A Good Laugh Goes a Long Way in Infinity Countdown 3

by Taylor Anderson

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

One of the things that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done right since its inception is to make their movies funny. Of course, some movies are funnier than others. Thor: Ragnarok has more humor than the first two Thor movies combined. Even the grandiose Avengers movies always find time for a laugh in between the action and making sure every hero has their proper amount of screen time. This humor isn’t always present in Marvel comics, and huge crossover events are often more muted in their humor. Luckily, that’s not the case with Infinity Countdown 3.

The Guardians of the Galaxy’s battle for the Power Stone rages on, as, across the galaxy, Adam Warlock squares up against Ultron to save the Silver Surfer from assimilation. Those two events make for an overstuffed issue, but that doesn’t stop Gerry Duggan from infusing some fun into his story. When things look their darkest, the Guardians finally figure out how to shrink the Power Stone and use it to their advantage. In a funny twist, Drax uses the stone not to improve his already impressive strength, but to weaponize his saxophone music.

That certainly is a plot point I didn’t see coming. This serves as not only the turning point in the battle, but the turning point, tonally, in the issue as well. Before this, the issue was pretty heavy-handed what with all the warring and death. However, this spread immediately shifts that. How could anyone look at this bright pink page, with saxophone music walloping Warbringer’s forces, and not smile? The icing on the cake is seeing all of the Guardians smile or stand in awe of Drax’s musical prowess as it is amplified by the infinity stone.

The point of all this is that there’s a time and place for comics to be serious and also a time and place for them to interject levity. Duggan recognizes that, and this issue is funner — and better — for it.

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

One comment on “A Good Laugh Goes a Long Way in Infinity Countdown 3

  1. You know what? The Infinity Stones have always been a bit boring. They’ve rightly been criticised in the MCU movies as the least interesting element, just world destroying McGuffins (until they get in the hands of Thanos in Infinity War, where they get even more boring). And in the comics, there is little to them. They just give powers, but there is nothing substantial about them. Just boring McGuffins that are collected by characters until the Infinity Gauntlet payoff, which often fails in a disastrously bad comic book event like Infinity Gauntlet, or a unmitigated disaster of a movie like Avengers Infinity War.

    Which is why I love the Infinity Stone diagram in the front so much. It is actually interested in making the Stones interesting. From the most simple level, the way it declares who has each stone is fantastic – lets you track the twists and turns to the gameboard that are about to happen. But the best part is how it links each stone together to form an infinite circuit. The Infinity Gauntlet isn’t all powerful before you collected a bunch of pretty stones, but because of the infinite loop.

    But the more interesting part of that loop is how each stone is supposedly powered. I was interested in what that was going to mean. I didn’t think it was going to matter that much, in the end. I also thought I was going to be disappointed with the payoff of the large Power Stone. I thought it was just going to become small again because of plot mechanics, and be boring. But actually leaning into the idea of the Power Stone being controlled by the Mind is amazing. It roots the Stones in character, and makes them more than just a McGuffin (I really want someone with little will to get their hands on it at some point during this event, and be utterly unable to use it). THe Power Stone being impossibly large unless you have the strength in mind to control it makes things so much more interesting, and Peter controlling the stone becomes a really cool moment.

    Well done, Duggan. You made the Infinity Stones interesting. And you did that, alongside a truly fantastic Drax joke (what really makes it work for me is not just that it is a heartfelt character moment from a character who is desperate to reconnect to his past before he runs out of time, but the Chitauri complaining about how the Guardians’ Horn of Doom sounds better than theirs).

    On the other hand, boring, generic character? Utterly unexplained, new powers? Duggan is writing a perfect Adam Warlock. I wish he wasn’t. At least Ultron’s godhood obsession is really great fun

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