The Infinite Horizon

The Infinite Horizon
The Infinite Horizon graphic novel review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Image Comics - 978-1-58240-972-6
  • Release date: 2012
  • UPC: 9781582409726
  • Contains adult content?: yes
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no

In the near future a never named US army Captain is in Syria as the whole world goes to hell in a handbasket. He wants to head back home, but is responsible for his men, and the airport they’re based at is not far short of being surrounded. Plenty of groups are taking the chances they now have to seize  regional power, and Americans have become the primary enemy.

Gerry Duggan bases The Infinite Horizon on the clever idea of it being a modern day equivalent of The Odyssey, the ten years of dangers faced by Odysseus as he attempts to return home after the Trojan War. As in the original, what the soldier is going through is contrasted by the dangers faced by his wife and son in a remote area of New York state where fighting has broken out due to the lack of fresh water. The contemporary equivalents to the threats Odysseus overcame are imaginatively conceived, the Cyclops, for instance, being a technologically augmented giant Russian warrior with night vision. Like Odysseus, the never named Captain has to make some horrendous decisions to ensure his survival, and they take their toll.

In 2008 Phil Noto’s art veered slightly more toward cartooning than the style he later refined, this particularly seen in the faces. It’s simple art, with a gorgeously thin line, and much depth is filled in by the colouring, also by Noto and also kept pleasingly simple. There are some gruesome scenes, but Noto’s choice is toning things down rather than ramping them up, which gives a greater emphasis to some moments over others.

While The Infinite Horizon’s concept is good, it’s also slightly limiting, although Duggan has the courage to recognise that and make some changes where strict adherence would sink the story. In a far shorter graphic novel, though, the expressions of regret are repetitive. Balancing that is how Duggan transmits the sense of loss and yearning, and the creative choices made in building the near future. Better still, even without realising what Duggan’s creative intention is, The Infinite Horizon can be read as a thrilling war story where training counts.