It’s been a while since I read any Infinity 8, but it’s the perfect series to return to after a break since each arc is a different take on the same thing. Literally.
Each arc has a different (far future) space agent who has a limited time to investigate why an intergalactic graveyard the size of Earth’s solar system is blocking the way of a giant ship.
This arc, Symbolic Guerrilla, introduces agent Patty Stardust, who’s undercover with a cult of performance artists but gets called to check out the graveyard. Meanwhile, the cult–led by sixties hippie in the future, Ron–finds out the ship is stopped and starts planning on how he’s going to exploit the situation for his–ahem, the group’s–benefit.
Patty’s Black, with a big afro–how French guy Lewis Trondheim and probably European guy Kris acknowledge people shouldn’t intrude on her wanting to touch her hair but White Americans can’t figure it out… anyway. Patty’s a fantastic lead. She’s been undercover with Ron and the Symbolic Guerrillas for five years, this mission could jeopardize it–good thing the ship’s captain is going to loop time–and she’s engaged to Ron’s stepson.
That engagement–Patty’s the stage manager, who has to do work and (presumably) stay sober, while her dude is mindbogglingly high all the time–is one of the most interesting things in the arc. Trondheim and Kris don’t dwell on the space graveyard too much. Patty sees some things, but they don’t figure into the main plot like what Ron comes across and decides to exploit. In multiple ways. With multiple terrible results.
But Patty and her love life? It adds a lot of texture to the character, who’s otherwise basically moving from action beat to action beat.
Great art from Martin Trystram. He concentrates on the psychedelic flashback aspect of the visual narrative, but doesn’t skip on the sci-fi setting. Or the ship. There are cameos from previous Infinity 8 cast members, which makes you wonder how it would all read in a sitting.
Speaking of reading… I was sort of assuming the original French publications were bigger size than the American comic format, but no. The American printings might even be a little bigger. There’s just so much little detail you want to see. Trystram packs each panel. It’s awesome.
Infinity 8 is, I guess, halfway through with Symbolic Guerrilla but thanks to the writers’ ingenuity and the consistently different, consistently fantastic art, it feels like it’s just getting started.
Also because there’s so little emphasis placed on the ship’s crisis. It’s a red herring (almost) so Trondheim and company can explore this future.