Thursday, February 23, 2012

CBR Rann–Thanagar War


Time for some more Mystery in Space!!

Rann–Thanagar War was a direct sequel to Planet Heist.
It was one of the stories DC released as part of the hype to build up yet another event called Infinite Crisis (alongside Villains United, OMAC Project and Day of Vengeance).

I usually tend to avoid big epic crossovers and mega-events (if they're not Green Lantern related or assigned to way too many authors to be properly coordinated)...but being the first, and only Adam Strange centric one, this was a must read for scifi comics fans.

At least..that's what I thought.
Surely a mini-event following a mini-series, both leading into another bigger event cannot be that bad...can it?

Comic title: Rann–Thanagar War
Art by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Joe Bennett and Marc Campos
Story by Dave Gibbons

Published by DC Comics
From 2005-06
Lineup Adam Strange, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Countdown
Format: Trade paperback, collects the 6-issue miniseries.

Promoted as part of the Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Rann–Thanagar War is a sort of a reimagining of of an old interplanetary conflict between DC Comics' interstellar heroes, originally depicted in World's Finest Comics in the 70s.

The idea to have this big epic space war between various stars-based DC proprieties' been around for ages since the original Crisis, but it took until 2005 to see it finally take shape properly.

Without dealing with this "Infinite Crisis" mentioned above, per say, Rann–Thanagar War is actually a continuation of the story from Adam Strange: Planet Heist, crossing over with on-going stories from Green Lantern and Green Lanterns Corps.

A Man of Two Worlds joins forces with two immortal Egyptians/Aliens Hawkmen!

After dealing with Thanagarian rogues who tried to bring in an all-out war and the end of the universe as we know it, Adam Strange is now facing yet another cataclysmic event of cosmic proportions!
Our space adventurer his now trying to save two planets from the brink of a war.
His adopted planet Rann was teleported into Thanagar's star system.
But now the system is getting unstable... Thanagar is getting lured into its own sun and will be crash landing soon!

After helping out the surviving Thanagarians into its principal city Ranagar, the Rannian forces and populations start getting ideas about these intruders. After all aren't they the reason their homeworld's been transported into this place to begin with? And vice-versa.
Tension arise amongst these two races, blaming one another for their current condition...

Strange goes to Earth to bring in Hawkman and Hawkgirl, two Earth heroes used to Thanagarian technology and civilization. But once he comes back.. he seems to arrive a bit too late to prevent a war...

Meanwhile, Green Lanterns Kyle Rayner and Kilowog are sent on a covert mission to this very same planet. Ordered by the Guardians to check out the location because of rumors regarding a dangerous incoming menace.
They are however asked not to interfere in politics, as GLs shouldn't, this would mean having the Corps taking sides in other planets' internal conflicts.

The war begins... is it too late?
Soon, the Thanagarian heroine Hawkwoman joins in, as does Tamaraneans and the cruel Blackfire (sister of Teen Titans' Starfire). Various other planets are drawn into the conflict one by one.
Alliances are forged, other allies join our heroes. Blackfire tries to take this occasion to seize power.

It's an actual Star Wars of epic proportions that quickly overtakes most of DC's finest science fiction heroes, featuring Adam Strange, the Green Lantern Corps, the Hawks, the Omega Men, the L.E.G.I.O.N. and even Captain Comet!

Rann–Thanagar War is a pretty fun story.
It last for only 6 chapters, but lots of things happen in these few pages.
The art is quite gorgeous all over the book, including various talents and shining stars from DC's creative team.

It's a story about an elusive peace threatened by two very different populations from different worlds.
There is various quickly thrown around subplots which served as basis for other books later on (more on that below).

Religious fanatics aspiring for power are trying to overthrown these worlds at war.
Blackfire betrays various groups to gain more power herself.
Tigorr and the Omega Men come back to help Adam Strange, whether they planned for it or not.

Finally a common enemy emerges from the ruins, Onimar Synn., the Sin Eater. A "deity" that used to plague Thanagar long ago. Now back with the intention to take over the planet, feeding off the souls of the people and building an army of undead at the same time.
Captain Comet joins in as well to defeat this god, who has the ability to manipulate Nth Metal (a metal native from Thanagar) alongside various other dangerous powers...

Overall, it's a fun crazy colorful book that goes all over the place.

The story, written by one of my all-time favorite authors, Dave Gibbons (cult classic Green Lantern writer and Watchmen artist) is fun enough. I love his work.
But I really think, had DC let this be a self-contained story, this could have been much better in the end. (like an absolute must read experience)

But the book was then followed by an event, and various titles were sprang off from this mini.
Including a L.E.G.I.O.N. title, various related spin-offs concerning specific characters (such as Adam Strange and some others) and other tie-ins (another Rann-Thanagar War later on).

But if you like scifi comics, Adam Strange comics or other space-based DC characters? This is as good as it gets.
Ignoring the sequels this story ended up being a lead into, it is a big epic crossover featuring tons of fan favorite and obscure character from all over the cosmos.
Including DC's greatest space champions from across the universe Adam Strange, Hawkman, Hawkwoman, Green Lantern, the Omega Men, L.E.G.I.O.N. and the Darkstars!

If all this sounds good to you, despite the unresolved subplots, grab a copy, sit down and enjoy the show~

I give it:

  2.5 / 3 Plastic-trophies!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks man ;)
      I had already done a bunch of Adam Strange reviews

      Trying to cover all his recent comics~