Super Tuesday has come and gone, and our very nation might on the verge of electing the biggest con artist in American history. What does this have to do with The Omega Men #9? Well funny you should ask that, since this book (like good science fiction) has mirrored the current state of the world for some time. While there isn’t a Donald Trump-esque character in this series, the themes of preying on the fears of a group of people to further one’s agenda. Today’s issue articulates why extremism never wins.
Extremism is something that prevalent in every culture across the globe, whether you agree or disagree on whatever the debate happens to circle around, extremism helps no one. An aspect that Tom King put’s on display with this issue. Kyle Rayner is put as the voice of reason for this issue, as he shares the tragedy of Vrool with the people of the Vega system. Given the fact that Kyle has not been the focus for this series, so seeing King give Rayner the spotlight here makes complete sense. Out of all the Green Lantern’s one can make the argument that Kyle is the most “willful” due to his history of loss and never losing the will to keep going.
Kyle’s speech and his actions following said speech speak volumes to King’s understanding the character. A literal light of hope in the darkness that is the Vega system, despite the actual lack of the white ring itself. Yes this isn’t a Kyle Rayner solo series but honestly any fan of Kyle’s should be reading this series if they weren’t all ready and see for themselves that nothing substantial has changed and similar to Superman there is more to the character than his powers.
With this issue, the climatic end of The Omega Men begins to notice as Tom King continues to emotionally rip out reader’s hearts. It’s a testament to his writing skills that he’s been able to convey their motivations and feelings about their current situation without relying on what would normally be the standard for the world of comic books. The two death’s in this issue actually have weight to them, and the art by Barnby Bagneda reinforces this idea by having the panels dedicated to said death (or in this case of Doc prior to) come off as intimate by having them be one panel dedicated to the moment of their death. It’s treated as a realistic death instead of a cliche Hollywood death.
Barnby Bagneda continues to astonish me each and every single time a new issue debuts on the hands. The one panel that before Doc ultimately commits suicide for the sins of it’s past, speaks volumes of the status of that robot’s mind. The image of Doc actually pulling out his heart to cleanse the planet Vrool is a beautiful example of how a static image can convey emotion and tell a cohesive story without pointless inner monologues. Bagneda’s storytelling chops of course remained consistently high, and while the Doc’s farewell was the emotional highlight, the lead to Kyle retrieving his White Lantern ring serves as a reminder that despite the hardcore sci-fi feeling, the echoes of superherodom can be felt on the last page.
The Omega Men #9 marks the beginning of the end for this band of terrorist/freedom fighters. King and Bagneda have set the stage for an emotional roller coaster.
The Omega Men #9 earns a 4/5