WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Infinity Countdown: Daredevil #1
Marvel's Infinity Countdown has taken a stunning twist, with Turk Barrett using the power of the Mind Stone to become the new Kingpin of crime. The Infinity Stones are usually reserved for cosmic figures, but the new Infinity Countdown: Daredevil one-shot reveals just how dangerous the Mind Stone could be if it got into the hands of a common street thug.
Turk Barrett is one of Marvel Netflix's most popular characters, a lowlife who just seems to live to get beaten up by various heroes. Like Claire Temple, Barrett is one of the threads tying the Marvel Netflix shows together. Incredibly, he even survived a run-in with the The Punisher.
In the comics, Turk has only ever been a small-time thug. As Daredevil notes, "Turk's a lowlife. A guy I never felt bad for punching in the face." But this "lowlife" has acquired an Infinity Stone, and he's using it to rise to the top of the criminal underworld. Turk is using the Mind Stone to read the minds of everyone around him, to know exactly what they're thinking, and reveling in the secrets he uncovers. He's also learned he can use it to force people to do his will. And that makes for a lucrative career, as Barrett offers to do favors for criminals - such as ensure a judge declares a defendant "not guilty." Now ambitious for power rather than just for wealth, Turk is trading favors, ensuring influential people across the city owe him one.
Gerry Duggan's script sees Turk come to the attention of Daredevil, the Man Without Fear. Matt Murdock is attending a normal day in court when he gets a real shock; it turns out that the cosmic power of the Infinity Stone is actually visible to him. There's a beautiful full-page splash of Murdock's "radar sense," with everything flowing from the brightness of the Infinity Stone at the center. "The last thing I expected to happen today," Matt reflects, "was to see anything." It doesn't take Daredevil long to deduce what Turk's up to, but there's an ironic twist; the Man Without Fear is a street-level superhero. He's not familiar with cosmic items like the Infinity Stones. And so he assumes Turk has simply stumbled upon a mystical jewel of some kind.
A flashback scene reveals that Turk stumbled upon the Mind Stone when he got caught up in "one of those crazy scraps... that only seem to happen in New York City." Though Turk didn't know it, he'd blundered into a battle between a Skrull strike team and a group of sorcerers, both sides seeking to acquire the Mind Stone. The sorcerers are trying to get the Mind Stone to Doctor Strange, and try to warn Turk; "Requiem approaches. You must get the Stone to the Avengers of this Earth." Needless to say, Turk Barrett isn't the kind of man to give up power.
This one-shot is a tremendously effective issue, exploring just what would happen if an everyday man - albeit a corrupt one - stumbled upon the unlimited power of an Infinity Stone. Marvel's street-level and cosmic ranges rarely interact to this degree, and as a result this one-shot is one of the most effective comics of the year to date. The one disappointment is that this new status quo will no doubt soon come to an end, in order to continue with the Infinity Countdown and Infinity Wars events.
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