Infinity, Inc.

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Infinity Inc.
Cover of Infinity Inc. #1, depicting the original Infinitors. Art by Mike Machlan.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre
Publication date March 1984 – June 1988
Number of issues 53
Main character(s) Silver Scarab
Fury
Northwind
Nuklon
Jade
Obsidian
Power Girl
Huntress
Brainwave, Jr.
Creative team
Writer(s) Roy Thomas
Dann Thomas
Creator(s) Roy Thomas
Jerry Ordway
Mike Machlan

Infinity, Inc. is a team of superheroes appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The team is mostly composed of the children and heirs of the Justice Society of America, making them the Society's analogue to the Teen Titans, which is composed of sidekicks of Justice League members. Created by Roy Thomas, Jerry Ordway, and Mike Machlan, they first appeared in All-Star Squadron #25 (September 1983).[1] There was also an eponymous comics series starring the group,[2] which ran from March 1984 through June 1988.

Publication history[edit]

Roy Thomas and his wife, Dann Thomas, wrote the series throughout its run. Artists on the series included Jerry Ordway, Don Newton, Todd McFarlane, Vince Argondezzi, and Michael Bair.

The group was organized by Sylvester Pemberton, the original Star-Spangled Kid, in Infinity Inc. #1, when a number of JSA protégés were denied admission to the JSA. They instead formed their own group. Members of Infinity, Inc. were known as Infinitors.

The series ended in 1988 with the death of the Star-Spangled Kid (by then known as Skyman), and presumably the group disbanded shortly thereafter. Several members have gone on to supporting roles in other comics series. Fury filled a pivotal role in The Sandman and is the mother of Daniel Hall. Hourman, Obsidian, Nuklon (as Atom Smasher), Silver Scarab (as Doctor Fate), and Power Girl eventually joined the 21st century incarnation of the JSA.

Originally, the series took place on the parallel world of Earth-Two, but in 1986 it was merged with the rest of DC continuity following Crisis on Infinite Earths. From then on, they shared their spot as Los Angeles' superteam with the Outsiders, and were involved in a crossover with the New Teen Titans.

Fictional team biography[edit]

Infinity, Inc. (vol. 1, 1984–1988)[edit]

Formation[edit]

Hector Hall, Lyta Trevor, Norda Cantrell, and Albert Rothstein decide to adopt identities of their own and apply for membership in the Justice Society of America. The four of them adopt the codenames of Silver Scarab, Fury, Northwind, and Nuklon respectively. They are turned down, but not willing to give up. The four apply again with Jennie-Lynn Hayden and Todd Rice, who both suspect they are Alan Scott's children (which will prove true in Infinity Inc. Annual #1). Feeling pity on the youngsters, Star-Spangled Kid decides to leave the JSA in order to create a new group, in which they were also joined by Power Girl, the Huntress, and Brainwave, Jr., calling themselves Infinity, Inc.[3]

The team first faces the Justice Society of America, turned evil by the Stream of Ruthlessness, thanks to the Ultra-Humanite. They are able to defeat the JSA and the Ultra-Humanite and the team saves the world.[4] In a press conference (to garner media attention for the new team), the team publicly divulge their secret identities, revealing those of their parents in the process, and Hector also announces his engagement to Lyta. The Star-Spangled Kid is able to form a partnership with the city of Los Angeles to commission his team as for-hire protectors and uses his purchased studio property, Stellar Studios, to revitalize its movie productions.[5]

Helix[edit]

Fury is kidnapped in an extortion attempt by the villains known as Helix, all products of invitro genetic manipulation by the mad scientist Doctor Love. The original members are Arak the Wind-walker, Baby Boom, Kritter, Mister Bones, Penny Dreadful, and Tao Jones. They are defeated by the Infinitors, but manage to escape.[6]

Later, the second Wildcat, Yolanda Montez, learns that she is a cousin of new Helix member Carcharo and that they are products of the same genetic experiments as Helix. The two teams battle to a stalemate; Mister Bones is arrested, but the others escape.[7]

Crisis on Infinite Earths[edit]

The team are involved within the Crisis on Infinite Earths event, which ultimately results in three new superheroes — Yolanda Montez as Wildcat, Rick Tyler as Hourman, and Beth Chapel as Dr. Midnight — who all join Infinity, Inc.[8] The Crisis had severe changes for three members of the team. The Justice Society, who are written out of the DC universe proper by editorial decision and are exiled into a dimension where they constantly fight against the tide of Ragnarok.[9]

The Silver Scarab saga[edit]

