Wolverine is ambushed by a retinue of Ultron drones. After Logan dispatches them handily, Loki arrives to coax the mutant into giving him the Space Infinity Stone. Despite the Trickster God's best efforts, Wolverine turns him down. One thing that Loki does reveal is that someone seems to have split them apart and kept them hidden for a reason this time around.
After this, we learn the current locations of the other Infinity Stones. Some are on Earth. Others are in completely different universes. There are those like the Nova Corps and the Guardians of the Galaxy simply trying to keep them hidden away. There are others, like Thanos, who intend to regain each one.
"Yer new to these parts, but you should know– I'm the best at what I do, and what I do is—teleport. Boy, bamfin' is fun."
That's one of the first things Wolverine says in this comic after being trapped in a bubble by an Ultron drone.
I don't need to explain why that one is really bad, right?
To the comic's credit, the majority of the awful lines are from the scene with Loki and Wolverine. Unfortunately, that scene is given the biggest share of the comic. The rest is meandering exposition which repeats many of its points, as we set up the players for this cosmic drama.
The dialogue between Loki and Logan isn't just bad; it's also painfully inorganic. They talk like they're old friends, but this may be the first time these two characters have been alone together. I'd say this is the first time they've met, except it's entirely possible they ran past each other during Siege.
Wolverine being a main player in this story feels weird by itself. He's no cosmic hero. Yeah, the X-Men fought the Brood and the Shi'ar in the past, but that doesn't seem like something Logan would do in his free time. That's not exactly his scene.
Oh, and he taunts Loki with the idea of using the Reality Stone to help mutants, and that took me back to Avengers vs. X-Men, where Wolverine opposed Cyclops over wanting to do something similar with the Phoenix Force.
Wolverine's involvement would be the weirdest part of this if Turk didn't have the Reality Stone. No, really. The putz from Daredevil comics who is played by actor Rob Morgan in the Marvel Netflix series is the wielder of the Reality Stone.
Going back to Logan and Loki, Marvel is having a weird problem with graphic gore and violence slipping into their comics. Rich talked about this too, and Logan's thigh gap is really frigging weird. More to the point, Wolverine pretty much splits Loki's skull apart, and a panel holds on an eyeball being impaled on one of Logan's claws.
I really hate being the "these comics are too gory" wet blanket, but this also feels like something more appropriate in a MAX title as opposed to a pseudo-headlining event crossover. It's wildly out of sync with most of the comic, but it also ignores the fact that kids might be reading this. No, "T+" doesn't justify it either. Where are Marvel's editors on this one?
There's not a whole lot to say about the establishing scenes showing where the other Infinity Stones are. The subtle reference to Shazam/Captain Marvel is cool. The expositive narration is dull and meandering. The revelation of who is delivering and receiving the narration is undercut by both of them promptly dying.
I was impressed by how thick the comic felt until you get to the back and realize a good chunk is just running down previous Infinity events.
Mike Deodato Jr.'s artwork is somewhat enjoyable. He knows how to frame a good scene. His art is noticeably more graphic than usual. Even some seemingly innocuous scenes are rendered a bit disconcerting by the style. I'm usually a fan of his work, but it's rougher than usual in this book. Frank Martin does some decent work on the color, and the extreme contrasts often help make up for the more ghoulish sequences.
Infinity Countdown: Prime was a dire escapade. Marvel is banking on a timely story to accompany Infinity War, and this story is threatening to turn into a dud. With some awful dialogue, gratuitous violence, and mind-numbing exposition, this comic misfires on almost every level. Give this one a pass. We'll see where this story is going next.