Just months before San Diego Comic-Con last year, The Walking Dead writer and Skybound publisher Robert Kirkman announced a new project with Image Comics co-founder Rob Liefeld. The Infinite is the story of 40-year-old Bowen, who has traveled back in time to team up with his 19-year-old self to battle an evil organization called The Infinite. The Infinite Volume 1 collects the first four issues, and is available in stores. Rob Liefeld cited creative differences with Kirkman on Twitter this weekend as the cause for the end of the book.
Rob Liefeld’s art style is uniquely his, take it or leave it.
The 1990s were an extravagant time at the House of Ideas and later at Image. Rob became infamous for his creation of X-Force’s Cable, with his scarred face, half metal frame and large guns. Another feat was his co-creation of top selling mercenary Deadpool with Fabian Nicieza. When the time was right, Rob, Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee and others broke free and started Image Comics. The rest is polybagged history. Most recently, Rob was found drawing Hawk and Dove for the DC New 52. DC loves the retro style and last week announced Liefeld’s involvement with the Deathstroke, Hawkman and Grifter titles starting in May.
Stifling the usual jokes about Liefeld’s pouches, exaggerated anatomy and no feet is not easy, and that’s where Robert Kirkman came in. Kirkman has much the same reverence for his work as I do. Liefeld, McFarlane, and Erik Larsen are responsible for stoking the fire of my fandom. I wasn’t lucky enough to read Stan’s work and pour over Jack’s pencils when the books were coming out. I was there for X-Force, Spider-Man, and the dawning of the Image era. Youngblood was more Teen Titans and X-Force than it was Avengers. Spawn was Batman, Spider-Man, and Hellboy rolled into one, and I loved seeing Todd draw capes bellow.
Kirkman gets what fun comics are. He’s bought a few holograms and polybags in his youth. Robert Kirkman is quoted as regarding Liefeld as “the modern-day equivalent of Jack Kirby”. Kirkman’s Image Comics imprint disagreed with Liefeld’s choice of inker on issue 5 and now the series is sadly done.
Here’s a review of the trade paperback, the series ends at issue 10. The Infinite is a battle story based in modern times. Issue #1 starts in the future as Bowen storms the enemy’s enclave, loses a partner, and outwits the opposition’s leader, Imperius. He steals the time belt and recruits his younger self. Young Bowen is getting busy with Julia (his ex?) as Old Bowen interferes by attacking hoodlums in the motel lot, altering the time stream. The story is easy to follow, with Kirkman at the helm. Within minutes, both Bowens are trusting each other, and then Liefeld gets a chance to shine. Old Bowen shows off his prize collection, an entire armory filled with the most ridiculously huge guns that Cable would be proud to yield.
The next issue, we’re still in present time, and it’s obvious that The Infinite are on to Bowen’s sabotaging scheme. The Infinite is in its infancy as an organization, and we’re introduced to the second in command, Core. Someone is tipping off the Infinite as Core faces the Bowens in combat. Did I mention that Core is a badass OMAC looking dude with a gigantic mohawk and golden football armor? It doesn’t matter. This is where the fight scenes, explosions and time travel expositions are. A great issue two.
I bet you are wondering why there is no “gun in one hand, sword in the other” action mentioned yet?
Todd McFarlane lends his inks to the introduction of faceless Duel on a variant cover for issue #2. Duel is helping out Bowen and pals, but wears the uniform of a future Infinite grunt. More time travel? Yes, please!
By this time in the book, I’m already planning on the exhaustive measure of yanking out my New Mutants #100 from the depths of my long boxes to relive the magic of those times.
Modern paper, glowy coloring, and digital inking really do complement the art. Issue 4 is chock full of more action, practice sparring, explosions, and new cool uniforms with glowing armor much like the current Iron Man suit. How can I wait for these next final issues? It’s like waiting for a Terminator movie to stop shooting! I will sneak a variant cover into my stack of issue 6, and only cheat a little by cracking it open in the store. This is a time travel battle story, and as River Song warns Doctor…”Spoilers”!
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! CHECK OUT LEAGUEPODCAST HERE. THEY HOST THE 3RD ANNUAL LEAGUEPODCAST BOSTON COMIC-CON AFTER PARTY ON SAT. APRIL 21 AT MCGREEVY’S.
LEAGUE PODCAST Episode #105: Clay and Dursin make an awesome announcement, and talk about how their Dad’s answer “How are you?” Both very important topics. Plus Spider-Man, Marvel day and date digital & drive time radio.