Spinning out of Convergence comes the character whose existence seems more than a bit odd. How will his epic space-battle with Brainiac and Computo conclude? Your Major Spoilers review of Telos #4 awaits!
Writer: Jeff King
Penciler: Carlos Pagulayan & Igor Vitorino
Inker: Jason Paz, Marc Deering & Jose Marzan Jr.
Colorist: Peter Steigerwald
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Editor: Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Telos: Born out of the Convergence, Telos is the creation of Brainiac, whose role was once to protect the combined world built out of the lost time-streams of the DC Universes past. Now, he’s been thrust into the center of a the post-Flashpoint cosmic DC madness, battling the one-two punch of Brainiac and Computo with the aid of Captain Comet, Captain K’Rot and others, all in the hopes of building himself a new place in the universe…
FEELS VERY ‘GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY’
We open with our protagonist at the mercy of both Brainiac and Computo on planet Colu (which makes me confused again, since it’s crossing the streams of character and story that have traditionally been 1000 years apart, even though I know it’s a new universe), as his ragtag team of partners (including Brainiac’s daughter, named Techne) fight alongside him. There is a LOT of shouty dialogue in this book, as both the villains are very monologuey, and the presence of Captains Comet and K’rot (who is written as almost a stand-in for Rocket Raccoon in these pages) makes for an odd balance. There are crosses and double-crosses, and when one of the villains turns on the other and helps Telos to destroy the other, it feels very much out of left field. As this issue ends, we find that the whereabouts of Telos’ family are still unknown, thanks to a faulty download by Techne, leaving our hero to single-handedly face down a fleet of Dominator and Khund spacecraft in a seemingly suicidal gesture…
SOUND AND FURY
On the one hand, I get what they’re going for here, and the expansion of the cosmic aspects of the galaxy beyond “Darkseid is a bad dude out there somewhere” is a welcome setup, but there’s just SO MUCH in these pages, in terms of dialogue, in terms of characters, and especially in terms of grim and determined teeth-gritting “AAARRGH.” There’s a lot of intrigue and a lot of unexpected reversals, but it’s really hard to invest in the tale being told, and when things suddenly take a different tack, it comes across as inexplicable rather than a storyline-driven moment, and the ending seems particularly incongruous to me. The art is quite good throughout the issue, save for the fact that none of the characters have any particular defining characteristics, and Captain Comet especially suffers from “generic bodysuit” syndrome in these pages. The explosions are good-looking, and the battle sequences are kinetic, but even that positive is somewhat muted by an overzealous, hyper-colors, once again emphasizing the surface over the craft beneath, a recurring theme within the comic.
THE BOTTOM LINE: I STILL DON’T GET THIS BOOK
When Stephen and I reviewed issue #1, I said that I didn’t know who this comic was aimed at or what it’s goals were going to be, and this issue helps to explain at least part of that: Telos is a window into the cosmic side of DC 2016, as Warlock was for Marvel in the 1970s, but Warlock had the advantage of strong characterization underneath the exposition and monologuing, which is part of this issue’s big weakness. Telos #4 is kind of muddled, with some strong art showcased within, leaving me confused by both the story and the cipher of a main character, earning a disappointed 2 out of 5 stars overall.