Yesterday afternoon, The Infinite penciller Rob Liefeld posted to Twitter that “creative differences are the doom of every creative endeavor.” While fans may have seen that as a little obtuse, and not particularly specific given the volume of Liefeld’s work at present (he’s working on three titles for DC Comics, as well as drawing The Infinite and acting as the chairman to the relaunched Extreme imprint at Image).
A couple of hours later, though, a fan asked Liefeld about the status of The Infinite #5 and #6, which had been due out soon following the trade paperback release in December of the popular Image title’s first four issues. “Infinite is over,” Liefeld told him bluntly. Within a few minutes, he posted another, somewhat more elaborate message to Twitter that wasn’t tagged to any one person: “Unfortunately creative differences have sunk The Infinite,” he tweeted. “It’s over.”
It appears as though the conflict has arisen from a divide between Liefeld and Skybound’s Robert Kirkman–the creator and writer of the series–over an inker for the series. Liefeld retweeted a comment he’d made earlier in the week: “Infinite fans -Update tried a new inker over 14 pages of issue #5. I loved em- but split decision w/Skybound”. He then reiterated that the book was over, “because of my desire that my work looking the way I intended.”
Tortured Twitter grammar aside, the fans and Bleeding Cool got the message without it ever being directly stated that Kirkman and Liefeld were at odds over how to proceed; asked whether he thought the conflict would cause a rift between the two men beyond just the end of the series, Liefeld said that he doubted it, that it was just two creators sticking to their guns.
As far as the artistic choices being made, and how it might affect his taking over DC’s Grifter soon? “For 10 years all my printed work was printed from my pencils,” Liefeld tweeted. “Now I’m re-discovering the appeal of working with a variety of inkers.”
Apparently, plans are still in place for a hardcover collected edition of The Infinite, which Liefeld had previously tweeted (along with the original “update”) would contain backmatter including the inked pages to #5 that were rejected by Skybound. Whether that will happen in spite of #5 itself never seeing print is difficult to say. So far, Skybound founder Robert Kirkman (whose own Twitter page still has an image from The Infinite set as its wallpaper) hasn’t commented on the situation. Odds seem good that a decision will be made in time for Kirkman to address fan questions at next month’s Image Comics Expo, a convention being organized and run by the publisher.
As for the characters? Well, this time-travel story seems to have been abandoned before any of its major plot threads got any real resolution. If Prophet, which shares a number of those characteristics, is any guide then maybe we’ll see the rest of the story in another decade or two.