Today's release of Infinity Countdown Prime #1 lays out the locations of the Infinity Stones in Marvel Comics and brings with it some surprising character returns. With Avengers: Infinity War just a few months away, Marvel is wisely tying the epic film into its latest comic book event. A few weeks ago, Marvel brought Adam Warlock back in a one-shot detailing his story and teasing how he'll factor into the upcoming Infinity Countdown event. Of course, he's not the only hero who is inexplicably returned, as Logan is alive and has an Infinity Stone of his own.
Last year's Legacy #1 brought Wolverine back to life, but it also teased his mysterious possession of the Space Stone. Since then, we've seen the character pop up a few times in 'post-credits scenes' in some Marvel titles. We still don't know what happened since his most recent death, but the Stone is certainly safer with the hero than the other factions gunning for it. Unfortunately, the fate of the other give gems is in question.
This week's Infinity Countdown Prime by Gerry Dugan and Mike Doedato, Jr. serves as a prequel to the big event. Rather than focus on one character like the Adam Warlock story, however, we touch base with a number of Marvel heroes and villains to learn who has which Stone. As has been teased, Captain Marvel is reveled to hold the Reality Stone, while her counterparts across the Multiverse have done the same. Meanwhile, the Power Stone now exists as a planet-sized object being watch by the Nova Corps and the Guardians—but both the Chitauri and a group called the Fraternity of Raptors are after it. With the Chitauri now ruled by Thanos, there are just as many villains vying for the Stones as heroes, and Ultron and Kl'rt the Super-Skrull have already nabbed one each.
A few years back, Hank Pym merged with Ultron and took himself and his other half far away to save humanity. Now, they're back in the Marvel Universe and in possession of the Soul Stone. They've also killed Magus, the evil half of Adam Warlock. Though Magus' former time wielding the Infinity Stones was troublesome, seeing Ultron with them isn't any better. And as for Hank Pym, we learn he's actually trapped inside Soulworld with an aged Gamora—mirroring Warlock's years of imprisonment inside the Stone.
The Kl'rt reveal is less surprising, as cover art for Infinity Countdown showed him with the Time Stone. But nothing good will come of the Skrull with the powers of the Fantastic Four possessing such an item. Prime also gives us more time with Logan, who wields the Space Stone to teleport around as he fights off some zombie-like Ultron minions seeking the Stone. He's then joined by Loki, which will add yet more chaos to the fight for the Stones.
The most surprising reveal of all is who holds the Mind Stone. We don't spend much time with it, but we see it's under the control of Turk Barrett, the low-level criminal MCU fans will know from Daredevil and Luke Cage. It's safe to assume he won't hold onto the powerful artifact for long, and luckily he seems to mostly be using it to gamble.
Alongside the 'No Surrender' arc in Avengers, Infinity Countdown looks to be the key to Marvel's fresh start and their latest comic book relaunch. The fallout of the story could affect things for years to come, depending on who finally unites all the Stones. Until then, expect the various players from Infinity Countdown Prime to play a big role in the coming months.
Infinity Countdown Prime #1 is available from Marvel and local comic stores.