The White Lantern is dead, and now the entire galaxy hunts for the ones that killed him: The Omega Men! But is there more to the story than meets the eye? Your Major Spoilers review of Omega Men #1 awaits!
OMEGA MEN #1
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Barnaby Bagenda
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Editor: Andy Khouri and Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Previously in Omega Men: “The Omega Men are back in an all-new series! They’ve murdered White Lantern Kyle Rayner and now, the universe wants them to pay! Who are these intergalactic criminals – and is there more to their actions than meets the eye?”
THROWN RIGHT IN
For those of you who aren’t aware, the Omega Men are NOT a new concept in the DCYou, dating back to 1981, but (since we’re in a post-Flashpoint world) I picked up this comic expecting that none of that particularly matters other than identifying names. That prediction is quickly proven true, as we’re thrown into a story that seemingly continues from previous issue of ‘New Guardians’, with the entire galaxy searching for the Omega Men in connection with the death of Kyle Rayner. (Before anyone panics, remember Kyle’s tendency to return from the dead. I don’t expect that he’s permanently out of action.) The bulk of the issue deals with the agents of the Citadel seeking them out, with some really impressive space-scapes and dirty Star Wars-style encampments. When we do find the team, it consists of old-school Omega Men Primus, Tigorr, Broot, Doc and a new (?) character named Scrapps (whom I kind of don’t care for already) rounding out their band. There are a few pages of interaction between the team members, and the issue ends with a sort-of-twist that may indicate the real plot. (An aside: Many pages of this issue feature untranslated alien dialogue balloons, which I found off-putting and detrimental to the story, but I expect that mileage will vary on that point…)
LOVELY NUANCES TO THE ART
First off: This is a good-looking comic book, with art that’s either fully-painted or post-produce to look that way, and the returning Omega Men are recognizable from previous iterations while still looking modern. In this age of goofy and/or ugly covers (I’m looking at you, Secret Wars #3!), special attention must be paid to the impressive front this book puts on: A duo-tone Tigorr face, with a spray-painted logo that evokes a street mural and really helps to sell the underground tone of the story. That art carries the bulk of the heavy lifting this issue, as we’re not really presented with a lot of explanation of setting or characters, save for some inter-character dialogue between Tigorr and Primus. I also appreciate the creators’ decision to leave some of the story’s violence mostly (or entirely) off-panel, leaving us to imagine the most disturbing parts, which works to the book’s advantage. The story is paced okay, but you leave this issue just as much in the dark about the Omega Men and their chunk of the galaxy as you were coming in to it.
THE BOTTOM LINE: LOTS OF SIZZLE, SHORT ON STEAK
Another issue with the book for me came in the coloring, intentionally designed to evoke the “orange and teal” cinematography seen in so many movies lately, which I found a bit distracting, even as I understand why the choice was made. In short, Omega Men #1 is a book with potential, one that draws on cinematic techniques (JJ Abrams especially) but also falls prey to the weaknesses of same, with very strong art, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall. This book occupies the same sort of space that ‘Guardians of The Galaxy’ does at Marvel, and with a little more story delivery, could have the same sort of impact…