Infinity Man and the Forever People #04 is the latest issue in an odd little series about a group of young New Gods living on earth. Having survived the Boom Tube accident, the Forever People spend this issue making their way back to their home on earth.
Infinity Man and the Forever People #04 was a fun issue. It wasn’t my favorite in the series but it was an entertaining read. The Forever people miraculously survived their sabotaged Boom Tube trip when Azur Te (coincidentally?) shut down all the boom tubes in the area so she could stay hidden. Unfortunately the Forever People find themselves stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken boom tube, which Vykin Balduar finds next to a mysteriously Bat-Themed cow. Before they head out on their trip home, Sarafina has a funny little interaction with the “sacred” Bat-Cow. She decides to take the opportunity to learn about earth from Bat-Cow, who gives her a sun hat and wanders off.
After they trade some personal items for a trip home, they arrive to discover that Azur Te is responsible for their disabled Boom Tube. Mark Moonrider then attacks Vykin Balduar, but is quickly pacified by the touch of Sarafina.
Infinity Man and the Forever People #04 cuts to a tangential scene where Sarafina meets Doctor Skuba, a disgraced scientist who is obsessed with the purity of water. Doctor Skuba is being tormented by a group of bullies and, feeling bad for him, Sarafina hits him with a Cosmic Cartridge. Unfortunately Doctor Skuba (like about half the doctors in the DC Universe) happens to be a hardened criminal. The scene ends suddenly, leaving open the possibility of a new super-villian for the Forever People to deal with.
The issue ends with an surprise attack by a Red Lantern following a reveal that the New Gods are at war with the Lantern Core.
You have to give credit where credit is due. This comic book pretty much nails the Bronze Age style. It lacks the slickness and Aname influence of many modern comics but it hits the Bronze age look of Dynamic explosive backgrounds and exaggerated characters perfectly. The Bronze Age was a transition into realism. It emerged from the blocky character design of the Silver Age. However, artists were still getting their bearings, so a lot of the characters went from blocks to blobs. The backgrounds were usually pretty generic or they just consisted of explosions, unlike modern comics that tend to utilize the potential of backgrounds to set a mood.
I also have to give points to this comic for including a bit of humor. I loved the scene of the relitively alien Sarafina interacting with the cow.
I hope this works itself out later, but I still find this whole story to be pretty needlessly confusing. We are four issues in and we still don’t know: who the Infinity Man is; what he is trying to accomplish; how the Forever People intend to enlist the help of earth; or what the motivations of anyone on New Olympus are.
I mentioned earlier that this strikes me more as a Bronze Age comic than a Modern Age comic. It lacks some of the sleekness, depth, and angularity of a true Modern Comic. I know this is a personal preference, but I happen to enjoy the direction that comics are going. Artists today have started to care intensely about realism, background, proportions, and shadows. Metal looks like metal and cloth looks like cloth.
Neil Gaimen, Aname, Bob Kane, and a handful of publishing executives have really changed the way Americans write comic books. This series seems like a step back to the walking blobs that we saw in the Bronze Age.
I think this might be a result of the cinema focus of the Modern Age. I get the feeling that DC just doesn’t put as much effort into the titles that won’t become next summer’s blockbuster.
I enjoyed this comic book but you could be forgiven for skipping it. I may have complained a lot about the look of this comic book, but many people might find it nostalgic. However, the one real plot point is that SUPRISE!! the main protagonists are still alive, and the New Gods are at war with the Lanterns. With a fight with a Red Lantern coming up, the next issue should be better.