Even with all of his friends at Infinity, Inc., Hector Hall leaves the group after a fall-out with Lyta, following shortly after the team learns that the Justice Society is seemingly gone. The other members go around notifying the wives and other related characters of the Society of the JSA's disappearance.[10] A certain Professor James Rock has also contacted Hector, but the real James Rock is supposed to be long dead. Travelling to Hall Mansion, Northwind means to confront Hector, only to find him already under Hath-Set's manipulations (Hath-Set has been reincarnated as a female Dr. Hastor and used the alias of Professor James Rock).[11]

Hector goes on to kidnap Fury, and he and Hath-Set uncover the Eye of Ra, a powerful and ancient weapon. Northwind returns and leads Infinity, Inc. into a final confrontation with the Silver Scarab at Hall Mansion, which, when burned down, reveals a topless pyramid inside. While Northwind confronts the Silver Scarab in a duel, Nuklon saves Fury.

The Eye of Ra denies the Silver Scarab control and flies away. The Silver Scarab is not pure enough in the eyes of Seketh the Egyptian god of Death, for the pureness of Hector's heart still lives on in his unborn child with Lyta. Therefore he is not fully cleansed of his goodness and the Silver Scarab is thrown away by the Eye's power, the armor of Nth Metal an empty shell. Northwind is able to close the Eye of Ra, while Hath-Set escapes. Infinity, Inc. mourn the loss of Hector, and Northwind and Fury leave the team after his funeral.[12]

Death in the Family[edit]

During the wedding of Hector and Lyta Trevor-Hall, Harlequin (Marcie Cooper) uses deception to have Bones and Skyman meet at Solomon Grundy's room.

She then deceives Solomon Grundy into grabbing Bones' arm and using him to kill Skyman with his cyanide touch. Upset, Bones leaves and Infinity, Inc. finds him with Helix. Dr. Love had gained control of Helix and orders them to kill Bones. Helix turns on Love, killing him instead. Helix then leaves in disgust, telling Bones he is no longer one of them. The Infinitors, though, granted Bones full membership in the team. Afterwards, the Infinitors decide to continue on in Skyman's memory, but apparently decided to disband some time after anyway.[13]

Infinite Crisis[edit]

A post-Infinite Crisis version of the original Infinity, Inc. appear in Justice Society of America Annual #1 in 2008, and is known as the Justice Society Infinity after it merged with its world's Justice Society of America. The Earth-2 versions of Silver Scarab, Fury, Jade, and Northwind are members, but their Green Lantern (Alan Scott) is dead.[14]

JSA: Black Reign[edit]

The closest that Infinity, Inc. has come to reforming is when Brainwave (under Mr. Mind's thrall), Atom Smasher, and Northwind, along with Nemesis and Eclipso (who at the time was being controlled by the cousin of the second Wildcat), were Black Adam's army in Khandaq. Black Adam mentions in an internal monologue that he had also thought of recruiting Power Girl for the group, further strengthening the Infinity, Inc. ties.[15][16]

52[edit]

See also: 52 (comics)
Cover art for 52 #21, featuring Luthor's Infinity, Inc. Art by J.G. Jones.

In the aftermath of Infinite Crisis, Lex Luthor, clearing his name, resurfaced as a legitimate businessman offering a metagene-based therapy, called the "Everyman Project" to regular people which enabled them to develop superpowers. The therapy spawned six perfect specimens, to whom Luthor gave the identities purchased from the Pemberton Estate. Calling his new dream-team "Infinity Inc.", he created Starlight (Natasha Irons, the team's leader), a new Nuklon, a male Fury, a new Skyman, the shapeshifting Everyman, and the rebellious speedster Trajectory.[17]

Unbeknownst to the team, Luthor is able to "shut off" any of the team's powers at any time as he does to Trajectory during a battle, causing her death. Trajectory has since been replaced by Matrix, a pin-up model who has displayed superhuman strength and invisibility, similar to the original Matrix.[18]

A new member, a new version of Jade with plant-based powers, debuted with the team on Thanksgiving Day. This led to the team being attacked by an angry Obsidian, the brother of the original Jade, who had recently died. Alan Scott intervenes and breaks up the fight. Infinity, Inc. then claims that the older heroes will soon be replaced.[19]

This version of Infinity, Inc. makes frequent appearances in the local media, acting both as a commercial stunt for the "Everyman Project",[20] and as a control system against rogue metahumans spawned from the Project itself.[21]

Natasha begins to collect evidence against Luthor and the Everyman Project for Steel (John Henry Irons) and enlists Skyman to help her. Skyman is later killed by Everyman, who then assumes his identity, and reveals Natasha's duplicity to Luthor.[22] Luthor captures Natasha as bait to lure out Steel and reveals that he has used the exo-gene therapy on himself and now possesses the same powers as Superman. Recruiting the Teen Titans, John Henry storms LexCorp to rescue Natasha.

