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Comic Book / Infinity, Inc.

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Infinity, Inc. is a superhero team developed by American comic book writer Roy Thomas in the early 1980s, consisting of members that are children or proteges of various Justice Society of America members. The team was brought together by the JSA's youngest member, the Star-Spangled Kid, for the purpose of showing the worth of the younger generation of superheroes, who felt put-down by their parents and mentors. They existed on Earth-Two, a Parallel Universe which featured the original, now older, versions of many of The DCU's heroes. The original lineup was:

  • Star-Spangled Kid, time-displaced Golden Age Kid Hero. Originally just a Badass Normal (with a lot of money), later owned a "cosmic converter belt" (a redesigned form of Starman's gravity rod) that gave him Green Lantern-like powers. Later changed his identity to Skyman. Eventually killed in battle; Courtney Whitmore, step-daughter of S.T.R.I.P.E. would later assume the Star-Spangled Kid identity before going on to become Stargirl.
  • Brainwave, Jr., son of JSA supervillain Brainwave. Had Psychic Powers.
  • Fury, daughter of Wonder Woman and her long-time Love Interest, Steve Trevor. Same powers as her mother, but doesn't possess a magic lasso. Costume-wise, an Expy of Scarlet Witch.
  • The Huntress, daughter of Batman and Catwoman. Left after their first adventure.
  • Jade and Obsidian, children of Green Lantern (Alan Scott) and one of his old enemies, The Thorn. Jade had the same powers as her father, while her brother Obsidian could turn into a Living Shadow. Appearance-wise, the Expies of She-Hulk and the Vision, respectively.
  • Northwind, godson of the original Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Son of an African American researcher and a member of a hidden race of Bird People called the Feitherans.
  • Nuklon, godson of the original Atom and grandson of the (reluctant) atomic villain, Cyclotron. Can grow to giant size. Would go on to become Atom Smasher.
  • Power Girl, cousin/adopted daughter of the original Superman. Also left after their first adventure.
  • Silver Scarab, biological son of Hawkman and Hawkgirl; wore a magical armor.

They were later joined by the new Hourman, son of the original; new versions of the Badass Normal heroes Doctor Mid-Nite and Wildcat, who were merely trained by their predecessors; and redeemed villains Solomon Grundy and Mister Bones.

Infinity, Inc. was hit hard by Earth-Two's merging with four other Earths during Crisis on Infinite Earths. With the team rewritten to have originated on the post-Crisis Earth, they were left without much of their backstory, including Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. The book continued for just over two years before cancellation.

As adults, most of the 'Infinitors' have since gone on to join the JSA or the JLA as full members.

A new Infinity, Inc. for the twenty-first century debuted in the miniseries 52. They were entirely new characters with no connection to the originals. Steel's niece Natasha Irons was a member for a short time.

