SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Infinity Countdown #1 by Gerry Duggan, Aaron Kuder, Jordie Bellaire and Cory Petit, on sale now.
Wolverine is set to play an important role in Marvel Comics' Infinity Countdown miniseries, based on the fact that the mutant possesses the Mind Stone, one of the six Infinity Stones. Infinity Countdown Prime #1 saw Loki attempt to take the Stone from Logan, but even though the hero would rather not have it, he knows it's safer in his hands than with someone like the God of Lies.
But what if there is someone else out there that Wolverine trusts to hold onto the Mind Stone for him? Someone who Wolverine has been in the trenches with, and also just happens to be back from the dead as well?
The final pages of Infinity Countdown #1 take the action away from the Guardians of the Galaxy and put the spotlight on the seedy nation of Madripoor. It's here we find the former Avenger Black Widow, back among the living after her apparent death in 2017's Secret Empire. For those who haven't been keeping up with Tales of Suspense, it follows Hawkeye and the Winter Soldier as they investigate whether Black Widow is alive or dead. Issue #102 ended with Natasha Romanoff greeting her friends, so Infinity Countdown actually marks her second appearance back in the Marvel Universe. As for how she survived her Secret Empire death, that remains to be seen.
For now, Black Widow's story has taken her to Madripoor, but her time sneaking in the shadows is all for nothing, because someone already knows she's there. As Black Widow begins her investigation, she mentions how there are only two men who know about her safehouse -- one being dead, and Captain America being the other. The person she believes to be dead is Logan, and the adventure she's referring to was highlighted in a flashback tale in Uncanny X-Men #268.
"Madripoor Knights" jumped the series back to 1941, revealing when Wolverine teamed up with Captain America and Black Widow for the very first time to face off against the Hand and Baron von Strucker. Writer Gerry Duggan obviously realized if a Wolverine and Black Widow reunion was to take place, this story and the locale were the perfect Easter egg to hide for the readers.
Take Care Of This
The reunion we mentioned earlier doesn't exactly take place, mostly because Logan isn't around for it to take place. However, Wolverine leaves behind a trinket for Black Widow in the form of the Mind Stone, hidden safely in the back tank of a toilet.
A note left behind simply reads, "Take care of this," addressed from L to N, which naturally stands for Logan and Natasha. No explanation is given for why Wolverine would forfeit the Infinity Stone, whether he'll return to the story down the line, or how he's aware Black Widow is alive. Of course, since she was still alive when he died in 2014's Death of Wolverine, Logan wouldn't be aware of what's transpired in that time.
This new development could be the reason behind Logan's journey throughout the Marvel Universe in Marvel's "Where Is Wolverine?" post-credits scenes. Logan always managed to be one step behind his comrades, but here he got ahead of Black Widow and left her a clue that led her straight to the Mind Stone.
Black Widow just got back on the scene, and she's already embroiled in a major cosmic mystery. She may have planned on staying off the grid, but with the likes of Loki, Ultron and others in a mad hunt for the Infinity Stones, those odds are quickly decreasing. If they're lucky, Wolverine and Black Widow will reconnect so the two can work on an Infinity Countdown gameplan together.