Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Blogathon 33: Dreaming Us Part Five

[Concluding my discussion of Omega the Unknown.]

In the final issue of Omega the Unknown, only two word balloons appear. Otherwise, it's a silent issue (some words on TV screens also show up). Mostly, it's a wrap-up issue that relies exlusively on Farel Dalrymple's art to tell the story. In some ways, it's reminiscent of those 'Nuff Said issues Marvel did back in the early 2000s that were completely silent (though plenty of writers found a way around that). For the most part, the issue shows how, after 'Omega' blew up most of the robots, leaving an omega-shaped crater, the good guys spread the salt via foodcarts and the robots try to deliver objects that will infect new people. The war isn't totally over, but there's enough salt out there to give humanity a chance. All of our characters get their little moment, their kind of happy ending. Alex is left with his robots, two of which look like the copies of his parents. He also throws his costume and Omega book into the river. He doesn't need to be the hero, because he already was and it worked.

What I'm left with are the final pages where we see 'Omega' skinnier than ever, disheveled, homeless, and in a wheelchair. Ultimately, he's taken underground where the homeless people have created their own version of the Mink's gameshow with a former classmate of his who was homeless, then a pawn of the robots, and now free takes on the role of the Mink. The set is like Hollywood Squares and the wheelchair-bound 'Omega' is put in a square. We zoom in on his eye and eventually see the Nowhere Man with his jar that leads to the Nowh-Area, which we enter to see the words 'the end.'

What the fuck?

His place in the 'squares' is to the right hand of the 'Mink,' the remembered and celebrated hero. 'Omega' is simply an unknown, a man that people have some vague awareness of -- or thought has died. So, he sits at the right hand of the real hero... or his stand-in. To live out the rest of his sad existence in obscurity -- in nowhere. He began as an unknown and he winds up as 'Omega the Unknown.' Except, of course, no words are spoken and he doesn't even warrant that name. In the end, life goes on and the hero is forgotten...

In 30 minutes, the first of two posts where I'll apply Raymond Chandler's "Twelve Notes on the Mystery Story" to Grant Morrison's New X-Men story "Murder at the Mansion."

[Don't forget to donate what you can to the Hero Initiative! (Details in this post.) After you do, let me know via comment or e-mail (found at the righthand side) so I can keep track of donations -- and who to thank.]