Inferior 5 #1 – Jeff Lemire, Keith Giffen, Writers; Keith Giffen, Penciller; Michelle Delecki, Inker; Jeff Lemire, Backup Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: Jeff Lemire has mostly left work-for-hire comics for the world of indie, where he’s crafting his own shared universes, epic sci-fi adventures, and twisty horror narratives. But it turns out he has one last act for DC monthlies, starting with Inferior Five #1 (and not counting his upcoming Black Label series). This long-brewing collaboration with iconic DC writer-artist Keith Giffen. Make no mistake, though – Giffen is on plot and art, but this is a highly recognizable Lemire project and one that’s far more in the vein of his Vertigo and Image work than he’s been allowed to go on DC properties before.
Inferior 5 #1 is a twisty narrative that takes a little time to figure out, as it darts between several plot streams and often makes you doubt what’s going on. But it seems to take place in the aftermath of a devastating alien invasion – one inspired by the 1980s event “Invasion!”, only in a world where the Dominators succeeded and most major DC heroes were captured or killed. Now the only resistance seems to be clustered in a small Arizona town.
There’s a lot going on in Inferior 5 #1, and it all seems to center around a missing boy who has returned, now with an x-marked bag over his head, mysterious and murderous powers, and a taste for repeating creepy nursery rhymes as he kills people. The few remaining heroes are all kids – the so-called “Inferior 5” trying to figure out the mysteries in their town as their parents try to keep them off the trail. One is new to the town, one is the smallest but most determined, and one seems like she’s trying very hard to reassure her she’s a normal human girl. Sometimes it feels like a coming of age story, sometimes it feels like hard-boiled horror, but it’s never anything less than fascinating.
Equally intriguing is the Jeff Lemire-drawn backup, following the secret agent Peacemaker as the unstable merc is sent by Amanda Waller into the town of Dangerfield to investigate the same mystery as the kids. It’s clear that the two groups are on a collision course. I have no clue where this story is going over its year-long run, but I can’t wait to find out.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.