This series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parent: Todd Rice's adoptive father James Rice was this due to being an alcoholic, and eventually had his comeuppance by Todd's hands when he had another Face–Heel Turn some time after the first series ended.
  • Adults Are Useless: In the "Generations" Saga. None of the authorities can handle the Stream-of-Ruthlessness-influenced JSA members. Even fellow teammates like Flash, Starman, and Wildcat fall to them.
  • Affirmative-Action Legacy: The original Dr. Mid-Nite (Charles McNider) was a white man while the new one (Beth Chapel) is a black woman. Similarly, the first Wildcat (Ted Grant) was a white guy and his successor (Yolanda Muntez) is a Latina woman.
  • Avenging the Villain: Hazard became a supervillain to avenge her grandfather, the Gambler, after he was Driven to Suicide when he was broken by a crooked casino.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Zigzagged for Hector Hall. Transformed into the malevolent Silver Scarab, his purity is mandatory to control the Eye of Ra for villainous purposes. This goes wrong and destroys him because it is revealed he is not pure: his girlfriend Lyta is pregnant. Later, reincarnated as the Sandman, it is Lyta's pregnancy that allows him to reunite with her.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: Mr. Bones and his cyanide touch powers. He does become one of the good guys though.
  • The Beastmaster: Northwind can summon hawks. In the "Generations" Saga, he summons a flock to attack the Stream-of-Ruthlessness-influenced Atom, distracting him enough for his real opponent Fury to knock him unconscious.
  • The Big Guy: Nuklon.
  • Bird People: The birdlike Feitherans.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Stream of Ruthlessness does something of this effect to drowned JSA members. Although not hypnotized, their conscience have been suppressed.
  • The Cameo: Jerry Ordway sprinkles his issues with lookalikes:
    • Hector and Lyta's University Professor is Professor Kingsfield.
    • Sheriff Carruthers' Deputy is Barney Fife.
    • Mayor Czarniak is Jonathan Winters.
  • Central Theme: Age vs. Youth.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover of one issue of the first series has Brainwave Jr. gleefully subjecting fellow member Fury to a bit of Mind Rape. The actual issue itself has Brainwave Jr. comforting Fury over the loss of her actual pre-Crisis parents (Wonder Woman and General Steve Trevor) by giving her Laser-Guided Amnesia to remove the painful memories of their existence.
    • Infinity Inc.#10 features a cover of the team manacled, with the Stream-of-Ruthlessness-influenced Superman, Wonder Woman, Atom, Hawkman, and Green Lantern carving up a map of the United States of America, with the Ultra-Humanite in the center, declaring victory. It is a homage to All-Star Comics##37 but the Infinity members are never captured, only Superman and Green Lantern have any designs for ruling the country, and the Ultra-Humanite does not win.
  • Dangerous Deserter: Silver Scarab, when he was possessed by a curse placed upon him at birth by the Golden Age Hawkman's eternal nemesis Hath-Set (probably through his incarnation or Dr. Hastor), turned against his former allies and was killed, although Hector Hall's spirit would end up being reincarnated in the form of Garrett Sanford, the former Earth-1 modern age Sandman.
  • Death by Woman Scorned: In the 1988 annual story linked to The Young All-Stars annual story published that same year, Mekanique destroys herself and takes with her the rejuvenated Per Degaton who traveled through time when she realized that Per Degaton would never return the love she had felt for him.
  • Domed Hometown: The "Generations" Saga. Under the influence of the Stream of Ruthlessness, Superman puts a dome on Metropolis, intending to destroy the city so he can rebuild it as Kryptonopolis, a city worthy of the Last Son of Krypton.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: The "Generations" Saga. Under the Stream of Ruthlessness's influence (amplifying bitterness & resentment over the loss of his Broadcasting Company years before), Green Lantern ruthlessly uses his power ring to take over all the communication satellites in Space, rendering all broadcasts under his control.
  • '80s Hair: Nuklon and his crazy-ass mohawk, which might have looked cool a few decades ago. Northwind had a mohawk, too, but that was natural plumage rather than a fashion statement on his part.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: For all his criminal actions, the Brain Wave did genuinely love his wife Merry and son Henry Jr.
  • Evil Counterpart: Helix and Injustice Unlimited were considered this for this incarnation of the team.
  • Fan of the Past
  • Gender Bender
  • Gender Flip: The new Dr. Midnight and Wildcat are gender-flipped proteges of their Justice Society originals.
  • Going Cold Turkey: The "Generations" Saga. Huntress forces Robin to undergo this. She locks him up in the Batcave until the Stream of Ruthlessness leaves his system. The ordeal is the restoration of his conscience, forcing him to suffer his previous actions (harming Huntress, nearly killing the elderly Boss Zucco for the murder of his parents).
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Some of Wildcat's dialogue has Spanish peppered in.
  • Grimy Water: The Lake Koehaha, known as the Stream of Ruthlessness. Victims who drown in the waters will undergo a temporary death-like state, and then revive with their conscience suppressed, giving them ruthless personalities. Superman, Wonder Woman, Atom, Robin, Green Lantern, and Hawkman become victims of this during the "Generations" storyline.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Northwind, who (alongside the rest of the Feithran race) became more avian in appearance in later years.
  • Happily Adopted:
    • Hippolyta Trevor in her post-Crisis origin, by Admiral Derek Trevor and his wife Joan Dale, who was the member of the Freedom Fighters Miss America during World War II.
    • Also the case with Jennifer-Lynn Hayden, the daughter of Alan Scott.
    • Averted with Todd Rice, the son of Alan Scott, who was adopted by an Abusive Parent.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Mister Bones.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Trevor Island, a South Pacific island owned entirely by Admiral Derek Trevor, who married Joan Dale (Miss America) and adopted and raised Hippolyta Trevor as his daughter, appearing near the end of the first series. This was to be the substitute for Paradise Island from the Wonder Woman franchise in regard to Hippolyta's upbringing, since after the Crisis it was renamed Themyscira and being used exclusively by the post-Crisis version of Wonder Woman as her home.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The "Generations" Saga. Needing to defeat Superman, Power Girl gets Kryptonite and puts it in a Lead canister so she can carry it safely until she can confront him. When that happens, Superman sees the obvious and proceeds to heat-vision the canister open, exposing the Kryptonite effects to the closer Power Girl.
