Infinite Frontier #0 review

Wonder Woman’s been offered godhood, a place at the cosmic table of the Quintessence. But before she accepts, she wants to see how her heroic friends are after the latest multiversal rewrite. And she’s looking for hints as to what the ‘lurking threat’ she was earlier warned about might be. The Spectre agrees to show her around the new-look reality. First stop, Egypt, where two Justice Leaguers get their first hint that someone unexpected may be worthy of membership.

Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez, Tamra Bonvillain

Then, it’s away to Gotham City, where there’s trouble at Arkham. Because it’s Tuesday.

James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey

On Themyscira, there’s a quiet coronation.

Becky Cloonan, Michael W Conrad, Alitha Martinez, Mark Morales, Emilio Lopez

While in Boise, Idaho, an Amazon of a different stripe is starting her own journey.

Joelle Jones and Jordie Bellaire

In New York, Green Lantern Alan Scott is bringing daughter Jade up to speed with information he’s recently shared with son Obsidian.

James Tynion IV and Stephen Byrne

Somewhere – it could San Francisco, it could be New York or it could be somewhere else entirely, no one bothers to tell us – a group of kids approach their new school.

Tim Sheridan, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Alejandro Sanchez

In Metropolis, possibly in the future, the Spectre throws shade at that nice Jonathan Kent.

Philip Kennedy Johnson, Jamal Igle, Hi-Fi

Green Arrow and Black Canary are having a post, and likely pre-coital moment, and Spectre insists Wonder Woman intrude with her ghostly gaze.

Joshua Williamson, Alex Maleev, Alex Sinclair

Exuberance is the order of the day in Blue Valley

Geoff Johns, Todd Nauck, Hi-Fi

Back in Gotham, as Batman rushes to the asylum on his Bat-bike, we see one of his oldest foes has had a makeover.

James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey

En route to the planet Oa, two Green Lanterns and a Teen Lantern chat.

Geoffrey Thorne, Dexter Soy, Alex Sinclair

At the House of Heroes, a torch is passed… again.

Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Hi-Fi

And Spectre shows Diana yet more of the multiversal game board.

Joshua Williamson, James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, John Timms, Alex Sinclair

So, having seen so much, surely the former Wonder Woman is ready to ascend to godhood?

Joshua Williamson, James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, John Timms, Alex Sinclair

Not quite. Well, she now has access to memories from previous lives, and will recall that she’s already done the goddess dance. What she hasn’t done is dip her toes into this new reality. So it’s thanks but no thanks, so far as joining the Quintessence is concerned. As it turns out, the decision is a well-timed one, as the baddest of DC’s baddies shows up on the just-revealed Omega World.

Joshua Williamson, John Romita Jr, Klaus Janson, Brad Anderson

No points for guessing who that is! Expect more from him in the coming Infinite Frontier six-issue series starting in June.

I was looking forward to this comic hugely, expecting something like Countdown to Infinite Crisis or the DC Rebirth Special, a game-changing shocker. Sadly, Infinite Frontier doesn’t hit those heights, being simply a Marvel-style collection of scenes introducing new mysteries and scenarios.

So we find that a character last seen as a walking corpse is fleshy again. Barry Allen is taking a break from Earth 0 to explore the new Multiverse/Omniverse/Metaverse/Linearverse… who can keep up? Basically, the Multiverse is multiplying. Alan Scott looks set to be hanging out with Justice Incarnate too, with hints that he’s reclaiming that awful name he had for two minutes in the Nineties, Sentinel.

I liked the visit with Stargirl a lot, for its cheery vibe, TV-friendly sentient sceptre and promise of a Seven Soldiers of Victory story. It’s great to see Barbara as Oracle again, Huntress has thrown away the daft New 52 overcoat (but reclaimed the dafter belly shirt) and there’s a hint the Birds of Prey will be back.

But oh, I detest the prediction that Jon Kent will be a super-disaster… we had plenty of super-kids going bad in Silver Age Imaginary stories, but they were 12 pages and done – I really don’t want a drawn-out version of that in regular continuity. The end of Death Metal gave DC the perfect opportunity to put Jon back to being a tween, take away all the angst he’s gone through, but no, they’re leaning into it. Also, if his sequence is set in the present day – it’s really not clear – why is he going by Superman? I’ll give new writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson a go – he had some good moments in the Future State event – but please, let Superman be the star of his own book and give Jon and Lois a break.

While Geoff Johns and Todd Nauck manage to give us a Stargirl story in four pages, and Tim Sheridan and Rafa Sandoval show us there’s a new school for superhero kids – complete with traitor – in their Teen Titans Academy two-pager, it’s a real shame some stories are so squeezed. Even Brian Bendis has just three pages for his new Justice League series to wave at us. Batman, meanwhile, has 14 pages, split into two chunks. I know DC is excited about James Tynion IV’s vision for Gotham, and I applaud the ambition of he and artist Jorge Jimenez (while being unconvinced by Scarecrow’s revamp into the Human Haystack), but let’s have a bit of equity when it comes to sharing out the pages.