The Titans take on Nuklon and others while Irons faces Everyman and Luthor. Luthor severely injures Irons and impales him with his own hammer before Natasha is able to destroy Lex's exo-gene with an electromagnetic pulse from Steel's hammer, allowing him to be easily knocked out. Afterwards, the remaining members of Infinity, Inc., along with Luthor's bodyguard Mercy, are taken into custody while Natasha and John Henry reunite.[23]

In 52 Week 50, day six, Nuklon, Jade, Matrix, and Fury are seen among the heroes during World War III. Alan Scott asks them to help in the final push against Black Adam, only for them to refuse and flee the battlefield.

Infinity Inc. (vol. 2, 2007 - 2008)[edit]

Infinity Inc. (vol. 2)
Cover of Infinity Inc. (vol. 2) #1 (Nov, 2007). Art by Max Fiumara.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre
Publication date November 2007 - October 2008
Number of issues 12
Main character(s) Steel
Vaporlock
Double Trouble
Amazing Woman
Vanilla
Empathy
Creative team
Writer(s) Peter Milligan
Artist(s) Max Fiumara (#1-2)
Matt Camp (#6-7)
Pete Woods (#8-10)
Penciller(s) Max Fiumara (#3-5)
Travel Foreman (#3)
Javier Aranda (#11-12)
Inker(s) Matthew Southworth (#3-5)
Dom Regan (#6-7)
Javier Enebral (#11-12)
The new Infinity Inc. team, from the promotional cover art for Infinity Inc. (vol. 2) #5. Art by Max Fiumara.

Dan DiDio revealed at a DC Nation panel in Los Angeles that a new Infinity, Inc. ongoing series would debut in September 2007 with John Henry Irons as the main character. The book was written by Peter Milligan with art by Max Fiumara.[24]

The first issues focuses on Natasha Irons (formerly Starlight), Erik Strom (formerly Fury), and Gerome McKenna (formerly Nuklon), a year after the end of the Everyman Project. Natasha is living with her uncle John Henry Irons and is in psychotherapy along with Erik, who refers to it as "our national religion" and Gerome. Another longtime patient, teenager Dale Smith, attacks his therapist and realizes his powers as a psychic vampire. Smith takes the name "Kid Empty". Apparently, a side effect of the exogene therapy is that once the exogene itself is suppressed, the energies unleashed by the therapy remains, re-enabling the metagene in a different fashion. As a result, Natasha finds herself turning to a mist-like substance, McKenna gains the ability to duplicate himself, and Strom gains a powerhouse, overconfident, female alter-ego. The group gain new members in Mercy Graves and Lucia, an Everyman subject who can psychically inflict pain on others. In #8, the team gains official costumes and codenames, and go on their first mission.

In issue #10, Mercy admits she is not ready to be on a team, and leaves. Issue #11 begins a two issue arc that ties into the Dark Side Club.

Desaad, under the false identity of "Doctor Bud Fogel", secretly manipulates McKenna (now using the codename of "Double Trouble") by nurturing a third personality created from McKenna's base and repressed instincts, and promising it the opportunity to take full control.

When the splintered McKenna personality is able to wrest control over the main body (as shown when McKenna's main personality is transported in Desaad's labs, while his duplicate attempts to force himself on Lucia), the Infinitors try to stop him.

However, the plan is revealed to be a trap. The duplicate fatally wounds McKenna in the hopes of possessing his body, but disappears with McKenna's weakening. The other subjects are trapped in a machine designed to take away the powers of the remaining Everymen without activating their metagene. Desaad admits he was forced to this course of action because the Everymen, even after turning into metahumans, are undetectable from Darkseid's minions, and they could be a wild card during the planned Final Crisis.

As a side effect of the machine, the Infinitors vanish. Steel, who arrives too late, swears he will resume his search for Natasha.

They have recently reappeared briefly in the third issue of the Terror Titans mini-series imprisoned by Desaad. Towards the end of the miniseries, an undercover Miss Martian tips Irons off about their imprisonment in the Terror Titans' headquarters, leading to their release.

Membership[edit]

Infinity Inc.[edit]

Founding members[edit]

Proposed members[edit]

Gay male Harlequin from the original Infinity, Inc. pitch.

In the original pitch for the Infinity, Inc. series, creators Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway had planned on using a young gay male as a new Harlequin.

