As Starro, the Star Conqueror has overrun the planet Rann, and the forces of the now Starro controlled Vril Dox are being picked off one by one, the series comes to a close. Does this long strange ride end with a bang? Or a whimper?
Writer: Tony Bedard
Pencils: Claude St. Aubin
Inks: Robert Campanella
Colors: Rich & Tanya Horie
Letters: Travis Lanham
Cover: Aaron Lopresti
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Story Pages: 20
Cover Price: $2.99 USD
Previously, in R.E.B.E.L.S.: Starro has come to Rann, and nearly the whole planet is under his boot heel. With Vril Dox under Starro’s contol, there are only a few heroes left to rebel against this oppressive force of nature. As Starro’s own herald Smite, is rebelling himself, by drinking in a Psion bar with Lobo. The end is here for R.E.B.E.L.S.
WE CAME, WE SAW…
Starro and his starfish minions have conquered the people of Rann, and even with a rebelling force made up of Adam Strange, Starfire, Blackfire, and Captain Comet who are fighting against the entirety of the controlled populace don‘t seem to be enough to turn the tide. The fate of them all resides on the combined shoulders of both Lyrl Dox, aka Brainiac 3, as well as Lobo. God help ‘em all.
Wrapping up a series can sometimes be a very ugly thing. With only 20 pages to tell the tale, the limited page count really is prevalent when it comes to storytelling logistics. The story does get tied up, but it’s not a neat package. But considering Bedard probably had a detailed ending this “Comic Book Triage” does get the job done, but it sure isn’t that pretty.
The issue reads as if it was stopped mid-sentence, and I guess you could say that is appropriate. But nothing about the plot is smooth, it’s as if it was cut and pasted from a deeper piece, using a chainsaw and duct tape. I don’t know the inner workings of Bedard’s mind, if he had something else planned, but that’s the vibe I am getting. This is like a incomplete comic, as if more was supposed to happen, but couldn’t.
Considering that this issue didn’t have to exist at all, since DC cancelled the series for being unable to sell, I can see why the previous issues level of characterization took a back seat to this issues plot. Though Lyrl does really stand out in this issue, as does the Tamaranean sisters of Starfire and Blackfire, it’s just to tie up some plot threads, and not much more than that. Which is sad see because what’s the likelihood that you will see these characters in this context? Not very high.
PLANET OF SOUND…ARTWORK
The issues artwork is, how should I put this, stock. Nothing to write home about. In some places it looks a bit rushed, and maybe it was. It wasn’t up to the previous issues level of detail. Though the characters didn’t stray off model, they just didn’t have no life to them.
There were a few occasions where I wondered whether the artwork was blown up from a smaller illustration size, the linework seemed much fatter, thicker than normal, and the contrast was a little disconcerting. But that complaint is small, and probably due to this being the last one out the door before the lights are shut off.
I will admit there were a few pages that really were a lot of fun, though the book was hindered with only a maximum page count of twenty to get the story out. Some page’s were almost “Uggggh!” inducing, and that’s coming from a fan of the series.
The cover is by Aaron Lopresti, and just like most things about this issue it’s stock. Just a group shot, your standard affair, nothing to write home about, and that’s kind of shame. It could have been something even just a bit special, but there again lies my disappointment in this issue.
FINAL VERDICT: ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS OKAY
I had been told to try this series, and I picked up the first volume, though it was quite confusing due to DC’s lack of a numbering system on their Hard Covers and Trade Paper Back’s, I did manage to find it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact I loved it, and just like things I love I knew it wouldn’t last. RE: Pushing Daisies.
Though the series has had it’s ups and downs, it’s majority has been ups. I have come to regard it as one of the best “space opera” series the big two has ever put out. But this issue is a low point for the series. Everything is sub-par here, and that is very tough to admit. For having such high points, it should have gone out on top, maybe double sized, but it’s cranked out in what feels like a afterthought.
I don’t just blame DC editorial, I blame the comic book fan-base as well, for not giving this series a chance, and or waiting for the trade. For such a fun, and entertaining read this series has been, the final issue just leaves a bitter taste. But cancellation will do that to you. I hope all creators involved are seen on other projects soon, and hopefully they will have a much more supportive fan-base on those projects.
In closing, R.E.B.E.L.S. #28 receives 3 Stars, out of 5.