As for the framing sequence, Diana deciding she doesn’t want to float around in space dressed as a Mummy was a happy surprise given Hippolyta and Nubia both seem set for Wonder Woman-hood. But what the heck is that furry monstrosity she changes into at the end? And why is some of her dialogue so very awkward? This is her in the yellow boxes.

Philip Kennedy Johnson, Jamal Igle, Hi-Fi

See you Jimmy? Please don’t let that be an indication of Diana’s speech patterns going forward.

Behind an impressive cover by Dan Jurgens and Mikel Janín, Infinite Frontier #0 is more of a sampler than a story; it’s diverting, but it fails to excite me. It’s full of decent writing and cracking art, but lacks a big moment or surprise that has me itching to see what comes next.

How did you find the Infinite Frontier view?

20 thoughts on “Infinite Frontier #0 review

  1. I found it boring, to be honest. The small bits that did interest me (Alan Scott and Stargirl) don’t have anything ongoing coming up so… that’s a bit of a bummer. I’m not interested in anything Batman, and Barbara as Oracle is a step down for the character. I much prefer her as Batgirl. But they haven’t killed or crippled her, so I guess there’s that.
    Oooo Wondergirl has possibilities. I’ll probably check that out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is a Stargirl special, Murray, where the Seven Soldiers business will be taken up, and Alan Scott is starring in a six-issue series named for this very book.

      I used to be a big fan of Babs as Batgirl, but liked her even more in Oracle mode. Really, though, it’s what they do with the personality for me… it’ll be interesting to see what exactly will get her to put on the purple again.

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      1. I was aware of the Stargirl Special. But that’s only an issue. I’d prefer an ongoing. 🙂
        And if Alan is going to be hanging out with a group of characters, I’d rather it be the JSA, but maybe that’s where this all is leading. It’s maybe best that while DC is figuring themselves out, post-Didio that they bring things back slowly.

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  2. Like you, I expected a lot more of this than what it delivered. I wanted more story, less preview. And the main story we got — Diana’s tour through the new DCU — was dull as dirt. The Quintessence are so smug — even the Spectre, often a favorite for me — that it’s a pleasure to see the villain take them down in the epilogue.

    Of the other stuff, the most compelling bit was the Batman material, since it had a little room to breathe… but there’s no chance I’m buying it. I’m interested to see if that security guard survives, though (minus an arm); beyond that, I’m happy to see Babs back behind a keyboard, and think Steph and Cass will make a good team. No mention of Nightwing, the only book in that line I intend to buy.

    Stargirl was fun, and ended with an intriguing hook; The Alan Scott story was definitely the most emotional of the bunch (I don’t think he’d already told Todd; I think Todd just knew.) And I’m definitely interested in seeing more Green Arrow and Black Canary (and, eventually, Roy). I guess they’ll be in Justice League? (I liked the 3-page vignette, though I wonder who it was Black Adam fried.) Not sure when we’ll see Courtney or Alan next.

    The Wonder Woman scene, starring Nubia and Hippolyta, was clunky and awkward. I can believe something good will come out of this arrangement — there’s potential in both characters’ new jobs — but this was four pages of rearranging furniture, and it felt like logic and character were sacrificed to make all the pieces fit. The Green Lanterns story, on the other hand, felt more plausible, but somehow less exciting overall. I’m a lot more curious about Teen Lantern when she’s with her Young Justice pals than I am when she’s with the GLC.

    And Barry Allen, off to join an interdimensional supergroup. That sounds like comics retirement to me, and it’s well-earned. I love the guy, but it’s really time for Wally to take the spotlight again. And I’ll be even happier to have Josh Williamson out of the writing chair on Flash — I swear, he’s never found a subtextual moment that he couldn’t hang an awkward spotlight on. And that’s a FLASH FACT.

    The Superboy bit was annoying, in that I couldn’t tell if it was the future, either. I’ll be giving Kennedy a chance — I liked his Worlds at War better than you did — but this didn’t quite fly for me. Though it’s important to note, there’s nothing about the action itself that says Jon will be a bad Superman. He excels, through and through. It’s just the Spectre’s opinion that he’ll fail. (And considering it’s also Spectre’s opinion that they had the menace on the last page contained, perhaps he’s not so smart.)

    Titans Academy is intriguing, in a not-curious-enough-to-buy-it way. It’s crossing over with Suicide Squad, which I read the first issue of…and will be dropping off my pull list. It’s a competent opener, and has some good Squad action, but can’t come close to the thrills of the last run. And yet…at least it ran a full 20 pages, and wasn’t just someone taking a mask out of a backpack.

