Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The Omega Men #4 - DC Comics

THE OMEGA MEN No. 4, November 2015
Considering the extraordinary lengths with which the Omega Men have gone to in order to ensure Kyle Rayner’s obedience and cooperation, it must have undoubtedly been clear to this title’s 11,302 followers in September 2015 that the de-powered White Lantern is a rather important piece in Tom King’s overarching storyline. However few must have been expecting the “ex-CIA agent” to dedicate the entirety of this twenty-page periodical to exploring the feelings of the so-called terrorists' prisoner, and even less realised that “DC’s star Green Lantern into the mid-2000’s” is actually the series’ “main character”…

Sadly such surprising revelations, the latter ‘exclusively’ told to “Comic Book Resources News” by the American author himself, badly bogs down the pacing of this particular publication and actually makes Issue Four” of “The Omega Men” an incredibly painful read as the former Honour Guard Illustres of the Corps dwells upon his ‘mistaken’ selection as an intergalactic policeman, the death of “the girl” he loved and his aspiration to bring closure to “this endless war between the Omega Men and the Citadel; a hope which lead to his betrayal and current captivity. This depressing ‘summary of past events’ is simply relentless and although it’s useful to finally understand just how the White Lantern was so easily abducted (and supposedly murdered) by the people “who take credit for all the bombings”, that information is soon smothered by the “Grayson” co-writer having Princess Kalista tearfully agonize over a royal upbringing which saw her put her sword though “native… armed good fighters” every morning.

King’s narrative proves additionally disturbing in the fact that his audience knows this entire situation is a manufactured ruse, being secretly observed by Primus and Tigorr, specifically designed to disarm Kyle’s emotional defences and cause him to fall prey to the seductive charms of the Euphorix nobleman’s wife. Admittedly this book’s cover does display a “Teen Plus” rating. Yet even so, such blatant voyeurism and unsettling sexual undertones in a ‘run of the mill’ comic arguably makes for a rather distasteful experience.

This magazine’s greatest weakness however is undoubtedly the frighteningly amateurish-looking “expressionistic linework” of Toby Cypress. Just why editors Brian Cunningham and Andy Khouri decided to have the American illustrator step in “for regular artist Barnaby Bagenda” is unclear. But just because the penciller has previously created some “stunning Kyle-centric covers for the first three issues” does not mean they’re necessarily suitable to draw sequential juxtaposed panelled breakdowns.
Writer: Tom King, Guest Artist: Toby Cypress, and Colorist: Romulo Fajardo Junior

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