Review: Rann-Thanagar Holy War #2

by

ranthannagar2picon.jpg

I was actually looking forward to this comic, the second installation in the Rann-Thanagar Holy War series. I’m a science fiction nerd at heart, and whenever you get guys flying around with ray-guns and rocket packs, I’m a happy man.

And this issue was just as good as the last one, with a story that really has me interested by Jim Starlin.

ranthannagar2.jpgRann-Thanagar Holy War #2
Written by Jim Starlin
Art by Ron Lim and Rob Hunter
Cover by Starlin and Hunter

This issue continued on flawlessly from the last issue, where the last scene we saw was Captain Comet exploding. However, this issue starts off on Throneworld, where Bizarro has just devoured food “that was meant to feed two hundred people”. In other words, Starman’s great plan to save his planet involves feeding Bizarro and, later, making him watch cartoons. It’s simplistic, yet entirely genius and befitting for Bizarro’s character.

As I mentioned though, Captain Comet seems to have been blasted in to oblivion, but thanks to some quick reflexes and a more than handy teleportation device, Comet is at home, his suit torn to shreds, but alive.

There are still several storylines at play in this issue, but I want to focus on my favorite one (not that watching Bizarro eat and watch cartoons isn’t fun…).

This storyline is, inevitably, going to focus around Adam Strange and his band of crusaders, including Animal Man and Starfire (fresh from their interstellar voyage with Strange in 52), and Hawkman.

Adam Strange is a family man – a family man with a ray-gun and jet pack, sure – but a family man nonetheless. And the scenes with his family, or those focusing solely on his wife and daughter, Alanna and Aleea.

There are simply beautiful scenes starring the young daughter, probably no more than 6 or 7, where she is sitting on Carter Hall’s, a.k.a. Hawkman, lap. She is tugging at the beak on his mask with an excited grin, while Carter’s smile belies the fearsome getup he is wearing, and shows how much he is enjoying it.

Also of note is Aleea pronouncing to her mother that she has been seeing and talking to a ghost, that sets up for the arrival of a fantastic character.

But before we get to that, I want to comment on Ron Lim’s pencils, in particular his attention to Aleea. She is drawn so well, that you know without a doubt that she is one of those children that always draws attention, and yet doesn’t necessarily let it affect her and make her childishly arrogant. At least this is what I personally get from Lim’s work.

The rest of Lim’s art is just as good, especially his depiction of the trio of males; Adam, Hawkman, and Animal Man. But it’s the guy who decapitated the dinosaur (yeah, there’s a dinosaur in here, and it’s awesome) that you immediately love. He calls himself the Weird, and he has the most fascinating yet alien mannerisms. He’s obviously brave, but excessively polite and curious, explaining that he came to destroy the dinosaur, accidentally noting “the war you have raging has made tourism a tad difficult.”

Overall, this book is brilliant. It is not flashy or mindblowing, but it is similarly perfect science fiction; a touch of the unreal mixed with realistic characters dealing with said unrealism. I give the book a four out of five; make sure you get your hands on this!

4stars_1.jpg