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Infinity Countdown #4: Review

Jun 2018
Gerry Duggan, Aaron Kuder

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Infinity Countdown #4 Review by (June 16, 2018)
Another symbolic cover. Rocket Raccoon and Galactus Lifebringer don't meet, they're on different planets in this issue. And Big G won't be in his golden armour form after this. But it's funny though.

Once again Mike Deodato does page 1 coloured by Frank Martin, and Jordie Bellaire colours the rest. Aaron Kuder draws the Guardians stuff and Mike Hawthorne pencils the Warlock/Silver Surfer pages. This time Jose Marzan joins Terry Pallot in inking Hawthorne's pages. I suspect Marzan does the last 10 pages as Galactus destroys Saiph.

Knowhere is a space station built from the head of a Celestial by a consortium of alen races. It has often been the base for the Guardians Of The Galaxy.
Cosmo is the station's security chief, a Russian space dog who got lost in space and mutated into an intelligent telepath. He's often been involved in Guardians adventures, lately in their Legacy #148-149 and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #29.

As mentioned Collector and Grandmaster were part of this ongoing storyline in All-New GOTG#10. In between Grandmaster has been the villain behind the No Surrender epic in Avengers #675-690. And Collector appeared in Despicable Deadpool #294 where DP brought him Madcap for his collection.

All-New GOTG #10 was the 1st mention of the universe being a simulation, and indeed of a multiverse of simulations, which is part of the universe being different from what it used to be. This all smacks of the multiverse being destroyed at the start of Secret Wars III and then recreated a universe at a time at the end of that series by the missing Reed Richards and friends.

The Marvel universe has been destroyed and recreated many times before Secret Wars III (they just didn't make such a big fuss over it, unlike DC). In Captain Marvel (2002) #16 Genis-Vell/CM son of Mar-Vell/CM rebuilt the universe and discovered he now had a sister Phyla. In the main reality Phyla-Vell tried to take the title of Captain Marvel from her (insane at the time) brother Genis but didn't succeed. Instead she eventually gained the Quantum bands to be come the new Quasar.
Moondragon is the daughter of Drax brought up by the Titanian Eternals (whose Elysius was the mother of Genis and Phyla). In our reality (and probably in the alternate) she and Phyla are lovers.

This is the 1st mention of Requiem who will be a/the big villain in Infinity Wars. Marvel Wiki says he's the person getting the dwarf to make him armour in the opening pages of this series.

A shipful of Nova Corps escapees from last issue supposedly go to the IC: Champions mini-series. I don't know whether the Corps surviviors in this issue are the same guys later on, or whether they left on a different ship.

Nova goes from the main story here to IC: Darkhawk #1 as reported. It remains to be seen whether he'll play a larger role in that mini-series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Infinity Countdown #4 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In the opening flashback the Asgardian Dwarf completes the armour for his captor who rewards him with a slap and spouts about resurrection and seeing him in the next life.

Last issue Silver Surfer came to Galactus (who is in his current golden Lifebringer form) to ask him to revert to being the Devourer of Worlds briefly to consume the planet Saiph (whose inhabitants Ultron had turned into robotic slaves) to stop Ultron from sending rockets containing his robotic virus to infect other worlds. Now Galactus refuses because of the cost to himself and to the Surfer (which we'll see at the end of the issue).

Meanwhile the Guardians Of The Galaxy have reached Knowhere and are greeted by some of the Nova Corps who escaped from the planetoid Xitaung last issue. The Guardians stayed behind to protect the Power Stone from the Chitauri and the Fraternity of Raptors. Nova (Richard Rider) explains how Talonar of the Raptors (who turned out to be his brother Robbie brainwashed by them) told him that this universe was a simulation which could be changed by the mind. This enabled Star-Lord to shrink the giant Power Stone to hand-size. Gamora says she thought they were doomed but Drax claims he defeated the Chitauri leader Warbringer by playing his saxophone. The Corpsemen think they're making things up as usual.

(Actually Star-Lord used the Power Stone to defeat Warbringer. Drax used it to power his saxophone which blew Xitaung up. Then Nova used it to enhance the Nova Force to create a forcefield to surround them and bring them here.)

