Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Read: Rann-Thanagar War Infinite Crisis Special

Issue: Rann-Thanagar War Infinite Crisis Special
Title: "Hands Of Fate"
Published Date: Apr 2006
Generation: Modern Carter
Retcon Status: In Continuity

Summary: With the strange rift in time and space which cropped up at the end of the miniseries starting to spread and endanger the universe, Donna Troy's assemblage of heroes start doing whatever they can to help out.  Green Lantern Kyle Rayner and Jade throw all of their energy at what appear to be a set of giant hands coming from the rift.

Meanwhile, Adam Strange gets a message from Tigorr of the Omega Men.  Adam, Hawkman, and Hawkgirl meet with Tigorr who shows them surveillance footage from a Thanagarian satelite, which shows a red-and-blue blur forcing Rann and Thanagar to collide.  Unfortunately the satelite is destroyed shortly thereafter, but Adam has an idea on how to broker a peace between the two races.

The battlr against the hands is not going well, with each pulse of energy it generates stronger than the last.  Finally, Jade is unable to take another shot, and is killed by the tremendous electro-magnetic wave the hands generated.  Her green energy is transferred back into Kyle, and his power grows tremendously.  Kyle brings Jade's body back to her father, Alan Scott, but as he holds her in his arms, another energy wave destroys her remains.  Kyle, his uniform changed to reflect his new power, tells her that her spirit will live on forever in him.

On Thanagar, Adam and the Hawks find evidence to support the theory that the strange blur is what caused the destruction of the planet, and not just it's sudden arrival in the solar system: two handprints set in an enormous crater, belonging to Superboy Prime.  Armed with this knowledge, and lead by Kyle Rayner, as Ion, the united heroes set out to stop the rift from spreading.

Review: The miniseries is finally tied back to the big event, with Alexander Luthor's hands from the middle stages of Infinite Crisis being the major threat.  Overall, it's not a really convincing connection -- yeah, its a direct plot point from IC, but this issue is really little more than a running fight and a contrived effort to kill off Jade and turn Kyle into Ion.  Rann-Thanagar War truly was the sequel to Planet Heist, and not anything more grand than that.  

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Gibbons and Reis give it a good go, but ultimately this Special feels very slight and rushed.  Even Reis's normally excellent pencils have some annoying inconsistancies: is Hawkman wearing a rebreather mask or not?  It seems to change from page to page.  Even more frustrating is that, just like the miniseries, nothing is resolved here, as it all has to come back to the Crisis.  I suppose that is unaviodable, but still.  As a big cosmic brawl, this was pretty fun, and a nice endcap to the miniseries, but nothing worth specifically seeking out.

Image: Rann-Thanagar War Infinite Crisis Special, 2006, Dave Gibbons.

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