Review: Infinity Countdown #1

The Saga of the Infinity Stones begins!

As the Infinity Stones reappear around the cosmos, the ultimate race for power is on!! Battles will be fought, blood will be spilled, lives will be lost… all as the greatest cosmic heroes and villains vie for possession of the Power Stone, towering over a remote asteroid, somehow grown to the size of a building. Watch as the path to Infinity opens before your eyes and the END lies near…

The sage of the Infinity Stones is one that has been used in Marvel events quite a few times in the past and each has been epic in their own way. A cosmic battle of epic proportions. So, Infinity Countdown #1 has some pretty big shows to fill and unfortunately the first issue fails in so many ways.

Written by Gerry Duggan, this first issue feels like any issue of Guardians of the Galaxy. I know there were some weirdness with that series ending for this event and one wonders the impact of that on this first issue. While there’s a lot about the Guardians defending an Infinity Stone, a lot is focused on their battling the Gardner. What that has to do with the bigger picture, I have no idea as we’re dumped into the first issue with “the battle is already in progress.” While there’s been some run up issues to this event, this official first issue falls short to feel anything special beyond being the average Guardians issue. The run ups felt more having to do with the topic and as first issues than this one. Weirdly, this feels like a spin-off comic from the main series, and those are usually lower quality.

And that’s emphasized but the latter half of the comic. The art shifts and we’re introduced to a character some thought long dead (really people, you got worked up over something that clearly wasn’t the case!?). This is more of what I expected with the returned Wolverine decided to entrust his Stone with someone else. The art is solid in this part and the storytelling mysterious.

The art by Aaron Kuder, Mike Deodato, Jr. and Frank Martin, with color by Jordie Bellaire, and lettering by Cory Petit is just ok. The Guardians’ section is a style I haven’t enjoyed during the series’ run though the latter segment revolving around Wolverine being much more interesting visually. The two styles are so different it’s a clash that’s distracting in some ways.

What’s frustrating is, we’ve seen what a good event from Marvel can be. Currently the Avengers comics with “No Surrender” are knocking it out of the park with both raising the level of action but changing up the storytelling. This first issue feels like any other for Guardians of the Galaxy. One product is so good the other that falls short seems to have fallen even further short of the goal.

Will I check out more? Of course, because I have such nostalgia for the previous storylines and Marvel’s cosmic side of things. Will I expect a lot of it? Nope, this first issue takes the wind out of the sails of a series which had a lot of build up and hype surrounding it.

Story: Gerry Duggan Art: Aaron Kuder, Mike Deodato, Jr., Frank Martin
Cover: Nick Bradshaw, Morry Hollowell

Color: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Jordan D. White Asistant Editor: Annalise Bissa
Story: 5.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review