Infinity Inc. #19 (1985)

Twenty years ago, things were a little different. Todd McFarlane was illustrating this mediocre super-hero comic, The Justice League Detroit was active, and the final JLA/JSA team-up was afoot. Yeah, the ’80s were pretty bad for comics, too… this resolutely mediocre comic was actually pretty decent for its time.
 
Actually, ‘mediocre’ might be too nice of a word. Muddled is better. Cliched. Plain bad. I think it’s pretty much a given that most every comic with the Justice League Detroit was pretty bad. Funnier people than me have described this team, which contained Zatanna, Elongated Man and the Martian Manhunter, second-rate heroes but at least legit Justice League members, alongside fifth raters like Steel, a stars-and-stripes dunderheaded idiot, Gypsy, a gypsy dunderheaded idiot, and Vibe, a breakdancing dunderheaded idiot. In this comic, Steel’s grandfather, an older stars-and-stripes dunderheaded idiot, travels from Earth-1 to Earth-2 (don’t ask) in order to get a group of fifth-rate hotheaded heroes named Infinity Inc to fulfill the longstanding super-villain plot of getting heroes to fight heroes.
 
You’d think something headlined as the final example of a twenty-year tradition might be of better quality, but nope, this comic was of its time, for all the good and bad that that implies.
 
The more I read of it, the more I ended up being amazed by the tremendous mediocrity of this comic. Maybe it was hip at the time – Roy Thomas was once a hot writer, and Todd McFarlane would go on to be, you know, Todd McFarlane. But really, in every possible way, this is an astonishingly mediocre comic book at best.
 
I wish I knew what motivated me to wander out to the garage and unearth this "treasure", but maybe that’s what makes me obsessed about comics and not just highly motivated about comics.
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