Infinite Frontier #4 makes such a strong case that nobody is on fire right now quite like Joshua Williamson. The DC Universe he’s both building and rebuilding is the place fans have waited to read about for a long, long time. Taking inspiration from Grant Morrison, George Perez and Mark Waid is just the tip of the respect he pays to the larger DC Universe. The developments here will, with no exaggeration, affect the DC Universe for years, if not decades, to come.
It’s been said in previous reviews for this series, and it’s already been hinted at here, but the main thrust of Williamson’s overwhelming success with this series is the respect he pays to the art, previous creators and especially his readership. There appears to be an understanding given to readers that each one is coming in with at least a passing knowledge of previous events, if not an encyclopedic knowledge of the bowels of continuity, therefore Williamson has chosen to work from that with very little exception.
In this vein, major revelations also act simultaneously as rewards for longtime readers. Often ideas that are introduced such as the heroes of Multiversity, when mingled with prominent modern themes such as cultural anxieties about immigration, compel an ending which plays like the answer to a riddle. The truth, and promise is always there, but Williamson is able to pull a simplicity from it which readers hadn’t considered.
Essentially, this is what’s being done throughout this issue and most excitingly in its conclusion.
Furthermore, Williamson is making the stories engaging because they’re driven by character developments, and the decisions it would make sense of those characters to make in tough decisions. Little, if anything, feels forced. Plus readers might feel good about a character like Alan Scott finally being important enough that he’s driving stories again.
Whether it’s the familial bonds of the Scott family, the team dynamics of Justice Incarnate or the various interactions of clandestine government agents, this script excels at believable personal interactions which inevitably drag the reader further and further into this mystery. Additionally, it is this factor which makes the grand surprises of the issue so exciting because they still feel reasonable and in character, so readers are just as stunned as the characters they are reading about.
Then, of course, Williamson just exhibits all the skills of a tenured competent writer. His pacing in this series, and in this issue, is infallible. The structure of the series plot is consistent and well thought out. And in the end, everything readers experience here just leads to being a more than satisfying experience.
Of course, like last issue, a myriad of artists are working to bring this story to life: Xermanico, Jesus Merino and Paul Pelletier. Each brings the best work they’ve brought to this series yet. With crisper lines, which all seem to fall into a similar style as each other, the art on this issue feels more cohesive than it’s ever been.
Then Pelletier is given the opportunity to close the issue with a grand reveal in the same manner that he did last week, and again, it totally works. He’s the first artist to depict a visual that readers have genuinely never seen before, and it absolutely will knock readers’ socks off. The very concept of the image goes a long way, but the incredible feeling of seeing all these characters together is done a credible justice by Pelletier’s fantastic pencils.
It’s a broken record at this point to say that every DC fan should be reading this book, and that Williamson and everyone else working on this book is absolutely killing it. They’ve proven at this point that no one will be able to predict what is next, but whatever it is will be awesome. Therefore readers should give themselves every opportunity to be a part of the ride.
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