Big Embiggens in Infinity Countdown 1

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the issue, proceed at your own risk.

A couple days ago, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary made news when it announced that the word “embiggen” would be added to their tome of actual, real words. It is a shocking move for some because the word owes it’s origins to the The Simpsons and, in part, to Ms. Marvel, both of which are steeped in pop-culture, a force that is sometimes thought of the destroyer of language as opposed to its creator. With this news in hand, it seems fitting that this week Marvel is releasing the first issue of Infinity Countdown, which, if this installment is any indication, embiggens the narrative surrounding the universe’s most sought-after stones. 

The Guardians of the Galaxy, teamed up with the Nova Core, are split into two groups. The first, led by Drax, is protecting the Power Stone and is under attack by the Raptors who are seeking the stone’s…well, power. The second team, made up of the rest of the Guardians is fighting the Gardener, who has been driven crazy by some poison slipped to him by Loki.

Already that’s a lot of stuff going on in one issue, but Gerry Duggan decides to embiggen the issue every chance he gets. The best example of this happens after Drax has successfully fought off the Raptors only to see a new opponent enter the ring.

Yeah, that’s Warbringer leading an army of Leviathans to capture the Power Stone. In the most literal sense, this takes an already huge battle and multiplies the size. This same thing happens elsewhere in the issue when the Gardener, freed of his Madness, returns Groot to his former power. Back in his original form, Groot wastes no time embiggening himself to fight another giant Groot-like creature the Gardener has called upon to kill his foes.

All of this action is simply massive on the grandest of scales. What’s refreshing about this issue, however, is that the weight of all this mass doesn’t bog down the issue in any way. Duggan and artist Aaron Kuder essentially boil all of these huge battles down to a showdown between two opposing powers and keep that formula simple and direct both in their writing and artwork. As a result, even though the action presented here is of the largest scale, it’s never too big to understand.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

One comment on “Big Embiggens in Infinity Countdown 1

  1. After two not so flash prologues, it is great to see the actual event starts off so strong. Scale is certainly a massive part of it, because I do love how Duggan keeps finding ways to escalate and escalate events (and Kuder again shows how amazing he is at exactly this sort of thing). But it is more than just the scale. I love how the Dramatis Personae sets things up like the title cards of a fight. There is a real sense of fun to every element. It really helps show that Duggan has a very clear idea of what he wants the feel of the issue to be, and the feel is fantastic. That’s why the fight is so good. Because Duggan and Kuder know exactly what sort of book they want, they have designed every beat tightly, building every scene out of the elements of a good fight, instead of bombarding us with unclear splash pages (it even gets some slightly darker moments, like the Shi’ar preparing to execute the Novas).

    And honestly, desptie the massive scope of the fights, a great strength of this is that it starts small. This feels like an issue of Guardians, with the greater story only hinted at the end with Natasha being given the Space Gem. For all the giant scale, Duggan is starting as tight as he can so we aren’t overwhelmed, and to ensure we have a place to go to.

    THough while part of me enjoys the cheekiness of remembering that Groot could actually speak a more varied vocab back during Annihilation Conquest and early GOTG, and that ‘I am Groot’ was supposed to be caused by Groot’s age constricting his vocal abilities, a Groot he talks more than ‘I Am Groot’ just isn’t as interesting or fun. AH well, Duggan makes up for it by making the Chitauri more than just generic bad guys for once. THey actually have a real motive

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