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Written By: Jeff King Art By: Carlo Pagulayan, Igor Vitorino, Jason Paz, Marc Deering, Sean Parsons, Peter Steigerwald, Travis Lanham Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: November 18, 2015
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
I gotta tell you, after everything that we saw from Convergence, I can't say that a Telos book is something that I'll ever be able to get into and I don't want to speak for anyone else...... but I will, I don't think that anyone is begging for a Telos book and running to the comic shops to get their hands on the latest issue. Maybe I'm wrong........ It's happened before, but I seriously doubt it. In the previous issue we saw Telos take on Brainiac because apparently Telos' family wasn't where the former mad god told him they would be and now Telos is out for blood. After a lengthy battle, Brainiac tells Telos that his memory was corrupted when he gave up his godhood, but there's a backup on his home planet and Brainiac would gladly give Telos the information if he goes down, meets up with a rebel leader, overthrows society and gets the backup that he stored in the planet's data core. Yeah, easy peasy. I guess Telos is desperate because he takes on this terrible mission and I guess we'll see if he's able to do all these tasks in order to get back to his lost family. Let's jump in and see.
Our issue starts with Telos simply going down to the planet Colu and getting himself arrested because he believes that he'll be able to find the rebel leader in the prison........ for some reason. Yeah, I don't quite get this logic because from what we saw in the previous issue, Computo was executing people on a daily basis in order to draw this leader out and for her to already be in prison sounds a little ridiculous........ Now, we'll find out that she's with Captain K-Rot and Stealth from Threshold and maybe Stealth is just keeping her presence secret, but I don't think that running a rebel resistance from prison is the best choice of bases....... or maybe it is. I could actually go either way with this as I'm thinking about it, but at first read it comes off just odd. While Telos is being marched into prison, we finally get a little background on who our title character is when he goes full flashback on us.
Apparently, he's Arak Son of Thunder........... and that really means nothing to me because I never went in for the sword and sorcery type books that DC put out back in the day, but I'm sure for some of you out there, this is a cool revelation......... Maybe. Anyway, we get a backstory about how Arak loved war, but his father the king made him become a shaman instead because he would eventually take on the power of the Great Mother Earth from his father and nobody wants a war world...... right? So Arak studied, married, fathered children and eventually saw his world taken away from him, but that was his choice at the time. Once his father fell to Brainiac, the power passed on to him and he understood what his father was trying to teach him all those years ago.... War, what is it good for...... and Arak made a bargain with Brainiac for him and his world as long as the people were spared. Of course Brainiac agreed and even though we saw Telos take his current form only after Brainiac was lost in Futures End and Superman visited the planet....... well, I guess they decided to omit that from here.
Okay, so we're all caught up on that, let's get back to our story at hand. Once imprisoned, Telos immediately comes in contact with Techne: the rebel leader, Captain K-Rot, Steath and Captain Comet and the group seem to all know and trust each other and form an odd allegiance with Telos in order to see his mission fulfilled. They immediately break out of prison and make there way to the core to get the data. During this time we find out that Techne is the kind of daughter of Brainiac and that she was created from his DNA by the Tyrants to fight against him, but she realized that with Telos in his corner, it was logical to put herself in Brainiac's corner as well because he would obviously win the battle. I feel like I'm missing something here. Why does she know about Telos? Why did Brainiac call her a tenth level intellect in the previous issue when she says she's the same as him, a twelfth level intellect here?........ Goddamn Convergence. So yeah, using Steath's cloaking power, the group make it down to the data core and somehow while Techne is downloading the files, Captain Comet somehow gets information when he goes into the stream.... instead of keeping it open? He gets info about the Psions and wants to change the plan to take them out and because of this, Computo's forces are alerted to our heroes' presence and they're forced to fight. Goddamn, this book moves fast and ridiculous.
In the end, our heroes fight back Computo's drones and after a speech from Telos talking about how they'll get to everyone's personal mission once they've delivered the data to Brainiac, everyone falls in line and they begin following Telos.......... Too bad that they follow him right to Validus, who to me looks like he's in the mood for a whole lot of violence.
That's it for this issue of Telos and I don't know if combining aspects of Convergence, Threshold and Legion of Super-Heroes was the best choice in creating this book. It just seems like it didn't know what it wanted to be and used some of the weirdest characters possible to fill a roster for team Telos. Even with it's strange character choices, it would have been nice to actually have a reason for them to be there. Like, I understand Stealth and K-Rot being together and that somehow when Telos was taking the fight to Brainiac in the previous issue, that led to their ship getting impounded and them sent to prison, but what I don't get is why Captain Comet is there or even how any of these characters know each other. It's just all very odd and you really have to suspend disbelief to fully get into what's going on here.............which could be said for any superhero story, but here it really takes a leap of faith. The art in this book though is fantastic and if I could understand the motivations of all these characters and what they're doing here I could fully get on board. That's just not the case right now.
Bits and Pieces:
Telos starts out with a bang in this issue as it answers questions we've been waiting awhile for and even gets us right into the action. Sadly though, it doesn't fully flesh out why these characters are doing what they're doing or why they even trust our title character. I just feel like it takes a lot to get into this book with all the info dumps it throws at you and I don't know anyone who was really clamoring for a Telos book in the first place. Hopefully the story telling improves, but as of right now this just isn't a great story.