Review: INFINITE FRONTIER #6
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Colours: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Infinite Frontier #6: One story ends and the next phase of the DC Multiverse begins. We have one name for you: DARKSEID. Our heroes knew that someone had been pulling the strings this entire time, but are they prepared for it to be the biggest bad of all? As President Superman, Alan Scott, Roy Harper, and the rest converge for a showdown, the secret of Omega Planet is revealed. Plus, Barry Allen is put on a path he may never get off!
Infinite Frontier #6 concludes Joshua Williamson’s event series with a bang. This series has frequently evoked the original Crisis on Infinite Earths in a number of ways. In particular, both series share a lot of central characters: The Flash (Barry Allen), Psycho-Pirate. Even Harbinger and Lady Quark make appearances. And now Pariah briefly appears in the story’s epilogue. I had a suspicion that he would show up. It appears that he will be playing a greater role in the follow-up story next year.
I had some fear that Barry might be killed in this series, as he was in Crisis. However, I trusted that Williamson had something more interesting in store for the character he wrote for more than a hundred issues. And we get a glimpse of what lays ahead for Barry in the epilogue. This epilogue reveals some interesting concepts for the state of the DC Omniverse.
The epilogue starts with the caption “…And the Multiverse will never be the same…”. And it delivers on that. Barry finds himself on the ruins of a destroyed Earth. Pariah explains that Barry has travelled to Multiverse-2, which consists of all the worlds the Anti-Monitor destroyed in the original Crisis.
But amidst the rubble of a destroyed Multiverse, Pariah offers a hopeful message to Barry. He says, “…it’s time that we moved on. Stopped apologizing for the past. And let the real Multiverse truly live”. The art seems to show Barry dying at Pariah’s touch, but instead of being dead, Barry is transported to somewhere called “Earth-Flash.1”.
This Earth is quite intriguing. It appears to be a world designed to be a paradise for Barry. We see Barry eating dinner with his family. Iris is present, as are Don and Dawn Allen (the Tornado Twins) as children. Wally is present as a teenager in his Kid Flash costume and Wallace as a small child. And Jay Garrick is present too. There is also an elderly woman present, but it’s not Joan Garrick, as Barry addresses her as “Mom”.
I find it quite significant that Barry’s mother is still alive on this world. This implies that this situation is set up to provide a wish-fulfillment scenario for Barry. Is Barry trapped in an illusory world or has Pariah created an actual parallel universe just for Barry? In either case, I suspect that this existence is meant to keep Barry from interfering in whatever he has planned.
Despite his hopeful words, I suspect that Pariah is up to something that does not bode well for the future of the DC Omniverse. Infinite Frontier #6 ends on Pariah’s final words, which seem to carry a chilling undertone: “We’ll all be happy. No matter what”. To me Pariah sounds an awful lot like Hal Jordan did in Zero Hour. During that event, Hal was intent on destroying the world so that he could rebuild a perfect world. And I suspect that Pariah has something similar in mind here.
Also, Darkseid seems to have some nefarious plans of his own. We see him gathering his Apokoliptian underlings, as well as some of DC’s most powerfull evil entities to prepare for something he calls “The Great Darkness”. This invokes a well-known Legion of Super-Heroes story named “The Great Darkness Saga”. Clearly Williamson is setting up something monumental.
We also get a brief peek at what the heroes of Williamson’s story are up to in the aftermath of Infinite Frontier. Cameron Chase is now in charge of the DEO, which is focused on Multiversal matters. The Justice Society members are now at home, and it seems to me that this would be a prime point to launch a new JSA series. And it pleased me to see the now fully resurrected Roy about to visit the school named in his honour. I look forward to seeing that reunion play out in Teen Titans Academy.
The art in this issue is fantastic. Xermanico provides some beautiful art for this issue. And I loved Mitch Gerads’ main cover, which was a gorgeous tribute to the cover from Crisis On Infinite Earths #5. This was yet another great callback to the original Crisis.
While Williamson did provide a satisfactory conclusion to the current battle, I do feel a little bit of dissatisfaction that Infinite Frontier wasn’t really the main event itself, but merely the prelude to something much more massive coming next year. But I think this was the wiser move. Readers are feeling fatigued after a rapid-fire of huge events. So, perhaps it was better not to head directly into the next line-wide crossover, but have a lower-key event lead into it instead.
Infinite Frontier #6 is a great concluding chapter for Williamson’s event series, but it makes clear that this whole series is merely the prelude to something much bigger coming in 2022. I can hardly wait to see what Williamson has planned. But I’m sure there will be more in Williamson’s upcoming Justice Incarnate miniseries to keep me content in the meantime.