Fourteen months after they teamed up to wrap up one series in “O.M.A.C.” #8, Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen breathe new life into another Jack Kirby concept in “Infinity Man and the Forever People” #1. In a quick display of reverence, the creative team fills this twenty pages with integral Kirby contributions to the DC Universe: New Genesis and Highfather, Mother Box and boom tubes, the New Gods Himon, Vykin, Serafin, Mark Moonrider, Dreamer Beautiful and Big Bear as well as Mantis. Incredibly, the pair even drops in the following line of dialog, “Without [Kirby], none of this would be possible.” The only thing missing from “Infinity Man and the Forever People” #1 is Infinity Man himself.
Giffen and DiDio don’t overload “Infinity Man and the Forever People” #1, giving readers just enough to get to know characters and setting. While the story is just beginning, the series debut has plenty of substance. The characters themselves run the gamut, from the affable Big Bear to the haughty Vykin. DiDio and Giffen have clearly taken the time to establish relationships and define connections that will reveal themselves to readers as this series progresses. However, the creative team makes it quite clear the characters will be confronted with a serious, deadly threat that will cover a large part of their new home: Earth.
Giffen’s art, with inks from his “O.M.A.C.” collaborator Scott Koblish, is a playful mix of Kirby homage and Giffen’s own work, with a distinctly Kirby aftertaste that is not overpowering, but most definitely not ignorable. The figures all move in wild, exaggerated gestures, pointing with squared-off fingers and absorbing the radiation thrown from Kirby crackle. Hi-Fi’s colors throw the visuals over the top, with a color palette nearly devoid of heroic reds, yellows and blues. Much of the issue is soaking in secondary colors and variations thereof, right back to the trade dress on the cover that is purple, yellow-orange and light blue. If DC is prone to a house style with art in their comics, this is about as far away as possible from that style.
Hopefully DiDio and Giffen have found the right formula to drum up sales to match their creativity inspired from and reverence directed towards the work of Jack Kirby. While even the title of this comic book is a throwback, the treatment of the characters and the world they find is certainly not. There is as much potential here as in any Kirby-inspired story, it’s simply up to the creative team to foster that potential as soon as possible.