Infinity Inc. #1 is another spin-off title from 52. This plotline was a pretty entertaining read on 52 and it certainly got me to enjoy two characters in Natasha and Steel that I never really liked before. Peter Milligan is the writer for this new tile. I run hot and cold with Milligan’s work. The art duties are handled by Max Fiumara. Now, I’m not familiar with Fiumara at all, however, he is an Argentinean artist so that automatically gives him bonus points in my book. I remain cautiously optimistic about Infinity Inc. #1. Let’s hit this review.
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Max Fiumara
Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Natasha being attacked by some mysterious grey man. The man beats her up pretty badly and throws her out a window. We then see a car drive by with another grey figure in it that holds up a card with the number “3” on it. It then starts to rain umbrellas. We then see the mysterious grey man standing next to Natasha holding an umbrella. Natasha then wakes up from her nightmare.
We cut to Natasha talking to her therapist. The therapist interprets Natasha’s dream. We then see Natasha storm out of the therapist’s office screaming that the therapist is sick and an idiot to interpret the dream in such a manner. Natasha storms off.
We shift to John Irons at his computer talking to Robin. Irons asks Robin for addresses to former Infinity Inc. members Gerome and Erik. Robin agrees to give Irons the addresses but then comments that maybe there is a reason that the two boys don’t want to be found.
We hop over to a mopey little Goth teen-ager named Dale talking with his therapist. Dale mopes about being depressed and truly empty like there is a black pit inside that can’t be filled. Dale says that angst, dread and anguish are perfect words to describe himself.
Suddenly, Dale collapses over in pain. He then stands up and places his hands on the head of the therapist and a bright light bursts forth and Dale absorbs the mind of the therapist.
After killing the therapist, Dale exits the office and proceeds to suck the life out of the secretary in the same manner.
We shift to John Irons arriving at Erik’s home. John enters Erik’s room. Erick admits that he has been in therapy ever since the end of the Everyman Project. Erik says that without powers he feels useless. Erik then asks John if he ever thinks about women’s clothing. John says no. Erik then asks John why he is here. John asks Erik how Gerome is doing. Erik responds that Gerome stopped seeing him a while back. That Erik made Gerome upset. That Erik reminded Gerome of his former glory.
We slide over to Gerome, otherwise known as Nuklon, talking with his therapist. The therapist informs Gerome that he has become a pathological narcissist in response to his loss of powers. The therapist asked if Gerome reduced his time of staring at himself in a mirror to at least four hours. Gerome responded that he still stares at himself for eight hours. Gerome says that he did throw away his mirrors like the therapist requested, but it doesn’t make a difference.
Suddenly, a twin Gerome appears in the room and tells the therapist that Gerome doesn’t want to be cured. That yester day he begged him to pose naked for him. The twin says that this time he did refuse.
We cut to Dale, the mopey Goth teen villain standing over his dead little sister that he just killed. Dale’s friend, Stewart, arrives at Dale’s house and Dale brushes Stewart off telling him to leave him alone and that he doesn’t want to hurt Stewart. Dale then runs away. Stewart enters the house and sees Dale’s parents dead on the floor. Evidently, their minds have been sucked out.
We shift to Natasha arriving home and talking on her cell phone with Erik. Natasha tells Erik that she didn’t send her Uncle John to check up on him. Natasha hangs up the phone as John enters the house behind her. Natasha goes into the kitchen and proceeds to totally ignore John as he tries to talk with her. John says that he is afraid that Natasha is suffering from a rare psychological disorder called a negative hallucination where she can’t see something that is in front of her.
John grabs Natasha and tells her to snap out of it. Suddenly, Natasha looks at John and begins screaming. Natasha’s feet then begin to turn into some sort of gas. Then her entire body turns into gas and she dissipates into nothing. Johns yells “What have I done to you? NO!” End of issue.
