RECAP/REVIEW: The Infinite Loop #4 – “Strength is [not] Unity”
In the previous issue we saw Teddy standing up and ready to fight back. In this issue of Infinite Loop…well, we see what she meant by that. [Trigger warnings for torture and murder.]
Let’s do it!
Teddy wants to get her bosses to come to her. She plans to do this by destroying space and time until they show up. Suffice to say this is a dangerous plan which has negative consequences for, well, everyone. The other Teddys from alternate timelines try to stop her but present Teddy is just so powerful all they can do is fix the cracks in time. I get that present Teddy wants to help but it seems like she has her own problems to deal with before she can effectively contribute to the team. Maybe she needs to calm down? At least a little bit?
Teddy jumps into a time from when she was a young girl. Young Teddy’s bored and rejects her mum’s suggestion to play with her doll (which looks suspiciously like Ano). Her mother’s exasperated because Teddy would rather have knowledge than play with toys; she then quotes something straight out of 1984, “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.” It’s a bit of a sad memory as Teddy looks back on the days when she curious about the world instead of being willingly ignorant of it. At the phrase ‘ignorance is strength’ Teddy slips into another memory, this time of her an Ano lying under the bed sheets (and the ignorance metaphors continue).
The next scene has us jumping to the future, a future where Teddy continues destroying space and time until all she has left is her space time cubby hole. You can see the scene from The Wizard OF Oz it once was, but the beauty in it has long faded away. This would normally be the part where the person realises they could have a terrible future and stops what they’re doing. But does Teddy stop? Nope, not yet!
Our next time jump takes us to another time in the future when Teddy is torturing her boss, Tina, for information. It’s more than worrying when the first black woman (and only the second woman of colour) we’ve seen in the comic is being tortured by the main character. We get a glimpse of the leader Tina used to be but I would have preferred it if we’d seen her in other places throughout the comic, so she could be more than just the villain who was tortured.
We then coast through some more of Teddy’s memories; Ano tasting wine for the first time and Teddy vomiting after seeing something terrible. Some of the alternate Teddys hang out with future Teddy as present Teddy continues to destroy time. The scene is reminiscent of a grandmother giving her grandchildren some advice. There’s a speech about everyone action together as a mass and having no difference, but it comes off to me as a ‘we are all just people’ speech. Considering how Ulysses reacted to TeddAno, can you really blame some of them about being sceptical that he’ll help them?
With our next time jump we’re taken to Mississippi on 22nd June 1964: the day three Civil Rights workers were murdered by the KKK. Teddy insists on seeing the time herself because she has read about it. Why she would want to see it is anybody’s guess; her attitude resembles that of a tourist going to the London Dungeons. Of course when she actually sees the scene of the murders she immediately regrets her decision. I don’t know how I feel about the writers using black history as a way to facilitate Teddy’s character development. Considering there are barely any people of colour in the comic, seeing the event through the (white) Teddy’s eyes make the historical event seem like a prop to add more depth to her character.
Eventually Teddy does get the attention of her boss and Spender and Prospeckt are sent to pick her up. She swiftly dismisses the other versions of herself after they did everything in their power to keep time and space afloat; so much for unity. How did she get all that power? Asks the duo. Hope, Teddy replies. This would have sounded a lot more convincing if she hadn’t started torturing them afterwards. She finds out there’s a factory containing a copy of every single anomaly that’s ever been erased (seems like a pointless thing to have, but a convenient way of maintaining Ano’s existence.) Ulysses appears and together the head to the factory to find Ano. How Ulysses knew where she was or how he got to her is anybody’s guess.
Well, that issue had more time jumping than the other three put together. Next issue: Teddy and Ulysses mount a rescue operation. Will Teddy save Ano and go back to her cubby hole, or will she finally figure out that strength is unity and work together with the other Teddys? We’ll just have to wait and see!