By Travis Trombley
As intelligent as it is well-drawn, Omega Men provides multiple layers for exploration. There’s an almost allegorical harkening to the global politics playing out in the Middle East. There’s an exploration into the cyclicality of war and violence, and the human calculus involved in waging such struggles. There’s an extended discussion of religious devotion and the role it plays in our personal narratives. There’s action, humor, tragedy, more action, and a well-developed cast of diverse characters. There’s everything one needs to feel provoked to further ponderance after closing the glossy cover - everything a comic needs to become an instant classic.
The plot follows Kyle Rayner’s experience with a group of guerrilla “terrorists” known as the Omega Men in the Vega System, an area of space guarded from Green Lantern policing by way of treaty. Rayner chose to surrender his White Lantern ring to enter the system as a diplomat in an attempt to broker peace between the Citadel, a theocratic empire, and the Omega Men, a small insurgency group who resists the Citadel’s imperialistic control of Vega’s six planets by way of asymmetrical warfare.
Partially resurrected from Roger Slifer’s DC storylines from the 80s, the current Omega Men include Primus, a once nonviolent resistance leader, Tigor, an eager-to-fight big-cat humanoid, Doc, a killer robot (and well-used comic relief), Broot, an excommunicated priest with spectacular strength and interesting syntax, and Scrapps, an trigger-happy, quip-slinging 'teen.' They greet the would-be diplomat Rayner by taking him captive and publicly executing him via live broadcast in the vein of the propaganda videos produced by the Taliban and ISIS. Or so we are led to believe. In reality, it was a ruse perpetrated in order to give the Omega Men time to conscript Rayner to their cause: freeing Vega of Citadel control.