WARNING: Spoilers for Infinity Countdown #3
The latest issue of Infinity Countdown ends on a cliffhanger as the Silver Surfer goes to Galactus the Lifebringer, requesting he return to his former role... and destroy a world. —specifically, Planet Ultron. As the Marvel Comics Universe heads towards an Infinity Wars event, the limited series Infinity Countdown is tracing the changing hands of the powerful Infinity Stones. One of the biggest shockers of the event was the return of the Hank Pym version of Ultron, who killed Magus and took the Soul Stone for himself. But that was only the beginning.
Last issue Adam Warlock traveled through the cosmos to find Magus and the Soul Stone, only to end up on a planet of Ultron's design. There, he not only discovered a world under Pym's control, but the issue ended with the Silver Surfer being forcefully given the Soul Stone by Ultron Prime.
How the Surfer was captured is still unknown, but the fallout of that moment looks to lead to some interesting cosmic changes. And oddly enough, Galactus may be the universe's only hope.
Infinity Countdown #3 kicks off with Ultron torturing Surfer with all the souls he's helped Galactus kill in his former role as the Herald of the World-Eater. Transforming the Surfer into a being that's part Ultron, Warlock has no choice but to fight his former friend. The hope being that freeing Surfer from Ultron's influence will award him a powerful ally.
Eventually, Warlock frees the Surfer of Ultron's control, but not before Pym launches a strike that could wipe out countless worlds. We learned that some aspect of Pym is still trapped in Soulworld—along with an aged portion of Gamora—but even the Ultron we see has at least two minds to him. There's no telling how Pym will be made whole again, but the big concern now is stopping whatever version of him is bonded with Ultron.
Because of that, the issue ends with the Silver Surfer reluctantly returning to his old master and asking him to not only destroy Ultron's world to save the galaxy, but to go back to his old ways.
If you haven't read Al Ewing's Ultimates and Ultimates2, then the golden Galactus dubbed the Lifebringer may seem odd. But that book greatly expanded the cosmic Marvel Universe in the comics and transformed Galactus into a new version of himself who seeds worlds rather than consumes them.
It's all part of an effort to balance the universe, and it's made Galactus into something of a heroic figure. But now, he'll have to once again destroy to save others. What's more, but Silver Surfer will again be leading Galactus to a world in order to consume it.
The whole scenario is an interesting twist on a classic Marvel relationship that's changed considerably over the years. Dan Slott has sent Silver Surfer on a journey of reinvention and it's not clear if some of that work will be undone now that he's moved on. What's more, but Marvel rarely lets character occupy new spaces, so it seems like a matter of time before Galactus is back to his old self.
Hopefully, something more interesting will come of this renewed partnership, but we'll have to wait until next week to find out.
Infinity Countdown #3 is available from Marvel Comics and comic book retailers.