Hank Pym is in the Soul World with the elderly Gamora, and, against all odds, Hank is intent on escaping the Soul World. Black Widow arrives at the Sanctum Santorum with the Space Stone, and she asks Doctor Strange for help. He has the Time Stone. He uses his methods to locate the Mind Stone, which is in the possession of Turk Barrett. Meanwhile, the Guardians of the Galaxy are on their last legs when they encounter Adam Warlock and Kang the Conqueror, whom have the Space Stone. Gamora wants to recover the lost part of herself within the Stone, but Adam Warlock won't allow it. Something has changed about the Soul Stone, and he can't risk something within escaping.
Infinity Countdown #5 ends on a high note, even if it is dampened by the full revelation that this was nothing but an extended prelude for Infinity Wars.
Yes, yes Countdown, but it's still a little bothersome.
In any case, this issue at least has me excited for Infinity Wars. The pieces are falling into place. The interesting characters like Strange, Black Widow, Warlock, and Hank Pym are coming more to the forefront. The Guardians of the Galaxy are fracturing, which, if they're not being written in a compelling and likable manner, I'm fine with the team more-or-less taking a backseat in the story. Drax the Destroyer is my favorite member, and it seems like he'll have the most going on out of the team.
Outside of the Guardians part in the story, little in the way of actual plot advancement happens. Even the Strange and Widow meeting doesn't really go anywhere. However, it had me invested, if only for a little bit.
Mike Hawthorne and Aaron Kuder both do a decent job in this issue. Kuder's work really disappointed me last issue, and that is mostly made up for in this installment. His panels tend to be noticeably stark, but there is a confidence in his stylism here that jives well with the story and its characters. Jordie Bellaire compliments both artists with excellent color work to build a cosmic and off-beat atmosphere.
Infinity Countdown #5 concludes this mini with a nothing ending leaving things open for Infinity Wars. However, it left me excited and even a little engaged, so things will hopefully continue to improve from here. I guess we'll see. In any case, feel free to check this one out. It earns a recommendation.