Samaritan's arch-enemy, a slave who became an immortal mystic and mage during the Middle Ages. Today he is exiled to a floating castle in an alternate dimension.
His birth name was Kiyu. All through his growing years he questioned everything relating to nature and the world around him. Unsatisfied with the answers given, or the complete lack of them, he embarked on a long journey, seeking the answers that his curious mind craved. Tricked into slavery, and continuously called a heretic, he eventually was sold to a scholarly alchemist. "A crazy slave for a crazy man."
In the evening hours, using the resources of his master's laboratory, young Kiyu would tap into the mysteries of the universe, unlocking secrets that far surpassed his master's skill and knowledge. His dark experiments were eventually discovered, his master cursed him and jealously denounced him as a thief. Kiyu used his skills in the dark arts to prevent capture, destroying them all with his newfound abilities to tap into the energy of life, a power which also made him immortal. Time after time he retreated to desolate lands, built remote sanctuaries, all in the interest of continuing his studies, conduct his questionable and unethical experiments unhindered by the prying eyes and concerns of "civilized" communities. But overtime civilization would come crashing in, forcing him to finding yet another playground of privacy for his arcane, mysterious, and extremely wicked practices.
Tired of this pattern repeating itself, Kiyu embraced the name of Infidel, and pushing his skills at alchemy to their furthest limits, he opened a portal to the far future 36th Century where he found the perfect environment for his private enjoyments: an Earth in total ruins with all of humanity dead. "Recruiting" slaves from major disasters in the past (Pompeii, the Black Plague, the Titanic), he built an empire for himself with no one to disturb him.
Enter Samaritan, whose journey back to 1986 changed the timestream, and destroyed Infidel's future-perfect sanctuary. Infidel has since repeatedly used his abilities to go back in time and try to restore the "paradise" he desired, only to have it repeatedly undone by Samaritan. They have jostled reality back and forth many, many times, Samaritan always restoring time's reality to it's "current" and more positive state, while Infidel always found ways to escape and re-imagine the timestream to his preferred realities.
After one struggle that left the Earth totally destroyed, they realized that neither one could defeat the other and settled on a truce. Infidel now lives in a palace outside this timestream. His sanctuary for all time. He and Samaritan meet for an annual dinner. Partly an confirmation that the truce has not been violated, but also, playing out at a level of distrustful analysis, probing for changes in each others attitudes. Looking for weaknesses perhaps, but also an underlying attempt to persuade the other to his point of view.
Will Infidel's passions for intellectual stimulation and his indulgences for pampering his pleasure senses be his undoing? Will he seek out the scientist Gretchen Hastings and break the fragile reality-bending truce that he and Samaritan have struggled to keep in balance?
From Samaritan's perspective, while he is unlikely to ever succumb to Infidel's point of view, will he grow weary with the ongoing mental struggle, allowing his resistance to Infidel and the temptations he flaunts to finally overcome his sense of common decency and respect for all life, the forces that drive it, that give it true meaning and purpose?
Infidel was originally created by series creators Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross during an interview with Wizard Magazine in 1998. They were asked to design a brand new character in the spur of the moment. A handful of back and forth comments later, they delivered.