This is Propaganda, I’m Richard Bruton and this is what I’ve been reading lately:
The Infinite Horizon
by Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto
Any comic that has a back cover blurb with the line: “In this modern re-imagining of Homer’s The Odyssey…” is setting the quality bar pretty high before you even crack open the front cover. In The Infinite Horizon a group of near-future soldiers, abandoned by their government, are led to safety by the mysterious Captain. But to get them back he’ll “have to cross half the globe and endure deadly encounters…” And if that sounds more like a set-up from the A-Team than Homer’s Odyssey, don’t worry, that’s what I thought as well. Lesson for Image in the future – if you’re going to compare your comic to a Greek classic make sure you proof read it first. Two errors in the back cover blurb doesn’t encourage the casual reader to pick up your book.
But thankfully I did open it up. Inside is the start of what looks like a really good series. In the first issue all we get is the set up, which is intriguing and cleverly paced. The US is facing a seemingly co-ordinated attack, Bases in Kuwait and Saudi have been hit, the Saudi Royal family has been assassinated and the oil fields wiped out. On top of that China has invaded Taiwan and destroyed every US satellite over the area. And just to make it all a little more tense and nervy, the US has decided to pull it’s troops out of the Middle East to return home to a US under marshal law.
(enjoying a quiet drive in the country in the first issue of The Infinite Horizon, published Image, story by Gerry Duggan, art by Phil Noto)
But getting out isn’t easy, fuel is running out and the planes are full. One man is tasked with seeing the last planes out and securing the airport before getting himself and his men out. This man is The Captain; he secures the airport but loses his exit in the process which means the only way out for him and his men is to go native and get out the hard way, fighting their way to safety to get back to a home that may be in a worse state than the nightmare they’re escaping from. As the first page and frequent vignettes in the story show us, he’s going home to his wife and the life he wants back. From here on in we’re going to be in Odyssey territory, with promises of Sirens and Cyclops to come.
The set up is nicely done, exposition comes thick and fast through the first half of issue one, but never overwhelming the story. It reads fast, but not too fast to feel like a waste of money, just fast enough to give it the best qualities of a good action story. It’s certainly good enough to make me want to pick up issue two to see where they’re going with the series.
(life on the home front isn’t exactly a bed of roses either in Duggan and Noto’s The Infinite Horizon)
The art is just as nicely done as the writing. Phil Noto tells his story through a detailed art style with a bold colour palette defining the cool tones of the US and the blistering heat of the Middle East. This stylised effect works effortlessly and simply, making the book not only an easy read but a delight on the eyes.
Infinite Horizon proves an old adage; never judge a book by it’s cover, or even it’s back cover and blurb. This is going to be one to watch; you might also want to check out the site Gerry and Phil have set up to accompany the series.