Comic Review

REVIEW: Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1

Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1 is finally here, (well digitally for now at least) and focuses around the concept of time. If only we had more of it, what wonders we could achieve.

This is a concept weighing heavily on the mind of President Calvin Ellis aka Superman of Earth-23. This short tale presented to us by Brandon Thomas, Joshua Williamson and Valentine De Landro examines this thought process by way of a ‘day in the life’ like scenario as Calvin executes his responsibilities as both Superman and President.

The cover for this issue created by Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair sees a myriad of characters, including Calvin Ellis seemingly at the mercy of a vastly omnipotent looking Darkseid. This cover is quintessential DC Comics when it comes to their multiverse scale storytelling. I simply adore how Bryan Hitch has stayed true to Jack Kirby’s art style when drawing Darkseid. The use of ‘Kirby Krackle’ is a wonderful touch when conveying the vast amount of energy being emitted by the Dark Lord of Apokolips. Alex Sinclair’s colours are just so immersive. You truly believe our heroes are out in space wrapped only in the colours produced by these larger than life deities.

Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1 Review | The Aspiring Kryptonian

Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1 opens with Director Bones, Head of The D.E.O investigating a myriad of beings located throughout the multiverse. Beings such as Alan Scott aka Green Lantern of Earth-2 and Calvin Ellis aka Superman of Earth-23 who is highlighted in this very issue.

Due to the length of this tale, we are automatically taken to Earth-23 and to The White House where we find President Ellis and his Cabinet debating strategies regarding an Alien Armada approaching earth. President Ellis definitely comes across as a more enlightened figure then his peers. I love how he affords his cabinet the time to come to a reasonable decision rather than the usual destructive path taken when fear overrides level-headed rationale.

During this time The President takes a back seat as Superman comes to the fore. We witness Superman confront a number of threats as he muses the concept of having more time. We even witness Superman tasking fellow Justice Incarnate member Machinehead with a solution to this age long conundrum. Taking on the responsibility of both President and Superman I can see why gaining more time would be such a priority to a man who wants to accomplish as much good as possible.

Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1 is a quick but thorough foray into the life of President Calvin Ellis. I gained a lot out of this issue as I am somewhat unfamiliar with the character. Writer Brandon Thomas and Joshua Williamson have done a wonderful job of making me care about Calvin’s role as President perhaps even more so than his role as Superman. Calvin’s exploits as President look fascinating and I am eager to learn more.

In this short story Calvin is written more or less like the finished article. He is the man he was always meant to be. If there was a league of Supermen then Calvin Ellis would definitely be the leader. I love how confident and self-assured he comes across. He is a strong steady hand on the wheel with none of the arrogance. Grant Morrison, legendary Superman scribe and creator of Calvin Ellis stated that he was heavily inspired by Barack Obama and Muhammad Ali when creating Superman of Earth-23. I can certainly see the traits of those men reflected in this character and the way he conducts himself.

Artist Valentine De Landro’s artwork is right up my street and a joy to behold. The artist conveys a real hard-boiled, noir sensibility for me that would look typically at home on a series like Gotham Central, however this art style has more than found a home with Superman and the inhabitants of Earth-23. Valentine De Landro can go from serious Oval Office exposition to dynamic Superhero action with the simple turn of a page.

Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1 is a fantastic read and a perfect jumping on point for anyone who would like to learn more about President Ellis and his exploits as Superman. I for one am certainly going to track down his prior appearances and get better acquainted with the character following this issue.

Haven’t read Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1 yet? You can read the issue online at Read DC or here on Comixology here (UK), or here (US). If you’d prefer to wait for the physical release of the issue, it will be available at your local comic store on 30th June 2021.

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