Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Omega Men #2 Review

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Barnaby Bagenda and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: July 1, 2015

Omega Be Praised

I know it's a bit controversial to say nowadays, but one man's terrorist is just another man's freedom fighter.  It's all about perspective and that's exactly what Tom King's Omega Men has been all about. The most interesting thing about it, however, is that I'm not sure which side I'm on yet.  King is taking his time showing us the Omega Men themselves and the thing that has defined them early on is the (supposed) execution of Kyle Rayner.  Not a great way to get anybody to support your cause.  So, what do we learn about this group of antiheroes this month and did it make me rally under the Omega Men flag?  Let's find out...

While it's obvious that Tom King is not going to rush into this story, that doesn't mean things aren't moving forward even while looking back.  The beginning is a clever recap of last month's premier issue as well as an announcement that this book is not the typical sunshine and lollipops that DC is pushing in the new DC You.  The Viceroy has arrived on Ogyptu to negotiate the execution of citizens in response to the thirty-nine soldiers killed during the failed capture of the Omega Men last issue.  It's a great scene with snappy dialogue that shows the callous evil of the Viceroy, but also begins to really show the Citadel are the real villains in the Universe.  I loved it.  I also loved what was intercut into the scene...Kyle Rayner.

I don't know about you, but when it was revealed that Kyle Rayner was killed, I didn't believe it for a second.  Of course, I was right as always, but Tom King is doing a great job of keeping whatever the Omega Men have in store for the White Lantern in his back pocket.  Again, it's a perspective thing, but it doesn't look good so far.  I keep expecting Primus or another member to confide in Kyle and tell him it will be alright, but instead they put a bomb in his neck (a la Suicide Squad) and tell him to make a choice.

The last part of the issue deals with something very important to the Omega Men...getting their ship back.  I don't think that any genre values a ship quite like science fiction does to the point that a ship can define the story itself.  Tom King knows this and shows that the Omega Men know it too.  They "reacquire" it from the Viceroy and get the hell off of Ogyptu.  The book ends with Kyle Rayner becoming part of the Omega Men, but on his own terms.  Primus promised they were going to save everyone and it points to a much larger story than what King has shown us so far.  I can't wait to see it.

I really like this book.  I was already on the trolley last month, but this issue has my ticket punched for the long haul.  I was always a fan of the show me, don't tell me type of story and Tom King is giving us just that.  He's not spelling it all out or holding any hands.  Because of that, he can slowly pull away the curtain bit by bit and it's already great.  I don't know if I even like the Omega Men as a group, but I know I love it as a book.

I also really like Barnaby Bagenda's art.  I wish I could tell you why in a technical, intelligent way, but if you know me, you know that's not going to happen.  I'm not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but I have two eyes and I know when I like the look of something.  This is one of those somethings.  Everything has that lived in feeling that I love in this type of Sci-Fi and really sets a gritty mood to the whole book.

Bits and Pieces:

The Omega Men is my surprise hit of the DC You.  That's saying something as it was not even on my radar before June and I only got to review it because Eric didn't want to.  That's his huge loss because it is a great science fiction story that Tom King is slowly unraveling each month and I want more.  If you are a fan of gritty sci-fi, grey area anti-heroes or just great storytelling, pick up this book now. Highly recommended.


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