WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Infinity Countdown #2, by Gerry Duggan, Aaron Kuder and Mike Hawthorne, in stores now.
As the release of Avengers: Infinity War grows ever closer, many fans find themselves wondering where the sixth Infinity Stone -- the Soul Stone -- might be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the same cannot be said for Marvel's current comic books. In the Infinity Countdown event, we've seen all six powerful gems recently surface in one form or another.
The Time Stone, which was hidden on Sakaar, is now in possession of the Super Skrull; the Mind Stone is in New York, in the possession of Daredevil villain Turk Barrett; the building-sized Power Stone is on the planet Xiutang, protected by the Guardians of the Galaxy; the Space Stone is now held by a newly-back from the dead Natasha Romanoff; the Reality Stone, held by Captain Marvel, is in another universe entirely; and finally, the Soul Stone was revealed to be in the possession of Ultron, who is now merged with Hank Pym.
The Soul Stone was previously held by Adam Warlock's evil double Magus in Infinity Countdown Prime #1, but the villain was blindsided by the Pym-Ultron hybrid and murdered. Brandishing the golden stone, Ultron declared himself an ultimate power of the cosmos, ready to take over the universe. And apparently Ultron had a clear idea for the stone, because in Issue #2 of the event series, it's wielded by a surprising cosmic character: The Silver Surfer. What's more, the stone is apparently being welded to the Surfer
That the Surfer is held prisoner by Ultron is a revelation in itself, one compounded by the fact that they're both on the planet Saiph. This planet is now completely controlled by the maniacal artificial intelligence, who has become a threat across the galaxy following the development of an ability to infect all forms of life with an Ultron virus -- a virus that transforms others into Ultron hybrids like himself. Now, Ultron is turning this ability on the Surfer, transforming the powerful Norrin Radd into an Ultron hybrid.
In the single panel, we see the Avengers villain infusing the Soul Stone into the Surfer's forehead, much like the MCU's Vision, who has the Mind Stone embedded into his head. The issue ends before we can see the final result, but there's little doubt that this Soul Stone-wielding, Ultron-infected Silver Surfer will be a legitimate force of terror. The platinum hero is immensely powerful already, and with the Soul Stone further powering him, he may be nigh-unstoppable. Luckily, someone who might have a chance to take him down appears to already be on the scene.
The Surfer's gruesome transformation occurs just as Adam Warlock arrives on Saiph to face Ultron. It surely won't be long before the supervillain unleashes his new weapon on one of Marvel's most powerful characters and, as the cover for Infinity Countdown #3 suggests, we might next bear witness to a cosmic brawl that will leave entire star systems shaking. But as powerful as Warlock can be, this time, the odds don't appear to be in his favor.