Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Read: Rann-Thanagar Holy War #4

Issue: Rann-Thanagar Holy War #4
Title: "Return Of The Prodigal"
Published Date: Oct. 2008
Generation: Modern Carter
Retcon Status: In Continuity

Summary: On Hardcore Station, Comet, Adam Strange, Weird, Animal Man, Tigorr, Starfire, and Chief Justice Max are outgunned and outclassed by Deacon Dark, his Inquisitor robots, and the temporaly-revived Synnar.  Weird tries to use his phasing powers, but Synnar shrugs him off and goes after other targets.  The fight is not going well, despite Comet being able to take out Deacon Dark, and Weird saving Strange from being fried by an Inquisitor.  Needing muscle to take out the Eternal Light Corporation's temporal circuits, Weird mentions Bizarro being on Throneworld...

On Throneworld, Prince Gavyn, intending to use Bizarro as a weapon against Lady Styx, walks in on Adam Strange about to Zeta-beam Bizarro back to Hardcore Station, and is caught up in the teleport.  Bizarro, mad at being taken away from his cartoons, is able to destroy the Inquisitors and turn the tide.  Strange and Gavyn are able to destroy the time circuits, though Adam disappears for a second.  

Meanwhile, on Rann, Hawkman is about to be executed by Sardath and his crazed fellow Styx-worshippers, but is spared when the prehistoric volcano disappears (thanks to the end of the time circuits).  But, he is not out of the frying pan yet, as both he and Alana are taken prisoner by Sardath.

The heroes teleport back to Throneworld to find the entire planet devastated and the population gone... "processed" by Lady Styx in a matter of minutes.

Review: A very action-heavy issue, with not a lot of Hawkman but plenty of combat over on Hardcore Station.  Starlin crams a lot of information into what is tantamount to an issue-long fight, including putting Synnar over as a badass on the level of "Darkseid or Mongul," which I obviously enjoyed.  Lim's art is up to the task and looks great handling all of the battle sequences.  It's fun to see all of these characters interacting, including Comet's exceptionally low opinion of most of the people he is forced to work with.  Very enjoyable space opera comic book.
Note: The Adam Strange Special takes place in the second which Strange disappears while he and Prince Gavyn destroy the ELC's time circuits.  I will not be covering that here as it is an Adam Strange side-story and does not feature Hawkman.

Image: Rann-Thanagar Holy War #4, 2008, Jim Starlin.


LissBirds said...

I just read the trade of this a month ago or so and came away from it rather bewildered. (Same goes for the current "Strange Adventures" title.) I couldn't warm up to either Weird or Synnar and Lady Styx just didn't seem terrifying enough. (She scared the crap out of me in 52.) I think Starlin could've done more with the story. With it being a space opera, I was expecting something more along the lines of the cliffhanger-ridden "Planet Heist."

'Course I read it because I'm an Adam Strange fan, so I'm coming at it from a different perspective...the Weird/Synnar/Lady Styx thing just didn't seem to fit him.

Luke said...

Adam Strange has a weird (no pun intended) role in this story, just as he does in Strange Adventures, because he is, essentially, the straight man. He has to be the "normal" guy relative to the goofy Weird or the self-serving Comet. I had not read an Adam Strange story until Countdown to Adventure so I had no preconceptions about the character, although I dig him now.

Synnar, I admit, is something of an oddball obsession for me. His initial form is nothing special, but The Demiurge, and the reveal of who and what he is, floored me.

LissBirds said...

I'll have to read it again...maybe I'll warm up to it. I also haven't gotten a chance to pick up Rann-Thanagar War yet, either, and maybe that'll give me some perspective. I think the Hawkman/Adam Strange team is a good one. I wanted to see them together in the current Strange Adventures run...but obviously Hawkman is *cough* preoccupied currently....

Luke said...

R-THW is an odd duck. I have seen reactions to it run the gammut from praise to disgust. I will agree with you about Styx. She plays a big role insofar as what she does, but this is a story about Synnar the Demiurge, for the most part.

Rann-Thanagar War is a good adventure story. It has a few problems but Adam is one of the main stars, since it plays off of Planet Heist. The Hawks are more supporting players in that one.

I too like the Adam Strange/Hawkman team. I was very much looking forward to Strange Adventures being the "Adventures of Hawkman and Adam Strange," but obviously Starlin got overrulled on that one! Have you ever read their Silver Age team-up, "Planets In Peril?" I believe it is reprinted in both the Showcase Presents: Adam Strange collection as well as the first Hawkman Showcase. Great, old timey fun.

Also, it looks like Strange may be popping up over in R.E.B.E.L.S., as well.