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Friday, January 16, 2009

Comic Review - Rann-Thanagar Holy War

Title/Storyline
Rann-Thanagar Holy War
Publish Date/Year
2008
Creative Team
Jim Starlin, Ron Lim, Rick Leonardi & Al Milgrom
Issue (s)
1-8, Adam Strange Special, Hawkman Special
Publisher
DC
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Story
The recalcitrant people of Rann and Thanagar are at it again after the events of 52 and Countdown – back at war! This time with religious fervor. The Rannians have found an unfamiliar faith in the being called Lady Styx while the Thanagarians have been brainwashed and are hell-bent in bringing the Nameless One to the physical plane with the aid of their fanatical spiritual leader Deacon Dark They succeed in bringing back the Nameless One in the form of Synnar, a Mongul power-class villain.
Caught in the middle are the same characters from 52, Countdown and the earlier Rann-Thanagar War: Adam Strange & Hawkman
Comet & The Weird
Starman IV of Throneworld (not the JSA Starman – see picture)
Starfire & Animal Man
Bizarro (you have to read the issues to see how and why).
Tigorr (of the Omega Men)
By the end of the series, we would have seen the destruction of Throneworld by Lady Styx’s forces and of Rann by Adam Strange. Yes, it’s hard to believe but you have to read the series to know the how & whys.

This series leaves quite a few significant changes that I think would be felt throughout the DC Universe for the next couple of years. It also introduces a major DC villain – the Nameless One. I foresee him to become a villain in the same class & threat level as Darkseid very soon. (just think of it as kind of a DC version of Thanos – a multi-universal threat.)
Art
Lim’s art has not changed much from his Silver Surfer days from the 90s.I must admit I have never been a fan of his but he was a big gun in the 90s. You will see that his styled had been the template for a lot of artists (especially artists from the 90s Image stable – which kind of explains the success or lack of it thereof).

Still, credit where it’s due, his art was influential and is pleasant to look at.
Al Milgrom – Those familiar with Milgrom’s work will know that his work is un-impressive at best. The same can be said for his work here. However Marvel used to rely on him for fill in issues for books that risk missed deadlines. He was also one of the senior/key editors during Jim Shooter’s reign at Marvel.

Rick Leonardi – Another old-timer. I quite liked his work back in the day. His work was very unique as you can pick out his style easily and it looked quite good. Unfortunately, his style never quite appealed to the fandom in general.
Additional Comments
Starlin does not stray far from what he knows he does best – intergalactic conflict with fanatical religious undertones that fuel the conflicts. So here it’s basically the same thing but with different characters from DC. The one thing I find really interesting was the revelation about Hawkman’s rich but complicated history. This was presented in the Hawkman Special. It’s my favorite issue of the whole bunch although Milgrom’s art really left a lot to be desired.

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