Marvel talking about Infinity Wars at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 got me interested in their big event that will takeover the rest of their summer, fall and winter. Gerry Duggan is a writer who I’ve been a fan of for a while and did enjoy his work on Deadpool and what I’ve read so far from his Guardians of the Galaxy run. That said, I did not read the Infinity Wars Countdown comics that set-up certain aspects of Marvel’s latest event. Luckily Marvel is releasing a #0 issue with Infinity Wars Prime #1. With Infinity Wars Prime being a jumping on point issue I thought this would be a good way to gauge how friendly Marvel’s upcoming event will be rather than cutting into my comic book budget by going back to Infinity Wars Countdown. Now will Infinity Wars Prime #1 succeed in building hype for Marvel’s big event? Let’s find out.
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Mike Deodato Jr.
Colorist: Frank Martin
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At the Asgardian library in Omnipotence City Loki is angered by every tome he reads showing different perspective on stories were he loses every single time. Loki thinks someone is behind all these tales of him losing.
Flowa, the tomekeeper of the library, tells Loki that the library is closing and he must leave. Loki reminds Flowa that he is Prince of Asgard. Flowa says she knows who he is but still starts dragging Loki out of the building. Loki wonders why Flowa is so strong. She says it’s because when she is close to her tomes she is at her most powerful.
Before being fully kicked out Loki tells Flowa that all the stories are wrong and wonders why every tome he read tells stories from different points of views and universes with the same people.
Flowa takes Loki to show him a story that Freyja was able to save by copying the most important texts Asgard wanted to previously keep together. Loki takes a look at the book and sees a picture of himself and several pages ripped out. Flowa freaks out and says the pages must be redrawn by Knave and then she will kill him.
Loki wonders what the tale was. Flowa says it was about the God Quarry, which was previously known as the Quarry of Creation. Loki says he wants to go to God Quarry. Flowa laughs at him since the location is guarded by the Coven witches.
Loki asks Flowa if she knows a way to the God Quarry. Flowa kicks Loki ou out as she is bored. Loki tells Flowa that she should join in to the God Quarry. Flowa is intrigued by the potential of writing a tome.
Inside the Soul Gem, Adam Warlock watches a concert the souls inside are attending together.
At the Sanctum Sanctorum Doctor Strange reflects on how no one ever stops by his place just to hangout. Dr. Strange then asks Adam Warlock what he is keeping from him. Adam answers by asking Dr. Strange if he has the Time Stone. Dr. Strange wonders if Adam is looking to assemble the Stones. Adam says he is not.
Dr. Strange then takes out a special rope that is able to cross dimensions. He ties it on himself and Adam so they can go into the Soul World. As they near the portal to the Soul World Dr. Strange asks Adam how he got the Soul Stone. Adam says he got it from Ultron with some help.
As Adam enters the Soul World Dr. Strange says he can detect the Tachyons on him so he knows Kang helped him recover the Soul Stone.
Inside the Soul World, Adam tells Dr. Strange it is beautiful inside. Adam then finds some people desperately running away from something. Adam then sees an unknown monster that looms over everyone. As the monster approaches Adam tells Dr. Strange not to come after him.
Dr. Strange uses an astral projection of himself to enter the Soul World. He sees the monster and goes back to his own body. Dr. Strange then activates the Time Stone he has possession of.
Back to when Adam first entered the Soul World, the future Dr. Strange tells his present self what will happen to Adam. The present Dr. Strange listens to his future self and drags Adam out of the Soul World before the unknown monster kills him.
Back at the Sanctum Sanctorum Adam asks Dr. Strange why he didn’t admit to having the Time Stone. Dr. Strange retorts by saying Adam didn’t tell him that Kang helped him come to the present.
Adam asks Dr. Strange what that monster was. Dr. Strange says it is a reason to drink. Dr. Strange then mentions that Gamora showed him what the Soul World looked like in her dreams but now it looks like it has gotten worse. Dr. Strange tells Adam to leave the Soul Stone with him. Adam wonders if Dr. Strange is trying to assemble the Stones.
Dr. Strange wonders what Kang asked in return for helping Adam. Adam says Kang wants the Time Stone. Dr. Strange says “Goodbye Adam.” Adam walks out while warning Dr. Strange that Kang isn’t the only one after the Time Stone.
When Adam flies off Dr. Strange knows Adam meant to say Thanos is coming after him.
On Chitauri Prime Thanos makes a speech about the Infinity Stones being his even after the Chitauri’s Warbringer failed to retrieve the Power Stone. Thanos then states he will kill the Warbringer with his own hands. He then says no one will oppose him.
Suddenly someone stabs Thanos from behind. Thanos turns around and sees that it the person who stabbed him is Requiem.Requiem states he is there to kill Thanos. He then slices Thanos’ head off with his sword.
As Thanos head rolls on the floor the Chitauri state that Requiem is their new leader. Requiem says he only has one thing that the Chitauri need to do: “Die.” He then kills all the Chitauri with a special green gas.
Still believing his future as being blank, Requiem strikes his sword on the ground to release the energy stored inside it. The energy turns Thanos body to ash. Requiem then smashes what remains of the glove Thanos was wearing. End of issue.
