by Spencer Irwin
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
There’s a mystery surrounding Pierrick Colinet, Elsa Charretier, and Daniele di Nicuolo’s finale to The Infinite Loop: Nothing But The Truth. There’s several mysteries, actually. First of all, is this even the finale at all? Issue 4 brings this story to a close, but the series was solicited as being six issues, and this issue is still referred to as “Part 4 of 6” even on Comixology. More important, though, is the mystery revolving around the issue’s hopeful epilogue. Is this ending truly as happy as it seems? How true is it? What even is the truth anymore, anyway?
That last question is the one that’s echoed the most throughout The Infinite Loop: Nothing But The Truth. The citizens of Prosperity choose to live lies rather than face the harsh realities of the real world, essentially choosing a “truth” that’s not true at all and attempting to kill Teddy when she tries to steal those lies away from them. Teddy’s bureaucratic enemies, meanwhile, come after her with the same threat, with “overwrite guns” that blind the victim, allowing the government to step in and determine what “truth” the victim is allowed to see. It’s a horrific way to silent any dissenters, but it’s not that far off from the kind of mass political gaslighting we see today as the government tries to control what’s true and what’s just “fake news.”
Ultimately both those chasing Teddy and those holding Prosperity under their thumb are vanquished, and the epilogue finds both Prosperity and Ano’s anomaly camps being fixed up, the change slow and not without opposition, but the outlook hopeful nonetheless. Except one choice Teddy makes casts doubt over the entire sequence.
Now this is, at least in part, a meta joke, as Charretier takes over art in this sequence, replicating the look of the original Infinite Loop mini-series; Teddy choosing to view reality in this more heartwarming aesthetic is her almost literally putting on rose-colored glasses, choosing to look at life through the lens of first love that defined her previous adventures. What else does this uplifting lens change, though? It’s notable that we don’t actually see the work Stephen’s putting into Prosperity to help repair the town; this is likely a consequence of this series’ seemingly truncated length, but still makes that aspect of the plot feel incomplete. The finale of The Infinite Loop was a rather detailed mission statement on how to change the world; in comparison, Nothing But The Truth is a bit light on answers to the conflicts it explores, other than “Don’t give up the fight.”
That’s not a bad message, but it doesn’t feel like enough. Don’t get me wrong: Seeing Teddy and Ano determined to keep fighting as long as it takes to make the world a better place is cathartic, and hopeful, and necessary. But when facing such insurmountable obstacles, simply holding on to hope doesn’t feel like enough. I need details on how to help, how to fight, and that’s what this finale is lacking. Is that a result of Teddy choosing to look at life through rose-colored glasses, choosing a reality where her optimism and determination will always be enough, a choice that, for all its hopefulness, might also be a warning to readers and activists to make sure they’re really seeing the world as it is, seeking out the truth? Or is it perhaps a result of this series being cut short, or perhaps the creative team tackling societal problems where the solutions aren’t so clear-cut, or might not even really exist yet?
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?