The world building for the new status quo at DC Comics continues.
As the publisher continues to roll out its new continuity after the soft reboot of the INFINITE FRONTIER, I’ve been checking in to decide which comics deserve my hard-earned dollars every month and which comics can wait until they debut on the DC Universe Infinite app in six months. In addition to the Infinite Frontier 0 one shot in the first week, DC Comics released four new comics under the banner. You can read my reactions to the two I read HERE.
Once again, we get four new Infinite Frontier books from week 2 and this week, I picked up three of them. I refuse to pay $7.99 for a Batman book, which was the price point for the anthology series Batman: Urban Legends. I look forward to reading the book in September, though.
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Sean Lewis
Pencils by Phil Hester and Sam Basri
Inks by Eric Gapstur and Sam Basri
Colors by Hi-Fi and Ulises Arreola Palomera
Of the three books I did pick up, I hate to say that this is probably the one that left me feeling the most let down. New writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson starts his run on Superman and Action Comics (which debuts later this month) with a two-part story of Superman and his son doing battle in space with aliens coming through a breach in spacetime. As they battle, and Jon Kent sees his father slightly injured, he panics. During his time in the 31st Century with the Legion of Superheroes, he learned how and when his father died, and it’s coming up, the next time the duo battle the aliens from the breach. Jon implores his dad not to go back out there. But he’s Superman.
To make things more interesting, the breach is being manipulated by Amanda Waller, head of the Suicide Squad, who seems to have a very serious grudge against people who wear the S. We saw in Week 1’s Suicide Squad issue (and the FUTURE STATE Suicide Squad book) how she captured and manipulated Conner Kent, Superman’s clone. How does that tie in with Superman?
While I can do without more “Superman is going to die” stories, there was enough here to have me looking forward to part two. The Waller connection could be very interesting. Maybe she’s holding a grudge over the outcome of EVENT LEVIATHAN. When she’s done right, with her political machinations, she could prove to be a formidable opponent for the Man of Steel.
Throw in a fun back-up tale by Sean Lewis, featuring 1990s Superman supporting character Bibbo Bibbowski, and Superman was overall a fun pick-up. And it’s Superman, so of course I’ll be picking it up monthly. Let’s get the “Superman is gonna die” feints out of the way and get to some Action!
Wonder Woman 770
Written by Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad and Jordie Bellaire
Pencils and Inks by Travis Moore and Paulina Ganucheau
Colors by Tamra Bonvillain and Kendall Goode
After the ending of DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL, Diana gave up her role as Wonder Woman to ascend to a role as a goddess, protecting the multiverse from bigger threats than could be handled by the Justice League, though she refused an invitation to join the Quintessence. But in her first proper outing in the Infinite Frontier, her powers are gone, along with her memory, and she’s been dropped in the middle of Asgard battling alongside the Warriors in Valhalla preparing for Ragnarok. And she dies a few times.
Still unaware of who she really is – despite the efforts of what seems to be Deadman trying to reach out to her – she agrees to help a talking chipmunk save the World Tree to fend off the end of Asgard and to save her new comrades.
This was a really fun issue, with Diana trying to find answers to what’s happening right alongside the reader. Writers Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad crafted a great little mystery filled with nice character beats between Diana and the other occupants of Valhalla. This is definitely going to be a regular pick-up after this issue, and I think their run on the book is going to be really fun.
The Joker 1
Written by James Tynion IV and Sam Johns
Pencils and Inks by Guillem March and Mirka Andolfo
Colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Arif Prianto
This was probably the biggest surprise of the week. I was already pretty excited by the premise, but I didn’t expect to enjoy this issue as much as I did. Coming off the Joker’s destruction of Arkham Asylum and killing 500 inmates – including Bane and possibly Scarecrow – some well-funded people reach out to the now-retired Jim Gordon and try to hire him to track down the Joker and put a bullet in his head. For his efforts, the cash-strapped Gordon would receive $25 million.
I’d take that job in a heartbeat, but Gordon isn’t sure it’s something an ex-Commissioner should take on.
This is very clearly the opening of a tense psychological thriller with the grizzled ex-cop hunting a dangerous and seasoned killer. Given the history between Gordon and the Joker – which is played up masterfully here – I’m betting we’re in for a bunch of tense situations over the course of this series. As a bonus, hopefully having this series keeps Joker out of the main storylines in Gotham for the foreseeable future. The character has definitely been overexposed the last few years and we could all use a break from yet another major battle between Batman and the Joker. Switching Jim Gordon in for Batman is an acceptable compromise. Another easy ongoing pick-up for me!
Which Infinite Frontier books are you reading? Let us know in the comments!