Waiting for the Trade
By Bill Miller
The Infinite (volume one)
by Robert Kirkman and Rob Liefeld
Collects The Infinite # 1 –4.
Why I Bought This: This was the last of my Free Comic Book Day pick-ups (although I still have another I haven’t reviewed yet). In this case I had just finished Walking Dead volume 1 about a month prior and between that and some Marvel Team Up I had read late last year I was quite impressed with Kirkman’s writing. On top of that Rob Liefeld is my all time favorite comic book artist, so this seemed like a marriage made in Heaven. Throw in the 20-percent discount for FCBD and I decided take chance on it.
The Plot: The short version is some dude with over-sized guns and body armor (because it is a Liefeld/Image comic) loses a war in the future but manages to travel back in time to before the bad guys took over. He meets up with his younger self and begins to form a resistance cell against the incoming invasion. Much time travel shenanigans ensue.
Spoilerific breakdown follows: (and the jump break button is still disapeared so sorry guys).
Chapter One – We meet our lead character Bowen and his partner Case in the final battle of a 10 year war. The villains are in white so the generic thugs look like Star Wars storm troopers while the lead villain Imperius looks like Caliban when he joined up with Apocalypse in X-Factor. Anyway Case dies, and Imperius claims he conquered the world with his time travel technology to save it from something much worse. Bowen steals his time machine (in the form of a belt) and travels back to present day. In the present we find Young Bowen sleeping with some chick named Julia after their first date. He and Young Case are AWOL from the military when Future Bowen arrives in time to stop Young Bowen from killing her ex and going to a military prison for several years. Future Bowen sends Julia packing and recruits the two youngsters in a battle to prevent the Infinite (that would be the villains) from taking over, and he has T2 style weapons bunkers for them in the desert. The Infinite, including Imperius and a Mohawk dude, arrive in the present for their original invasion.
Chapter Two – Future Bowen has been training the youngsters for six weeks. Young Bowen still wants to find Julia so Future Bowen shares that in his timeline he married her but she died in the war so he’s trying to save her life by keeping them apart this time. The heroes are scouting the storm troopers infiltration of a military base when Mohawk dude (aka Core) attacks them, although he doesn’t know Future Bowen because he’s from the first invasion but its hinted the Infinite must be getting advice from their future-selves to know Bowen and his resistance would be there. Core switched sides in the original war so Future Bowen tells him the same info that caused him to defect last time (it involves a sick sister that Imperius never cures) to speed up the process when their battle is interrupted by a white ninja that looks a lot like Deadpool if his costume were white instead of red.
Chapter Three – Ninja dude saves the heroes and battles Core to a stalemate, revealing he’s from further in the future than Future Bowen and that had he not arrived now than Young Bowen and Young Case would have been killed in the last battle. Meanwhile Gideon questions Imperius about his sister only to get attacked by two Imperius (one of whom is from the far future).
Chapter Four – A CIA chick (Emily) is attacked by storm troopers but Future Case saves her. He reveals she’s one his lieutenants as we move into the plot of T3. This means the heroes have to get to Julia and they do just in time but the other six lieutenants are killed off (off-camera since they are non-characters who we never meet). Core meets up with the resistance and joins them.
Critical Thoughts: There’s just too much time travel here. I like time travel movies quite a bit, and I suppose if both sides have time machines these tactics make sense but at some point it’s just too over the top to care. Seriously we have characters from four or five timelines in this thing: the present day heroes, the original invasion, Future Core and then Far Future Ninja and Far (Far?) Future Imperious. Definitely not up to the standards of the other Kirkman books I read.
Ditto Liefeld’s art. It’s fine and some of splash pages look good but with Liefeld I expect to be blown away and I’m not here. There’s a general lack of color to it since the villains are in white and the heroes are just in civilian garb so they don’t lend themselves to the visual dynamics of say early X-Force to begin with; and with the plethora of big guns and ninjas it just looks like every Image comic from the 90s.
Grade: C-. I didn’t hate it, but I doubt I will buy any future volumes.