Infinite Frontier #4 review

In the Hall of Heroes, things are getting weird with Captain Carrot and Machinehead.

In the White House of Earth 23, President Superman and multiversal visitor Batman – the Thomas Wayne of another parallel – are getting to know one another.

On Earth 0 – the regular DC Universe world – Director Bones of the reborn Department of Extranormal Operations is looking rather dodgy.

And in the place between worlds, the Bleed, the recently resurrected Roy Harper meets some old friends and acquaintances.

This is the best issue yet of DC’s latest event series. And yes, I know we were told ‘no more Crises’, but that ideal is the backbone of this six-parter, with Bones willing to turn on heroes to achieve the ambition.

He may have the right idea, given we learn that one of the heroes supposed to be preventing incursions is secretly working with some very dubious characters.

And from my point of view, that’s good – as a lifelong Legion fan, there’s rarely a Traitor Within the Team reveal that I don’t enjoy.

What I actually don’t enjoy is Machinehead talking about ‘letting the man out to breathe’… I’m with Captain Carrot, whoa! And indeed, eeeurgh! The subsequent panels, though, are more palatable, with a hint that the Iron Man-alike might be a disfigured version of John Henry Irons.

President Superman and Thomas Wayne Batman are gelling into a surprisingly effective World’s Finest team… little by little Thomas is gaining a more rounded character, and that’s going to be useful given that DC seems determined to build his part.

And I’m delighted to see Jade’s past with Roy acknowledged, pre-Flashpoint history tends to get ignored. It’s also interesting to see how naturally she steps into a leadership role with her JSA pals, hopefully that will be followed up in the team’s rumoured upcoming series.

Joshua Williamson’s script is firing on all cylinders, with lots of nice character bits and the various strands building to make a bigger whole.

The art – with pencilling shared between Paul Pelletier, Jesús Merino and Xermanico, inks by Norm Rapmund, Raul Fernandez and, well, Xermanico, and a popping colour palette from Hi-Fi – is good to great throughout. The storytelling is uniformly strong, with everyone on model, lots of subtle expressions and big action scenes. My favourite moments include that Roy/Jade hug, and Power Girl being very Power Girl.

Throw in terrific letters from Tom Napolitano and the best cover yet from Mitch Gerads, and we have a book I wish was being released weekly. It’s bringing the 52 vibe, and I wish there were a lot more chapters to come. Not necessarily an infinite number, but maybe a year?

6 thoughts on “Infinite Frontier #4 review

  1. I agree: This one was a blast. It’s good to see the strands coming together. I’m not 100% certain I follow it all — multiversal mishegas tends to leave me in the dust these days — but I had a fun time just letting it wash over me, and will leave worrying how it all fits together to fans with more time on their hands.

    I’m honestly surprised at how much I’m enjoying seeing Infinity Inc. again. I always liked the team back when they were being published, but when their book was canceled, they pretty much left without a ripple. But seeing Jenny, Todd, Kara, Yolanda, and Al in action again — with Damage? — is a real treat. (And I’m fine that Hank and Lyta are left out of the mix so far, though I’d love to see Norda again.)

    I initially scoffed at Chase shooting Bones in the leg to stop him from getting off the spaceship — isn’t there another way? But then I remembered Bones has a cyanide touch, and can understand why she’d want to keep her distance. (Of course, Chase can neutralize powers, right? So maybe I’m back to square one.)

    And I definitely loved the final page reveal of the traitor’s partners — some familiar troublemakers there!


    1. Yeah, that was Damage in his Atom Smasher role. Norda would be a blast, I love birdie types.

      If memory serves – and it never seemed terribly clear in her own series – Chase can’t control her power, it kicks in when needed… I was convinced that would spare her from Pretendy Captain Atom, but maybe they never got the chance.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no idea who Machine Head was, where he was from, or why I should care about him so the reveal left me flat. Honestly, JLI is all ciphers to me except President Superman, Thomas Wayne, and captain Carrot. Google told me a smidge after a bit but Multiversity threw so many new characters out, I can barely remember its overarching plot let alone the dozens of one appearance characters. I don’t like having to do homework for books, especially ones I started reading only as homework to understand what this week’s status quo is for DC. The art’s good and the writing okay but I’m probably missing out on things because I don’t bother memorizing DC lore anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to look up Machinehead recently, I’ve no attachment at all, but he’s a character here so I’m treating him as important! I see the JLIncarnate are getting a mini after this series ends (but obviously not really!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think the Machinehead reveal was meant to elicit an emotional response. I mean, can there be any comic reader looking at this rarely appearing, thinly disguised Iron Man pastiche and thinking, “No, not Machinehead! He’d NEVER betray the team!” I mean, who cares? He’s basically an action figure.

        Which is ultimately the weak point of the Justice Incarnate idea. We don’t have attachment to any of them. Aside from Captain Carrot, they’re all knockoffs. The can be fun to read about, but I wouldn’t look to them for pathos or gravitas.

        Liked by 1 person

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