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'Infinity Countdown' review: Sets up 'Infinity Wars' but is great on its own too

Comic Books

‘Infinity Countdown’ review: Sets up ‘Infinity Wars’ but is great on its own too

A great pre-event event comic that delivers on big beat moments.

If you haven’t read “Infinity Countdown” you might be just a tad confused as far as what is going on in the now ongoing Infinity Wars event. This is everything you need to know leading up to the event in regards to specific characters, the locations of the Infinity Stones, and to get a bead on the state of the Marvel universe. This collection focuses closely on the Power Stone and the Soul Stone, both of which are coveted by quite a few threats.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

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The Infinity Stones. Individually, they grant their wielders great power. Together, they grant the power of a god. Once thought lost, the Infinity Stones have re-formed and are scattered throughout the universe…and as their locations are discovered, forces converge for a battle that will set the universe down a dark path…to the end! As the ultimate race for power begins, the universe’s greatest heroes and villains vie for possession of the Power Stone – somehow grown to the size of a building! The Chitauri are in on the action, as are the Raptors, Novas and the Guardians of the Galaxy! But when Adam Warlock enters the fray, his next move will set the stage for cosmic chaos to come! The universe-shaking event of 2018 is here!

Why does this matter?

It’s not too late to catch up on the journey of Adam Warlock and the Guardians of the Galaxy (two of the main focuses of the book) as they attempt to save the universe. This collection also has some big beat story moments that change everything for characters like Galactus and, most importantly, Gamora.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

'Infinity Countdown' review: Sets up 'Infinity Wars' but is great on its own too

Impressive art by Michael Allred. Credit: Marvel Comics

The flow of this collection is quite good, focusing on Adam Warlock and revealing how he’s alive and what he’s been up to. It also wraps up a major storyline for the Guardians of the Galaxy, including a huge transformation for Groot. It’s like we get the beginnings of their stories right before things shift for both of them into Infinity Stone madness. The rest of the collection focuses on Adam Warlock attempting to wrestle the Soul Stone from Ultron and the Guardians attempting to protect a giant Power Stone as big as a building. Over the course of each storyline Warlock sees amazing things, must perform incredible feats, and saves the day. The Guardians are similar, as all their actions lead up to the Power Stone slowly moving in the direction it needs to be for the Infinity Wars event.

In regards to the Guardians of the Galaxy journey, Gamora is the most fascinating character of the bunch. Sure, Groot can now speak and he’s quite violent (scarily so), but Gamora is going through some serious psychotic episodes. She needs the Soul Gem so she can reconvene with part of herself that is trapped there and she growingly becomes more irate and angry about it. You can tell writer Gerry Duggan has a clear idea of where she goes from here. This portion of the story is primarily drawn by Aaron Kuder (with Mike Hawthorne on #2-5 drawing Adam Warlock’s story) and he captures the otherworldliness of aliens and space battle very well. Nova fans should not miss this either.

The Adam Warlock story opens with an excellent backstory issue drawn by Michael Allred which I’ve already gushed over quite a bit in the single issue review. His journey is a fascinating one if you’re familiar with the “Infinity Gauntlet” storyline, since his presence around these super powerful stones is quite intimate. He serves as an almost cosmic Superman who will stop at nothing to save everyone. Silver Surfer plays an intriguing part in this story too and if you’re at all interested in Donny Cates’ upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy story you’ll need to read this just to know the baggage some of these characters carry.

One element about this series I can’t help but note is how Duggan integrates little jokes here and there. Not just through Rocket Raccoon — though he has some good ones — but regular characters like Nova and the like. It’s a reminder these characters are ultimately just like us and are reflecting on their surroundings, but also bringing all the exotic and crazy moments down a peg, helping to mold your suspension of disbelief.

'Infinity Countdown' review: Sets up 'Infinity Wars' but is great on its own too

Groot is really awesome now. Credit: Marvel Comics

It can’t be perfect can it?

Logan does, in fact, appear in this book (thankfully since he’s on the cover, right?). That said, I have no idea what the deal is with his inclusion nor do I think it matters in the slightest. Given the character is back this week for real I suspect his integration in this story was for marketing reasons and to hype up readers. That or they changed his importance later in the game. All that said, I could have done without his presence in the story. Speaking of his story, Loki plays a big part in it, and again, I’m not sure why he needs to be here. I think it sets things up down the road for Infinity Wars but it doesn’t quite fit in this collection.

Is it good?

An excellent collection I couldn’t put down. This is a great pre-event book that has a lot of big reveals and excellent action but feels small enough to be enjoyed by just about anyone.

'Infinity Countdown' review: Sets up 'Infinity Wars' but is great on its own too
Infinity Countdown
Is it good?
A strong pre-event series that is great all on its own, but necessary reading for 'Infinity Wars' and future cosmic stories.
Good flow to both Adam Warlock and the Guardians' storylines
Some big moments that change the game
Great art from Allred, Kuder, and Hawthorne throughout
The inclusion of Logan seems tacked on and unimportant
Loki is in this one too though doesn't do a lot

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