Marvel's 'Infinity' Brings Thanos Back to Threaten Post-Avengers Earth

Marvel's big summer "event" comic series launches today, bringing the villain teased at the end of the "Avengers" movie back into the spotlight for the first time since his cinematic cameo.

The post-credits tease of purple alien god Thanos at the end of Marvel's The Avengers last summer hinted at a universe of possibilities (and, of course, potential threats) for the future of Marvel Studios' superhero movies. If next year's Guardians of the Galaxy -- and, presumably, 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron -- are too far away to sate the hunger that scene provoked, Marvel on Wednesday released the comic tailor-made for your needs, inviting you to go to Infinity and beyond.

Infinity -- written by current Avengers writer Jonathan Hickman and illustrated by JIm Cheung -- takes the comic book Avengers into space to deal with a cosmic threat (One that will also impact the Guardians of the Galaxy, of course; marketing synergy trumps cosmic threats every time), leaving the Earth ripe for conquest by Thanos himself.

The first issue introduces the epic scope of the storyline, which will spill over from the Infinity series into issues of Avengers, New Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and other Marvel Comics series over the next few months. The multiple threats to our heroes -- not to mention, the multiple heroes themselves -- are laid out, if not necessarily fully explained (There are, after all, five issues left), and the stakes are suitably established, thanks to the surprise appearance of a toyetic Easter egg.

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Whether this will entirely satisfy those who wanted to see Thanos versus the Avengers as soon as Marvel's The Avengers finished isn't a sure thing -- Infinity lacks the humor or characterization of Joss Whedon, focusing instead on moving the plot into motion -- but, when it comes to a late summer blockbuster, Infinity might be just what a lot of people are looking for.

Infinity #1 is available online and in comic book stores now.