Keith Giffen And Jeff Lemire Create A Brand-New ‘Inferior Five’, Set In The ’80s

Posted by October 8, 2017 Comment

Announced at New York Comic Con, Keith Giffen is drawing on a new comic book version of The Inferior Five, written by Jeff Lemire. Giffen describes it as “Stranger Things meets Twin Peaks.

It’s about five kids in the ’80s in a new town, who moved in after the Invasion series had taken place, and that the town has sinister things going on. It’s more of a horror, and originally Dan DiDio was going to write it, but apparently Lemire kept coming out with better ideas, and that’s how he got on the book.

And it looks as if Lemire will be writing and drawing back-up strips in each. Add that to The Terrifics and he’ll be a busy boy for DC.

Invasion! was a three-issue comic book limited series and crossover event of an alien coalition invasion of Earth published in late 1988 by DC Comics. It was plotted by Giffen, and tied up a great many plotlines from various Giffen-created DC series, including Omega Men, Justice League International, and Legion of Super-Heroes. The series was scripted by Bill Mantlo; and pencils were by Todd McFarlane, Bart Sears, and Giffen with covers by Sears.

The alien coalition consisted of several disparate races; several had only appeared before with the Legion of Super-Heroes one thousand years in the future. Assembling this alliance was a major diplomatic victory for the Dominators, considering the animosities many of the members shared for one another (particularly the three races of the Vega system). As it worked out, the Dominators provided the overall strategy for the invasion, with input from each member world while the Khunds acted as the shock troops for the first wave of attack that overran Australia. Each member world was then tasked with invading or subverting a particular sphere of influence.

Of course, they failed.

The original Inferior Five (who these are not) are a parody superhero team that premiered in the DC Comics title Showcase #62 in 1966, created by E. Nelson Bridwell and Joe Orlando. The premise was that the characters were sons or daughters of members of a superhero team called the Freedom Brigade, a parody of the Justice League of America.

Most of the Inferior Five were takeoffs of other popular DC characters, though Merryman’s appearance was modeled on Woody Allen. After appearing in Showcase #62, 63, and 65 (1966), they got their own title which lasted 12 issues. The first 10 had new material and were published from 1967–68. Issues #11 and 12 were only published in 1972, and titled Inferior 5 (using the number 5 rather than spelling out the word) and were all reprints, except for the covers. Nothing changed with the alteration of the title.

The team has appeared only sporadically after their series was canceled, with Showcase #100 being their only new appearance during the Bronze Age of Comic Books. Other appearances include one or two panels in Crisis on Infinite Earths, The Oz–Wonderland War #3 (March 1986), and the Grant Morrison-written Animal Man series. They appear in one panel in JLA: Another Nail as Flash and the Atom took a trip through many dimensions.

Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, where the Five were seen in background cameos, the team’s sole “continuity” appearance as a team was in the 1991 Angel and the Ape miniseries, where it was revealed that Angel and Dumb Bunny are half-sisters. Members of the Justice League of America had cameos in the series, indicating that the Inferior Five now existed on the post-Crisis Earth. The Inferior Five did appear in issue 17 of the Batman: The Brave and the Bold comics and teamed up with the Legion of Substitute Heroes in The Brave and The Bold #35 and with Bat-Mite in Bat-Mite #5.

Steve Gerber once proposed a Vertigo version of the Inferior Five as a send-up of the “dark ‘n’ gritty” comics of the period, but this was rejected. Gerber later claimed that DC refused to publish anything with the title on the grounds that it would make them look “inferior” for publishing it.

It looks like things have changed…

(Last Updated October 8, 2017 3:02 pm )