This week, Infinity Countdown #1 kicked off Marvel’s big Cosmic event in earnest. The story, from writer Gerry Duggan and artists Aaron Kuder and Mike Deodato Jr., spans multiple planets – and changes the status quo of one Guardian in a huge way.
Spoilers ahead for Infinity Countdown #1.
Infinity Countdown #1 kicks off with an unseen figure (presumably a villain) kidnapping an Asgardian dwarf and demanding the dwarf craft some kind of forbidden object - a helm. At first the Dwarf refuses - the penalty for building the helm would be death - but the unseen villain says the dwarf will die if he refuses. The dwarf finally relents.
Far away, on the planet Xitaung, Drax and the Nova Corps guard the enormous Power Stone from the Fraternity of Raptors. Fighting through wave after wave, Drax manages to breach the assault and telepathically contact Quinon, who he instructs to send word to the Nova Corps and to Asgard that they need help.
The Chitauri Warbringer arrives just as the fight is ramping up, but Drax manages to crash his enormous Chitauri mount into the last of the Raptors, leaving the Nova Corps in a position to defend the Power Stone.
Meanwhile, across the galaxy, the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy fight through the Gardener’s minions as baby Groot inches closer to death. As the Guardians launch their full assault on the Gardener, he manages to fend them off – all except baby Groot, who makes his way to the crazed Elder of the Universe and seemingly explains what’s going on. Snapping out of a trance, the Gardener realizes his mind has been poisoned, and he heals Groot.
Groot immediately grows to a towering, colossal size, and begins speaking in fully-formed sentences (as he did originally in comic books). Groot fights off the last of the Gardener’s arboreal minions.
On Earth, Black Widow - Natasha Romanoff, who is thorougly-confirmed as not dead as framed in Secret Empire #10 – enters her safehouse in Madripoor. Suspecting an ambush, she enters cautiously, but finds only signs that another recently resurrected hero has been there – Logan, the original Wolverine.
Searching the apartment, Natasha finds the Space Stone hidden with a note that says “N – take care of this – L.”
The story continues in Infinity Countdown #2, on shelves April 18.