Friday, April 17, 2009

Read: Rann-Thanagar Holy War #2

Issue: Rann-Thanagar Holy War #2
Title: "Seek And Ye Shall Find!"
Published Date: Aug 2008
Generation: Modern Carter
Retcon Status: In Continuity

Summary: On Hardcore Station, Chief Justice Max is trying to keep order after the bombing last issue, aimed at eliminating Comet.  Luckily for the mental-powered hero, he was able to teleport out of harm's way just in time.  Still, Max orders him off-station immediately, so Comet and Tyrone head to Rann to meet up with Adam Strange.  On Rann, Adam, Hawkman, Allana, Starfire, and Animal Man discuss the re-emergence of worship of Lady Styx on the planet, despite the elimination of the virus -- including how Sardath has become the most devoted of all.  Their speculation is interrupted by an alarm signalling the arrival of Thanagarian mineral raiders.  The heroes head out, while Allana meets with Comet; Aleea mentions to her mother that she has seen the "ghost" which has all of the guards in the Hall of Science spooked.

At the raid, the heroes make pretty short work of the Thanagarians, but the battle is interrupted by the bizarre arrival of a Monarchasaurus, a creature which has been extinct on Rann for approximately 2 billion years!  They fight valiantly against the beast, but their weapons are useless against it's thick hide.  Hawkman ends up getting his wing harness shredded, and is facing down the giant maw full of teeth when the creature's head suddenly explodes from within.  Their savior turns out to be The Weird, who has been hanging out on Rann but admits that the war is making tourism difficult.  Back at the Hall of Science, Sardath is too busy inspecting a new statue to the glory of Lady Styx to be interested in a dinosaur running amuck.  Aleea points out The Weird as the "ghost," and he admits to sneaking around the Hall of Science to do research on their computers.  When Adam confronts his father-in-law about his change in attitude, Sardath reveals that he is not surprised by the anachronism, as he already found one: a Rannian "shaggy man," which has been extinct for at least a billion years.  Adam Strange laments that things are starting to get weird.

Meanwhile, Tigorr gets drunk while supervising his mining bots, Starman keeps Bizarro occupied with food and Earth cartoons, and Deacon Dark continues to plot behind the scenes.

Review: Very strong second issue from Starlin and Lim, playing as a very old fashioned sort of second issue: establishing the other half of the threat, gathering the heroes together, whetting the appetite with an action sequence, and then ending on an ominious note.  Starlin juggles several plotlines easily, delivers a fun action sequence, and even the "look-ins" on the smaller plots don't feel too forced despite their short lengths.  It does seems as if some of these characters are here simply because they were in Countdown to Adventure -- namely Animal Man and Starfire.  Lim's art is excellent, especially with the Monarchasaurus.  His style is really well-suited to this sort of sci-fi/space opera stuff.  The scene of Aleea throwing a ball to Tyrone and saying "Fetch doggie!" had me in stitches it was so silly and adorable.  And any time you can work in a fight against a dinosaur, well, that's just good comics right there.

Image: Rann-Thanagar Holy War #2, 2008, Jim Starlin.

No comments: