When the Inferior 5 was introduced back in the late ’60s, the team was a parody of the Justice League spotlighting goofy characters who failed to match the heroism of their superhero parents. For the team’s revival, Keith Giffen and Jeff Lemire go in a very different direction as they craft a superhero horror story about young people living in a desolate Arizona town full of mysteries. Co-plotted by Giffen and Lemire with a script by Lemire and art by Giffen, Inferior 5 is a very strange comic with roots in a 30-year-old event, Invasion!, following these recent refugees to Dangerfield, Arizona after the alien invasion of Metropolis. Each issue also contains a back-up story written and drawn by Lemire spotlighting the diplomat superhero Peacemaker, who is on his own mission leading him to Dangerfield.
This exclusive preview of this week’s Inferior 5 #2 spotlights the book’s creepy atmosphere, with Giffen drawing the environment in a way that emphasizes the eerie quiet of this desert town. Giffen’s six-panel grid gives him tight control of the pacing, and when he breaks from it—like in this issue’s title splash page—he adds a visual exclamation point to the image. Michelle Delecki’s coarse inks reinforce the roughness of Giffen’s linework while Hi-Fi’s colors add finer textures. Because the plot is so cryptic at this early point, much of the book’s allure comes from the raw energy of the artwork, which channels the spirit of a bygone era to accentuate the past time period.