There’s a famous play titled “Six Characters in Search of an Author,” and it kept jumping to mind while reading “Infinity Man and the Forever People” #2. In many ways, this comic could be titled, “Six Characters in Search of a Plot” because despite being two issues into the series, there’s no real direction yet to be revealed.
Keith Giffen and Dan DiDio’s comic meanders along, as characters talk amongst themselves, then check out a farm at which point they fight troops from Apokolips. If you’re looking for more story than that, you’ll be sadly disappointed. This is a comic where very little happens, and when it does, it’s with a heavy and slightly overbearing narration. I’m not against narration in general; when used effectively, it can really bring a story to life. Here, though, the book is leaning too heavily on it. Moments that should have worked just fine as the Forever People fight the bad guys are instead over-explained, with narration doing the job that the dialogue and the art should have handled.
The bigger problem, though, is that this is a book that is in its second month and still doesn’t have much of a purpose. The Forever People’s mission on Earth is extremely nebulous, to the point that the characters are commenting on it. With a little more deftness, this could have defused the problem somewhat, but here it seems to overly emphasize that the book hasn’t taken any large strides forward.
Not all is lost, though. There’s a certain amount of charm in “Infinity Man and the Forever People” #2, enough to carry the title. Part of it is admittedly the guest art from Tom Grummett and Scott Hanna; while it’s a little worrisome to need someone to step in this early, I actually found myself hoping that they might stick around. Grummett and Hanna follow the overall visual lead that Giffen and Scott Koblish set for the first issue, but everything is a little cleaner and smoother. Dreamer and Moonrider’s expressions when encountering danger in their home base are great, bringing home the situation that they’re in. Grummett’s pencils are a good match for these characters, which isn’t that surprising; it was the Grummett-drawn “Adventures of Superman” #495 where I’d first encountered the Forever People.
The Forever People’s good nature is the other half of what carries the book for now. Giffen and Didio have reinvented five pleasant characters, and that does make a difference. Don’t get me wrong, we do need a plot, and soon. But I’m willing to wait a little bit longer. For now, the lack of plot makes this a right-down-the-middle average. Here’s to a strong surge forward next month, though.