The wait is finally over. As the Infinity Stones are about to be reunited in the Marvel Cinematic universe at the end of this month, so too are the powerful crystals returning to the comic book world. There has been a lot of lead up to this major event with each stone appearing in random places throughout the Marvel Comics line. Now it is time to find out what is going to go down when Marvels most powerful weapons are up for grabs.
“The ultimate race for power is on,” is how Marvel describes their 2018 premiere event. They also promise that lives will be lost, so it is kind of a big deal. Writer Gerry Duggan has been given the keys to the kingdom after proving himself around the house of ideas for years on titles like Deadpool, Uncanny Avengers, and the All-New Guardians of the Galaxy. Artist Aaron Kuder joins long-time Marvel inker Mike Deodato Jr. to turn out this battle across the galaxies.
What else could you possibly ask for from a cover for such an important event? Characters from across the Marvel Universe that have minimal, if any, ties together. And, of course, the Infinity Gauntlet, which is speculatively being worn by the planet eater himself, Galactus- I’ll get back to that later.
The Countdown begins with every stone being accounted for throughout the universe, so, it is worth doing a little background on where, and how these gems showed up. Drax has located the final crystal, the power gem, and now has to hold down the fort until help can arrive. Unfortunately for him, armies upon armies of villains are showing up to claim the stone for themselves.
The rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy are in their own hot water as they deal with the ancient god, the Gardener and his army of Groot knock-offs. Little baby Groot is the hero of this storyline, that feels like we jumped in the middle of, the repercussions of which involve Groot transforming back into the mighty creature he once was.
On Earth, we meet a revived Black Widow- who was slain by an evil Captain America in the last significant Marvel event. Remaining hidden, only two people are aware of the Widow’s whereabouts, one of which has dropped off a bit of a surprise for the assassin in the form of an Infinity Gem.
How can you not be excited about this series? I know, I know, Marvel does a lot of events, but they are always so much fun- even if they mess with all the other comic titles. However, bringing the Infinity Stones back into the picture at the same time they are going to be featured in the biggest Marvel movie to date is something worth getting into. While I agree with many comic fans that this is again Marvel recycling old material, these updated versions of Secret Wars and Infinity Gauntlets are also what we are asking for.
I did mention that the Guardians of the Galaxy storyline in this issue picks up halfway through a plot, which is disappointing. I would expect this short series to be able to stand on its own, much to the vain of previous major events. A quick catch up on where all the players are on the board and let the chaos ensue is less of a request and more of an expectation.
Also, I promised to touch on Galactus. I am pumped! Just by involving this massive character in the series makes a pretty bold statement. It can be assumed at some point Galactus himself will hold at least one if not all of the Infinity Stones. Which is absolutely a crazy idea and just think of the possibilities. This is what comic book reading is all about, and I could see a young me asking decades ago, “what if Galactus got a hold of the Infinity Gauntlet?” I will make the prediction, considering the Power Stone has appeared in a gigantic size that is meant to be held by the planet eater.
Overall, I am excited about what it all means and the stakes that have been put into place. I am a bit disgruntled that this inaugural issue relies so heavily on additional storylines and fails to stand on its own. However, we can all assume that the major turning points throughout this event will be occurring inside of this limited series. Additionally, I would like to fit it in here that Drax is an absolute powerhouse in this issue. The next issue drops on April 18, 2018, and I cannot wait.