By Koppy McFad
May 14, 2008 - 03:06
The rival planets of Rann and Thanagar have both adopted extremist religious beliefs and now a motley collection of various space-faring heroes may have to join forces to prevent a new war from breaking out.
This mini-series brings together various DC heroes who have been flying through space in recent years while reviving the hostilities between Rann and Thanagar. In certain ways, it could be seen as a sequel to the first RANN-THANAGAR WAR but if handled badly, it could just as easily turn into a cheap remake of that miniseries.
Adam Strange (in his old costume) and Hawkman are trying to head off the approaching battle but Captain Comet and the Prince Gavyn-Starman are somehow being pulled into the conflict. Even Starfire and Animal Man are approached by Adam Strange as Rann's new religious problem is related to their earlier journey through outer space back in the "52" miniseries.
There isn't too much action in this issue. But there is a suitable build-up of tension as the storm gathers around the protagonists. Despite the complex back-story and the numerous characters and settings, the writer makes it relatively easy for the new reader to find his way around. Even Starlin's dialogue-- one of his weaknesses-- is more easy-going this time around, making it sound more natural.
The art is suitable for the series, nothing great but it is equal to the task of believably depicting alien worlds and alien beings. I have to wonder if Ron Lim doesn't feel bad about acting as Starlin's understudy all the time.
The biggest weakness of the story is the feeling that this conflict is just so contrived. It is like DC editors felt they had to find a new reason for Rann and Thanagar to go to war again. So this time, they chose religion. It is also weird that comic writers can't seem to depict religion except as a form of fanaticism. Even Adam Strange's father-in-law, Sardath is now talking like a member of the Inquisition. Perhaps next time around, DC Comics will be able to come up with a space opera that doesn't revolve around Rann and Thanagar.
This gets a good three and a half stars out of five.