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Reverend Meteor




I've always like Roy Thomas's Marvel work so I tried his Infinity Inc. series from the 80's. I don't really like it. The characters all seem kind of bland and uninteresting. Did anyone else have trouble getting into this book? I'm trying to read my way through the whole run but it's kind of a slog to get through. Maybe it's just because it was from the 80's but a lot of the dialogue seemed kinda hokey.




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Daveym 

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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 39,041



'Generations' was and is one of my all-time favourite stories in comics, but I would agree that it looks dated today, indeed it was a little too old fashioned even in its day, especially considering this was the era of the new wave of youth orientated team books and it's competitors consisted of Wolfman and Perez' Teen Titans, Byrne's Fantastic Four, Levitz & Giffen's Legion of Super-heroes, The New Mutants, etc etc. In its defence though With that standard of competition Infinity Inc had to have its own identity if it was to stand out, and while inherantly old fashioned I feel Roy Thomas did succeed in giving the book its own flavor and most appealing of all its own world in which to stand tall and be major figures. And being in its own world did allow me to forgive its rather staid feel, this was a book looking at the dynasty of heroes stretching back to the War after all.

Being the era of the Justice Society/Justice League annual team-up and with the Crisis some way away the concept of Earth-2 was well established and known. So the attraction of the next generation of heroes who were direct descendents from the likes of Wonder Woman and The Green Lantern was all a great fascination. It had some resonance. Today with so much different and those Earth-2 characters longsince abandoned it can't be any surprise that that resonance and the familiarity of established worlds and characters has rendered Infinity Inc nothing more than an anachronism, it is a book without a context in the presentday, so with little or no chance of intriguing readers new to it. But for those of us who remember the era of Earth-2 and Earth-1 I would say the early days of the series do still hold on to that attraction and the rather impressive sense of a world by which Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway managed to present on the page...





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Mikel Midnight


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,497


I agree that 'Generations' was a fun plotline, but I never managed to get into the series, largely because I plain didn't like Roy's concepts for second generation heroes ... the only one I liked was Brainwave Junior.


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Daveym 

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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 39,041



I can understand perfectly why the concept on Infinity Inc would have a narrow appeal, especially when looked at today, but as with superteam books of any decade you have to put it into the context of when it was published and where the comics universes were at at that moment in time.
Infinity Inc was one of the first New Format deluxe series of which DC aimed exclusively at the speciality shops rather than the Newstands. I found copies of those first couple of years worth of Infinity Inc only thanks to a second hand book exchange, who also had a small but impressively sourced pile of comics that included this title and others not distributed through the conventional channels. The appeal of Infinity Inc as a book lay in its superb visuals and fine production obviously, but more than this it shrewdly launched the series by featuring The Huntress and Power Girl, two popular characters of the time who had a broader appeal thanks to their newness and their family connection. Famously in love with the Justice Society I have little doubt that Infinity was his back-doorway of ensuring he could get a book out there featuring his childhood heroes, and in line with his devotion Roy Thomas' approach to writing this contemporary new group of teens was certainly rather old fashioned in its view of young people, but then this is a chap who would use one of the first Infinity letter columns to rail against the opening of a McDonalds/Burger King outlet near his home and the pollution that arose from it(!) Clearly then ' understanding of modern youth culture and its leanings was going to be somewhat old fashioned.
But look to the plotting of that first year. The task in setting up who these new teens were and how they related to their parents, WHO those parents were, and the clashes in background between the likes of Todd Rice and the super-spoilt Hector Hall, all of this was good soil in which to expand upon. But really for me it was as much the concept of an ageing band of legends like the Justice Society which was the draw. Here was a Wonder Woman and Superman who, unlike their earth-1 incarnations, had lived a life and arrived at the point where age was finally catching up with them. How might they each deal with this? What secrets did they carry in their pasts?
Roy Thomas' consideration of these questions and his obvious love of the characters ensured that despite lacking the same relevance of the X-Men or Teen Titans Infinity Inc was still a cut above the likes of the contemporary New Defenders, Batman and the Outsiders, and, frankly, The All-Star Squadron at the time.

By virtue of its origins and setting the series was always going to be slightly niche and not for everyone, but being direct sales it was perfectly packaged for the purpose as even at that time speciality stores were the epitome of niche. A book catering for fans of Earth-2, targeted at a venue where it might find maximum appeal and sales favour...











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Mikel Midnight


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 1,497



    Quote:
    I can understand perfectly why the concept on Infinity Inc would have a narrow appeal, especially when looked at today, but as with superteam books of any decade you have to put it into the context of when it was published and where the comics universes were at at that moment in time.


No, the concept was fine: it was the execution. A daughter for Green Lantern with the same power set? It just seemed stupid to me, and none of the others felt 'right' either (I guess Northwind was okay) aside from the ones inherited from Levitz.

If the team had instead had someone like Strazewski's Jesse Quick, and Morrison's second-generation Merry the Gimmick Girl, I'd have been all over it.




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Reverend Meteor





    Quote:

      Quote:
      I can understand perfectly why the concept on Infinity Inc would have a narrow appeal, especially when looked at today, but as with superteam books of any decade you have to put it into the context of when it was published and where the comics universes were at at that moment in time.



    Quote:
    No, the concept was fine: it was the execution. A daughter for Green Lantern with the same power set? It just seemed stupid to me, and none of the others felt 'right' either (I guess Northwind was okay) aside from the ones inherited from Levitz.


Honestly the book kinda reminded me of that 90's cartoon Tiny Toons where you have characters are like young protege versions of Looney Tunes characters. Everyone has a mentor/parent they're a derivative of.



    Quote:
    If the team had instead had someone like Strazewski's Jesse Quick, and Morrison's second-generation Merry the Gimmick Girl, I'd have been all over it.






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John Morrissey




I read it religiously. Even had a letter published on the letter page. Outside of a couple of core characters, there wasn't a lot of character development, but keep in mind, it featured at one point or another, every golden age character DC had the rights too. And, of course, it was all about fighting the Nazis. So, you rarely saw the heroes out of costume or interacting socially.
I read it because I love a simpler time, and heroes who don't act like life's a soap opera. That and it didn't apologize for being a superhero comic book. No big guns, no paramilitary clothing.
It visited the who's stronger question when golden age Captain Marvel (I refuse to call him Shazam) defeated golden age Superman. Who's fastest was settled when Johnny Quick failed against the Nazi speedster Zyklon, but Jay Gerrick beat Zyklon like a rug.
And THAT brings up it's biggest attraction for me: Good guys against the bad guys with plenty of violence! If I wanted constructive talk, I'd actually listen to my therapist.


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