Have you ever been in a situation where you read something and were left confused, yet your peers around you sing it’s praises? Chances are you have at some point and you would reread the issue to see what you’re missing out on? Well as much as I was excited going into Omega Men (simply because Kyle was mentioned) after seeing the praise this book was receiving online. Which is why this review is later than I had originally promised. So that only leaves us with one question. Did I see the magic that the majority seems to see? Or do I veer from the majority?
In previous reviews I’ve stated in some fashion or another that comic artist shouldn’t have to spell out every single detail for whatever reader may pick up their book. It all could bring a thrill or just a confusing mess, and how does this all work with Omega Men #1? It’s an odd mixture of both when it comes to this opening issue. While I was confused on who exactly the Omega Men are and why were they on the run from this “Alpha” group, I personally couldn’t help but be compelled to continue to see what would happen next within the events of the issue.
Dare I say the issue had an adventurous feel to it. The huge driving force that made this book compelling was the art done by Barnaby Bagenda is the love child of Esad Ribic and Franis Manapaul. I mean of course “artistic” love child..not there…you know what I mean. The characters feel looks like Esad Ribic but with a finer touch to them but also not nearly as expressive. Which isn’t a bad thing ans Bagenda perfectly captures characters facial expressions, it helps that each member of the Omega Men have their own distinct body type.
One last compliment before I dip into the pool of negativity, I found the nine panel grid style of layout was absolutely genius. Using the grid layout as either a series of images to tell one scene, that leads to a splash page makes that page have even more impact on the reader. Chances are most readers won’t notice this on a conscious level, but subconsciously the impact will be made.
Sadly that’s where my praise for this issue ends, and while I am intrigued on the direction of this band of characters I extremely disliked that I have no conception of them as individual characters or even how they work as a team unit. Tom Kings writing did not hook me or make me care about The Omega Men. Personally I need to be able connect or least understand the motivations of the characters that I am reading about. The lack of character development for the Omega Men was a disappointment hooking on the characters and the nature of their existence.
While I applaud how this comic was used the nine panel grid, the constant switch between alien language and English took me out of the story as I struggled to figure out what exactly what the characters were discussing in the context of the scene. It wasn’t difficult to figure out (due to the strong storytelling from Bagenda) what was being said it just made reading the word balloons a chore. So much so that after a while I just skipped them until I had to force myself to read each one to see if I missed out on anything.
As I said The Omega Men #1 was a weird book for me to review, and normally this is where I announce that I won’t be continuing the series because the negative outweighed the positive from my perspective. However the combination of the thrill ride that this book supplies and Kyle Rayner’s fate is just enough for me to try out the next issue.
The Omega Men #1 earns a 2/5
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