Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Infinite Frontier #0 Review

 


Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, Geoff Johns, Phillip K. Johnson, Joelle Jones, Tim Sheridan, Geoffrey Thorne, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson
Artist: Stephen Byrne, Jamal Igle, Jorge Jimenez, Joelle Jones, Alex Maleev, David Marquez, Alitha Martinez, Todd Nauck, Howard Porter, John Romita Jr., Rafa Sandoval, Dexter Soy, John Timms
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: March 2, 2021

Now that Future State is over, it's time to put aside the "possible future" and get to the "how did Death Metal affect the DC Universe?"  Whether you loved or loathed Future State, it's nice to get back to the regular line and see what's what.  Infinite Frontier #0 plays like a clip show of what to expect, and you know what?  I am okay with that.  Does everything hit right out of the gate?  Not really, but that rarely happens. So, let's dive in and find out if Infinite Frontier #0 lives up to the hype.

Coming directly out of Death Metal, we get a Wonder Woman framing story where she takes stock of the new "everything matters" timeline with hopes of finding the "great cost" she was warned about when she chose to ascend.  Remember, at the end of Death Metal, one of her biggest concerns with opening up the timeline to defeat the Batman Who Laughs and Perpetua was that not everyone would make it to the other side.  So, after expressing her concerns to the Quintessence, she goes off with the Spectre to make sure everyone she loves is okay.  While this does play out like a very special clip show episode (I'm so excited - stop popping pills, Jessie!), it's a good way to get a peek at the upcoming creative teams on some of the books.  Some are a little more in-depth than others, but we will run through them quickly here.




Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez are up first with a couple great looking pages that may be the start of Black Adam averting Future State or just becoming a good guy or both!  We get the "Shazadam" name-drop that hopefully begins and ends here, but not much else.  It looks great, and I am now cautiously optimistic about the Justice League book.

Next up is James Tynion's Batman with art by Jorge Jimenez.  Some big things happen here, and while I think Tynion will explain most of this again in the main book, Batman fans should read this as it sets up an expanded Bat-Family and begins explaining a lot of stuff we just saw in Future State.

We then travel to Themyscira to see how the Amazonians are dealing with Wonder Woman's ascension.  Nubia fans will be happy as Hippolyta heads off to "Man's World" to join the Justice League.  Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad (what does that W stand for, I wonder) do a great job with the dialogue here, especially with Wonder Woman, and Alitha Martinez and Mark Morales' art was great as well.




We then get three quick teasers with Yara Flor, Alan Scott, and the Teen Titans Academy.  The Yara story continues showing how cool she is, while Alan Scott molds his coming out into a current event that he can share with (and get encouragement from) his kids.  The Teen Titans Academy story gives us a direct connection with the Future State Teen Titans, which may or may not end up happening.

Wonder Woman continues looking for the "great cost" by checking in with Superboy (by Philip Kennedy Johnson and Jamal Igle) and Green Arrow & Black Canary (by Joshua Williamson and Alex Maleev).  After Being frustrated by the lack of Superman in his Future State books, Philip Kennedy Johnson gives us zero here but instead gives us his "mission statement" on Jon Kent, Superboy.  Uggghh!!!  However, the Green Arrow & Black Canary story is big with actual mentions of the changed timeline and the fact that the heroes are aware of it and are researching it.  Plus, a favorite fan character pops up!  No spoilers here, but it made me so happy!

The hits keep coming with a cute Stargirl story by Geoff Johns and Todd Nauck that sets up the Spring Break mini-series coming in a few months.  It will probably serve new readers better as it mainly just sets up Courtney and Pat, but it will likely put a smile on older fans just seeing them on the page.




We continue with a Green Lantern story by Geoffrey Thorne and Dexter Soy which looks good but is still too dialogue-heavy for what is (or isn't) going on.  I thought Thorne's Future State John Stewart story was one of the worst of the event, and this doesn't convince me the regular run will be any better.

However, Joshua Williamson comes in to finish up strong with a Flash story that sets up Barry and Wally for what's to come.  As I read this, I could almost read it as Williamson apologizing for letting Wally go off to Tom King and Heroes in Crisis and beyond.  I know that Williamson had nothing to do with that, but that makes it all the better to have him step up and finally begin the healing process.  I hope it's not too late for Wally fans out there.

The issue ends with Wonder Woman deciding whether or not to join the Quintessence and the reveal of the Big Bad coming our way.  I don't think that the cliffhanger is the "great cost" (I think it's Wonder Woman herself), but it's a fantastic way to end the issue!




Many reviewers are going to compare this issue to the DC Universe Rebirth Special #1 from 2016.  They won't be wrong in doing so, but most will use it as a way to praise Infinite Frontier.  I won't be doing that.  Mind you; I loved the Rebirth Special so much I gave it a 10/10 and said, "If its mission is to make us remember what we loved about DC Comics in the first place ...mission accomplished!" in my review.  Why didn't that make the cover?!?  However, I won't use the comparison as praise because DC never fulfilled their promise of what Rebirth was going to be.  Plus, the Rebirth Special was an apology for years of philosophical misdirection, while Infinite Frontiers felt more like a continued spring cleaning to put out the fires that turned Rebirth into the mess it became.  I still enjoyed it immensely, and it served its purpose as an advert to a bunch of new things coming our way, but it didn't feel like that fresh start that Rebirth Promised.  Still, the great art and cool previews make this an easy issue to recommend.

Bits and Pieces:

It's time to get back to the main books, and Infinite Frontier #0 gives you a glimpse of what that will look like.  This book feels significant, not as an apology or promise, like the DC Universe: Rebirth Special did back in 2016, but just as a start of a broader journey ahead.  Let's hope DC sticks with it because it could be something special.

8.3/10


6 comments:

  1. So Arsenal is back but I guess Alfred is still dead. That sucks. Atleast Bane got his but you know he'll be back sooner or later. And Green Arrow acknowledges the history changes. I guess the Stargirl story means GA and Roy were in the Seven Soldiers of Victory so kudos for sticking to the "it all matters" deal. Well it didn't take long for the DCU to take a dark turn again did it? I am looking forward to the Flash though since it will apparently feature Wally. I also wish the Teen Titans Academy had gotten more focus and maybe shown some of the actual Titans.

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    1. timeline is open so we might find out alfred is back but somewhere else (i call he comes back as the Outsider). This gives a peak at things and I am intrigued to see who made it back and who didn't. Remember, technically, Batman also came back from the dead here.

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    2. Good point. What I've been wondering is are Tim Drake's parents alive? I know they were alive in the New 52 but "A Lonely Place of Living" restored his pre-Flashpoint origin which still wasn't entirely predicated on his parents being dead atleast not his dad. But in Tom King's Batman Annual #3 his dad's death was mentioned. But now who knows? I say atleast give him his dad back but that would require Tim (my favorite Robin) to get any kind of focus or development and I'm worried we will never even see him except for the big events where the who Bat family is brought in and even then he won't say it do much. đŸ˜•

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    4. the timeline is open now and the big thing with the Infinite Frontier series is to see who came back

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