Rocket Raccoon claims that they're lucky to be alive. Groot points out that Ant-Man isn't. (They think he died but we know he was unconscious and ant-sized taken into a Nova Corps escape ship.) They've also brought Nova Commander Eve Bakian and her new baby with them.

Nova is going off to chase the Raptors and his brother Robbie. He wants to take the Power Stone with him but Gamora and Star-Lord veto that. (Gamora is trying to collect *all* the Infinity Stones - but so far she's scored 0.) Gamora asks Rich to wait up. Rider hopes it means she's coming with him (they have a long-term relationship) but instead she suggests he stay with them to help gather all the Infinity Stones. Then they can use the Time Stone to go back and stop his brother from ever *becoming* a Raptor. Nova thinks about it for a second and offers a counter suggestion. When Gamora gets the Stones she can come back in time to this moment and then they can all go off to save Robbie. When that doesn't happen he flies away.

Star-Lord has the Power Stone and now it's Gamora's time to argue with *him* about who should hold it. But Eve Bakian claims it for the Nova Corps. They've been secretly looking after it for a while and lost a lot of Corpsmen defending it. Peter Quill is ready to agree but Gamora points out that they just recently (GOTG's Legacy issues) rooted out a load of enemy spies in the Corps. Rocket is worried that Gamora's obsession with the Stones makes her sound like Thanos. A Corpsman pulls a gun but Gamora slices it in 2 with her sword. Then Drax settles the argument by grabbing the Stone and daring anyone to try and take it off him. (He *was* given the job of guarding it when it was bigger in GOTG#150.)

Peter Quill is called by his old pal the telepathic space-dog Cosmo who leads him to a room containing the Elders Of The Universe Collector and Grandmaster who thank him from freeing their fellow-Elder Gardener from madness (in #1). They remind Star-Lord of their last meeting (All-New GOTG #10) where they told him the universe had been altered and they wanted to know why. Well now they've found an Infinity Stone but it doesn't work. Peter examines it and says it doesn't feel like the Power Stone he's just used, but it *does* feel similar.

Then a portal opens from an alternate universe and an alternate version of Captain Marvel (Phyla-Vell) steps through to demand *her* Infinity Stone. She explains that after the re-ordering of the multiverse the Reality Stones for each universe were hidden in the wrong universes. They will only function in their correct realities and the Stone they have is the Reality Stone for *her* universe. Star-Lord believes her (although she looks more cosmicy than the version he used to know, with a star-studded body like her brother Genis-Vell sometimes had) and gives her the stone. Alternate Moondragon joins her and reads the others' minds to see what they know of a being called Requiem - nothing as it turns out.

Ultron is also after the Infinity Stones and he already has the Soul Gem. On Saiph he has launched the virus-rockets to convert the universe into Ultron beings. Adam Warlock takes to the air and starts shooting them down, but there are way too many. However someone else starts blasting them - it's Silver Surfer zooming around on his cosmic surfboard. And Galactus is with him.

Ultron claims it's a trick. He's heard about the Guardians' mechanical Galactus. (Rocket built it and used it in some issues of All-New GOTG. And we saw it fall to pieces in IC#2.) But Big G proves he's the real thing by starting to dismantle the planet. And as he does so his armour morphs from golden to the old-style purple.

Ultron jets away to escape the doomed planet. Warlock pursues him and blasts off the robot hand that holds the Soul Gem. Surfer zooms up to say that all the virus rockets have been destroyed and he retrieves the Gem. Behind them the planet explodes and they are all caught in the wave of energy and debris. Surfer  flies to safety with Warlock. Ultron clings to a hurtling rock and is lost to their view.

Norrin Radd gives Adam the Soul Gem as it's rightful possessor. Warlock thanks him for bringing Galactus. Big G joins them and says Surfer must now hold up his end of the bargain. Galactus has become once more the Devourer of Worlds and Silver Surfer must once more serve as his Herald to seek out worlds for him to devour. (They say that (nearly) every time Marvel changes something they eventually change it back. Well this takes us back to G & SS's 1st app in Fantastic Four #48.)

