Infinite Frontier #6 review

The final issue of this terribly enjoyable mini-series opens with a multiversal melee gone large as the JSA and Justice Incarnate go head to head for the fate of…actually, I’m not sure they know. The heroes do know that they’ve ended up on Earth Omega, where the bodies of the supposedly all-powerful Quintessence lie dead at the hands of Darkseid.

The master of Apokolips, meanwhile, is waiting for Barry Allen, fed a fake reality by Psycho Pirate, to run fast enough on an Extremely Cosmic Treadmill to tear a crack in reality. Then Darkseid will use Omega Lantern – a zombified Roy Harper – to somehow open a ‘door to beyond’ and allow him to ‘control the greatest force in any and all multiverses’.

Who or what that is, we aren’t told, and don’t find out, as before the Flash can complete his mission, Obsidian, an expert in negotiating the dark side of personalities, helps Roy see the light.

And President Superman destroys the mad hamster wheel, bringing a…

Note, that’s not just the regular ‘Kraka-THOOM’ so beloved of DC Comics – especially the Legion of Super-Heroes – but Krakaka-THOOM. That’s big. Surely reality has just been rewritten?

Apparently not.

Now there’s a surprise, but it’s writer Josh Williamson playing fair, given that the end of DC’s Dark Nights: Metal event promised ‘no more Crises’. Which is exactly what this series looked to be, but technically, it’s not. It was ‘just’ a big event book with loads of action, characterisation and intriguing moments.

Highlights of this issue include a new hero name for Jade.

The perfect exit for Psycho Pirate.

And a fresh mission for Chase and a reborn Roy.

As for what’s next, there’s a mini-series coming up for Justice Incarnate.

This looks like it will also feature one of the most annoying characters in DC history, who returns in an epilogue which is, admittedly, extremely intriguing. And Pariah – for it is he – actually sounds a cheerful note.

So, what has this event book achieved? Well, it’s hopefully brought us a step nearer to the Justice Society series that DC has been promising since, oh, 2016. Yeah, not holding my breath on that one.

It’s put a spotlight on parallel world Superman Calvin Ellis, who sounds extremely presidential in his final scene with Darkseid.

Mainly, this series has been great entertainment thanks to Williamson, working with editors Diego Lopez and Mike Cotton, and a bevy of artists. This issue’s illustrations are entirely the work of Xermanico. They’re clean and dynamic, very much in the DC house style that’s dominated since the New 52 publishing push of a decade ago. The artist works blooming hard, filling the pages with a veritable Perez of characters – the opening spread is especially good, with heroes and villains punching and blasting each other in all directions. And a moment near the end gives Xermanico a chance to work in a very different style, something he pulls off with elan.

Romulo Fajardo Jr keeps things clear with a commendable colouring job, the highlight being Xermanico’s superb nine-panel grid sequence presaging Darkseid’s next big plan (you knew he’d have a Plan B, didn’t you?).

Darkseid’s dialogue drips with evil courtesy of letterer Tom Napolitano, who adds to the drama throughout with his skill.

This issue’s cover is tremendous, the best artist Mitch Gerads has contributed to this series – there’s a real sense of irresistible force meets immovable object, and the homage to Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 set my nostalgia sense tingling happily.

If you’ve not been following this series but are in the US with access to DC Universe Infinite, wait until all issues are up and read it in a oner – I suspect it’ll be an even better read.

9 thoughts on “Infinite Frontier #6 review

  1. Good solid ending with a callback to a famous late 80’s Legion storyline. I have to say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by just how much I’ve enjoyed this series. Usually I could care less about DC these days, but this series has very much kept me interested & entertained enough to stick with the entire thing, even reading the secret files stuff. Curious to see what happens next with Darkseid.
    But then there’s that ending again with Barry. Is DC really going all in on bringing back the original Pre-Crisis multiverse? That sounds like a lot of work & more needless confusion to me. Probably not, but dangling that carrot is a surefire way to get people talking, maybe even bring in long-time lapsed fans?
    Other than trapping Barry in a fake Silver/Bronze age reality (Poor guy just can’t catch a break can he these days?) I wonder what the endgame is?

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    1. Didn’t Convergence remove the death of Pre-Crisis reality? It’d have a place in the Omniverse then as well as realities where it still happened. I took what happened to Barry as merging him into the original Earth One that wasn’t destroyed. I’m torn if he’s right because Barry will always be my Flash and I’ve been delighted he’s back but I also like the idea that he’s happy and part of the cast I grew up with.

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      1. I had to go and look that up since it’s been a long time (for me) since Convergence happened. Idk, it should’ve fixed that, but then there’s been a reboot or two after that, so maybe that was undone. I guess we’ll find out later next year.

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      2. If my memory of Convergence is correct, it made it that the original Crisis never happened, restoring the Infinite Earths. The focus remained on the current Earth 0 but everything was out there to be visited.

        And yes indeed, as Dale notes, we’ve had a couple of reality rewrites since then.

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    2. I doubt DC is really going back to pre-Crisis for Barry permanently, despite a fair few fans over the years asking for a parallel world where Earth One, Two etc continued. This will likely be a short term thing – Alex Luthor went mad, Superboy Prime went mad, this looks to be Pariah – just look at Weeping Willie’s expression in that final panel!

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      1. Oh absolutely. Then who next, Harbinger? As intriguing as that ending was, I’m REALLY curious when they’ll stop constantly re-mining the 1st CRISIS when they are other new ideas to be had.

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  2. This series has been a blast. And to think I was on the fence about picking it up in the first place!

    I’m not sure if Starheart is meant to be Jade’s new name, or if it’s just something Darkseid calls her in reference to her power, the way Ras al Ghul calls Batman “Detective.” I hope it’s the latter, as I think the codename Jade isn’t broke, so why fix it?

    I’m curious to who the figures are on the 9-panel Darkseid page: I recognize The Upside Down Man and Eclipso, and I think that’s Nekron at the bottom, but at the top… is that Loki? Maybe it’s Trigon, who knows, but the way they’ve been playing with Earth 8, maybe we’ll get the God of Mischief. And also: Earth Omega isn’t a planet, but the remnants of an old foe? It it, like, the Anti-Monitor’s skull or something?

    The sideways callout to the Legion is *very* interesting, as it’s the second reference we’ve had to that storyline (the first being in the Bendis/Sook series). Perhaps there IS a plan for the return of the LSH, and this issue needed to be published before it was revealed!

    Also, speaking of Bendis, now we get to see that Infinite Frontier definitely happens before Checkmate. Good to know!

    Oh, man, I’m excited for what’s next.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re probably right that Jade isn’t getting a new codename… even if she were, it’d stick about as long as did ‘Sentinel’. She’s been around too long, and Todd did call her ‘Jade’.

      I also have nothing as to who the horned figure is, it looks a tad thin for Trigon.

      As for what Earth Omega is, I thought we’d already seen the Anti-Monitor’s body used for something, as with Marvel’s Celestials.

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