Sep 4, 2008

[Comics] Rann-Thanagar War

Rann-Thanagar WarAdam Strange is hardly the most known superhero in the DC Universe these days. The hero of two worlds, namely Earth and his adopted homeworld of Rann, is your classic-style spaceman with high-tech weaponry and pretty exciting space-based challenges. The biggest claim to fame for Rann has always been their technology, especially their infamous Zeta Beam, which can teleport the subject across the known galaxy if need be.

As organized as the people of Rann are, that's how aggressive and passionate the Thangarians are. This race of winged warriors are militaristic and aggressive. They're known for their fearsome prowess on the battlefield and the special properties of Nth metal that improves healing, negates gravity and many other things.

So putting the two together certainly makes for an interesting battle.

The Rann-Thangar War ultimately begins with the teleporation of the planet Rann to the Thanagarian system because of a plot by a group of rogue Thanagarians hoping to create a dictatorship across the two worlds. The appearance of Rann near Thanagar heralds the Thanagarian homeworld getting thrown off its orbit and into a path that takes it close enough to their star to ignite their atmosphere and destroy all life. Most manage to evacuate to Rann but the two races sharing a single world was a powder keg waiting to explode.

Artwork for the cover of Adam Strange #8 (2004...Image via Wikipedia Once tensions reached the breaking point, the Thanagarians declared all-out war against Rann in order to have them pay for their crimes. The two races pretty much blamed one another for their vile state so it didn't take much for the battles to begin in earnest. On the sidelines are Adam Strange, Hawkman and Hawkgirl do their best to find an end to the conflict while trying to figure out what really started the war.

On first glance, it's a bit difficult to try and figure out how this storyline really connected to the Infinite Crisis tale. Sure, it's an awesome concept on its own and having two races going all-out with massive space battles and planetary invasions is certainly something worth reading about. Everything wil evenually make sense once you read Infinite Crisis so suspend judgment for now and just try to enjoy the show.

The art is again pretty great - a common enough trend in any story that involves the Green Lanterns these days. The Green Lantern Corps manages to get themselves involved in the conflict to some extent because of Kyle Rayner and they too add their abilities towards tying to ensure the safety of as many civilians as possible.

The story is quite solid on its own and the pacing of events is dynamic and definitely with that sense of urgency that comes with any battleground. There's just so much going on in each of the 6 issues that at times it seems tricky to keep up, and yet it's not that impossible a task.

I also liked how the characters all had their key roles to perform in this conflict and it didn't get too overloaded with heroes and villains such that others would suffer lack of character development or substantial plot participation. Keeping proper tabs on everyone's individual threads was key to keeping the story solid and integral and I definitely give the team behind this book credit.

If you're into spacemen-type stories, large-scale conflicts or you just like seeing Hawkman and his fellow Thanagarians, then this is a title worth picking up. Believe me, it will all make sense once you get to Infinite Crisis.

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