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REVIEW: The Omega Men #11

Can you believe it ladies and gentlemen? The time of The Omega Men is nearly over, but before anyone can write any eulogies to this beloved series both Tom King and Barnaby Bagneda have their penultimate issue before their grand finale. Despite the last issue taking a slight dip in quality, the hits for this series have been more frequent then their misses. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m extremely glad I didn’t stop reading this series when I wanted to. Now if only the Eisner’s didn’t snub this series I wouldn’t have had to reiterate my points again.

While this issue structure wise similar to previous chapters, this particular issue had that anthology feeling. It’s not quite the same since it’s each individual story all pushes the narrative forward, it still retained the feeling of an anthology. King puts each member of The Omega Men on various fronts and this is where the brilliance of Tom King’s choice of how he’s handled character development over the course of the series. Instead of completely recapping the death of Broot or Princess Kalista’s own history again, King respects his readers enough that they will understand what the characters are talking about.

It keeps the momentum of the story going which is key because that emotional punch needs to be there in order for these separate sequences to feel cohesive. Even Primus a character that admittedly hasn’t had much panel time as other characters, even his emotional speech to rally the people of the Vega System to fight comes off as genuine. I couldn’t help but during Primus’s golden moment draw parallels to our current political climate in the United States. Granted it’s not the same (since it’s not a war of intergalatic proportions). but the message to get out there and do something about a particular problem instead of just accepting life as it is.

Even though this series has steered away from what I would consider typical tropes of the superhero genre, much to my surprise this issue was what many would call the “rally” moment. There is something exhilarating of seeing the heroes rally against innumerable odds. However it most instances the “rally” moment can feel hollow and unearned, but thankfully that isn’t case with this issue of The Omega Men. The key to a great comic book isn’t a message, witty dialog, or world building. It all comes down to the characters in the story. No characters means no story and Tom King understands this perfectly.

Despite the dip in quality from the previous issue, Barnaby Bagneda bounces back to stellar form with this issue. Each section of emotion I’ve discussed in earlier parts of my review all stems from Bagneda’s ability to convey tell a story with characters faces. Small little characters moments, like Kyle smiling before we see him in his new suit or the emotional out poor from Primus’s face as he begs for the people to stand up and fight. Some might complain that we don’t really see much of the actual fight itself but in this instance I prefer how Bagneda shows the progression of the fight. Not splash pages that waste page real estate but focuses on the individual fights each character happens to be dealing with. It brings a different perspective to the fight and doesn’t retread previous ground. Bagnenda is a much a key to the greatness of this comic as much as Tom King.

The Omega Men #11 is a perfect example of when a writer and a artist work together to tell a beautiful story that touches boundaries of religion, politics, our own personal aspects of what drives us each and every morning. Nothing else that DC puts out compares to what The Omega Men has done, now all we have left are the swan song.

The Omega Men #11 earns a 5/5

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