There have been 3 tie-ins published since #3:-

IC: Captain Marvel 1-shot

Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) found this universe's Reality Stone in a parallel timeline in her Legacy issues #125-129 and here she can use it to contact other timelines.

She consults with holders of Reality Stones in other universes to see if she could have caused less collateral damage in her latest fight - against Blastaar. She sees how another version of herself sacrificed her own life at the end of Civil War to avoid putting Tony Stark into his coma. She visits an alternate version of Scarlet Witch's House of M world where Carol succumbed to her alcoholism and Monica Rambeau was that world's heroine as Captain Marvel. She finds another outcome of Rogue taking her powers and memory (Avengers Annual #10) - in this new timeline they suffered a dual permanent mind-swap. And another reality where *she* rather than Rick Jones was joined with the original Captain Marvel in the union where the Nega-Bands allowed only 1 of them at a time to exist on Earth while the other languished in the Negative Zone - and during the fight with Nitro it was *she* who contracted cancer rather than Mar-Vell, and she who died of it leaving him to live on as a hero.

Returning to her reality CM finds Blastaar has woken up again. So she uses 1 of the tricks an alternate mentioned to defeat him. But she decides to stop 2nd-guessing herself. And also to guard the Reality Stone because there are much worse person's than her who would like to take it.

IC: Daredevil 1-shot

IC Prime showed Turk Barrett with the Mind Stone. This issue reveals how he got it and what he's doing with it.

Matt Murdock senses low-life Turk carrying Kingpin's cane with a power-radiating stone atop. He watches him somehow influence a judge to find a criminal innocent in return for a pledge of loyalty. Daredevil persuades Turk's old pal Grotto to confess that Turk can now read minds ever since he found his magic rock. DD confronts Turk who tells him how he witnessed a fight between ninjas and Skrulls over a box containing the stone. He took the stone and 'overheard' that the ninjas were trying to get it to Dr Strange. Now he's aiming to fill the void left by Kingpin (who went into a coma in DD#601).

DD escapes Turk and his men. Turk kills Grotto for betraying him. And then he hires Bullseye as his right-hand man.

IC: Darkhawk #1 of 4

Quick history summary:-

Chris Powell found an amulet which enabled him to swap his body for an android Darkhawk. The android was 1 of the Fraternity of Raptors named Razor. The Raptors were created long ago to be used by the Shi'Ar, Kree and Skrulls as guardians of the universe operating from Null Space. But their methods were questionable so they were eventually sealed away in Null Space. The normal mode of operation was that the android and its mind would completely swap with the mortal user who was sent to Null Space (shades of Captain Marvel and Rick Jones). But because they weren't designed for humans Chris got the android body but kept his own mind.

During War of Kings and Realm of Kings some other Raptors succeeded in  escaping from Null Space but they were defeated by Darkhawk and Nova (Richard Rider).

In the post-Secret Wars III universe the Fraternity of Raptors are terrorists without access to the Raptor Androids. In the Guardians Of The Galaxy series they have sought powerful objects. They recruited Robbie Rider as Talonar who obtained a pair of Nega-Bands with which they hoped to access Null Space and the Raptor Androids. In our series they continued their power search by coming after the Power Stone.

Meanwhile Darkhawk got a Legacy issue #51 where the android Razor rebelled against the others and came to our universe and merged with Chris Powell to try to stop the other Raptors.

Now in this issue the mortal Raptors succeed in breaking through to Null Space and freeing the Androids. But the Android Raptors kill them all except Robbie Rider and his Nega-Bands because he will be useful. Chris joins the Code-Blue police team. Nova warns him off chasing the mortal Fraternity and Talonar and won't lend him a spaceship. The mortal Fraternity has sent intergalactic bounty hunter Death's Head to get the Razor body but Chris sees this as a chance to get a spaceship.

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.


(Drax the Destroyer)

(Richard Rider)
Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer

(Norrin Radd)

(Peter Quill)

Plus: Captain Marvel (Phyla-Vell), Cosmo, Eve Bakian, Moondragon (of Infinity Wars), Nova Corps.

> Infinity Countdown: Book info and issue index

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