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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Infinity, Inc Annual 1 - the mother of Jade and Obsidian

I love Infinity, Inc Annual 1. Not only is it a Crisis crossover, bringing Obsidian back into the fold, but the Thomases do some great continuity play as they reveal the mother of Jade and Obsidian. Lots of artists contribute to this one, as McFarlane and DeZuniga are joined by Ron Harris, Dick Giordano, Alfredo Alcala and Richard Howell.

The story begins at a party hosted by Alan Scott, to announce that he is going back into broadcasting, and in Los Angeles. Molly Mayne, his former assistant, not seen since 1948, is there as well, and clearly still has eyes for him. The Infinity, Inc crew are in attendance, and Alan explains to Jade that part of his reason for moving is to try to get closer to her and Obsidian, and try to determine is he really is their father. Conveniently, that is when Obsidian shows up. Oh, and I ought to mention that Alan reveals that he was once married, but the woman died. Obsidian arrives in shadow form, and needs help to manifest as human. When he does, he has only cloudy recollections of the events from the first four issues of Crisis. That more or less breaks up the party, and the Infinitors head home.

The story then cuts over to Rose, who is battling her other identity, the Thorn, and not doing so well at it.

Thorn takes complete control, and goes on a murderous rampage, starting with Green Lantern. Ok, not exactly murderous. She captures Lantern, but doesn't kill him. On the other hand, she actively does try to kill Obsidian, and at one point believes she has sliced open Jade's throat.

Turns out Harlequin used her illusion casting glasses to make Thorn think Jade was closer than she really was. Harlequin battles the Thorn, giving Green Lantern a chance to get free.

But the real battle proves to be between Rose and Thorn. Both identities manifest in her body, and Rose is able to kill Thorn, and herself. As she does so, Alan recognizes her as the wife he thought was dead already, which is really weird.

Harlequin then gets the big explanation, which is partly theoretical, but which ties together all she has found out. It begins by recapping the origin of Rose and Thorn and her earliest appearances. We find out that the Flash got Green Lantern to bring Thorn to Transformation Island (part of the Paradise Island chain) and she fell in love with him at that point. Harlequin also recaps her past, taking on a criminal identity in order to attract the interest of Green Lantern, not knowing at the time that she and Alan were working together in their normal lives already.

Once Rose had gained control of her split identity she was released, and then promptly created a new identity. So she really wasn't ever all together there, it seems. Disguising herself, she sought out and won the affections of Alan Scott, and they married. On the honeymoon night Rose conceived her twins, but also found Thorn starting to manifest again. A sequence of events lead to the hotel room catching fire, and Rose allowed Alan to believe she had died in the fire.

She gave up her twins, who would grow up to be Jade and Obsidian, for adoption, and then Thorn took complete control of her body, shoving Rose into the background.

Once she has finished her tale, Harlequin removes her mask and reveals to them all that she is really Molly Mayne. Green Lantern is overwhelmed by all of this, but not so much so that he doesn't catch the depth of Molly's love for him for all these years. He proposes, and she accepts.

The Justice Society are quickly rounded up for the wedding, and even Doiby Dickles and his space princess show up. I wasn't really too familiar with Harlequin before this book began, but even I was thrilled by their wedding.

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