In June and July, DC Comics is launching a bunch of brand new series or books with new creative teams. There’s a new JLA book, one about Starfire, another Constantine comic, some mini and maxi series, and even a new shake up for Justice League United.
However, The Omega Men is probably the title I’m the most unsure of due to how little I know or have seen of it. I have been hearing mostly positive buzz about it, so that’s encouraging at least. Is it good?
The Omega Men #1 (DC Comics)
The Omega Men are guilty of killing the White Lantern, Kyle Rayner, and people want them to pay for what they did. … Shenanigans ensue.
That’s basically all I can say about The Omega Men‘s story thus far, outside of some alien police force (I think) tracking down the Omega Men to capture/kill them with bad results ensuing. Story-wise, The Omega Men #1 is very VERY light. Writer Tom King plants some interesting story seeds/implications and there’s a big twist at the end, but that’s really all there is. King definitely went for a “less-is-more” sort of approach to the story, which is perfectly fine and leads to a more unique experience. Plus, there are parts that benefit from another reread and help let you catch some of the narrative’s subtle nuances. The problem is that it feels a bit TOO light in regards to both the story and characters.
For a second there, it looked more like the lady was drooling in that fourth panel.
We don’t learn much in The Omega Men #1; readers will have to infer and try to interpret whatever they can from the brief bits of plot and small talk that is made. There’s not much in the way of characterization and very little in the way of motivation for the Omega Men revealed. There’s just very little in the way of anything and I do get the comic is trying to make you work a bit more to garner the substance, since that can be very rewarding and elevate a story — but The Omega Men #1 just feels like it doesn’t give you enough content in general to make you want to put in the work or even potentially care about anyone. Even after the twist at the end and rereading it, it’s hard to care about these characters or even differentiate them from one another, outside of very minor differences.
King’s writing is fine for the most part. The pacing is pretty good despite the light amount of narrative, the story structure is solid and easy to follow and King knows when to provide you information so you have actual context for what is happening and when to let the artwork do all the talking. The dialogue is very sparse (again, that’s the style the writer is going for) and brings a combination of both English and Alien based languages. Obviously, since I left my intergalactic Rosetta Stone in another set of pants, there’s a lot of guesswork to be done when it comes to the non-human conversational snippets. That’s acceptable and all, but the dialogue is kind of dull and not particularly engaging as a result. The Omega Men #1 ultimately provides a very unique experience with its writing and storytelling, but honestly, it’s kind of hard to latch on to.
Huh… the little figure becomes less painted and finished looking when the guy holds it. Plot important or a hiccup by the artist? You decide!
Artist Barnaby Bagenda does a pretty good job here. With some exceptions, most of the pages are drawn with 9 little panels and Bagenda is able to convey a lot within them. He sets the mood and tone with skill and the characters express themselves with impressive body language. Every little panel has a background and large amounts of detail, making the world feel more alive despite whatever scene there is. Romulo Fajardo Jr. provides the colors and really does help with the atmosphere in a lot of the scenes. Honestly, it’s a great looking book, with some small exceptions, and I do hope the art team sticks with it for a long time.
Is It Good?
The Omega Men #1 is a comic that is good, but lacking. It has a unique approach that you don’t see much of these days in the medium: less is more and quieter/lighter. However, in return, it requires you to do a lot of guesswork and estimation to get the most out of it because of its style. It’s something to be appreciated, but at the same time feels lacking enough to the point of incompleteness. There’s not much to take away from characters or find even one of them particularly enjoyable and the story doesn’t have much in it. Recommending it is difficult at this point and honestly, even if this is your kind of story, it would probably better suit you to wait until the second issue comes out when there is a bit more to chew on.