The Good: Infinity Wars Prime #1 does exactly what it needed to do. Gerry Duggan sets into motion what Infinity Wars will be about and who the major players in the conflict will be. Though how new reader friendly Infinity Wars Prime #1 is does put into question some story questions.
Right away by opening Infinity Wars Prime #1 with Loki at the Asgardian library on Omnipotence City Duggan is able to show how this event will span the Marvel Multiverse. By putting this at the beginning Duggan gets across how big this event will be. At the same time Duggan is able to make some meta-jokes that work because they are made by Loki. By using Loki to make these statements they are able to feel like a more natural part of the story as Loki is character you believe would react in the way he did.
Also, in using the Asgardian library in the opening scene Duggan is able to establish how this story involves the deeper history of the Marvel Universe. This tease of the God Quarry instantly sets up a greater mystery to unfold in Infinity Wars that goes beyond the Infinity Gems. Loki being the one to go on this journey to God Quarry along with a brand new, and excited character, in Flowa also gives us a fresh perspective in the events that will unfold. And in setting this up Duggan is able to give Infinity Wars something that will help it differentiate it from other stories that have involved the Infinity Stones.
Loki and Flowa’s light hearted back-and-forth was nicely balanced out by the more serious confrontation between Doctor Strange and Adam Warlock. Throughout their interactions Duggan got across how there is a sense of respect and distrust between the two. That is show by how they aren’t completely honest with each other about having an Infinity Stone. That lack of full disclosure added to how Dr. Strange and Adam Warlock both ended up questioning what they each intend to do with their Infinity Stones. At the same time, the respect is shown with how Adam Warlock does still warn Dr. Strange that both Kang and Thanos will be coming after him.
Dr. Strange and Adam Warlock’s scene together also got across how things are unstable things are in the Marvel Universe with the scene in the Soul World. Just seeing that unknown monster have the power to instantly kill Adam Warlock, a character who is no slouch, got over that there is something big going on right now. It put into question if Adam Warlock’s warning was more than just about Kang and Thanos.
Additionally, it was interesting to learn that this version of Adam Warlock is from the future. In a way this helps reset Adam Warlock’s character as his present day version has been all over the place in terms of roles he’s played. Giving this fresh start, of sorts, does put into question what Adam Warlock’s motivation is this time around after what he has seen in his time with Kang.
With all that in mind it was a great fake out move to set Thanos up as the perceived big threat only to have the new Requiem character kill him in his first appearance. This fake out plays with people’s expectations of Thanos being the big threat for the entirety of Infinity Wars. In playing with those expectations Duggan is able to instantly establish Requiem as a complete wild card as he sets upon his own mission.
The act of killing Thanos instantly gives Requiem credibility as someone that won’t mess around with as he executes his plan that probably involve the Infinity Stones. Adding in how he immediately killed the Chitauri in Thanos army just furthered this fact. The inner monologue Duggan wrote for him got across how Requiem full motivation is only known to him as he talked about his future being “blank.” It at least adds interest in learning more about who Requiem actually is.
To perfectly compliment Duggan’s story Mike Deodato Jr. delivers excellent artwork throughout Infinity Wars Prime #1. Deodato gets across how epic all the cosmic settings are as Duggan gives him different types of locations to draw. At the same time, Deodato is able to bring in the three scenes to feel personal as each one has two different characters interacting with each other. The combination of all this got across how epic Infinity Wars will be as Marvel latest big event.
The Bad: While I enjoyed Infinity Wars Prime #1 it won’t be for everyone. This is an issue that you can’t just enter without previous knowledge of characters what these characters have been up to recently. These character’s specific stories are so deeply rooted in their backstory that it is easy to find that intimidating without prior knowledge to what they are doing. That is especially the case with Adam Warlock, who has only made rare appearances since he hasn’t been a major player in any of Marvel’s recent event. And since he is set up as one of the major characters of Infinity War some might find it intimidating to try to understand the importance of everything going on.
Similarly, while Thanos death is unexpected it will be hard for long time readers to suspend their disbelief as we’ve seen countless events begin with a death of a major Marvel character. And given Thanos boom in popularity after the Avengers: Infinity War movie it is hard to believe this death will stick. So for fans that can’t get that out of their head Thanos’ death won’t have the same impact it will for others that truly weren’t expecting this.
The other problem with Infinity Wars Prime #1 is that we don’t get to at least see where the other Infinity Stone holders are. We already know who each one of them are given the intro page before the story of Infinity Wars Prime #1 began. Given that intro page it would’ve been nice to at least see a panel of where characters like Captain Marvel and Black Widow are to get an idea of where they are mentally and personally when the Infinity Wars event officially kicks off.
Overall: Infinity Wars Prime #1 did its job to build excitement for Marvel’s big event. The scenes with Loki, Doctor Strange and Adam Warlock set-up several intriguing storylines to follow when Infinity Wars begins. The addition of the shocking death at the hands of a brand new threat, Requiem, established how anything can happen in the upcoming Infinity Wars event. If your a fan of the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe I recommend Infinity Wars Prime #1.