Given the Avengers movie this summer, there's likely to be moat than usual interest in this series. Here's a checklist provided by Marvel.

Prepare for the END with the INFINITY COUNTDOWN Checklist!                                                                                                              

New York, NY—January 10, 2018—This year, Infinity is the word – and the countdown is on for the beginning of the end! And before you start your hunt for the most important gems in the galaxy, Marvel is here to make sure that you don’t miss any of the action with a special INFINITY COUNTDOWN checklist.

Serving as a handy map and designed to help guide readers towards key Marvel issues that have played a role in preparing the Marvel Universe for this epic saga, the INFINITY COUNTDOWN checklist ties it all together – from the first reappearance of the Infinity Stones in ALL-NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY to the upcoming INFINITY COUNTDOWN PRIME #1. And fans can download this digital checklist to whatever device they choose, placing it right at their fingertips for easy access! (Retailers can find a file on the Diamond retailer page.)

It all leads into the mega Infinity tale and battle that will change the balance of cosmic power. Download Marvel’s INFINITY COUNTDOWN checklist today, and don’t miss out on all the action in INFINITY COUNTDOWN #1, coming this March!



Art and Cover by MIKE DEODATO

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Here's what I posted last week about Guardians of the Galaxy #150 in "What Comic Books Have You Read Today?" If we want to have a dedicated "Infinity" discussion here, I'm for it.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #150: I bought this one because it features the return of Adam Warlock. It also features a 3-D cover, the first I’ve ever bought. Although I admit the effect looks cool, I generally eschew cover gimmicks of any kind. (I’m a purist that way.) But this time I didn’t have a choice because there was no standard version to choose. The Warlock story was six pages at the beginning and five pages at the end. For this I paid five bucks. If you’re a Guardians of the Galaxy fan, the main story was the last of a four-parter which began in #147, but I didn’t bother to read that and don’t plan to. (This is the last issue of the series.)

For those of you interested in the Warlock piece of it, I think this chapter can be safely skipped, but here’s a summary. Warlock come to awareness in the Gemworld (or I suppose it’s called “Stoneworld” now, since the Infinity Gems have been rechristened the Infinity Stones), a kind of limbo where he spent many years before. A brief, mainly pictorial, recap of his past is provided. He emerges from his cocoon to be greeted by Kang the Conqueror.

I am a big fan of Marvel’s “cosmic” books, especially those written by Jim Starlin. I’ve read several other non-Starlin cosmic books and most of them were… well, pretty good actually. But Starlin continues doing his own brand of “cosmic” in a series of OGNs (one trilogy completed, another on the way). In those he demonstrates that he can work within the new paradigm, even though he did not create it himself (not that everything Starlin himself has done has been stellar). I’m looking forward to reading the new Starlin series, but I have also decided to buy this new non-Starlin Infinity thing and see where it goes.

Yes, it was my intent to start a thread for comment on Infinity Countdown. Glad you're game, Jeff! I'll be reading this one, too.

As to Starlin, I respect those who love his work. But for my part, I was entertained early on, but then I felt like he just repeated himself over and over. Every story seemed very much like every other story, hitting the same beats and working the same tools.

I didn't dislike the various "Infinity" stories, but I had low expectations that were adequately met.

INFINITY COUNTDOWN: ADAM WARLOCK #1: This story picks up exactly where Guardians of the Galaxy #150 leaves off. If you didn’t read that one, this one starts exactly when Adam Warlock leaves the Gem World (or the “Stone World” or whatever they call it now). Apropos that, a flashback refers to the Soul Gem, but all current references refer to the Infinity Stones, with still no explanation as to the change of reference. Maybe that was explained previously in Guardians of the Galaxy…? Marvel editorial should have anticipated that this series might draw new readers and taken that into consideration. If anyone reading this knows the reason, please clue me in.

As sad as I was that Mike Allred’s Silver Surfer has come to an end, I am happy to see his work here. Anyone who thinks “only Jim Starlin can do cosmic” should read this. There are lots of Kirby Easter eggs scattered throughout, and Kang’s throne room is matched only by the Maestro’s from Future Imperfect for its super-hero tchotchkes. This series is off to a great start.

Read it last night, and in general I agree with the above.

My only quibbles is that I found the splash page a little sloppy, like it had been done in a hurry. Since I generally like Allred, that rather surprised me. But the art improved as the issue advanced.

Since you asked, Jeff, I'll note that the intro on the first page called the interior of the Soul Gem Stone "Soul World."

I haven't seen it, but maybe they had Allred redo the splash at the last minute for some reason.

This book was going to be Guardians of the Galaxy #151, right? That would account for a re-worked splash page. Maybe.

Soul Gem Stone World.  Like Robert Bruce Banner.

INFINITY COUNTDOWN PRIME #1: I flipped through the book before I read it and noticed there was a recap section at the end for the purpose of bringing new readers up to speed. I ended up reading that before the story. I knew the backstory very well… up to a certain point. I was happy to have read it, but I wish it would have included some footnotes citing specific references.

The recap confirmed what I had already guessed: that a previous story had caused the Infinity Gems to recast themselves as Infinity Stones. They have also changed colors for reasons as yet unrevealed. The POWER STONE is now huge and is on the planet Xituang. The other five Stones are distributed as follows.

REALITY STONE – Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers)
MIND STONE – Turk Barret (the old Daredevil supporting character, I take it)
TIME STONE – Super Skrull
SOUL STONE – Ultron (now somehow “merged” with Hank Pym? Ugh.)
SPACE STONE – Wolverine

The first page features a diagram of how the Stones, together, work off of and power each other. I like that kind of thing.

“INJURY TO EYE MOTIF”: Hoo, boy! Wait’ll you see.

There’s a technique common to modern comics storytelling I’m not particularly fond of: the “mystery narrator.” It can be used to great effect, however, in most cases it’s simply overused. (In this case it’s The Collector.) His narration is presented as yellow letters on a kind of rust-colored background, which the same kind of captioning used for another character in this week’s Avengers, which I read immediately after Infinity Countdown Prime.

New video

Those animated previews are pretty cool. I wish they'd animate entire comics in that style, ind of like the 1960's Marvel cartoons, except, y'know... way better. Wouldn't it be cool if Marvel were to run some of these on TV?

INFINITY COUNTDOWN #1: This one is missable. It’s more of a Guardians of the Galaxy story with a little bit of the Infinity Stones thrown in. Groot did get restored to his former self about half way through, so he stopped endlessly repeating his catchphrase, which is a plus AFAIAC. Black Widow shows up alive even before I had the chance to track down her “death” in Civil War II #8 which I learned about only last week. Unless you are a fan of the movie version of Guardians of the Galaxy (or think a character repeating “I am Groot” ad nauseam is hilariously funny), I’d avoid this one. If you feel differently, you may want to give it a look.

I found it amusing that everybody who discovers the power gem has the WTF reaction, because they realize they're going to need a bigger boat.

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