Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Blogathon 32: Dreaming Us Part Four

[Continuing my discussion of Omega the Unknown.]

So, the Gary Panter issue...

He draws the cover and five pages of the seventh issue. The pages he draws are meant to be a comic drawn by 'Omega' that tells the story of the struggle: innocent happy creatures live on a planet, spaceships come and kill them and use giant robots; the same thing happens on another world; and another; another world's populace observe what's happened and create the Omega warrior to defend the planet; after he's succeeded, he shakes a politician's hand and nanorobots enter his body and kill him; an entire group of different aliens wear the Omega costumes and fire beams out of their hands at a big ball of robots. It's a neat little five pages that stand out and serve a function. If anything, I think they're more notable than anything for being an example of Panter working for Marvel. That alone is enough to make certain people shit themselves with surprise/shock/glee/horror/other emotions. The final panel of the fourth page, of the first Omega, his face melting from the nanorobots as he looks up is the one that sticks with me. It's so striking and heartbreaking. He sends out his powers to the universe to fight the robots with his dying breath...

The idea of an 'Omega Corps' at war with the robots is an interesting one, especially when they introduce Sillman Renfrew, Earth's previous Omega before Alex. We see an overweight, bearded man in a tube whose story is sung to us by Verth the Overthinker (the sometimes narrator and sentient statue in the park across the street from Alex's new apartment). He's a man who rejected his powers and heritage, drifting around, eventually winding up part of a small crew of conmen, eventually taken to the Mink's labyrynth, made into his sidekick and killed in a mission. Because of his rejection of the Omega's role on Earth, Alex was a last ditch effort to make sure Earth wasn't left unprotected. Now, to me, this supports the idea that the unknown 'Omega' is Alex from the future. Without him, there's no way Alex would have discovered his true self in time to stop the robots. He obviously comes from a future where the robots won and his traveling back in time is a last-ditch effort to save humanity. That's kind of weird.

The use of song by the Overthinker is one of the technical tricks used in the series. Like Panter's pages, the Overthink often comes with little tricks. Like closing the curtains on the issue or guiding us through the events. The song is one of the odder ones and it doesn't entirely work for me. Then again, I find songs in fiction with no music hard to get into. Without the tune, what's the point?

In 30 mintues, I'll conclude my discussion of Omega the Unknown with some thoughts on the final issue.

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