served Hulk and Vision well in earlier strikes, but Thanos' patience is wearing thing. Turning Wolverine to rubber and Thor to glass shows he's losing interest in fighting fair. Bad news for Nova!

The Tape: Thanos Ranking: Thanos (#14)

What Went Down...
Thanos clenches his partly raised fist - gazing with a hint of disdain at the man claiming to be a Norse god. By decree of Odin: the mortal Eric Masterson indeed possesses all the strengths and rights of the one true Thor! He is worthy to raise the mighty hammer Mjolnir against the Mad Titan. If only it would do any good!

Were he able to summon the wind and thunder under his command, he would surely break, for Thor stands frozen on the battlefield, turned to glass! Death is surely imminent, if not for the intervention of a human rocket: Nova!

The young hero streaks across the battlefield to strike at Thanos with the momentum of a ballistic missile! His fist finds its target - daring to turn the Mad Titan's face with extreme prejudice!

The power to distort reality glimmers in Thanos' eyes as he takes the brash hero's words to twist them against him! Nova proclaimed no one would be "busting up Thor while Nova's around!" So Thanos decides to make him square.

Thanos wears a wry smile as he watches Nova transformed into a swarm of coloured blocks. Harmless children's toys, easily crushed beneath his heel as the clatter innocuously against the ground! Death, chillingly obscured.

With far greater spite, Thanos raises his Infinity Gauntlet again - not to summon its limitless power, but to swing his massive fist through the glass statue that is Thor! A spiteful final blow to eliminate one of his greatest threats!

Thor shatters into a million pieces, and with him dies the greatest hope the heroes have had for besting Thanos. Their numbers are fast dwindling, but there are still a few heroes ready to face overwhelming odds. The next will do so alone - a cosmic power to rival even a thunder god!

The Hammer...
It was over almost as quickly as it began! Nova's attack ultimately amounted to a single page. How could any hero hope to stand a chance when Thanos wields the power to guarantee death with no chance of recourse?

Thor's defeat was registered in the previous tag team contest of the ninth wave, but we record his death here, alongside Nova. He fought valiantly in the first and fourth waves, delivering some of the most potent blows. Had Doctor Doom not interfered for selfish reasons when Thanos was adjusting to his power, who knows what might've been achieved by the thunderer's hammer?

The hero better known as Thunderstrike is ultimately one of the quirks of time captured in The Infinity Gauntlet, and one of the few definite improvements live-action cinema will make in Avengers: Infinity War. Masterson may've served as an adequate stand-in, but there's just no substituting for the genuine article!

It would be terrific to see Nova make an appearance on the big screen, but I don't think anyone is counting on it just yet.

The cinematic battle with Thanos might've been a fun way to get a jumpstart, but Marvel usually like to play it to formula, so those kinds of abrupt surprises just don't happen. Further, Slash Film reports Marvel movie pubah Kevin Feige described Nova as one of the characters with "immediate potential".

There was always a curious appeal to the rocketing buckethead of earlier eras, but the mainstream potential of Nova was never more apparent than in the updates made in Annihilation. Before the world was introduced to the Guardians of the Galaxy, it was easy to presume Nova would be one of Marvel's first space faring heroes. Instead, the groundwork was laid with a slightly less than impressive version of the Nova Corps.

Back on the comic book page: we're drawing close to the end of infinity! There are just a few more heroes remaining on the gauntlet, with one of the more powerful heroes stepping up for tomorrow's penultimate attack!

You can find all our Infinity Gauntlet updates by diving into the Secret Archive where featured fights are indexed via publisher, series, and issue number. You'll find Infinity Gauntlet in the Marvel section, with battles linked sequentially.

You can get the full story for yourself by checking out the collected edition of The Infinity Gauntlet! An Amazon link has been provided for your convenience to the right of this text! By using it to go shopping online, Amazon will do a little something to help the site out. A nice way to show your support!

You can also join the battle by following Secret Wars on Infinite Earths on Twitter and Facebook! There, you'll find daily links to fights inspired by the topics of the day! A like, retweet, or share is another nice way to help keep the wars infinite!

Thanos is marching toward the top of the Comic Book Fight Club rankings! Will he dominate long enough to conquer the Top 10? Or will the next hero bring an end to his lethal warpath? Stay tuned!

Winner: Thanos
#11 (+3) Thanos [+2 kills]
#101 (-24) Nova (Richard Rider)

Infinity Gauntlet #4
Thanos runs the gauntlet of heroes in a special series spotlighting the classic cosmic showdown!
Versus Wave 1, Hulk & Drax, Wave 3, Thor & Dr. Doom, Wolverine, Wave 6, Cloak, Firelord & Drax, Iron Man, Spider-man & Thor, Nova, Quasar, Captain America

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