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September 5, 2014

Tango Unlimited: The Infinium #5

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Written by: AHudson
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Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 12.13.24 AMThe Infinium #5
Writer: Richard Perez
Artist: Ron ONG
Cover: Ron ONG

[Editor’s note: We also reviewed issues 1-4.]

“Chapter 5: Deception” I was thinking about what made me want to go back to reading The Infinium, beyond simply rooting for the underdog.

It’s true that from a technical standpoint there are countless ranks of comic books that are far superior on every level. But at the same time, I can’t think of any off the top of my head that offer a finely crafted simplicity.

Most comics that attempt to create simplistic charm fail because they mistake child-like for juvenile, attempting to find their inner 13-year-old with gross-out gags and raunchy actions. Those who try to be more mature usually try too hard to be retro, attempting to simply go back to the golden and silver age of comics.

And while The Infinium has the feel of a bronze age comic, at this late point of the series I can concede to the fact that the team is not only comfortable in their own skin, but has matured to the point where they’ve honed their style.

While it still feels like an 80s comic with a very rough indie style, everything has gelled together. The art is a bit smoother, coloring is a bit more dynamic, and the characters feel more rounded.

That’s not to say that it’s perfect. The flashback (or is it?) teenage sequence feels awkwardly shoehorned in. It felt like I’ve seen that sequence of the amoral teenager working for the mob one time too many. And while it could work, I’m not sure how they’ll develop it with so little time left.

Fortunately, much of the story works. It’s still much of the same old scene. Big battle near the beginning, flashbacks, revelations of new powers, small fight outside of the tournament, and new information about The Infinium/tournament.

Nevertheless, something feels improved this time around. Either it’s been a while since I’ve read The Infinium, or Perez has sharpened the dialogue, giving banter subtle humor, and the endless exposition brevity and richer back story.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 12.14.41 AM

As I read it, part of me wished the series was twice as long, as I felt like the story could be mined for a whole lot more. Arnok and the Eteriman are fleshed out more in this story, and as I saw brief glimpses of a motley group of aliens, I couldn’t help but want more combat, more back stories, and more characters.

Inevitably as most issues end at the magic number six, so does The Infinium. Despite the story being as about as simple as you can get, I’m wondering how they’ll tie loose ends, and more importantly, if they’ll be able to develop what they’ve started in issue five. However, the fact that five issues in I’m still wondering how it ends says a lot. And if anything, it will be interesting to see how far they’ve come from the start of it all.

A reviewer’s copy was provided by the publisher.

Andrew Hudson