[journey to the savage planet review]Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1 Review – But Why Tho?

2021-07-08 15:48:18

  Reading Time: 5 minutes

  Infinite Frontier Secret Files #1 - But Why Tho

  Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1 is a large anthology comic book published by DC Comics. This comic contains stories from a plethora of talented creators, led by Joshua Williamson. These stories were taken from individual issues of the miniseries and placed into one large volume. This is part of the Infinite Frontier event.

  Detective Bones listens to case notes as he analyzes some of the biggest players within Infinite Frontier, trying to collect recruits. He goes through a selection of audiotapes, which are presented as individual stories.?

  An alternate universe Superman stars in “Make Time”. Story by Williamson and Brandon Thomas, written by Thomas. Art by Valentine de Landro and colours by Marissa Louise and Tríona Farrell. Letters by Tom Napolitano throughout the book. “Seeing Red” Is a story about Roy Harper, also known as Speedy, Red Arrow or Arsenal. Story by Williamson and Stephanie Phillips. Art by Inaki Miranda and Colours by Nick Filardi.? Both Jade and Obsidian are in “My Brother is a Kind Shadow.” Story by Williamson and Dan Watters. Art and colour by Stephen Byrne. The Totality is the subject of “The Two Totalities.” Story by Williamson and Thomas and the artist is Miranda. Colours by Filardi. Detective Bones has a story of his own in “Truly Two.” Story by Williamson and Phillips, written by the latter. The penciller is Phil Hester and the inks are by Ande Parks. Psycho-Pirate is the figurehead of the last chapter, titled “The Third Question.” Story by Williamson and Watters, with the latter as the writer. Art by Christopher Mitten and colours by Dave Stewart.?

  The Superman of “Make Time” is special due to the fact that he is the president of the United States. Through one day, we see just how much he accomplishes, speeding around the planet as a superhero and head of state. What is clear about this first story is the strength of the character. This Superman has a resolve and power that is present on every page, difficult to do in a huge book such as this one. The story is fast-paced as Superman speeds around the planet and beyond, but it can be cluttered in moments. This is an intentional move by the writers, as this seems an impossible task for the reader and protagonist alike. However, this does result in the dialogue being skipped over and missed due to how fast the scenes are changing.

  The art is terrific. There are many small panels during Superman’s journey across the globe. De Landro fills these with just enough detail without overwhelming the reader with too many lines. The locations are easily recognisable and the sense of action is there, then, President Superman is gone again. With the beautiful colours by Farrell and Louise added, there is a smoothness to the textures. Both shadows and light land beautifully on surfaces, and the shades close to hinting at colours instead of defining them. The dialogue and caption boxes may be too big at times, overpowering the smaller panel sizes.

  As an opening gambit, “Make Time” is expressive and powerful, with an art style that perfectly matches the speed and intensity of the comic.?

  In “Seeing Red,” Roy Harper is a man of many names and filled with tragedy. His troubles have included addiction, the loss of a child, and his own death and resurrection. In a flashback, He and Green Arrow find themselves hot on the heels of Deathstroke, but a mistake by Roy may lead to the mercenary’s escape. In the present day, Harper finds himself on the losing side of a bar fight.

  This is a story full of personality, and all of that comes from one character. Phillips writes a fantastic Roy Harper as they explore one aspect of his personality in great depth. Roy is incredibly self-destructive, and this is presented over two points at a time. Beating himself up because he makes a mistake, whilst also getting beaten up. The narration of the tape plays over through captions, but the script is outstanding and suits the dramatic tone of the story.

  The art is awesome. The chase scene at the beginning of the story is full of movement and energy. As the three characters leap between buildings, their dynamism and athleticism are presented through astonishing line art by Miranda. But when it switches to the bar, it’s darker and more violent. The close combat is brutal and well-choreographed, akin to an action movie.?

  The two timezones are highlighted by the expert colouring. In the past, Filardi brings in bright colours that show off the costumes of Oliver, Roy, and Slade in all their glory. Although the dialogue is dark and serious, it does show the happier times of Harper’s heroic period. But stuck in a bar, locked in a battle with a man twice his size, the room is gloomy and the shadows are closing in. He still wears his signature, stark red, but it is evident that time has past and it has not been kind. The atmosphere is changed and shows a great fluidity within the art team.

  One of the strongest stories within the anthology, “Seeing Red” analyzes the personality of the main character and gives the reader more of an understanding of Roy’s past and how his present will affect the future.

  In “Two Totalities,” two different Martian Manhunters pit two different teams of metahumans against each other. Testing the fabric between dimensions, they accidentally create a hole between the Earths. This is made more difficult with the inclusion of President Superman and Vandal Savage. Their hatred for each other may threaten the entire experiment. The Totality also has a council meeting.

  The biggest surprise with this story is how different it is to the others in Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1. The rest of the tales are small in cast and concept, focusing on the personality of a few characters. In “The Two Totalities,” there are too many voices. The premise is hard to understand and follow; not explained with true clarity by the writer. Each character involved is a good inclusion, but it is hard to keep up with what is happening.

  What really makes this story shine is the art. Extra attention is given to each character, which is needed when there are alternate universe versions of them. Each figure is intricately detailed. The battle is chaotic but fun to read. Even when it is difficult to follow, it is still beautiful to look at. The colours are gorgeous and full of life. Filardi brings so much energy to every costume and location, adapting to the different lighting and situations and making each page stunning.

  “The Two Totalities” isn’t necessarily a bad story, having a bold concept and exciting art. But it doesn’t fit alongside the other pieces around it. In an anthology, each part needs to stand out, but there is also the danger of the story being out of place. It may have its importance to the event as a whole, or as a singular issue.

  Every story is bookended with a scene at the beginning and end containing Detective Bones, aside from his own individual story. What is fascinating about this is that the tone wavers slightly depending on the writer, but it increases in its madness. The different takes on Bones’ design are also interesting as each artist recreates the same room.

  Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1 is a fascinating concept containing character-driven stories. While some may not have the strength or engagement as others, all of them are engaging and fun to read. The biggest downfall is that they may not connect very well together inside the same large book. The transition between stories can be disorienting, and without content or preview page at the beginning, the reader may not know what they are in for.?

  Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1 is available where comics are sold.

   Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1 3.5

  TL;DR

  Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1 is a fascinating concept containing character-driven stories. While some may not have the strength or engagement as others, all of them are engaging and fun to read. The biggest downfall is that they may not connect very well together inside the same large book. The transition between stories can be disorienting, and without content or preview page at the beginning, the reader may not know what they are in for.?

  Buy now via ComiXologyWilliam Tucker( Contributing Writer – Comics, Film/TV )

  Screenwriter with a love of comics and movies. Once referred to Wuthering Heights as “the one with the Rabbits.”

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