Lion Forge

Infinity 8: Volume Four: Symbolic Guerilla

I8v4It’s been a while since I read any Infinity 8, but it’s the perfect series to return to after a break since each arc is a different take on the same thing. Literally.

Each arc has a different (far future) space agent who has a limited time to investigate why an intergalactic graveyard the size of Earth’s solar system is blocking the way of a giant ship.

This arc, Symbolic Guerrilla, introduces agent Patty Stardust, who’s undercover with a cult of performance artists but gets called to check out the graveyard. Meanwhile, the cult–led by sixties hippie in the future, Ron–finds out the ship is stopped and starts planning on how he’s going to exploit the situation for his–ahem, the group’s–benefit.

Patty’s Black, with a big afro–how French guy Lewis Trondheim and probably European guy Kris acknowledge people shouldn’t intrude on her wanting to touch her hair but White Americans can’t figure it out… anyway. Patty’s a fantastic lead. She’s been undercover with Ron and the Symbolic Guerrillas for five years, this mission could jeopardize it–good thing the ship’s captain is going to loop time–and she’s engaged to Ron’s stepson.

That engagement–Patty’s the stage manager, who has to do work and (presumably) stay sober, while her dude is mindbogglingly high all the time–is one of the most interesting things in the arc. Trondheim and Kris don’t dwell on the space graveyard too much. Patty sees some things, but they don’t figure into the main plot like what Ron comes across and decides to exploit. In multiple ways. With multiple terrible results.

But Patty and her love life? It adds a lot of texture to the character, who’s otherwise basically moving from action beat to action beat.

Great art from Martin Trystram. He concentrates on the psychedelic flashback aspect of the visual narrative, but doesn’t skip on the sci-fi setting. Or the ship. There are cameos from previous Infinity 8 cast members, which makes you wonder how it would all read in a sitting.

Speaking of reading… I was sort of assuming the original French publications were bigger size than the American comic format, but no. The American printings might even be a little bigger. There’s just so much little detail you want to see. Trystram packs each panel. It’s awesome.

Infinity 8 is, I guess, halfway through with Symbolic Guerrilla but thanks to the writers’ ingenuity and the consistently different, consistently fantastic art, it feels like it’s just getting started.

Also because there’s so little emphasis placed on the ship’s crisis. It’s a red herring (almost) so Trondheim and company can explore this future.

Infinity 8 #3 (May 2018)

Infinity 8 #3It’s a fine wrap-up for the first Infinity 8 arc. It’s kind of amazing how well Zep and Trondheim plot it since, once again, it’s all action. They’ve just gotten done with action, then there’s more action, and they don’t change settings. The issue doesn’t introduce anything new, just makes Keren figure out how to save the day with limited resources.

There’s some great character stuff this issue between Keren and her “love interest” Sagoss. It’s the first time Sagoss has been likable as anything other than an annoyance. Great expressions from Bertail on the couple as well.

Lots of humor, lots of lasers, lots of hungry aliens. The hungry aliens have a bit of a twist as far as their motivation goes, which is cool, as is the idea the book gets a soft reset at the end. The next arc will be after time has reset. The ship gets do-overs.

It’s hard to believe this book is only three issues in. Even with two all-action issues, Trondheim, Zep, and Bertail created a substantial story.

Awesome comic.

CREDITS

Love and Mummies, Part Three; writers, Lewis Trondheim and Zep; artist, Dominique Bertail; publisher, Lion Forge Comics.

Infinity 8 #2 (April 2018)

Infinity 8 #2This issue of Infinity 8 is all action. It’s a chase. Yoko is trying to save the ship from the hungry aliens–everyone’s an alien but the hungry aliens are the ones who eat dead bodies and realize if they kill everyone, they have dead bodies to eat. Only she trusts the wrong alien.

He gets her gun and chases after her. It’s terrifying. Not just because the alien–when hungry for dead flesh–has octopus tentacles hanging out of its mouth. He’s a relentless villain, Yoko’s a sympathetic protagonist (even if she’s too mean to the not hungry dead flesh eating alien who has a crush on her–he’s just a softie).

Lots of gorgeous art from Bertail. Terrifying space aliens and relentless chase sequences and gorgeous art aren’t mutually exclusive in Infinity 8.

The whole thing moves so fast, it doesn’t even feel like anything’s missing at the end of the issue, even though there’s just been a chase sequence. And the reader is left at the cliffhanger having no idea what to expect next, which is awesome.

Infinity 8 #2 is how you do an all-action comic. Bertail, Trondheim, and Zep deliver.

CREDITS

Love and Mummies, Part Two; writers, Lewis Trondheim and Zep; artist, Dominique Bertail; publisher, Lion Forge Comics.

Infinity 8 #1 (March 2018)

Infinity 8 #1Infinity 8 is a joyful bit of European sci-fi comics “for beginners.” The pacing is very modern, the way writers Lewis Trondheim and Zep use dialogue, the way Dominique Bertail introduces new characters and does visual reveals–all very accessible. The design is similarly joyful (down to a smiley faced alien; a big one). It’s pleasant and it’s funny.

It’s also sexy and bloody. It’s gory. It’s a dangerous, disturbing gore but Bertail never breaks mood. It’s an uncaring universe, it just happens to be a preciously illustrated one.

The pacing is particularly phenomenal. Trondheim and Zep set up the protagonist–security agent Yoko Keren–in the first few pages; she’s looking for a mate (she wants a baby) and she can kick ass. None of her potential mates–at least to start–are human. Few are even humanoid. They all want to play baby daddy. It creates a very interesting dynamic.

And then the story moves on. Turns out there’s a very definite plot line, not just Keren’s life aboard ship. Trondheim and Zep do a first act, second act, third act, perfectly paced. And they come up with a fantastic cliffhanger–which they’d been gently foreshadowing for over half the issue; Infinity 8 is great.

CREDITS

Love and Mummies, Part One; writers, Lewis Trondheim and Zep; artist Dominique Bertail; publisher, Lion Forge Comics.

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