The Good: Infinity Inc. #1 was a rather pedestrian read. I can’t say that I hated it, but I can’t say that I particularly enjoyed it. I did dig the dream sequence that opened this issue. Milligan played to his strength with this bizarre and eerie scene. And it appealed to the David Lynch fan that I am. If something is surreal and odd, then I’m probably going to like it. I’m certainly curious to learn more about who or what the grey figure represented as well as the card with the number “3” on it.
I did like the scene with Gerome at his therapist’s office and Gerome’s twin’s dramatic and surprising entrance. That was a pretty cool little twist. That entire scene had a rather creepy feel to it. Especially the image of one twin staring at the naked body of the other twin. That certainly takes narcissism to a whole new level.
Milligan did deliver a pretty nice hook ending with the sudden disappearance of Natasha into a puff of smoke. Even though this issue failed to grab my interest, I have to admit that I was interested in finding out just what happened to Natasha at the end of this issue.
The Bad: Milligan chose a rather unconventional method for a debut issue of a brand new title. Infinity Inc. was a rather slow read and moved along at a plodding pace. This issue was extremely dialogue heavy with tons of talkative scenes. There was practically no action at all in this issue. Milligan also failed to establish a purpose or direction for this title. This is not a recipe for success for a debut issue.
Usually, debut issues need to get off to a relatively fast start, quickly establish the purpose and direction of the new title, create a definite identity for the title and hook the reader into wanting to come back for more. Milligan definitely didn’t do that with Infinity Inc. #1.
I think that Milligan failed to give this title a definable identity with this debut issue. Is this going to be a super hero team title like JLA, Teen Titans, JSA and the Outsiders? Is it going to be an artsy title with an indie feel to it? Is it going to be a creepy horror styled title? Is it going to be a surreal read? Thematically, Infinity Inc. was just all over the place which gave it a messy feel.
Now, I dig dialogue heavy comic books as much as the next person. I love David’s X-Factor and it is certainly a slower paced comic book that is very dialogue heavy. And I certainly enjoy a comic book that focuses on character development at the expense of hyper action fighting scenes. Having said that, if you are going to deliver slower paced and dialogue heavy scenes that focus more on character development than action then you had better deliver some riveting dialogue that intrigues the reader. Milligan fails to do that with Infinity Inc.
Milligan’s dialogue was meandering, dull and ponderous. Nothing about Milligan’s dialogue captured my interest. Instead, it just made me rub my eyes and yawn a lot. It was like slogging through mud trying to get through this issue. And the character work was boring as well. Milligan spent plenty of time focusing on character development. Unfortunately, Milligan failed to get me interested in any of these characters.
I found John and Natasha to be incredibly intriguing characters over in 52. I had never liked them much before, but just fell in love with them during their adventures in 52. Unfortunately, Milligan’s take on John and Natasha simply bored me to tears. And Erik and Gerome weren’t particularly interesting either. The characters were too colorless and bland.
I completely disliked the lame and uninteresting villain that we got in this issue. Seriously, Dale the mopey Goth kid does nothing for me. What a pathetic villain that comes across rather generic and dull. I have a hard time taking such a whiny loser as a serious villain. And we all know that a title rises and falls with the quality of villain that it gives the reader.
I found Fiumara’s artwork to be average at best. Fiumara has talent and I think his style of work would fit better with an indie title that deals with a more realistic genre than super heroes. Fiumara’s artwork just isn’t a style of art that often appeals to me.
Overall: Infinity Inc. #1 was a disappointing read. I thought this plotline was an excellent read over in 52. Unfortunately, Milligan failed to capture the same magic that these characters had over in 52. Also, Milligan has pulled off such a dramatic departure from what we got in 52 that this style of story may not appeal to fans who enjoyed what we got of John, Natasha and Infinity Inc. from 52.
If you dig off beat, quirky indie style comic books then you’d probably enjoy Infinity Inc. Personally, Infinity Inc. #1 was a huge miss with me. There are far too many good titles on the market for me to add Infinity Inc. to my already way too crowded stable of comic books that I read.