In Review: The Omega Men #2

If there's no hope, what's the point in following this?

The covers: Another propaganda poster has been defaced with the name of this title’s team on this Main cover. The original poster has several ships surrounding a lone Omega ship, underneath the words VICTORY IS ASSURED. “The Omega Men” has been written above the poster’s words, changing the meaning to the rebel band being successful. This is another slick cover by Trevor Huchison. I recognized the Omega ship, as it appears in this book, but the slew of ships that surround don’t appear within, so I’m assuming these are the bad guys’ vessels. The Variant cover is by Toby Cypress and, like his cover for Issue #1, do not take drugs while looking at the image. A figure standing atop a flying cube, which contains something, is shown from the back as he’s making his way toward a mountain holding a city. The metropolis’s shaft is futuristic, though it appears the mountain is growing over it like moss on a tree; the top of the structure looks like solar panels with a mixture of classic and ancient buildings on it. Dark blue smoke comes out of one side of the city as wispy barely-blue smoke encircles the entire city. Violet energy blasts towards the figure as he makes his way forward, while below is a huge open aired labyrinth. This is really cool looking, but how this relates to the story within makes no sense to me. Overall grades: Main A- and Variant B-

The story: This is a two pronged story that left me feeling utterly depressed. The story begins with the Governor of Ogyptu practicing what he’s going to say to the arriving Viceroy who’s because of the events from last issue. Upon landing, the Viceroy wants a cup of strong cup of the local tea, since “So many lives hang upon our talk today.” Their conversation continues, though the images show White Lantern Kyle Rayner being operated on by Doc; the man’s neck being cut open and a disc being inserted, all under the eyes of Primus, Broot, Tiggor, and Scrapps. The conversation between the Governor and the Viceroy deals with the number of citizens that have to die because of the deaths caused by the Omega Men; the rate is usually 100 to 1, so 3,900 should be killed. The Viceroy sees that that Governor is trying to lower the number, so he gives an ultimatum: “4,000 today — of your choosing. They can be from whatever rival clan it is you hate this week. Or 1,800 of my choosing. Less than half. For your crowds, your…people.” The former number is reluctantly agreed upon. The Viceroy then states that he needs a new pilot for his ship and the Governor says one can be provided. Tom King has the story show the inhumanity of how the people are collected that are to be killed to appease the Viceroy and why Kyle was chosen by the Omega Men to join their ranks. The first story is absolutely gut wrenching, especially on Pages 11, 18, and 19. I’m a huge fan of Kyle and I was disturbed by what’s done to him and how similar it is to a plot device of Escape From New York. This destroyed any sympathy I have for Primus. Yes, the Omega Men were essentially terrorists in the original run, but the method to which Kyle joins leaves me with no love for their leader. It’s too extreme for me. If I can’t find anything to enjoy about the team leader, how am I supposed to love the team and their adventures? I’m also finding logic problems with how Kyle is without his ring, which I’ll leave unspoiled until next issue, and how by the close of the issue I still have no idea why Kyle has been forced to join the group. And when did Kyle get religion? I don’t have a problem with him being religious, but I can’t think of any story in the last ten years when he prayed, let alone in Spanish. What Broot, Scrapps, Doc, and Tigorr do is much more in line with how I imagine this team, but Primus is ruining this for me. His speeches on 11 – 12 and 18 absolutely justify his actions, but I can’t follow a leader that follows this reasoning. Next issue might be my last unless I see some heroics. Overall grade: D+  

The art: The artwork on this book is beautiful. The book follows a nine panel format, occasionally combining the panels for a dramatic moment, or a full page splash for a major event or reveal. Barnaby Bagenda does a sensational job. The opening page showing the Governor’s practice is great and Page 3’s operation on Kyle, with each member of Omega watching, is a slick introduction to the team this issue. The splash on 4 is gorgeous, with the “item” getting some nice foreshadowing. 6 shows some nice contrast of the stories, and 10 is fittingly brutal. 11 is the perfect illustration to show an example of what Primus is discussing. The fifth panel on Page 14 is my favorite, as it’s a great reveal, that’s just flat-out cool and funny. The last page ends with some nice imagery, but that the source of that visual started as seeping yet dried instantly. That lack of seepage is the only mar in the book’s visuals. Overall grade: A 

The colors: Romulo Fajardo, Jr., does an exceptional job on this book. The opening colors on the arrival of the Viceroy’s ship are amazing, and the skin tone on this character unnaturally stands out on the surface of Ogyptu. The blending on characters’ skin is excellent, with any page featuring Kyle, Primus, and Scrapps slick. Broot’s rocky surface comes across strongly on every page. The ship’s colors on Pages 4 and 17 looks stellar, as do the settings around it. The drab colors of Ogyptu emphasize the sad story that Primus tells and shows the lack of the life in the people, though it does beg the question how this society is considered “the world of pleasure.” Overall grade: A

The letters: Dialogue, opening title, credits, and scene settings (all three the same font), screams, an incomprehensible language, sounds, Doc speak, and the closing quote are all crafted by Pat Brosseau. My favorites are the alien language and Doc talk since they look so alien to the others’ dialogue. I’m hopeful that Brosseau gets to do more of these unique character fonts as the book progresses. Overall grade: A+

The final line: If Primus doesn’t do something that makes him heroic next issue, I’ll be out for the remainder of this series. If there’s no hope, what’s the point in following this? And the means by which a hero achieves their ends matter to me. Right now, I’m just not feeling the hope in this series. Overall grade: B-

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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