In an interview with Alter Ego, Ordway explains: "Northwind is shown--but at his side (see P. 33) is a new, young, male Harlequin, who Jerry's notes suggest might become "comics' first gay character. Or we could just assume it." Not a bad idea, and maybe we should have played it that way; but we were already going to have two Green Lantern-derived heroes in Infinity, Inc."

La Garro appearing alongside the founding Infinitors in a promotion for Infinity, Inc. from All-Star Squadron #28.

In promotional material appearing in All-Star Squadron #28, a Catwoman-like figure, riding what is referred to as a cat-cycle, appears alongside the Infinity, Inc. group. A caption refers to her as "La Garro" She, however, never appears in any of the team's adventures, or its comics under this name. She was later developed into the future Infinitor, the second Wildcat (Yolanda Montez).

Sandy Hawkins aka Sandy the Golden Boy, sidekick to the Sandman (Wesley Dodds), is also referred to as a member, but does not end up being a member of the team. Roy Thomas briefly toyed with the idea of giving the character super-powers based on Sandy's time as a sand-monster but this was dropped because Thomas and others felt he could have ended up as the DC equivalent to Marvel's Sandman. This had the potential to further confuse a situation that had been a minor irritant between DC and Marvel from time to time. It was ultimately decided that with the cast as large as it had become Sandy was one of the characters that could be dropped.

Crisis on Infinite Earths[edit]

After the events of the Crisis, the Golden Age Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman no longer existed. This affected three Infinitors directly:

  • Fury remained in Infinity Inc., but was retconned into being the birth daughter of 'the Golden Age Fury' (a character created for the purpose of the retcon) and being raised by the 1940s heroine Miss America.
  • The Huntress was killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 and was retconned out of existence. Post-Crisis, a new Huntress appeared with no direct connection to the Batman. Her new origin was considered too different for her to have been an Infinitor, and she is no longer considered to have been a member.
  • Power Girl's origin was retconned so that she was now the granddaughter of the Atlantean mage Arion and was sent into the future. She is still considered to have been an Infinitor, and her initial origin as a Kryptonian from the alternate reality of Earth-Two and the cousin of the Earth-Two Superman has been restored.[25]

Later members[edit]

Allies[edit]

52[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "The children of the original Justice Society of America made their smash debut in this issue by writer Roy Thomas and penciler Jerry Ordway...All-Star Squadron #25 marked the first appearances of future cult-favorite heroes Jade, Obsidian, Fury, Brainwave Jr., the Silver Scarab, Northwind, and Nuklon." 
  2. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 207: "Written by DC's Golden Age guru Roy Thomas and drawn by Jerry Ordway, Infinity, Inc. was released in DC's new deluxe format on bright Baxter paper."
  3. ^ Infinity Inc. #1 (March 1984)
  4. ^ Infinity Inc. #2-11 (May 1984 – February 1985)
  5. ^ Infinity Inc. #12 (March 1985)
  6. ^ Infinity Inc. #16-18 (July – September 1985)
  7. ^ Infinity Inc. #25-29 (April – August 1986)
  8. ^ Infinity Inc. #31 (October 1986)
  9. ^ The Last Days of the Justice Society (1986)
  10. ^ Infinity Inc. #30 (September 1986)
  11. ^ Infinity Inc. #37 (April 1987)
  12. ^ Infinity Inc. #42-44 (September – November 1987)
  13. ^ Infinity Inc. #51-53 (June – August 1988)
  14. ^ Justice Society of America Annual #1 at the Comic Book DB
  15. ^ JSA #56-58 (March – April 2004)
  16. ^ Hawkman vol. 4, #23-25 (March – April 2004)
  17. ^ 52 Week 21 (September 27, 2006)
  18. ^ 52 Week 25 (October 25, 2006)
  19. ^ 52 Week 29 (November 22, 2006)
  20. ^ Barnett, Lola (November 2, 2006). "Lola's Lair: Starlight has 'Star Quality'". Daily Planet 52 Week Special. DC Comics.com. 
  21. ^ Schuman, Josef (November 9, 2006). "'Everyman' Subject Turns to Crime". Daily Planet 52 Week Special. DC Comics.com. 
  22. ^ 52 Week 39 (January 31, 2007)
  23. ^ 52 Week 40 (February 7, 2007)
  24. ^ "DC NATION PANEL FROM WW:LA". Newsarama. 2007-03-16. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  25. ^ JSA: Classified #1-4
  26. ^ Infinity Inc (vol. 1) #28
  27. ^ Infinity Inc (vol. 1) #36

References[edit]

External links[edit]