Find out who has each of the Infinity Gems in this primer issue.

It seems like comic book covers are something you shouldn’t trust these days. They give you a hint at the story, but more often than not an actual battle or reveal doesn’t even occur until the next issue anyway. Not so with Infinity Countdown Prime, as all the hands (and the characters attached to them) on this cover play a part.

So what’s it about?

Read our preview.

Why does this matter?

This series is Marvel Comics’ way of tying into Avengers: Infinity War, which makes fiscal sense, but it’s also different enough that longtime readers can enjoy it separately. This issue also offers more Logan–the original–than we’ve ever seen since his death in 2014.

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

I dig this primer like whoa.

This issue is all about setting up our expectations for each gem and each character who wields a gem. It’s not much of a spoiler to say Wolverine has the space gem, as he’s been teleporting around the Earth in Marvel’s “Where is Wolverine” backups. After a fantastic explanation of what each gem does and how they are connected this issue opens with Logan out in the cold wilderness. A fitting location to see him in and it’s nice to see him back. Writer Gerry Duggan does a good job trickling in key details and information so readers won’t feel like they’re in the dark, but you will be a detective of sorts as you attempt to understand what is going on. From there the comic reveals who possesses, or is at least near, one of the Infinity Gems. Duggan is setting up the stakes by revealing who has what so that when characters do come to blows we’ll know what sort of tricks they might use with the gem in their possession.

A bigger reveal is in regards to who the proper villain is in this upcoming event. I won’t spoil it here, but it’s a character that popped up in one of the best Secret Empire issues last summer and he also gives Logan some trouble to open the book. It’s quite clear each character has their own motivations for holding onto the gems they do have and it’ll be fun to see how they change hands or get used.

Mike Deodato Jr. draws this issue and he uses the same structured layout style he employed in Old Man Logan. I particularly like when he uses the crisscrossing panels to cut up a panel or two in a gruesome scene where Wolverine hacks at a character’s head. Even though we’re looking at two panels of art the crisscrossing lines divvy up them up into 19 panels. His style also successfully makes this story feel important as he adds a sense of grit and humanity to the pages.

Wait, Ultron!?

It can’t be perfect can it?

Even though this book establishes who has each gem it still feels like a promo to the upcoming story. It definitely is, but it would have done well to have a backbone of its own with a story that began and ended. There is a narrator who pulls it all together, although once they’re revealed and you see how unimportant they are it makes that story element fall flat. It’s nice to see Adam Warlock pop up after the last “Infinity Countdown” issue, but the bones of this issue serve to hype rather than build the story past serving as a playbill to the bigger story.

Is It Good?

Effective in how it sets up who the players are, what the Infinity gems do, and hyping where we go from here. There aren’t too many answers as this comic serves more as a listing of who will be major players pushing forward, but it’s still a sound primer for what is to come.

Infinity Countdown Prime #1
Is it good?
A good primer to the upcoming series.
We finally get Wolverine back in a real way!
Sets the stage for each character and Infinity Gem
Cool opening page explains the power of each Gem and how they relate
Deodato draws some great stuff here
Feels more like a promo than an actual start to a story
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