The familiar faces of The Infinite
The Infinite was recently canceled after only four issues, and didn't even make a full story arc. Sales were poor and the line went almost unnoticed critically. It now wallows in uncertainty, perhaps never to be picked back-up.
With that in mind, I took a look at the ‘finished’ series.
The story line is a lot of fun. It’s a time travel story, but remains easy to follow and sensical.
A soldier from the future, the last man standing from among many who comprised a resistance to a totalitarian rule, steals a ‘time belt’ which allows him to arrange history as he sees fit.
In a final gambit to save the world, he goes back to the beginning of the resistance, and recruits himself to his own cause - gaining the training and recruitment of the resistance early on in his mission.
Obviously, this alters the future, making it unclear now who will now rule the planet. Of course, the bad guys have a belt too, but it doesn’t get too complicated, at least not in these first four issues.
It's no secret that I’m a big fan of time travel stories when they're done right, but I'm very picky about the use of time travel in fiction. If it's not done plausibly or with the right focus it falls flat. Fortunately, this was not the case for The Infinite.
Most interesting were the characterizations, as the two versions of the protagonist create a compelling dichotomy. The story well depicts the strange relationship that one would have with himself. The future version of the character knows what mistakes the young man will make, and is able to warn him off, but cannot really blame him if he doesn’t heed the warnings, as he knows that it only, quite literally, what he would have done at that age.
The place where the line falls down a bit for me is the artwork. I'm no comics art snob, I can work through just about any style including the very ugly stuff Travel Foreman has been doing with Animal Man in the New 52. However, Rob Liefeld has done me in with his style. All of the male characters look identical. At first I thought it was just an artifact of the story, I kept thinking that we would eventually find that all of the characters are really this one guy, but as I moved though the sorry it became obvious that it was not intentional.
Overall The Infinite a fun story, if you can ignore the foibles of the visual style. Unfortunately, if you really enjoy it, you're not getting any more, at least until it finds a new home. If it continues sometime, hopefully with a new artist, I’ll be picking it back up.