I’ve been looking forward to this issue, the official debut of Infinity, a new character previously seen only in a cameo. And she wins me over straight away by being British, like me . . . yeah, shallow, I know.
I also like her skill set – not only does she have phasing powers a la Phantom Girl of the Legion of Super-Heroes, she can commune with the dead. And that’s when she gets a shock this issue, as a villain murdered by Doctor Sivana a while back is found hanging around the headquarters of the sinister Macintech (ooh, subtle). Infinity is on a recce mission for Oracle and proves as spunky (very) and as capable (errrr) as any new heroine. We don’t find out much about her this time, but seeing her in action and getting hints of her pesonality is enough to keep me interested. And Stephane Roux makes her look great on the cover.
The other main thread this issue sees Manhunter vesus Black Canary, with Dinah understandably miffed that former partner and best friend Babs has sent a lackey to spy on her. The fight goes well – for one of them, at least – and the confrontation between Canary and Oracle is very satisfying.
Everyone looks great, as drawn by new artists Michael O’Hare and John Floyd, while Hi-Fo provide a thoughtful colour job.
My only real problem with an issue that develops the Platinum Flats storyline nicely is the cutting back and forth between scenes. Rather than paced for drama, there’s random switching between the two storylines – get interested in one scene and you can guarantee we’re immediately off to the other. OK, this is Comics Scripting 101, but the scenes are so short that it’s just annoying. It’s also confusing, as I thought one character had gone into flashback when we were actually back with another one. There are two transitional captions in the entire issue, and they great, really cool. They immediately let us know we’re somewhere else – it’s as if writer Tony Bedard suddenly remembers this isn’t TV or film, wherein a split-second cut/wipe/whatever sends the message that the focus is shifting.
All in all, a pretty good issue; not amazing, but solid. Unlike Infinity.