Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Charter Members of Infinity, Inc. Part 2

Infinity, Inc. was the next generation of super-heroes (at least on Earth-2, a world where folks like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash Jay Garrick, Green Lantern Alan Scott and Hawkman Carter Hall were heroes in the Justice Society for decades....).

It seemed like these new heroes were to replace the JSA...

...but, they were also related to the Justice Society.


Norda Cantrell was the winged godson of the original Hawkman, half-human and half-Feitheran.  Hawkman first encountered the Feitherans in Flash Comics #71 (May, 1946), and in the early issues of Infinity, Inc., it was revealed that Hawkman went back their with Fred Cantrell, who became accepted by the inhabitants of the city.  Fred married Osoro (the daughter of Feithera's leader, Worla), and they produced Norda.  Norda was a favorite of the original Hawkman and Hawkgirl, putting a wedge between the two and their own son, Hector, who couldn't fly.  Norda went to track down Hector around Christmas, bursting in on Hector, Lyta and Al Rothstein as they were making plans to storm the JSA HQ and join the team.  Norda ended up flying along as Northwind, and became a charter member of Infinity, Inc. during the course of the Generations Saga.

Northwind's flight and agility was an asset to Infinity, Inc., as was his Feitheran technology (such as the "Globglass Gun" he had, which disabled opponents by messing with their equilibrium), and he served with the team regularly until soon after the Crisis On Infinite Earths, when he returned home to his people, getting in touch with his mystical and religious side there (and learning of a prophecy about Hector Hall and the Silver Scarab), missing out on the end of Infinity, Inc..  Norda later returned, further mutated into bird form, as a member of Black Adam's Injustice Society of the World (along with former Infinity, Inc. members Atom-Smasher/Al Rothstein and Brainwave Jr/Henry King, Jr., and a new version of Eclipso). 


Jennifer-Lynn Hayden started as a lady of mystery...but her glowing green skin and power pulse that allowed her to manipulate energy marked her as a relative of Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern (though that was in doubt for the earliest issues of Infinity, Inc.).

Jennie-Lynn Hayden had found her brother, as both she and Todd had been adopted, ending up with Julian and Myrna Hayden, with a quite suburban life...until she started turning green here and there, which can be a problem!  Jennie-Lynn used this ability to find her brother, and the two showed up at JSA HQ when the other four future Infinity, Inc. members did.

Jade remained a member of Infinity, Inc. for its entire run, even befriending Solomon Grundy (a foe of the Golden Age Green Lantern), then moved away from her brother, working with the Blood Pack (a group of heroes who got their powers from their bloodlines being mixed with alien DNA), losing her powers for a time and becoming the girlfriend of Green Lantern Kyle Rayner (and becoming a Green Lantern herself), then getting the powers back, joining the Outsiders, dying during Infinite Crisis, but coming back during the Blackest Night to join the Justice League of America along with Jesse Quick (being sort of a female Flash/Green Lantern team). 


Todd Rice was Jennie-Lynn's brother, and his ability to become a shadow didn't particularly tie him to any JSAer, but he was also the son of the original Green Lantern.  Todd didn't live the good life of his sister, being adopted by James Rice, who abused the boy, and Todd developed mental problems because of the abuse, suffering a deep depression (not helped by his powers of darkness, to turn into a shadow and bring out people's darkest fears).  Still, he found his sister and the two were there for the beginning of Infinity, Inc.  (though it took a while for the siblings to find out who their mother was....hint, it was one of the Golden Age ladies here!).

Todd hung in to the end of Infinity, Inc. as well, and continued on with his sister, until she left him too....and Obsidian joined the Justice League America with Nuklon (and Fire, Ice Maiden, Blue Devil, Flash Wally West, a merged Hawkman and more, and among others, fought with the Killer Elite, which included Deadshot and Merlyn as members), then worked with Manhunter Kate Spencer for a bit, as well as fighting his darker nature (which at times made Todd a villain, usually due to the influence of Eclipso).

Brainwave, Jr.

Henry King, Jr. is a bit of an odd case in more ways than one.  He premiered one issue before the other members of Infinity, Inc. (in All-Star Squadron #24 of August, 1983, by Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway) and set the stage for the other members to appear.  Henry is also the member that didn't have a relation to a JSAer, but instead was the son of one of their most persistent villains, the Brain Wave.  Odder still, his mother was revealed to be Merry, the Girl of 1000 Gimmicks (Merry Pemberton, the cousin of the Star-Spangled Kid), but the details of this union were never revealed.

Brainwave, Jr. crashed the party when the other future Infinitors crashed JSA HQ, and he ended up tagging along when Ultra-Humanite sent the other six back to the 1940s (to fight the All-Star Squadron), and it was Brain Wave, Jr., who, along with Tarantula who helped save the day (and more importantly, saving Albert Rothstein's Nuklon could eventually be born!).

Henry was attracted to Jennie-Lynn, which upset Todd to no end, especially with Henry's mind powers (which expanded after he absorbed his father at the end of the Generations Saga).  Sticking with Infinity, Inc. to the end, Henry later went over to the dark side, forming the Legion of Doom out of JLA foes like the second Killer Frost, Major Force, the Madmen and other foes of the members of Extreme Justice, and being part of Black Adam's Injustice Society.

Star-Spangled Kid

Sylvester Pemberton started out all the way back in Star-Spangled Comics #1 (October, 1941) by Jerry Siegel and Howard Sherman.  The kid was a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, the All-Star Squadron, and after some time-hopping of his own, even joined the Justice Society of America.  But Sylvester wasn't happy as a JSAer, feeling the need to leave the team and wanting to establish a name and direction for himself.

That he felt that much more after the death of the Crimson Avenger, and Sylvester was planning on telling the JSA he was going to leave the team, until these kids all bust in JSA HQ.  The Star-Spangled Kid had the Pemberton fortune, including owning an old movie studio in California, which Syl then turned into the base for Infinity, Inc., helping against new foes, like the team Helix, and even became friends with the female detective, Jonni Thunder.  The Star-Spangled Kid was one of the few JSAers not to be stuck in limbo after the Crisis On Infinite Earths, but he decided to adopt a new identity at that time, becoming Skyman.  Skyman only had the powers of flight thanks to his suit, which used what survived of his Cosmic Converter Belt, and faced off against Injustice, Unlimited (the inheritors of the mantle of the Injustice Society of the World).  Sadly, Skyman didn't survive to the end of Infinity, Inc. with his death being a major part of the end of the team.

Power Girl and Huntress

Karen Starr (aka Kara Zor-L) and Helena Wayne were both characters that came from the run of All-Star Comics in the 1970s.  They both briefly worked with the Infinitors, but neither stuck around for long.  Power Girl survived the Crisis On Infinite Earths, and Huntress....well, not so much.

Still, they were Earth-2's next generation of Superman and Batman, and though they weren't in Infinity, Inc. much, they were still charter members.

Infinity, Inc. began with the Generations Saga, and left quite a legacy, adding more members as well (female versions of Wildcat and a correctly spelled Dr. Midnight, as well as the son of Hourman, and even worked with Mr. Bones of Helix), all before the series ended after 53 issues and two Annuals (as well as team-ups with the Justice League of America, New Teen Titans and Outsiders).

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