Friday, 7 May 2021

Omega #1 - Cutaway Comics

OMEGA No. 1, January 2021
Fans of “legendary Doctor Who writers Bob Baker and Dave Martin” will probably enjoy Mark Griffiths’ script to Issue One of “Omega”. For rather than depict the great intergalactic engineer as some sort of over-the-top super-villain, prominent from the very start of this twenty-four periodical’s plot, the “comedy writer” instead simply has the renegade Time Lord much more realistically manipulate events from behind-the-scenes from beyond the confines of his inescapable black hole; “Lord, hear your servant. The chaos spreads… As you have willed… The Gods have fled, as if in shame at their failed experiment… The only rulers of Minyos now are fear and violence… As this psychic disturbance increases the bridge between your mind and mine grows ever stronger…”

Of course, every good comic still needs a memorable antagonist, and this publication’s playwright produces a truly loathsome one in the guise of people’s senator and Omega pawn, Oxirgi. The somewhat elderly politician initially seems rather sympathetic following the revelation that his world’s Gods actually disintegrated swathes of its population when it became clear its residents wanted to be free of the extra-terrestrial’s interference in their civilization’s evolution.

However, this approval quickly dissipates once it becomes clear the elderly statesman has absolutely no integrity whatsoever, and will happily lie so as to ensure the brave young Princess Malika is cold-bloodedly executed in front of a packed crowd simply to fuel his traitorous ambitions. Indeed, the old man’s dishonesty arguably beggars belief at times, as he outrageously accuses the last survivor of the Royal Family of trying to murder him with a harmless mechanical drone, and then later sentences “the vile coward” to death by firing squad for supposedly still treacherously consorting with the planet’s alien benefactors.

Just as pleasing as this comic’s narrative are the layouts of John Ridgway, the notable “artist behind some of the most memorable Sixth and Seventh Doctor strips for Doctor Who Magazine.” Admittedly, some of the British illustrator’s panels aren’t quite as well-pencilled as they may well have been in his ‘heyday’, especially towards the end of the book. But there’s still plenty of detail in the former “Judge Dredd” drawer’s layouts to both attract the eye and keep the storyline’s somewhat fast pace moving along quite splendidly.

The regular cover art of "OMEGA" #1 by Martin Geraghty

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