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Infinity Countdown #5: Review

Jul 2018
Gerry Duggan, Aaron Kuder

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Infinity Countdown #5 Review by (July 22, 2018)
The opening page is again by Mike Deodato and Frank Martin. And I think Mike Hawthorne/Jose Marzan do the Hank Pym and Dr Strange stuff.

Oblitus was introduced in Nova 2013) #19-20 when Rocket helped Nova (Sam Alexander) search for the truth about his Nova Corps father. Nova visited the place again in his #29, and Human Torch and Venom (Flash Thompson) (in his Space Knight period) dropped in for a backup tale in Guardians Of Infinity #4.

Marvel Wiki says Henry Pym really does die here, but holds out hope by describing him as only a fragment of Hank's soul. If this is based on analogy with Gamora's soul-fragment then it's dubious. Gamora's fragment was left behind when Gamora escaped from Soul World in Silver Surfer (1987) #46. But Ultron seemed to banish his Pym half completely to Soul World when he got hold of the Soul Gem in Infinity Countdown: Prime.

A previous Infinity Watch was formed after the Infinity Gauntlet event and the Infinity Gems were split between the 6 members for safekeeping in the Warlock & The Infinity Watch series. Warlock is the only person common to both teams. The others in the original team were Drax, Gamora, Moondragon, Pip the Troll and surprisingly Thanos.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Infinity Countdown #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The usual 1-page flashback shows the mystery figure (allegedly the Requiem mentioned last issue) killing the Asgardian dwarf after he makes him/her a sword to go with the armour.

Next scene:- Henry Pym and the Gamora-fragment in Soul World. Hank continues to search for a way out but Gamora tells him they'll have to wait for the door to the Soul Gem to be opened from the outside. But he finds a piece of PymTech equipment buried in the sand, and takes it back to a giant Ultron-helmet he's using as a base. With the stuff he's found he has built a communicator and broadcast a Mayday to the Avengers, and now he gets a response. He ignores Gamora's cryptic warnings.

Next scene:- Doctor Strange is studying something when Black Widow appears before him, signals him to keep quiet and hands him a note which tells him she has an Infinity Stone (the Space Stone which allowed her to teleport here) but she thinks someone is listening via it. Strange strikes a crystal with a tuning fork ...

... and follows a mystic trail to where Turk Barrett is standing on a sidewalk. He easily fends off Turk's mental compulsion and warns him that possessing the Mind Stone will put him in danger. Turk warns *him* not to underestimate him just because he used to be Stilt-Man. Which is funny news to Stephen Strange. But Turk points to 3 people he's compelled to stand on the edge of a tall building. He makes them jump and by the time Strange has saved them Turk is gone and has hidden himself from DrS's mind.

Strange returns to his Sanctum Sanctorum and tells Natasha Romanoff he's got the place guarded against spies. She asks him to take the Space Stone into his safe-keeping. But Stephen unveils a magically hidden safe and shows her another Infinity Stone (the Time Stone) inside. He tells her it's not wise to keep Stones together, and advises her to leave and not tell him where she's going. Widow agrees.

Next scene:- The Guardians Of The Galaxy arrive on Oblitus, a cobbled-together space station where Star-Lord knows a safehouse. He figured it wasn't safe to keep the Power Stone on Knowhere since last issue even people from another timeline knew they were there. (Strictly speaking those people came for their timeline's Reality Stone which some Elders of the Universe had on Knowhere.) Peter Quill is carrying the Stone in a special container. (Drax must have given it back to him after last issue.)

But coming here to hide fails immediately as they are greeted by Adam Warlock who claims to have known they were coming. And Rocket Raccoon's nose senses he's not alone. Gamora's sword strikes to where *she* senses someone else, and Kang the Conqueror decloaks. Warlock says they heard how the Guardians gained the Power Stone and hoped they might know where the Time Stone is. He'd made a deal with Kang - Kang helped him (by enabling him to sneak up on Thanos from the deep past in Infinity Countdown: Adam Warlock) and now he's returning the favour by helping him find the Time Stone. Adam makes the (dodgy) argument that the Master of Time is best-placed to protect the Time Stone.

Gamora is more interested in whether Adam has regained his Soul Gem. She desperately wants to rescue her soul fragment. Warlock admits he has it (taken from Ultron last issue) but claims he can't open it now, and he doesn't think anyone should. She reacts badly and tries to take it from him. Adam repels her attack and Kang keeps the others at bay. But Drax sneaks round and knocks Adam down. The Gem falls from his grasp and Drax picks it up ... and sees a vision of heroes impaled on the branches of a huge tree similar to the 1 Kang showed Warlock in IC:AW.

