Review: Infinity Countdown #1

Mitch Nissen Mitch Nissen
Expert Contributor
March 14th, 2018

Grew up reading comic books in the 90's. Marvel fan at heart. Hulk, the Midnight Sons, and Marvel's cosmic universe are my favorites.

Review: Infinity Countdown #1
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4
On March 14, 2018
Last modified:March 14, 2018

Summary:

Marvel's Infinity Countdown officially begins with the creative team that set the whole story in motion: Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kruder. Fast paced. Loaded with action. Infinity Countdown #1 sets the stage for major events down the road and characters won't be the same. A stellar chapter in Marvel's cosmic saga.

Price:
Action Packed

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On March 14, 2018
Last modified:March 14, 2018

Summary:

Marvel's Infinity Countdown officially begins with the creative team that set the whole story in motion: Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kruder. Fast paced. Loaded with action. Infinity Countdown #1 sets the stage for major events down the road and characters won't be the same. A stellar chapter in Marvel's cosmic saga.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

Infinity Countdown, Marvel’s latest event, has begun. The Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova, and a host of others from across the cosmos converge on the Infinity Stones in a battle that will rock the Marvel universe. ComiConverse contributor Mitch Nissen takes a look.

Review: Infinity Countdown #1

In May of 2017, on Free Comic Book Day, Marvel Comics released the first issue of All-New Guardians of the Galaxy by Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kruder. And in that issue this whole story began. Over this last year the seeds for what would become Infinity Countdown were planted. And perhaps the seeds for stories yet on the horizon.

Artist Aaron Kruder missed a few issues between that first issue of All-New Guardians of the Galaxy and now. But Kruder and Duggan are back together once again with Infinity Countdown #1. This first issue opens with two major storylines coming to a head making this opening salvo explosive and massive in scale.

Synopsis

The secret is out. The Fraternity of Raptors attack Drax and an outpost of Nova Corpsmen in an effort to steal the Power Stone. Meanwhile Groot wavers on the edge of death as the Gardner, one of the Elders of the Universe, razes an entire planet with an army of Groot-spawn. The rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Richard Rider battle against the Gardner’s minions in a race to save Groot’s life.

Story continues below

The Breakdown

SPOILERS AHEAD

The book is endcapped with two plot threads that don’t particularly contribute to this issue but portend events to come. The Raptors versus the Drax and the Guardians versus the Gardner comprise the majority of the issue. The Raptors, for what seems like the tenth time in Duggan’s run, are easily defeated and have proved little more than an annoyance in the overall story.

Duggan has planted some great seeds within the Raptors, primarily Robbie Rider and the Nega Bands. Both are setup for success when these elements are finally laid to bear. It’s just a shame Duggan hasn’t done more with the Raptors. As such, the action during the Raptors/Drax section is epic but fails to move the story beyond where the issue started.

The Guardians versus the Gardner is where the issue takes flight.

Gerry Duggan has teased the reason for Groot’s “Baby” form since the beginning. We learned in the pages of Guardians of the Galaxy how the Gardner had stolen Groot’s lifeforce. Now, almost a year later, this plot thread nears its end. The Gardner, at the height of his poison induced madness, unleashes his army and pits them against the Guardians.

Of all the heroes present, it is Baby Groot who saves the day. And rightly so. Duggan nailed the writing here with Baby Groot being the one to purify the Gardner. Duggan also demonstrates great intelligence in the pairing of the Gardner and Groot. In an epic twist ending, the Gardner not only heals Groot, he also returns Groot to his former self last seen in the pages of Annihilation Conquest. As Star-Lord says, “He restored his factory settings.”

Credit: Marvel Comics

The Gardner and Groot coming together is a logical move. So logical that it makes one wonder why it had never happened earlier. Duggan is clearly doing his research and due diligence. Groot’s meeting with Man-Thing earlier too was a similar stroke of brilliance. Duggan has been showing great intuition and intelligence throughout this entire series and continues masterfully crafting the story here. The cosmic corner of Marvel hasn’t been handled this well since Abnett and Lanning previous works.

Aaron Kruder provides interior art for the entire oversized book, with the exception of one page at the very beginning. The book is essentially two massive action set pieces. Kruder delivers fantastic artwork from beginning to end, truly bringing the action to life.

Story continues below

Even with Kruder penciling both, one of these sections stands out from the other. The Drax versus the Raptors portion is somewhat diminished due to a lack of detail in the background art. The linework for the characters in the foreground is dynamic and crisp.

The location for this section however is in an arrid desert wasteland and rather nondescript building interior, neither of which provide much depth or detailed imagery. The splash page featuring the arrival of the Chitauri however is striking and powerful, beautifully detailed with a full background. The page is one of Kruder’s best in the book.

Credit: Marvel Comics

The second section features a planet surface overrun by vegetation and an army of Groots. The shots are wide and distant showcasing an expansive scope. Aaron Kruder shows off some truly amazing artwork here, taking full advantage of the backgrounds. The backgrounds are filled with detailed vegetation, massive roots, and giant Groots. The heroes occupy varying spaces upon the page, employing excellent use of depth.

There are two significant revelations during this section. The first revelation is that of a colossal Groot-spawn monster and the second is that of the fully restored Groot himself. Both are full page spreads and both are among the best pages in the book, in terms of detail and dynamism. Kruder is in top form here.

Overall this opening issue to Infinity Countdown fires on all cylinders. The writing is fast paced. Duggan advances the story and characters in some significant ways and sets the stage for more. And Aaron Kruder brings the action to life with bold and exciting artwork.

Duggan and Kruder nailed this first issue. The next issue can’t come soon enough.

What did you think?

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Mitch Nissen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @NinjaMitche

Infinity Countdown #1

  • 4

Action Packed

Marvel's Infinity Countdown officially begins with the creative team that set the whole story in motion: Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kruder. Fast paced. Loaded with action. Infinity Countdown #1 sets the stage for major events down the road and characters won't be the same. A stellar chapter in Marvel's cosmic saga.

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