    • However, the Kryptonite is used in Superman's defeat.
  • Hypocrite: When Yolanda Montez (the second Wildcat) refuses to share vital information about a villain until she's made an Infinitor, Jade immediately declares she'd never vote in someone who tries to "muscle her way in" - conveniently forgetting that she herself tried to "muscle" in on the JSA, with nothing but a flimsy assumption that she was Green Lantern's daughter.
  • I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: The "Generations" Saga. While six JSA members go amok under the influence of the Stream of Ruthlessness, Colorado Sheriff A. J. Carruthers joins forces with Doctor Mid-Nite (who has a cure for the JSA). Ready to drive away to resolve the situation, a radio broadcasts a court order to arrest all JSA members. Being a Reasonable Authority Figure, the Sheriff turns off the radio, claiming he didn't get the transmission.
  • Intangibility: Nuklon develops this ability during the "Generations" Saga, using its benefits to trick a Stream-of-Ruthlessness-influenced Wonder Woman into charging through him into a wall, knocking her unconscious.
  • Legacy Character: Some of the heroes like Brainwave, Hourman, Wildcat, and Doctor Midnight take on the name of their predecessor. Some villainous examples include the second Icicle and second Harlequin.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Wonder Woman suffers the eventuality that she will outlive her beloved husband Steve Trevor. Under the influence of the Stream of Ruthlessness, she sets out to ruthlessly find an Immortality solution for Steve. This causes her to rampage through an Egyptian Museum over finding such a source. Unfortunately, this rampage injures Steve.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Obsidian and Jade tell Alan Scott this in the first issue.
    • Harlequin reveals to Jade and Obsidian that Rose/Thorn is their mother.
  • Mistaken for Undead: When Norda Cantrell (Northwind) visits his grandmother on the hospital bed, she mistakes him for her son, whom she assumed was dead and has now come as an angel to take her to heaven.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The Ultra-Humanite hopes for this conclusion for his pawns during the "Generations" Saga: Either the Infinity Inc. team will be forced to kill their Stream-of-Ruthlessness-influenced JSA relatives and suffer this trope. Or the JSA relatives will kill their children and suffer the trope once the water's influence wears off.
  • Parental Neglect: Hawkman was this to his son Hector.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Jade and Obsidian admit that if they had actually told any of the JSA about the relationship between Rose and Thorn, they would have revealed they were one and the same.
  • Power Palms: Jade had a special star-shaped birthmark on one of her hands that let her use her Green Lantern Ring-type power.
  • Radiation-Induced Superpowers: All-Star Squadron Annual 2 portrayed Cyclotron infecting Atom with his radiation. Issue 1 of this series confirms that the radioactive contact gave Atom Super-strength.
  • Redeeming Replacement: Brainwave.
  • Ret-Gone: Fury had all her memories of being the daughter of the Golden Age Wonder Woman erased by Brainwave Jr. after the Crisis. It would take months before she discovered that she was now the daughter of Helena Kosmatos, the Golden Age Fury from The Young All-Stars, and that she was adopted by Joan Dale Trevor, who was the Freedom Fighters character Miss America.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: The "Generations" Saga. After getting beaten by Superman, Power Girl acts like this, leaving Metropolis at the mercy of her deranged cousin. Actually, she goes to find Kryptonite to continue the fight.
  • Secret Project Refugee Family: Helix.
  • Spin-Offspring
  • Start My Own: Infinity Inc came to pass when a number of descendants/protégés of JSA members (Fury, Northwind, Nuklon, and Silver Scarab) impetuously burst into the middle of a serious JSA meeting and all but demanded to join. Several of the members reacted as one might expect to a bunch of costumed (apparent) strangers who'd bypassed their security (especially with a crisis going on), and this bad first impression affected the JSA's vote on letting them in. Refusing to accept this, they picked up some more recruits, including a couple of younger JSA members and started their own group.
  • Step into the Blinding Fight: Dr. Midnight used blackout bombs to get a drop on fighting her foes.
  • Stocking Filler: The villainess Hazard wears fishnets.
  • Super Supremacist: The "Generations" Saga. Drowned in the Stream of Ruthlessness, Superman becomes power-mad over his superiority over mortal men. The Earthlings he once loved, respected, and defended are now Ants to him. Feeling the Earth is not worthy for the Last Son of Krypton, he intends to raze every country- city by city- and make it a replica of his native planet. Fortunately, the Stream's effects wear off.
  • Team Mom: The Harlequin is this to Jade and Obsidian. She wishes them luck when they fight the Stream-of-Ruthlessness-influenced Green Lantern. She warns the Thorn not to harm the kids. And then helps rescue them when Thorn ignores her threat. She ends up becoming their stepmother.
  • Team Spirit: Realizing the Stream-of-Ruthlessness-influenced JSA are fighting individually, Infinity Inc. uses teamwork to defeat them.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Due to his privileged upbringing (and bad attitude in general) Hector Hall/Silver Scarab didn't get on well with Obsidian. Lyta, during a fight, mentions that he's also clearly jealous of Obsidian for having powers.
    • He also deeply resented his god-brother Northwind, due again to his inherent powers and having gained a great deal of Carter Hall's attention.
    • Hector also resented the fact that Skyman ended up being the leader rather than himself.
  • That Man Is Dead: Despite Lyta's pleas, the transformed Silver Scarab denies that any semblance of Hector Hall still exists within him. He forces Lyta to repeat that Hector Hall is dead.
  • This Cannot Be!:
    • The "Generations" Saga. Robin exclaims a similar expression as he loses consciousness after Huntress knocks him out to stop him from murdering Boss Zucco.
    • Ultra-Humanite is of a similar vein, after Infinity Inc. have defeated their more powerful JSA relatives.
  • Twin Telepathy: Jade and Obsidian. Put into play in the final issues of the original series when Skyman is killed and Injustice Unlimited starts attacking them.
  • Written-In Absence: The "Generations" Saga. Starman comments that Dr. Fate is at a different dimension at the moment. This proves to be convenient to the plot, since Fate could have just easily used his magical powers to purge the JSA members of the Stream of Ruthlessness.

