Saturday, November 12, 2016

Infinity Inc. #1 (1984)


Infinity Inc. #1 (March, 1984)
"Generations!"
Writer/Editor - Roy Thomas
Co-Plotter - Dann Thomas
Penciller/Co-Designer - Jerry Ordway
Inker/Co-Designer - Mike Machlan
Colorist - Anthony Tollin
Letterer - John Costanza
Cover Price: $1.25

Going to check in on a series I never really read... but somehow find myself having quite a bit of in the ol' library.  It's JSA: The Next Generation in Infinity Inc.

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It's Christmas Eve and the Justice Society has come together for a meeting.  Before the current chairman, Hawkman can call the session to order, a foursome of colorfully clad superhero types burst through the double doors.  They insist they are the Society's newest members.  Hawkman and company are visibly confused.


So confused, in fact, that a battle breaks out.  I mean, these youngsters didn't burst in and threaten to kill the JSA... they offered to join them!  That matters not, and the Society pounces into action.  The fight is hardly competitive, and before long the foursome find themselves bound by Wonder Woman's lasso.  Here we learn that the female among the group is Hippolyta Trevor... the daughter of Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor.


The Society demands their new captives take off their masks... though only one of them wears a full face mask.  Now we discover that the newbies are Nuklon, the Godson of the original Atom... Silver Scarab, the son of Hawkman... and Norda, who has some link to Hawkman.


The oldsters read them the riot act, and advise them that they won't be needing their services.  Doctor Fate soon pipes up as the lone voice of reason... why wouldn't the JSA want to bring in some new recruits?  Three junior members of the Justice Society, including Robin, the Huntress, and Power Girl agree.


Hawkman continues stubbornly contesting their taking this foursome in, and Robin suggests they put it to a vote.  The youngsters agree to abide by the decision of the vote, and are shuffled off into a side room to await the result.


We now get a bit of "alone time" with the gang... and they take the opportunity to recount their secret origins, starting with Hector Hall... the Silver Scarab.  He discusses how absent his parents were during his youth, always fighting crime or out on archaeological digs.  He enrolled in UCLA and while there ran into a face from his childhood.  (Hippo)Lyta Trevor.


Lyta continues... she discusses being raised on Paradise Island and being named after her grandmother.  As she reached adolescence, she sought to take over for her mother as Wonder Woman.  Her parents tell her that won't be an option until she graduates from college.  As we know, she opts to attend UCLA... and she recounts that during her tour she saw a certain seven-and-a-half foot red-haired boy playing basketball.


Hector resumes... he discusses his and Lyta's budding romance, and the night they decided to go all the way... and become superheroes.  Hector shows her his Silver Scarab costume, which we learn is made of ninth metal.  Here Lyta decides to take on the code name, Fury.


After giving us a brief recap on Nuklon's origin (he's got "bad genes" or something), Al recalls meeting with Hector and Lyta a few days earlier.  They tell him that they're planning on doing the hero thang, and convince Nuklon to throw in as well.  After which, he heads off to the restroom and gives himself a ridiculous looking mohawk.


Last up, we hear from Norda.  Hawkman discovered a hidden city in Greenland called Feithera which was comprised of bird-people.  The footnote tells us that this occurred in 1946... wow.  Anyhoo, Carter brought a friend with him to live among the birdfolk for a time.  In that time... well, I guess he fell in love... or got lonely, because next thing we know we've got a half-human, half-bird abomination is hatching from an egg!


Checking in with the Justice Society... the vote has come down to the wire, seven for and seven against.  It is up to the chairman, Hakwman to make the deciding vote.  The Star-Spangled Kid informs our gang that the vote is in... and it's not the one they were hoping for.


Suddenly another couple of newbies enter the scene.  They introduce themselves as Jennie-Lynn and Todd... and claim to be the children of Green Lantern, Alan Scott!


So they all gather around the conference table and proceed to rationally talk things out.  No, no... none of that... we get another fight... albeit a short one.


It doesn't last long... and as the dust settles, Silver Scarab considers the possibility that the Justice Society just might not be for him.  He and the gang take their leave... only to be joined by Jade and Obsidian.


The junior members of the Justice Society are pretty peeved by what they'd just experienced, with Huntress and Power Girl ultimately deciding to walk out.  Robin and the Star-Spangled Kid attempt to reason with the gals, but it is to no avail.


Now we go from a JSA that was positively bursting with members... to a team that is two members short.  Seems like the perfect time for a super villain to strike!  Enter Brain Wave... to be continued...


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Well... this was a pretty good issue, however, I can't help but feel it could have been a lot better.  Not that I expected a whole lot more than the introduction of the new team or anything... which we did get... I dunno, the whole thing felt kind of disjointed and for lack of a better term, weak.

We were beaten over the heads with just how old the Justice Society members are here.  They called the Infinity Inc'ers everything short of "whippersnapper" here.  I mean, we get it... the Society has been around for awhile... but the dialog here just really drives that point home, in an unnatural and forced kinda way.

The fact that they didn't recognize these kids... in some cases their kids... is really quite silly.  Outside of Silver Scarab, none of them are wearing terribly obscuring face masks.  This whole bit just didn't sit right with me.  Speaking of not sitting right... why would the JSA turn away perspective pledges?  Especially those who are part of the biological or figurative bloodline?  Just seems strange.  I would imagine they'd be real keen on taking on some younger members... as for no other reason, it would allow some of the senior members to perhaps retire.

I did like that the JSA turning the Inc'ers away caused a schism in the ranks, with the younger crew doing a little walk-out.  It would stand to reason that they would see the value of injecting new blood... being as though they themselves are new blood.

I suppose if we are going to do an origin info-dump, the "let's reminisce while the old folks vote" scene was as good as any to take care of that.  I really dug seeing some of Hector and Lyta's early days recounted, being as though my only real experience with them is from Neil Gaiman's Sandman.  This was a neat way to fill in some blanks.

We also learn that Green Lantern has a pair of children he never knew about.  Ruh roh... you'd figure Alan would wanna keep these two around to get to know them... or at least find out who their mother is!

Overall... not a bad initial outing.  Though the conflict feels contrived, and the dialog is a tad bit old-fashioned, it's still a decent enough read.  This is a series I definitely want to continue tracking down.

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(Not the) Letters Page:


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