Monday, March 8, 2021

Bullet Review: Infinite Frontier #0

Every time I think I might be getting too old for this comics thing, that I am complaining too much about comics wishing they were more like 'my comics', I am reminded that this is still a great medium filled with great stories and great characters.

Case in point, Infinite Frontier #1, a sort of stroll through the upcoming new DCU continuity. The issue gives us quick peeks into upcoming storylines and titles, catching up the reader on what happened after Metal (because some of us skipped it) and where this is all going.

I knew I should buy it to get a sort of foundation on this new omniverse, megaverse, whatev-verse is going on. But after so many reboots, Rebirths, and rejuvenations in the last decade, I was pretty exhausted.

The book sat on my pile until Sunday morning. I burned through a stack of bargain bin books before reading it.

And yet, when I finally sat down, almost of all of what I read seemed interesting and intriguing. I suppose that is what this is supposed to do! Make me interested in what is coming up. But more importantly, it calmed me down. 

Wonder Woman, the true hero of Metal, is offered a spot in the Quintessence. She is afraid to ascend because there is some darkness lingering she can feel. The Spectre takes her on  walkabout through the new DCU to show her all is well.

There is a lot of 'let's get back to the good stuff' here. There is a lot of 'the new stuff is going to be good'. I might even say there is a bit of 'everything old is new again'. 

I'd advise buying the book as a sort of primer of the new DCU. I am only going to show some tiny bits here which grabbed me.

We start with a peek at the new Justice League by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez.

Superman flies up to help with a disaster only to discover that Black Adam has already saved the day and flown off.

Superman hopes that maybe Adam has turned the corner. After all, Ma always said you never know about some people.

First off, I am thrilled ... elated ... that Bendis is still writing Superman somewhere. This is Superman to me. I know Clark is in good hands. Add to that the polished look of Marquez's art and I am all in for this JL.

The Superman story was sort of the one worrisome story in the book. That said, how freaking great was it to see Jamal Igle doing a super-family story!

Still, the story is that the Spectre sees Jon's future as a tyrant.

Seriously, I don't need a darkening of Jon Kent. I JUST DON'T.

We already aged him and tortured him for years. We already took away the fun of a current Super-Sons book. Enough already.

Let him be the hero of tomorrow in the Legion.


And then a sort of whiff of Rebirth as DC maybe recognized that they moved away from the best versions of some of their characters when they rebooted in the New 52.

Like maybe we should bring back Barbara Gordon as Oracle. 

Why not bring back my favorite Batgirl, Stephanie Brown?

Why not bring back their favorite Batgirl, Cassandra Cain?

Why not bring back Birds of Prey, with Oracle in the seat?

Because this is wonderful.

And hey, remember when we brought back Wally as the lost goodness of the DCU?


Before you made him angry, a killer, a new god in a Metron chair?

Why not bring back my favorite Flash, Wally West? And make him a hero?

And why not let their favorite Flash, Barry Allen, continue to be a hero too?


It's that easy DC!

In a nice double page splash, we see Diana and Spectre walking on panels showing other directions characters and books will take.

Hey look! Supergirl wielding a sword. Sigh.

Captain Marvel! Aqua-family! Blue Beetle and Booster! Old school Titans!

I have to admit, I do love John Timms' take on Supergirl.

Ultimately, Diana decides to decline ascension. But it doesn't mean her fears weren't warranted.

The Quintessence is killed.

And we see the big bad Diana was sensing ... Darkseid.

Seriously, you don't get more classic than that. Believe it or not, I like this art by John Romita Jr. Maybe Darkseid is the perfect character for his style?

Anyways, there are other stories in there - Titans, Nubia, Green Lantern, a touching Alan Scott story. If you are a DCU fan, you should buy this.

Just don't go dark with Jon Kent. DON'T!

Overall grade: A


Martin Gray said...

I agree, give Jon - and his fans - a break.

This was a pretty decent book, lacking only a big surprise. In these book, I want a nice juicy revelation!

Anonymous said...

I guess one reveal is that an older, more powerful Darkseid is back? He implies he's more powerful than ever.

Not happy to see Supergirl wielding the sword. I guess they feel the need to distinguish the 3 Kryptonians somehow, and it has come down to:

1. Hope
2. Anger
3. Naïveté ? Sometimes bordering on stupidity

There's a lot I'm looking forward to, but not necessarily the way DC is packaging things with backup stories. Seems cynical to me that if you are interested in the new Damian story that is a prelude to his upcoming solo book, you have to follow it from this month's Batman to this month's Detective. That's not even a "crossover," it's just sticking the story installments into the backs of different books. DC already tried that out in Future State with various crisscrossing stories.

I'm an intermittent reader of Justice League, but am definitely on board with the new run, since I really like Bendis (and miss Young Justice and Legion of SH). I know Naomi will be part of JL, and hope the Wonder Twins and some of the other Wonder Comics characters pop up at the Hall of Heroes. (I guess the Dial H kids are headed to the Teen Titans.) Fortunately I'm also a fan of JL Dark, so I won't feel burned by the higher price.

I'm hoping Bendis continues to have significant impact in the DCU and isn't just settling into being a freelance writer for them as some rumors suggest.


Anonymous said...

It started somewhat good but the moment the Quintessence tried to explain things, everything fell apart. I knew things would go so wrong. Half-changes half-reverses. What a half-assed state. The biggest slap in the face is Alan Scott. Now that was disgusting.

At least the current Super Sons comic is fun. It might be the only good thing DC is even doing remotely right and I doubt it's because they care, it's probably because they don't even notice it gets published at all.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I do not find this comic specially interesting. Some loud online fans complained about DiDio's Era being steeped in Silver Age nostalgia -even though it was not. Identity Crisis and Héroes in Crisis would never be okayed in the Silver Age-, but this issue was the same thing: a nostalgia trip, except it is steeped in Post-Crisis nostalgia instead of Pre-Crisis nostalgia (or what some believe the Silver Age was).

That, and more pointless continuity navel-gazing. DC cannot help themselves.

On Jon, I am not shocked to see another "Will Jon go bad?" plot. It was his only plot during Rebirth. People complained Bendis handling Jon, but at least he came up with different plot lines for Jon.

Anonymous said...

Let's just hope they don't screw it up like they did with rebirth. Rebirth started off amazing, Wally was back and it seemed like a return to form and then after a little while, it felt like they threw in the towel and said nope back to trash. My fear is Infinite Frontier sets us up for a great DC future and then the Snyder-cut hits HBO and ATT decides "well everyone likes the dark" "we need to make the comics more like the Snyderverse" "Look at the views it got. We can't lose"! I wanna say that, that idea is preposterous, but it sadly seems too real to me.