Warning: SPOILERS for Infinity Countdown #5
In the Marvel Comics event Infinity Countdown, Doctor Strange has done exactly what the MCU's Avengers should have done to take on Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. To properly prepare for the Mad Titan's arrival, the Sorcerer Supreme issues a call to form a brand new version of the Infinity Watch.
Marvel's Infinity Countdown event pits Marvel's heroes against Ultron (first) as he hunts for the six Infinity Stones. The five-issue miniseries centers around the Guardians of the Galaxy, Adam Warlock, and the Silver Surfer as they deal with Ultron and the famous gems, whils also folding in the Champions, Black Widow, Daredevil, Darkhawk, and Captain Marvel.
And if that sounds like massive event resembling the MCU's latest free-for-all, we should point out that Infinity Countdown serves as the lead-in for another event, titled Infinity Wars. Hopefully, with one fewer "snap!"
In the pages of Infinity Countdown #5, Doctor Strange uses the power of the Time Stone to contact the holders of the other five stones, who are Captain Marvel (Reality), Adam Warlock (Soul), Turk Barrett (Mind), Star-Lord (Power), and Black Widow (Space). Strange tells them of his plan to form an "Infinity Watch" to safeguard the Infinity Stones and "stave off calamity."
We find out on the final page of the comic that the threat the new Infinity Watch will have to face is, you guessed it, none other than Thanos himself.
If this is indeed the lineup for the new Infinity Watch, it's a big departure from the original version formed by Adam Warlock in the aftermath of Infinity Gauntlet in the early 1990s. Along with Warlock, the first Infinity Watch consisted of Moondragon, Gamora, Pip the Troll, Drax, and Thanos, whose role in the Infinity Watch was initially kept a secret from the rest. As the stones have changed hands a number of times over the course of the series, it's possible that one or more of these characters could lose their respective stones. It's worth noting that Turk Barrett—a villain—may have no interest in helping Strange fight Thanos.
One thing that separates the MCU Avengers from Infinity Countdown's heroes is that Doctor Strange may actually have an even better plan than his movie counterpart. In contacting the other holders of the Infinity Stones, Strange can make sure all six of them are fully prepared for battle when Thanos comes, whereas many of the MCU's heroes were in disarray when Thanos and the Black Order arrived on Earth.
The next chapter of the story will unfold in next week's Infinity Wars: Prime #1.
Infinity Countdown #5 is on sale now from Marvel.