Monday, September 03, 2007

Infinity Inc. -- What's In A Name?

I'll say right off the bat that I enjoy reading the Four Color Media Monitor because it has a very distinct point of view and really rolls with it. Also, I don't think Jean Loring has ever had a more stalwart defender on the blogosphere than Avi.

The FCMM's latest post, "If it's that far removed from the original, what's the use?", regards the new "Infinity Inc." book by DC.

The issue: The new Infinity Inc. doesn't seem to have a lot in common with the old Infinity Inc. With the exception of Nuklon, it's kinda a whole new book. And if anything, with John Henry & Natasha Irons on the team, it's pretty "Steelcentric."

Should a comic book publisher take the names of established characters and teams and give them to completely unrelated new properties?This reminds me of a discussion I had with my SO yesterday. Why call the new Manhunter "Manhunter" if there isn't anything particularly Manhuntery about her?

Also relevant -- I'm pretty sure the New Gods are getting "rebooted" using this method as well.

So. Does this suck or does it not suck?

My opinion: it doesn't necessarily have to suck.

Case in point: Jack Kirby's "Sandman."

My bigger fear with the new "Infinity Inc." is that it will suffer from either "Outsideritis," "Countdowneritis," or some itchy medium of both afflictions.

The preview sketches by Max Fiumara look promising (though the book's interiors are slightly wonky). The book is being written by Peter Milligan, who is no hack (of course, the equally-talented Will Pfeifer brought us "Amazons Attack," so it's no guarantee).

Only time will tell on "Infinity Inc." I loved the original series but I wouldn't let that color my expectations for this title. However, I'd really keep it free from any "Countdown" tie-ins so early into its run. Like, even if Dan insisted, I'd make like I didn't hear him and just keep it clean.


  1. Sandman's a brilliant example. Not only was Kirby's Sandman (which was actually created by Mort Weisinger) a radical departure from the original, but Neil Gaiman's reinterpretation was a radical departure from both previous incarnations.

    Of course, the other side of coin can be seen in the likes of the Thunderbolts, whose "Fightbolts" reimagining was absolutely dreadful by just about everyone's account.

    And somewhere in the middle lies Howard Chaykin's Challengers of the Unknown, which bore no real resemblance to Kirby's version, but didn't really stand out as a particular success or failure AFAIK.

  2. Thanks for the links!

  3. "Of course, the other side of coin can be seen in the likes of the Thunderbolts, whose "Fightbolts" reimagining was absolutely dreadful by just about everyone's account."

    yes, I remember that one. quite the letdown.

  4. Thanks for the links!


  5. DC has had three completely different characters named Johnny (or Jonni) Thunder. And that's OK.

    I don't mind re-using names. I would actually welcome the "Tangent" Green Lantern taking over the trademark, because Green Lantern is silly.

    That said, within the continuity of a given fictional timeline, one has to wonder about what that fictional world's trademark laws say about someone just using another person or group's trademark like that. Can I call my new book Angel & the Ape? DC's not using it, after all!