Infinity Countdown Prime #1
Written by Gerry Duggan
Art by Mike Deodato, Jr. and Frank Martin
Lettering by Cory Petit
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by Justin Partridge
‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10
Infinity Countdown gets another wild and wooly overture in the form of this week’s Prime issue. Acting as a roll call for the Infinity Stones, writer Gerry Duggan takes us through the current holders with speed and a dry wit, setting up the surely epic events that are about to unfold. Duggan’s fast-paced script is given the perfect translators in the form of Mike Deodato, Jr. and colorist Frank Martin, both of whom deliver snowy Canadian campgrounds and arid, dusty scenes of deep space with equal care. Though this issue still contains more set-up than follow-through, Infinity Countdown Prime #1 is still a fun and visually inventive jaunt.
The Infinity Stones have long been a problem for the Marvel Universe, but now they are Gerry Duggan’s problem, and as of now, he seems to be handling them pretty well. Focused on the new holders of the various stones, Duggan uses this “prime” issue as a solid staging ground for the upcoming story, injecting small bits of humor and his knowledge of Marvel’s cosmic side along the way. We already knew that the original Wolverine was back and holding the Space Stone, but this time around Duggan thankfully opens up the scope of the story, getting us out in the far reaches of known space after a brutal but darkly funny check-in with the Ol’ Canucklehead.
Once the story leaves Earth is when the real fun starts. While these scenes are little more than introductions and teasing glimpses at the kind of characters Duggan will be working with, he still makes these introductions feel fun thanks to his easy humor and ever-increasing narrative scope. One second we are in Canada, the next we are on Sakaar, or even in the spiritual realm of the Soul Stone. This gives the issue an air of unpredictability and wit that I was not expecting. Though I would have liked for the scenes to carry a bit more weight when it came to each character’s new status quo, Gerry Duggan still presents a pretty solidly intriguing opening chapter to Marvel’s latest Infinity ruckus.
And a large part of that intrigue stems from the artwork of Mike Deodato, Jr. and Frank Martin. Though Deodato’s work can be a touch mercurial at times, his panels here are as solid as ever, offering up his attention to facial expressions and his eye-grabbing page construction. Take, for example, Deodato’s opening scene in the Canadian wilds, as we’re treated to a gorgeous naturescape that is anchored by the surly Wolverine and the warm, ambered sunset and foliage around him. But once the battle is joined, Deodato and Martin shift into high gear, delivering a beautifully brutal showing of Logan’s battle prowess capped off with a bloody, bisected page showing just how violent his adamantium rage can be. From there the pair head off-world, taking Deodato’s knack for breaking up pages into smaller, more intimate panels along with them. It may not seem like much, but those extra lines and panel layouts really give Prime an extra leg up when it comes to visuals.
This may be the “ninth incarnation of reality,” but those Infinity Stones will always be a problem. Luckily, Infinity Countdown Prime #1 shows that this will probably be more of a fun problem then an overlong and over-serious one. Armed with a droll sense of humor from Gerry Duggan and adaptive, engaging artwork from Mike Deodato, Jr. and Frank Martin, Infinity Countdown Prime #1 is an expansive, funny, and unpredictable opening salvo for the latest battle for infinite power.