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Rann-Thanagar War #5

Posted: Monday, September 19, 2005
By: Michael Bailey



ďBetrayedĒ

Writer: Dave Gibbons
Artists: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Joe Bennett (p), Mark Campos, Joe Prado, Oclair Alber and Jack Jadson (i)

Publisher: DC Comics


Plot: Hawkman and Shayera Thal manage to free the Grand Mor from Onimar Synnís prison only to be betrayed by one of their own resulting in the death of someone close to Hawkman. They manage to escape and meet up with both Adam Strange and Captain Comet and reunite with Tigorr, Sardath and Alanna in Sardathís hidden fortress. The fortress doesnít stay hidden for long as Onimar launches one final assault on the forces that oppose him.

Commentary: And my spell check just broke. Damn you DC for all of these made up words!

As I was reading this issue, I had the feeling that the previous issue should have ended like an old time radio with a dramatic voice shouting, ďBetrayal! Suspense! Action! All of this and more in the next issue of Rann-Thanager War!Ē The term space opera keeps coming to mind as the story continues, and I am impressed that Gibbons has done such a great job with DCís space characters. The story here is dense, but so is the action which makes this a very interesting read. You really have to pay attention to catch the entirety of the story, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Dave Gibbons is writing a fantastic story that has that universal feeling where you could almost take the plot and put it in any type of setting and it would still work.

I knew that KomandíR was going to turn on the group, but it did come out of nowhere that she did this by killing Shayera Thal. I should have seen it coming, but with everything else going on it just slipped right by me. I donít know if this particular bit of business is going to be resolved by the end of the series as there is a lot going by the time Gibbons establishes the cliffhanger, but it would be an interesting set-up for something that goes beyond Infinite Crisis.

My only real quibble with this issue was the near-omnipotent use of the Green Lantern rings on the part of Kilowog and Kyle. I guess it isnít too much of a stretch to believe that the ring could terraform a planet, but it seems a little too powerful. Then again, that is the nature of the Green Lantern ring, so maybe Iím just being picky.

The art was great this time around and with six people working on the pencils and inks, it should be. Everything has that big budget feel that goes to the space opera quality Gibbons seems to be going for. The different art from sequence to sequence was not at all distracting, though, as the art tended to reflect the scene.

In The End: The space end of the DCU has been re-established nicely. The cast in this series has been fantastic and Gibbons is playing with them well. The ending of this issue is leading, Iím guessing, to the final battle that will lead into this seriesí portion of Infinite Crisis. The whole series, from art to writing, screams epic and its nice to see these characters getting some attention after all of these years.



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