The new Infinity, Inc. provides examples of:

  • Central Theme: Former young Jerkasses learning how to be responsible adult heroes.
  • Dirty Coward: They run away from the fight when Black Adam goes berserk.
    • Then again, he was an invincible Hero Killer.
    • However, in the World War III tie-in miniseries, Nicki (the new Jade) is seen fighting with the rest of the heroes after the majority of Infinity Inc. left.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Most of their number have met brutal, pointless deaths. In fact that seems to have been their purpose all along, since they were just a part of Steel's subplot in 52.
  • Hypocrite: When the new team finally met the JSA, the new Nuklon basically told them that these heroes were meant to take over from the old because of all their mistakes and failed attempts at making a better world, and when they time came he'd be leading them into battle. Cue World War III some months later, and when the time came for Nuklon to practice what he preached, he turned tail and ran.
  • I Just Want to Be Special
  • In Name Only: In-universe—the members of the team have no personal connection with the people whose names they have assumed. The copyrights for the original identities were purchased by Lex Luthor and he distributed them to the new team. (This might have been a subtle hint that the team itself was created just so DC would not lose the trademark to its name.)
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Trajectory, with the end result being that Luthor shuts her power off at a critical moment and she gets her head torn off by Blockbuster.
  • Miles Gloriosus
  • Mind Screw: The series starring Infinity, Inc. after 52 was... weird, to say the least.
  • Plot Hole: The Justice Society found out that Lex Luthor bought the name and rights to Infinity Inc. because they belonged to the Pemberton estate. After Sylvester was killed by Solomon Grundy, the rights were apparently transferred to his cousin Jacqueline (a.k.a. Gimmix). However, when she disappeared (actually she was killed by the Sheeda in Seven Soldiers with No Body Left Behind) the estate was put up for sale with no heirs left. At no point is it ever mentioned why Sylvester didn't make Pat Duggan (his former sidekick) or Merry Pemberton (his foster sister) his heirs in the first place, or why Merry at least didn't get the rights after Jacqueline disappeared.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Trajectory, whom Luthor has killed specifically to invoke this trope for publicity and because he's a petty bastard still pissed off at Trajectory mouthing off to him.
  • Token Good Teammate: After Skyman is killed and Natasha Irons leaves the team, the only genuine heroic member left during 52 is Nicki Jones, the second Jade. Despite her rocky start during her debut, later issues depict her as having a conscience. She's genuinely shaken over the debate regarding her using the name "Jade," she's not with the team when they fight Steel and the Teen Titans, and while initially fleeing when the team goes to fight Black Adam, she's later shown as the only member of Infinity Inc. who actually stayed to try and stop Adam.
  • Trans Tribulations: Erik Storn later gains a female alter ego as Erika that physically manifests. Rather than being treated as a transgender or genderqueer individual, Erik/Erika is considered insane by their teammates with the Erika identity being directly linked to Erik's mental trauma.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the follow-up series, Matrix and Jade make no appearances nor are they ever mentioned.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?