We’ve entered yet another new era for DC Comics, as the publisher has slightly reset continuity one more time. New creative teams, new directions for characters and new first issues will be all the rage for the next few months.
While last week’s INFINITE FRONTIER 0 issue set the stage for the larger scope of what we should expect over the next few months, DC Comics also had a handful of books that tie in to its new status quo. I’ll be keeping track of the Infinite Frontier’s new voyage as it continues, but I’ll also have to start making certain decisions: will I continue to read these stories when they’re originally released? Or will I wait 6 months to read them on the new DC Universe Infinite app? Having to only wait six months (as opposed to a year on the app’s original incarnation) is an enticing reason to hold off and save some money on some of these more expensive books.
Last week, DC Comics released just four new comics within the scope of the Infinite Frontier:
Crime Syndicate 1
Suicide Squad 1
The Swamp Thing 1
I will likely get around to reading both Batman – which seems to be building to the introduction of FUTURE STATE baddies the Magistrate – when it hits DCU Infinite. Swamp Thing, also, is a character that I’ve never really cared for, though with a new Guardian of the Green introduced in this first of 10 issues, I may check it out somewhere along the line.
That leaves us with two Infinite Frontier books that I picked up this week.
Crime Syndicate 1
Written by Andy Schmidt
Art by Kieron McKeown and Bryan Hitch
Even Earth-3 has a new status quo!
Much like the original Justice League was first brought together in the pages of Brave and the Bold by an attack from Starro the Conquerer, our new-look Crime Syndicate has to unite to fend off the giant starfish – though he looks a lot more menacing on Earth-3 than he ever did on Earth-0.
Focusing on Ultraman, Superwoman, Owl Man, Power Ring, Johnny Quick and Atomica (introduced in Geoff Johns’ New 52 Justice League run), the CSA isn’t exactly the unit that the Justice League is. And with this terrifying new version of Starro trying to take control of Ultraman, who knows if they’ll ever manage to become a unit.
The first issue of this 6-issue miniseries really focuses on Ultraman and his desire to be seen as the man everyone in the world should fear. We even get a back-up story with Bryan Hitch art detailing his origin and how the Kents of Earth-3 were not the good people that raised Superman, creating a Clark Kent that distrusts basically everyone.
I like the little bits thrown in here to show the differences between the CSA’s world and the JLA’s: Themyscira is not Paradise Island, it’s the Dark island; Oliver Queen is president; Cat Grant is in charge of the Daily Planet and is happy to call out Ultraman any chance she gets; and Thomas Wayne Jr. – Owl Man – is opportunistic as ever, trying to figure out why Gotham wasn’t targeted by Starros so he can exploit it.
While I enjoyed the first issue, I’m not sure it made me care enough about the story to continue buying it day and date. Waiting to read this book on DC Universe Infinite may be the best option.
Suicide Squad 1
Written by Robbie Thompson
Art by Eduardo Pansica
The new Suicide Squad book has a lot of ties going for it. The opening sequence deals with the A-Day assault on Arkham Asylum that was featured in the Infinite Frontier zero issue. It also gives us a look at how Conner Kent – who led the team in FUTURE STATE – came to be working for Amanda Waller. One of the big reveals in the issue shows Waller opening a cell to reveal Superboy – back in his T-shirt and jeans look after Brian Bendis had him in his earlier leather jacket digs in YOUNG JUSTICE and ACTION COMICS – chained up by kryptonite.
Waller clearly doesn’t have a very high opinion of clones, but the Future State stories show that she’ll grow to at least appreciate his usefulness somewhere along the line.
As a long-time fan of Kon-El, his inclusion here will keep me reading the new Suicide Squad, led by Peacemaker, just to see what’s going on with Superboy. Since the Future State Suicide Squad story took place partially on Earth-3, we may eventually also see ties to that book. I’m not sure how much the Infinite Frontier is supposed to lead to Future State concepts, but there were a lot of teases this week that suggest that’s the direction the publisher is headed. It’s much like how late-1990s and early-2000s comics all seemed to be leading to a KINGDOM COME-like future. We’ll have to see how long that lasts before the next soft reboot.
Which Infinite Frontier books are you reading? Let us know!