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    1. Have the Quintessence ever done anything other than hover above people for a panel or two? Getting killed is the most interesting thing to happen to them indeed.

      No mention of Nightwing, or Damian. I suppose I could buy today’s Batman for the latter, but while I enjoyed Tynion’s Detective Comics a great deal, his run on Batman didn’t grab me. Too many Joker-connected plotlines and people, and far too many gadgets – in Infinite Frontier he seems to have binoculars that give him super vision. Also, I usually hate stories with Ra’s al-Ghul and Talia.

      I’m disappointed at Barry being on super-monitor duty, wasn’t he about to propose to Iris? Why can’t we have two Flashes running around, Mark Waid managed to have a whole crowd knocking about with no problems.

      And I do hope we get an explanation as to why the JLA is happy to work with supervillains.

      I read Suicide Squad today. Thoughts on that tomorrow. I’m sure you can guess…

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  3. Aside: Wonder Woman’s new costume (after the classic TV spin!) is likely because she somehow wakes up in Valhalla throwing a few back with Thor, according to what I have read elsewhere.
    I honestly would like to know where her funeral is, and what the Wonder Girls are doing. If Clark got a funeral after his heroic death, you’d think there might be some notice outside of her home island that she has died..:/

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    1. Those solicitations about Valhalla actually made what’s coming sound fun. Thanks for the different angle on Diana’s costume change… so she sees where she’s going and is dressing the part. They really might have shown her landing among the dead Norse types.

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  4. I thought Damian was the big threat (per Legion warnings). Now it’s Jon?

    Nightwing also wore silly-looking and unexplained furs recently, in Death Metal. I vaguely recall Batman wore a fur-lined coat in the Endless Winter event in December, but it was entirely appropriate for frigid Arctic weather. Batgirl were a fur-collared leather jacket one winter, complete with little Bat insignias on the sleeves – a Batjacket.

    This anthology featured so many great artists. Alex Maleev should always draw Green Arrow. Other greats: Jorge Jimenez, Joelle Jones, Stephen Byrne, Dexter Soy, and I even liked Romita Jr.’s pages. Soy’s work is almost enough to coax me into buying Green Lantern, especially when you add the levity Teen Lantern brings, but I probably won’t.

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  5. -I unexpectedly liked it(except for the billionth time things have gone wrong at Arkham. Lather rinse repeat yet again). I’d rather have teases than fewer short stories anyway.

    -An unnecessary new Wonder Girl irked me originally but I gave them points for saying she was going to be Brazilian, with that area of the DCU underrepresented. Now we find out she was raised in the US making her a slightly tanned White Savior trope.

    -I think what they have Alan describing is called bisexual but hey, even fictional characters can identify as they wish. As to the JSA, them being gone for years has broken my ability to suspend disbelief that characters aged over one hundred are viable.

    -I guess I’ve been wrong that Nubia’s name was somehow offensive.

    -They also confirm for me I won’t be reading The Flash anymore. I’ve disliked Wally since New Teen Titans and don’ see getting over it. Whatever has the disfunctional arrow-Canary relationship ditto and Cloonan’s awful Amazon dialog has me out as well but I suspected as much.

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    1. New Wonder Girl having been raised in the US is weird. I thought the whole point was that she was Brazilian, it’s like DC lost their nerve five minutes after creating her – or that became the position for the TV pilot and DC followed suit. And now the pilot is going nowhere.

      Oh, Nubia is a troublesome name, no doubt about it. Nubia’s origin always bothered me, but she’s pretty much transcended it.

      I hated Wally in New Teen Titans, and often as written by Mike Baron, but once Bill Loebs got his hands on him, he improved greatly. I’m looking forward to seeing how he reclaims the Flash name.

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      1. Hopefully Wally fans will buy a Wally book this time. After they murdered Bart to bring back Wally, Linda, Wally, and the kids only made it sixteen issues before cancellation for low sales…

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  6. I’m pretty sure Yara being from the US wasn’t a last-minute change. It wasn’t emphasized in Future State, but as soon as I saw Boise airport, I thought, “Oh, right, I read somewhere that she’s from Idaho.” It’s not the worst idea, TBH. Diana already told a lot of stories of an Amazon princess coming to the US. Yara Flor flips the script — a US=born girl goes to the land of her heritage, and discovers she’s a warrior princess. I expect we’ll still get plenty of Brazilian culture and settings while Joelle Jones guides the character.

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  7. So these are all the start storylines that end in the interminable Future State?
    Depowered GLs, jackboots in Gotham, murderous murderous Wally, depowered Flash Family, evil alt-Waller, etc etc.

    There was a moment when the Quintessence were saying they’d all be locked away on a prison timeline, but they’re dead now so no?

    Looking very much a hard pass.

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