Written by: Tom King
Art by: Barnaby Bagenda, Romulo Fajardo Jr, Tomeu Morey and Pat Brosseau
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 25, 2015
To say that Tom King is giving fans of The Omega Men a slow burn story is like saying that Eric kind of likes playing with his Imaginext toys. Yep, both are gross understatements. In fact, I joked that the reason that DC Comics brought this book back from cancellation was so that King could have the twelve issues he needed to introduce his main characters. I kid because I care. While I was not a big fan of the last issue, this issue proves that that was just a minor misstep. Of course, King gives us more questions than answers, but that is what fans have come to expect and the questions and answers we get are really good. I don't know why I'm using this opening paragraph to review the book, so I'm going to stop right now and get on with the full review. And away we go...
The issue begins showing most of the Omega Men being interrogated aboard the Viceroys ship, but it all leads to Kyle Rayner. There he is, the Lantern, the Alley Rat, the Bomb...hanging by his wrists, undergoing Citadel surgery. They are removing his neck bomb and it's a pretty disgusting and awesome scene. Everything that is happening is all so that the Viceroy can find out, "Why do the Omega Men need Kyle Rayner?"
I know that the Viceroy is the villain of this book, but I'm with him. I want to know why the Omega Men need Kyle Rayner too! While we are talking about things we want to know, I'll throw a couple into the mix. What's up with the Viceroy's White Lantern Ring? Is Kyle still a White Lantern, himself? If he is, where is his ring? What kind of black magic is Tom King conjuring to make me like this book so much despite the lack of information?
We do get some pretty cool background information about Primus, Kalista and especially Tigoor that doesn't explain their current situation, but fleshes out the characters a little bit more. It's not going to blow your mind, but if you are a fan of them, you'll like it.
As the Viceroy waits to see exactly what the thing in Kyle's neck is, we see the Curtain (the Omega Men's ship) approaching and it's easy enough to guess who is at the controls of this suicide mission. After a page of the Viceroy doubting Kyle Rayner's story of being kidnapped, we don't have to guess...Scraps and Doc are flying the ship and I don't care if Scraps is "Harley Quinn in Space", I love her! I also love Doc and Scraps together...I just hope we get more of them after this issue.
The thing about this book is that Tom King has set up a story where all bets are off. Characters can (and have) died and nobody feels safe. That's what leads to the tension in this issue as we jump between the Viceroy and Kyle and Scrapps and Doc. There is a good chance that not everyone is going to survive.
We find out that Kyle didn't have a bomb in his neck after all and share the Viceroy's surprise as we all realize what it's really for. Scraps and Doc are in the house and they have done some major damage to the Viceroy's ship. The issue continues with some more flashbacks showing Kalista recruiting the Omega Men and Kyle Rayner struggling to escape his restraints. The first gives some really good background of what started this war, while the second was just great to see as a Kyle Rayner fan. The religious angle still feels a little forced, but whatever it takes for Kyle to get the strength to to do what he needs to do is A-OK with me.
Saying that the issue ends with a bang is yet another understatement. Remember when I said that nobody in this book feels safe? If you don't, you may need to get checked for ADHD because it was only two paragraphs ago! Well, the issue ends with what may be the end of the Omega Men or a good part of them. I don't care how prepared Tom King made me or this, I was still pretty shocked.
I really enjoyed this issue. Tom King gives us some real story moments and progression...even if it progresses to apparent death. It's been a while since I've read a book whose cliffhanger seems to spell the end of most of the characters in the story and because of that, I'll give you one last understatement. I can't read next month's issue.
Barnaby Bagenda's art is excellent as usual. He deals more in moments in time than movement and I don't know why, but it fits this book and King's storytelling so well. Must be more of that black magic.
Bits and Pieces:
Tom King takes advantage of this book's second life by giving us one of the better issues of the story to date. It's full of reveals, tension and one of the craziest cliffhangers you will likely get in a while. While I have really enjoyed this series, even I questioned why it continued. After this issue, I think know why.