Many of Marvel's recent Prelude comics have essentially been comic-book retellings of the movies. That's not the case with Avengers: Infinity War's prelude, which tells an original (canon) story set in the MCU, setting the scene for the biggest Marvel event of the decade.
This official Prelude comic is essential setup for the movie. No, it doesn't tell us any more about Thanos or his quest for the Infinity Stones, but it does reveal just what the heroes have been doing between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War. As such, it drops some tremendous hints for the movie itself. Here are the most important takeaways from the tie-in comic.
The Black Panther-Related Infinity War Plot Teases (This Page)
Shuri is Working to Cure the Winter Soldier
The Prelude comic spends a lot of time in Wakanda, revealing that the Wakanda Design Group is working to "reboot" the Winter Soldier's mind to cure him of Hydra's influence. Bucky wasn't only placed in cryo-stasis (in Civil War's mid-credits scene) to keep him out of trouble; T'Challa's sister Shuri has taken detailed scans of his mind. She's used those scans to create "one-to-one digital representations" of the Winter Soldier's brain. Shuri has used these to try out different processes, to see if she can work out how to heal Bucky's fractured mind. Yes, the Prelude comic reminds fans that Shuri really is smarter than Tony Stark!
In an interesting twist, it seems Steve Rogers and the Winter Soldier didn't actually head straight to Wakanda after the superhero civil war. The Prelude specifies that they went there "a few weeks later", although remains silent on just what Steve and Bucky did in that time. What's more, given Black Panther is expected to kick off with T'Challa's return to Wakanda, it's possible the two friends didn't even head to the African nation until after the events of Black Panther.
By the end of the issue, Shuri believes she's worked out how to break the Winter Soldier's conditioning. There's another issue due for release next month, so it's possible the Winter Soldier will actually be out of cryo-stasis by the time Infinity War kicks off.
Wakanda is Working on Artificial Intelligences
Shuri not only thinks her algorithm will "reboot" Bucky's mind; she also believes the same algorithm could be used to advance Wakanda's artificial intelligences, saying it will be as important as the creation of Ultron, although it will avoid the "silly shortcut" Stark took back in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
This may not seem to be an important detail at first glance, but remember why Stark created Ultron; he wanted to develop a better defense against threats like that of Thanos. What's more, concept art for Infinity War has already teased that Stark will build a new "Iron Legion." Imagine an Iron Legion driven by Wakandan AIs. Indeed, it's already been suggested Shuri will help make Iron Man's new armor, is this the next step?
Although the movies are unlikely to address this, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has revealed that sophisticated AI technology is illegal under the Sokovia Accords. Yet again, Wakanda is playing fast and loose when it comes to international law.
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019