Infinity Countdown Prime is packed full of information regarding Marvel's next big event, but it may also contain a Shazam! Easter egg. Marvel is in the midst of some big changes, both behind-the-scenes and in the comics. C.B. Cebulski recently took over as the comic publisher's Editor-In-Chief, and a number of new writers and artists have come aboard—even while a few have jumped ship. On the page, the aftermath of this reset will be a fresh start for Marvel and a new set of #1s that will serve as entry points for new readers.
Part of the upcoming relaunch will be the fallout of two events. The first, "No Surrender," is playing out in the pages of Avengers and will see the various teams bearing that name coalesce into one group (and book). Meanwhile, Infinity Countdown is on the horizon and will see the Infinity Stones come back into play ahead of Avengers: Infinity War this summer. But amidst all the focus on these big changes, a new comic this week may feature a nod to a popular DC Comics character.
Infinity Countdown Prime #1 by Gerry Duggan and Mike Deodato, Jr. is designed to catch reader's up on where all the Infinity Stones are following the reset of the Marvel multiverse in Secret Wars. But during a scene that shows Captain Marvel with the Reality Stone, we're told versions of the character from across the multiverse each have their Reality Stone as well. And tucked away mostly off panel, we see a very familiar costume.
The story of Captain Marvel is an interesting one, but suffice it to say that the DC character predates not only its original publisher but Marvel's character of the same name. The confusion comes to some lapses rights issues, and it's quite the coincidence that both Shazam! and Captain Marvel will arrive in theaters next year. Both Marvel and DC have often made nods to each other's work, and it's clear the character in this scene is a play on Billy Batson's alter-ego.
Though the blue-red-yellow color scheme comes from Marvel's version of Captain Marvel, DC fans won't have trouble noticing the obvious similarities to Shazam! From the distinct two-tiered cape to the buccaneer boots to even the arm bands, it's clear the Marvel comic is nodding to the DC hero whose own movie is currently shooting in Toronto.
Alongside the Shazam stand-in, we also see the Monica Rambeau version of Captain Marvel and the original character who held the mantle, the Kree warrior Mar-Vell. Both of those characters will be in next year's film, with DeWanda Wise playing Rambeau in Captain Marvel and Jude Law cast as Mar-Vell. As for a nod to DC's Shazam, audiences may want to keep their eyes peeled for an Easter egg along the lines of the one in Infinity Countdown Prime.
Infinity Countdown Prime #1 is available from Marvel and local comic stores.