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?