Review: INFINITE FRONTIER #3
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Colours: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Infinite Frontier #3: Barry Allen’s history with the Psycho-Pirate isn’t pleasant. The Flash encountered this mind-bending villain all the way back in the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, and it did not end well for the Scarlet Speedster. For the first time since his death and rebirth, Barry runs afoul of this foe-hopefully it will go better this time around! That is, if the even bigger villain behind the Pirate stays out of the fray, or if President Superman of Justice Incarnate sticks around to help win the day.
Last issue ended with the promise “Next: Alan Scot and Obsidian #$@”. And Infinite Frontier #3 honours that promise. The issue opens with Alan and Todd beating on a number of Alan’s old foes, looking for information about the disappearance of Jade and other Justice Society members.
I was pleased to see the encounter with Shade. Alan and Todd take a break from their ass-kicking and settle down for a polite conversation over tea with the former villain. It’s nice to see that Shade’s reformation is still in continuity. It’s also a bit ironic that politeness proves more fruitful than the violent approach. While Shade has no information about the disappearances, he does offer a bit of advice that sets them on the correct path. He suggests, “maybe assuming one of your enemies is your folly. Perhaps… and enemy of the JSA’s legacy…”.
This leads Todd to the realization that instead of looking at the foes of the Justice Society, perhaps they should looking for an enemy of Obsidian and Jade’s old team, Infinity Inc. And that trail leads to Director Bones. Bones originally appeared as Mister Bones, part of the villainous group Helix. Although he had apparently reformed and gone on to lead the DEO.
And it appears that the DEO is is up to something nefarious. Apparently, X-Tract is part of Bones’ organization, implying that Bones is behind the disappearances of heroes. But Cameron Chase does claim that Bones’ plan is the only way to save their universe. Wait… shouldn’t she be dead, given her ill-fated encounter with Captain Atom last issue? Or is this a different Cameron Chase? After all, that same encounter did open the possibility that certain characters might have been replaced by their doppelgangers from other Earths.
Roy also has a worrying encounter with the DEO. He manages to shake off Darkseid’s control of him, but finds himself stranded in space. Luckily, or perhaps not so luckily, he is picked up by a DEO spacecraft, run by Agent Hammond. Unfortunately, that’s Agent Hector Hammond – the longtime foe of Hal Jordan.
However, the DEO comes under attack, allowing Roy the chance to fight back against Hammond. And his rescuers turn out to be the Jade and the other missing Justice Society heroes. And even better, the title caption introduces them as Infinite Incorporated. Williamson has just reintroduced Infinity Inc., under a slightly different name. I didn’t expect this development, but I was delighted to see it. I hope this leads to an ongoing Infinite Incorporated series – or at least a mini.
Barry Allen’s situation continues to echo his role in the original Crisis On Infinite Earths. Psycho-Pirate has him trapped in a delusion, forcing him to power some nefarious device of Darkseid’s. And I love how the delusion is presented to us. It looks exactly like a page from some old Silver Age comic. Barry is running with Jay, both of them wearing period-appropriate versions of their costumes. The artistic style of that era is mimicked perfectly. And the yellowish tint to the background was an inspired choice, making the page appear as if it were actually printed on the old-fashioned newsprint. The artists working on this issue have done a fantastic job.
Not a one. If anything, Infinite Frontier #3 was even better than the issues that preceded it – and those were brilliant to begin with.
In Infinite Frontier #3, the story is starting to come together, but there are still mysteries to explore in the second half of the series. Williamson’s run on The Flash marked him as one of DC’s best writers, and that talent is coming through in Infinite Frontier. I am absolutely loving this event so far.