Following 2017's controversial Secret Empire, Marvel has announced their next big event, Infinity Countdown, a storyline beginning in February that will set up the "greatest epic in the history of the Infinity Stones." The event will begin just in time for the release of Avengers: Infinity War.
An event tied to the Infinity Stones was first teased in the one-shot, Marvel Legacy #1, which featured the surprising return of the original Wolverine, who died in 2014. At the end of the story, Wolverine was seen carrying an Infinity Stone for unknown reasons. Marvel has released other teasers which show Captain Marvel and Star-Lord also wielding Infinity Stones. Though Marvel has claimed that the company would be taking an 18-month break from major crossover events, it became clear to fans that Marvel was setting up something big.
Marvel has announced Infinity Countdown, a five-part miniseries written by Gerry Duggan, which will serve as the beginning of a story that will have a tremendous effect on the Marvel Universe, including the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, the Avengers, and the X-Men. The prelude for the story will be told in the 48-page one-shot, Infinity Countdown: Prime #1.
What we already know about Infinity Countdown is that the story was originally going to be told in the pages of Guardians of the Galaxy while also bringing Adam Warlock back to the Marvel Universe. However, Marvel opted instead to cancel the series after issue #150 to allow the story to reach more characters. Senior Editor Jordan D. White says that as they were writing the story, they realized that it had become too big to contain in just one title:
As we worked on the Infinity Stones’ story, it became clear the story was much bigger than we could contain in the Guardians of the Galaxy series. It starts with the Guardians, but the story extends out into the entire Marvel Universe, with stones popping up in some VERY surprising places. Countdown is the next step in the story…but as the name implies, it’s leading to something even greater.
Marvel has released cover art for both titles, which teases the identities of the six characters who will wield the Infinity Stones. One cover shows Loki, Adam Warlock as the Magus, Super Skrull, Gamora in her classic costume, Wolverine, and Captain Marvel in front of the Infinity Gauntlet. Loki's involvement isn't that surprising, considering that the character was shown wielding the Infinity Gauntlet in a vision depicted in Mighty Thor #700. Another cover shows the hands of the characters reuniting the six Stones. Only one character, Gamora, appears to be missing.
Infinity Countdown: Prime #1 goes on sale February 21, 2018. Infinity Countdown #1 goes on sale March 7.