Infinity 8: Volume Two: Back to the Führer (2017)

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Back to the Führer is an intense read. It starts genially, introducing this iteration’s agent, Stella Moonkicker, who has just been reprimanded by her partner, robot Bobbie. Bobbie’s a buzzkill, a narc, and committed to preserving all human life, particularly Stella’s.

She doesn’t appreciate it.

Unlike the agent last time, Stella’s got daily assignments while aboard the Infinity 8. The volume starts with her headed to the library to provide security for some kind of convention. It’s going to be a very dull day. But then it turns out the convention is the Future Nazis.

Later in the volume, there’s a throwaway line about robots destroying planet Earth (we have it coming), and presumably, a bunch of history gets lost. Including some specifics of what the Nazis actually did. The Future Nazis think it’s a wellness and interior design movement.

This volume’s got a lot of humor starting it off. The harmless dimwit Future Nazis, Stella wanting to be an Instagram influencer and taking selfies all the time, the robot. It’s disarming.

Intentionally.

Writer Lewis Trondheim is messing with the reader, putting them off-guard, so the second act packs a bigger, more frequent wallop.

In addition to the Future Nazis, there’s a Hasidic Jewish space muppet who knows what the Nazis did and is confronting the conventioneers. The character’s a Jewish caricature, just a space muppet too. He’s a combination punching bag and comic relief. But he’s also not wrong.

If the volume has a moral, it’s don’t bring back Adolf Hitler’s head, fill it full of future knowledge and wisdom, and not expect him to create a mechanical army.

See, even though Stella’s busy with the Future Nazis, it’s still Infinity 8 and the bridge has to call her and send her out to check on the space graveyard. The problem is the Future Nazis also scan the debris for collectibles, and they find the motherlode. A V-2 rocket with Hitler’s frozen head in it.

Some initially comedic plot perturbations later and Hitler’s back and slaughtering the spaceship’s passengers. Thanks to his future knowledge, he’s discovered the alien race who is controlling the media and whatnot. On his way to take them out, other groups try joining up with him because they think it’s a wellness and interior design movement, not genocidal fascism.

And it appears Stella is going along for the ride. For most of the second act, she’s hook-line-and-sinker, even as the Future Nazis start realizing their new leader is shitty. Stella will end up with the volume’s deftest character arc; Trondheim demands a lot of the reader’s attention. It’s worth it, of course. It’s a masterful arc, with Trondheim able to bake the action into it from the start and then get it out of the oven at just the right moment.

Thanks to his robotic upgrades, Robot Hitler also knows about the Infinity 8’s ability to time-shift, and it figures into his plans for conquest.

Trondheim certainly starts the volume suggesting it’s going to be light-hearted, which then makes the Hitler bit increasingly inappropriate, only for Trondheim to almost directly question how and why anyone would think it’d be light-hearted. He can get away with some sarcasm, thanks to Bobbie the robot, who gets a snark upgrade at one point. It’s such good action comics too. There’s no time for Stella or the volume to slow down.

Artist Olivier Vatine designed the overall series look, which means this volume’s Infinity 8 looks “correct.” It’s excellent art, whether the future detail, the aliens, Stella’s very important expressions, and then the action. Vatine’s action pacing is divine.

The volume’s a hell of a ride—I mean, it’s about Hitler coming back and being able to take over the future because no one learned anything from the last time (oh, wait)—and it certainly opens Infinity 8 up. The next six volumes can (and will be) anything and everything.

It’s such a great comic.

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