infinity war captain america

7 things to know from Marvel’s comic prelude to Avengers: Infinity War

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Apr 14, 2018, 12:00 PM EDT

Avengers: Infinity War is coming to theaters on April 27, and the world is pretty much vibrating with excitement. My eagerness for this movie is approaching Star Wars levels (not Solo, though. Never Solo). Even though their cinematic universe is getting slightly too big to keep track of, they remain so enjoyable that I can't wait to see how all of these heroes and stories come together, and how the movie plans to avoid a giant Age of Ultron-shaped mess.

infinity war prelude

In my not-so-patient state, I decided to pick up Infinity War: Prelude, a comic written by Will Corona Pilgrim, with art by Tigh Walker and Jorge Fornés, colors by Chris O’Halloran, and letters by Travis Lanham. Both covers of the two-issue series (also now available in a trade) are done by Ryan Meinerding. This lead-in to Infinity War bridges the gap between Civil War and the upcoming movie. Here’s what I learned from it.

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t'challa black panther

T’Challa apologizes to Bucky for everything he’s been through.

Considering for the bulk of Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa thought Bucky had killed his father, this was a big move; however, from what we know of the man from Black Panther, it’s not unexpected. The comic contains an extra scene in which T’Challa sees Bucky and Cap in Siberia after their fight with Tony. T’Challa invites Bucky to Wakanda at that point, thinking that he “may know someone” who can help Bucky with his Hydra programming.

clint barton hawkeye

Clint is "officially retired" now

Or so he says after Cap breaks his team out of prison. It’s hard to actually believe this, as there is some pretty convincing evidence Hawkeye is in Avengers: Infinity War despite the fact that he’s been left out of most of the marketing. Still, it’s interesting to know that this brief battle didn’t make him want to come back into the Avengers fold. (And why isn’t Hawkeye in any of the promo materials? It’s a good question and makes me wonder if they’re trying to keep Renner’s role a secret. Many of us would be fine not having him in the movie, but some Hawkeye fans are really bummed about the whole thing.)

shuri black panther

Shuri was (unsurprisingly) the one in charge of wiping Bucky’s mind of the Hydra programming.

This is pretty heavily implied in that post-credits scene of Black Panther, but the comic actually goes into how Shuri went about healing Bucky’s mind. She was able to essentially reboot him, separating the trigger words from the memories they were attached to. And, a bonus: Shuri was able to enhance Wakanda’s AI with the same algorithm she used to assist Bucky. It wasn’t an easy process, but as Shuri (rightly) points out in the comic, she’s smarter than Tony Stark. So, of course, she could get it done.

natasha black widow

Cap and Falcon went on covert missions with Natasha to continue bringing in Chitauri weapons from the Battle of New York.

These missions were, of course, unsanctioned and in secret. Presumably Cap is operating out of Wakanda. It’s not a surprise that Cap would be intent on doing good work, even if the powers that be won’t officially let him. What is gratifying is that he’s doing it with Natasha, which explains where she went after she said goodbye to Tony. This, along with a brief scene in the comic that shows Vision and Wanda together, shows that the fault lines of Civil War have begun to heal.

iron Man

Tony has given up on Cap.

This is also not a surprise, given that Tony is selfish and doesn’t really play well with others. He knows there’s a larger threat coming and thinks that it’s on him to defeat it, alone. That’s going to go well, Tony.

thanos infinity glove

We get a nice recap of where all the Infinity Stones currently are, plus a little about the mysterious Soul Stone.

As a refresher, the Space Stone (also called the Tesseract) is probably with Loki, who most likely saved it from Asgard (we see him holding it in the Infinity War trailer), where it was placed after the events of the Battle of New York. Vision has the Mind Stone. The Reality Stone (or the Aether) was taken to the Collector after the events of Thor 2, and we’re not sure what happened to it after Guardians of the Galaxy. Speaking of our favorite spacefaring band, the Power Stone is being hidden by the Nova Corps (though it’s in Thanos’s glove, along with the Tesseract, in images from the trailer). And the Time Stone is the Eye of Agamotto; Dr. Strange is wearing it in Thor: Ragnarok. The final stone, the Soul Stone, we haven’t seen on screen yet — at least, not in any form we’ve recognized. All we get about it from the comic is that it hasn’t been seen for a long time and that its rumored to be extremely powerful, perhaps the biggest threat of all the Infinity Stones.

doctor strange

Dr. Strange was concerned about Loki being on Earth during Thor: Ragnarok because it’s clear some sort of danger involving the Infinity Stones is approaching and he’s handled two of them.

And it made for a hilarious movie scene, plus it actually made me like Dr. Strange. His standalone movie didn’t exactly make the character very appealing.