Now for the talk of the town:
A lot of praise has been bestowed upon the new Omega Men series.
True, the Omega Men are obscure (much like my favorite DC team) and are a very cool team in the large black ink blot that is the cosmos.
As such, they deserve more recognition so I am glad this series did well. But is it as good as popular consceince claim ? Does Tom King's team stack up well against the classic Roger Slfier rag tag team of freedom fighters ? Really fucking depends.
I got what King was going for, it is a laudable effort. Having binged it while being familair with the original run on the series, I don't find King's run exempt of problems though. Just because characters are obscure does not mean you shouldn't use them at their best....
King has stated that he is not making a political statement, but rather just updating classic sci-fi for the modern world. Did he really do it ? I don't think so. Plot-wise it is definitely up there with Slifer's original storyline, Art-Wise I dig Bagenda as much as I dig Keith Giffen, but I've alreay seen this concept of having morally different folks in the same team done in other Cosmic DC books including the older version of the same team.
THE GOOD :
+ Kyle Rayner is our protagonist ! Which is cool cuz I dig Mr Rayner...
+ Kalista's chara-design is fantastic.
+ Scrapps is a fun addition to the Omega Men team.
+ This is easily one of the best plots for these characters, could easily be used for a movie adaptation.
+ The art of Barnaby Bagenda is absolutely scrumptious!
THE PROBLEMATIC :
- As I said, the fact that these characters are obscure does not mean their best aspects should be omitted. The key word is "characterization" : Roger Slifer excelled at that , Tom King not so much. In fact, in King's story ONLY Kyle is challenged when its comes to ethics and morals.
The classic Omega Men did face similar situations but they were all more nuanced and consequently never took any pleasure in fighting off the Citadel, making the whole thing morally challenging.
Classic Tigorr was grumpy and aggressive but he has proven that he was a badass cigar-chomping mofo with a good heart. King's Tigorr is just a brute. An obnoxious provocative brute that needs to be put in his place by Kyle.
Classic Primus was level-headed sure, but he'd never go with a pacifist revolution if there's a tyrant to be fought.
Classic Broot's entire backstory is way more depressing and affecting than King's (though Bagenda REALLY went for the gore there !).
Classic Kallista... Oh holy shit ! This is where I had my biggest issue. She was way too fucking bloodthirsty (even drawn with a "I'll eat your heart and children" smirk). I think they've totally misunderstood her powers. Originally she is a spellcaster and a potent one at that, here she is a swordfighter so violent that Guts would tell her to tone it down a notch. Talk about a shift !
Where am I going with this ? Very simple. This story would have been infinitely better with their classic characterizations. The original Omega Men knew when and where to tone it down a notch and rebuild a fallen civilisation, these Omega Men are 2 steps from becoming the Genei Ryodan. The Original Omega Men were NOT happy at all with hiring Lobo for an infiltration mission, King's Omega Men would have gleefully hired him every day of the week if they could !
- The original Citadel boss is infinitely creepier than what they went with here...
THE BAD :
- "Praise be Alpha and Omega !" Oh shut the fuck up. Where the hell is X'hal by the way ?
To be honest though, it'd be great if DC did a cosmic trilogy ; I could see Invasion ,L.E.G.I.O.N. (based on "Sons of Brainiac" and the "Future is NOW !" arcs...) and then Omega Men (King's plot but Slifer's characterizations...).
Finally, why the hell is everyone excited about the Vision book ? It's predictable as fuck !