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The movie-going public is already Infinity-spent, but in comics, the countdown to Infinity ever continues! In the special one-shot Infinity Countdown: Captain Marvel #1, Carol Danvers uses the Reality Stone to get advice from the champions of other universes. Is it useful? Is it good?
There aren’t many heroes who can single-handedly take down Blastaar, the Living Bomb Burst. But does Captain Marvel wield TOO MUCH power? Is there a better way to go about this sort of thing? Let’s ask a host of other Marvels, from across the multiverse!
That’s a lot of conflicting advice, though, from a lot of different iterations. It gets even more troubling when Carol jumps into some of those other realities to see what happens when the biggest decisions of her life turned out differently. Is Prime Earth the best of all possible worlds for Danvers? Can she ever know?
Jim McCann might seem like an odd choice of writer for Infinity Countdown: Captain Marvel #1, a book you’d think would be steeped in continuity to tie in with the concurrently running Infinity Countdown mini-series. And sure enough, the occasional contributor has turned in a mostly self-contained script that looks at some important points in Carol Danvers’ history, but doesn’t connect much to whatever the heck’s going on with the new-fangled Infinity “Stones.”
Which wouldn’t be so bad, necessarily, if the story weren’t so convoluted. We visit a bunch of different timelines, including an alternate Civil War II, a skewed House of M (I think?) and a world where Rogue has absorbed all of Carol — and there are two of her, for some reason. It’s a funny contradiction; while there’s not much linking this issue to the rest of Infinity Countdown, you’re more likely to be lost if you’re not steeped in Carol continuity.
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The art doesn’t help matters, as Diego Olórtegui’s pencils are kind of cartoonish, making it difficult to differentiate between the different “Carols” when they’re talking to each other. It’s especially tough in the Civil War II scene, in which two identically dressed Carols (one has a few battle wounds) converse while a THIRD (who happens to also be the SECOND, somehow), fights the Iron Man fight. Erick Arciniega’s colors are bright and vibrant, fitting the art style, but his decision to shade all the Carol, um “shades,” with the same red just adds to the confusion.
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Infinity Countdown: Captain Marvel #1 isn’t a bad issue per se, but there’s a lot going on, and none of it seems to have much to do with the story it’s ostensibly connected to. The art seems more suited to a book with a different tone, and actively accentuates the lack of clarity in the plot. Still, if you’re a hardcore Carol Corps member, you’ll probably enjoy hitting her career highlights and seeing how things might have turned out differently. If you’re just looking to prepare for the next of our endless Infinity events, you can probably skip out.
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