“Infinity Man and the Forever People” #3 pits the quintet of travelers against the menace of Mantis in this Jim Starlin-drawn issue. Written by Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen with inks from Rob Hunter, colors from Hi-Fi and letters from Travis Lanham, this comic book takes readers inside Beautiful Dreamer’s mind as well as back to New Genesis, this is in addition to across the battlefield to fight Mantis. The creative team is slowly revealing more and more re-imagined Jack Kirby concepts and giving each one sufficient display space, despite the fact that there is a distinct lack of artistic consistency. (Giffen drew the first issue of the series, Tom Grummett stepped in for issue two and now we have Jim Starlin. None of these artists are bad choices, but it seems odd that each issue of a new ongoing has had a different artist so far.)
Starlin’s art is as timeless as Kirby’s concepts. Kirby’s concepts and Starlin’s drawings are not flawless; they’re just timeless and inspirational. Starlin doesn’t succumb to trends or styles, he draws how he draws, just like Kirby always did. Kirby, in turn, may have created the characters being reinterpreted during the 1970s, but the core of these characters, the idea seed of each, is wonderfully open to interpretation and adjustment.
However, I’m surprised and dismayed at the lack of coordination and effort being put into this book. DiDio and Giffen saw “O.M.A.C.” falter and fail over the course of eight issues as it failed to find a toehold with the readership. Now, three issues in, with three different artists and a barely coherent throughline, “Infinity Man and the Forever People” is beginning to wobble a bit. Yes, Tom Grummett and Jim Starlin are serviceable at worst and great at best, but new series need stability and consistency to attract and retain readers.
“Infinity Man and the Forever People” #3 tries to continue the story from the previous issue, but rather than follow the scene blow for blow, this issue skips ahead to when the battle is already done. That doesn’t result in a lack of action, but it does compound the disconnectedness of this series. Giffen and Didio have stated the mission of Dreamer, Big Bear, Moonrider, Vykin and Serafina to be responsible for checking on the progress earlier endeavors to Earth have made in helping mankind to evolve and thrive, but the success of this “Infinity Man and the Forever People” #3 comes during the fight scenes and the mystery building in Dreamer’s mind. Just as events ramp up, the flow of the story seems poised for an interruption as “Futures End” reaches out to cross over, with “Godhead” coming up behind that. Maybe, just maybe, Giffen and DiDio can find a magical spark before and through those stories to electrify this book. Otherwise, “Infinity Man and the Forever People” might just go the way of the “O.M.A.C.,” which would be a damn shame.