Now it's Drax's turn to drop the Soul Gem. Gamora leaps towards it but Drax bats her away, saying his vision has convinced him that Warlock is right - Soul World must remain closed. Adam retrieves his Gem, and he and Kang leave to resume their search for the Time Stone. Drax elects to leave the Guardians and go with them because he can't support Gamora's quest. Groot, Rocket and Star-Lord refuse to help her too so Gamora walks out on them to do it alone.

Back in Soul World:- A portal opens and Pym steps through to meet an assembly of his friends. But *we* are shown the reality as a tentacled monster is about to devour him. We hear the crunch as the aged Gamora fragment walks away saying that Soul World has given him what he wanted - a way out.

Back in Dr Strange's Sanctum he uses the Time Stone to contact the other holders of the Infinity Stones:- Turk's Mind Stone, Captain Marvel's Reality Stone, Peter Quill's Power Stone, Warlock's Soul Gem and Widow's Space Stone. He calls them the new Infinity Watch and calls them to a meeting in Central Park at midnight tomorrow. They must plan to safeguard the Stones from an imminent danger.

And we see that danger is Thanos on his throne on Chitauri-Prime.

That's the end of Infinity Countdown but this story will continue in Infinity Wars Prime and then the Infinity Wars series.

The bulk of this series' tie-ins have been published since last issue:-

Dr Strange #3

This is cover-bannered as an Infinity *Wars* tie-in but it definitely takes place before this issue because Strange gets hold of the Time Stone within it.

In this 'Sorceror Supreme of the Galaxy' story arc DrS is travelling through space to get his magic mojo back. In this issue he finds a Skrull thaumaturgist trying to unlock the secrets of the Time Stone for his master the Super-Skrull (who found it in IC: Prime). Strange grabs the Stone and uses it to defeat Super-Skrull.

Not only must this issue occur before the current issue but so must the rest of the space-travel arc which continues until at least #5.

IC: Black Widow 1-shot

BW has the Space Stone (left to her in our #1 by Wolverine who got it in Marvel Legacy). She's now in London under attack by ensorcelled minions of Captain Britain's mad brother Jamie Braddock who's after the Stone. She defeats him with the aid of Merlin who delivers her to New York advising her to consult Dr Strange - leading straight into this issue.

IC: Champions #1-2

The team (minus their Hulk and Spider-Man) go into space to help Nova (Sam Alexander) hunt down the Chitauri Warbringer. But this leads them to stop him and his army from killing all the Chitauri on Chitauri-Prime, who are now loyal to Thanos. Thanos 'rewards' them by destroying Riri Williams' Stark-tech Ironheart armour. And the Nova Corps reclaim Nova's helmet which gives him his powers.

IC: Darkhawk #2-4

Chris Powell makes a deal with bounty hunter Death's Head. He will allow Death's Head to take him into space as the Darkhawk Razor to the Fraternity of Raptors to collect his bounty, and Death's Head will leave him there to 'deal' with them. But the Android Raptors have killed the human Fraternity and have other plans. They capture Darkhawk and rip out his amulet which Talonar/Robbie Rider combines with his Nega Bands to become the Raptor's god Dark Starhawk.

Chris Powell survives as Darkhawk but without the amulet can't transform to human. He teams up with Death's Head and the soul of Razor to become a more powerful giant-size Darkhawk. They stop Starhawk and the Raptors from attacking Earth. They clash with Nova (Richard Rider) wants to save his brother Robbie. It all ends with Starhawk destroyed and Robbie Rider back in human form. Darkhawk rips his amulet away from Robbie who uses his Nega Bands to commit suicide, or maybe escape. Nova blames Chris for what's happened.

The issue ends with Chris's old ally Sleepwalker appearing to him in a dream and saying *he* must become a Sleepwalker to protect the universe from the Infinity Stones. The story will continue in Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker.

Aaron Kuder
Aaron Kuder
Jordie Bellaire
Nick Bradshaw (Cover Penciler)
Nick Bradshaw (Cover Inker)
Morry Hollowell (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Cory Petit.
Editor: Jordan D. White. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Drax the Destroyer)

(Kang the Conqueror)

(Peter Quill)

Plus: Henry Pym, Infinity Watch (of Infinity Wars), Turk Barrett.

> Infinity Countdown: Book info and issue index

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