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Exclusive excerpt: Thanos’ Black Order invades Earth in Avengers: Infinity prose novel
Now that Marvel's Avengers: Endgame has obliterated all global box-office records with its astonishing opening weekend take of $1.2 billion (insert Dr. Evil affectation), fans are clamoring for repeat viewings and other absorbing Avengers fare to satisfy those superhero cravings.
A new original prose novel from London-based Titan Books titled Avengers: Infinity arrives in bookstores today that explores and expands Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer's Infinity crossover event from 2013 — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive excerpt alongside an illuminating chat with its writer.
Acclaimed author James A. Moore (Serenity Falls) is a veteran of these engaging literary excursions into the legends and lore of geek properties, having written The Predator: Hunters and Hunted and Alien: Sea of Sorrows. Here he effortlessly adapts the seminal crossover comic book saga with myriad details and immersive passages that will give additional insight to any self-respecting fan of the Marvel Universe.
The plot finds Earth's Mightiest Heroes launching into deep space, where they assemble the intergalactic races in a battle against the Builders, destructive extraterrestrials who seek to demolish the known galaxy.
While our valiant heroes are gone saving the universe, Thanos sets his greedy gaze upon Earth and sends the Black Order to launch an initial attack. Our planet's defense lands on the Inhumans, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, the X-Men, Namor the Submariner, and more to defend the Attilan, Wakanda, Atlantis, and the rest of our Big Blue Marble. To vanquish Thanos, the brave crusaders will need to trigger a new superweapon that might be as lethal as the invaders.
"Writing Avengers Infinity was a challenge, but it was also a dream come true," Moore tells SYFY WIRE. "I have been a fan of Marvel comics since I was a toddler, looking at pictures long before I could actually read, and learning most of my reading skills while devouring tales of the Avengers and the numerous characters Marvel has shared with the world.
"My very first writing gig was working on Clive Barker's Hellraiser for Marvel's Epic line. But the Avengers? How could I possibly say no? The biggest challenge I had was doing justice to a story that was so absolutely epic in scale. There are brand-new heroes in the story that were almost never seen before, new bad guys and some serious heavyweights on both sides of the good guy/bad guy spectrum. I could have written a novel twice as long and never once gotten bored with the subject."
Now enjoy our exclusive excerpt for James A. Moore's Avengers: Infinity courtesy of Marvel Comics and Titan Books, then tell us if it strikes your fancy enough to quickly grab a copy.
STEVE ROGERS woke in Avengers Tower in Manhattan. That was where the ship had originated, and where it had returned. It took twenty minutes to bring him up to date on what had transpired. The rest of the away team had not returned.
He had been sent back as a warning.
Cap was urged to remain in bed, to allow his body to recuperate from the vicious beating he’d received. He listened to the medical staff, then responded in the only way he could. There were calls that had to be made, and he made them. Then he took a brief shower, and suited up.
His face ached where he had not yet fully healed. Thanks to the Super-Soldier Serum, he was faster at recovering from injuries than most people, but still he was only human.
As he prepared for the return mission, those he had contacted answered his call. There were more of them this time—they would not be caught ill-prepared again. Some of those who arrived were mutants, others had been altered in ways that couldn’t easily be explained. They were humans and superhumans alike, and they answered the summons because it was more than just a call to arms.
It was a call from Captain America.
“SO THE signal originated from Mars?”
Cannonball frowned and peered at the display in front of him. He had been off-planet before, yet the very prospect remained both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. Hailing from Kentucky, Sam Guthrie been raised among coal miners and had expected to live his life with them. Then his mutant powers had manifested. The world since then had never been quite what he’d been raised in, but it had always been … interesting.
“Well, it didn’t come from Planet X.”
Guthrie pressed his lips together to avoid making a comment. He admired Spider-Man. He had seen footage, watched videos, heard stories from any number of people who had worked with the man, but he didn’t much like him. He was too sarcastic. He lacked manners.
The guy standing next to him was an Aborigine—an indigenous Australian. His name was Eden, though they called him Manifold. A teleporter. Never in a million years would Guthrie have expected to meet someone like him.
“We are going to Mars,” the man said. Manifold’s accent was different than what Sam might have expected, but he couldn’t have said just how. Really, sometimes the world just seemed incredibly large, even after all he’d seen.
“Thank you, all of you, for coming.” Captain America looked around and nodded. They all knew the situation, and the mood in the room was grim. “This isn’t going to be easy. We’re going to have to go very fast, and take these people out before they can pull any of the tricks they did on the first wave of Avengers. I don’t know if any of that team is even alive—I just know that we have to stop these people before they can cause any more damage down here.”
Guthrie stared at him, stunned. There were people who just had a kind of presence, and Captain America was one of them. He seemed larger than life. Sam had met heroes and villains aplenty, but few of them came close to making him feel like he was in the wrong room. And yet the Captain had called him and invited him to join the Avengers.
You just don’t say no to that.
“You ready, Sam?” Roberto tapped him on the arm, and he jumped a little. He’d known Sunspot ever since he’d become a super hero.
Guthrie nodded. The team Cap had chosen gathered together—Sam himself, Sunspot, a massively muscular man called Hyperion, Smasher, Captain Marvel, Captain Universe, Shang-Chi, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Wolverine, and Manifold—and began to glow. It lasted only an instant, and there wasn’t any of the vertigo Sam had expected to experience. One moment they were standing in Avengers Tower—
—the next moment they were facing their targets. Targets they’d only seen in surveillance images taken by the quincruiser.
The photos hadn’t done them justice.