Last issue Infinite Frontier brought back a classic DC storyline - Kingdom Come - as Earth 23's President Superman and the Flashpoint Batman took a trip to Earth-22 (the Kingdom Come Earth) for a meeting with Magog.
Now in Infinite Frontier #3, writer Joshua Williamson has brought back a classic DC superteam, and it looks like the entire Infinite Frontier may be as much about looking into the publisher's past as looking into the uncharted Omniverse.
Spoilers ahead for Infinite Frontier #3.
Infinity, Inc. is back, or Infinite Incorporated, as they may now be called.
The second-generation offshoot of the Justice Society of America appears on the last page of the issue, but its presence answers one of the original "questions" of the limited series - where is Jade, the daughter of Alan Scott/Sentinel and sister of Obsidian?
And while now she's found, what she's been doing to wind up leading a new iteration of her former team remains to be seen.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves…
Infinite Frontier #3 checks in on a few of the first two issues' significant players, but only moves the various stories forward a little bit, mostly reiterating the core questions of the series.
To briefly recap:
- While President Superman and Flashpoint Batman's search for Barry Allen continues on Kingdom Come's Earth, Barry is first seen on a page that looks like it was pulled from a Silver Age story. The Flash is seen running as Jay Garrick runs up next to him, telling Barry only he can be "the hero the Multiverse needs" and that he must run faster than ever before.
But that appears to be the cognitive suggestion of the Psycho-Pirate, who seems to be manipulating Barry to run on a giant hamster wheel-like contraption on Darkseid's Earth Omega.
Psycho-Pirate refers to Barry's first trip from Earth-One to Earth-Two in 1961's The Flash #123, otherwise known as 'Flash of Two Worlds', DC's very first Multiverse story.
Remember, the Psycho-Pirate is the only character that remembers all the iterations of the DC Universe before and after all Crises, and he remarks to himself that the first trip is having repercussions that are still being felt today.
- Elsewhere in the issue, Cameron Chase is seen still alive, or at this point perhaps we should play it safe and say a Cameron Chase is seen alive.
Last issue, an imposter Captain Atom seemed to take her with him in a nuclear suicide, and the opening images of the issue suggest the world thinks she died in the blast. But she appears in the company of Director Bones doing DEO business with no explanation for her survival.
- We also catch up with Roy Harper, coming to terms with his Black Lantern powers and the notion his daughter Lian is alive.
But Roy's most important contribution to the story comes when he's picked up in a large DEO spacecraft (one of two seen in the issue) called a Carrier. The Carrier that picks up Roy is captained by Green Lantern villain Hector Hammond, who appears to be fully human without any mutation. He explains to Roy that the Multiverse being reset in the pages of Dark Nights: Death Metal returned him to his "factory settings" but after a few moments of appearing to be of aid to Roy, reveals that the DEO again really wants to apprehend him.
Hammond pilots the spacecraft into The Bleed, the space between Multiverses and one of the most significant legacies of the Wildstorm Universe. For you Wildstorm fans, the Authority's sentient spacecraft that traversed the Bleed was also known as the Carrier.
Hammond reveals Roy's Black Lantern ring may not be of the known Multiverse, that he doesn't know why the ring sought out Roy, and that he (and/or the DEO) has made a deal with someone or something for the ring and Roy. As he's about to reveal where he is taking Roy, Infinite Incorporated breaches the Carrier in true comic book fashion, interrupting the scene before Hammond can finish his sentence.
Well, we don't know it's Infinite Incorporated at first. Before they reveal themselves on the final page, Hammond lets it be known the DEO previously lost a Carrier (which now appears to be the be wreckage Magog is protecting on Earth-22), and that it should be impossible for a Carrier to be breached in The Bleed, "Unless..." he says, implying he suspects he knows who could accomplish such a thing.
Which queues the reveal of the team, as seen here. And they aren't there to rescue Roy from the DEO either, apparently seeing him as a potential threat from a "zombie world in the Multiverse."
And that's all she wrote until the next issue.
But hey, if you happen to be wondering who Infinity, Inc. is...
The team debuted in 1984's All-Star Squadron #25. Set on Earth 2, the original DC Multiverse's most prominent alternate reality, All-Star Squadron followed the original Justice Society of America, who, in this version of their continuity, had aged in real-time from their heyday in the '40s to the '80s.
The original Infinity, Inc. was formed by Sylvester Pemberton, the Star-Spangled Kid, who organized his fellow second-generation successors of the heroes of the Justice Society and their enemies when they were rejected from joining their mentors in the JSA itself.
Infinity, Inc. quickly spun off into their own title, focused on main characters Star-Spangled Kid (who renamed himself Skyman), Power Girl (the Earth 2 version of Supergirl/Kara Zor-L), Huntress (Helena Wayne, the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle), Nuklon (the godson of the original Atom, who later rechristened himself Atom Smasher), Northwind (the half-bird/half-human protege of the original Hawkman), Brainwave (the son of the original JSA villain of the same name who rejected his father's villainy), Silver Scarab (the son of the original Hawkman and Hawkwoman, who later became Doctor Fate), Fury (Lyta Trevor, the daughter of the original Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor), Obsidian and Jade (the twin son and daughter of Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern/current Sentinel), and finally Mr. Bones - an original character to the series who was introduced as a villain before winding up in the team's custody.
Incidentally, Mr. Bones was designed and co-created by artist Todd McFarlane. As you can see by this image from the original Infinity, Inc., Bones shares some character design DNA with Spawn who McFarlane designed as a teen, including the black bodysuit and especially the red, flowing cloak.
When 1985's Crisis On Infinite Earths collapsed the entire DC Multiverse into a single timeline, the JSA's post-WWII Earth 2 lives were effectively erased from history, and they were reestablished as decades older predecessors of the modern DC heroes - with several characters effectively written out of the JSA's history entirely.
Infinity, Inc. was subsequently brought into the core DC Universe, with several characters' histories changed entirely and others whose histories were now too problematic to be explained in continuity were dropped from the series.
In their place, three new characters inspired by original JSA characters were introduced, including Yolanda Montez/Wildcat (inspired by original Wildcat Ted Grant), Beth Chapel/Doctor Midnight (inspired by the original Dr. Mid-Nite, Charles McNider), and Rick Tyler/Hourman (son of the original Hourman, Rex Tyler). All three of these characters, along with Brainwave, appeared on the Stargirl TV show.
Decades later, in the early '00s, the name Infinity, Inc. was revived for a totally different team, a group of heroes empowered by Lex Luthor, who organized them under villainous ulterior motives.
The characters seen in the return of Infinity, Inc. (who once again appear to be at odds with Mr. Bones, now Director Bones of the DEO) include Jade, Atom Smasher in his more recent incarnation rather than as Nuklon, the apparent original Kara Zor-L Power Girl, Yolanda Montez/Wildcat, and DC character Damage, who never existed alongside the original Infinity, Inc., but who is the son of Atom Smasher's mentor Al Pratt, the original Atom.
No more information about the team, how they got together, or what their role will be was revealed, but remember last issue it was revealed that all of the team members and including Beth Chapel/Doctor Midnight and Rick Tyler/Hourman (who are not seen on the final page) were unaccounted for after the Multiverse was restored.
So yeah … more Infinite Frontier issues, more Infinite Frontier questions.
But expect to see more of Infinite Incorporated soon.
Infinity, Inc. didn't quite make Newsarama's list of the best superhero teams of all time, but their predecessors did.