Issue: Rann-Thanagar Holy War #5 Title: "Cursed Be The Peacemakers!" Published Date: Nov 2008 Generation: Modern Carter Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: Comet, Adam Strange, Weird, Bizarro, and Starman return to Rann from the devastated Throneworld, and Adam wonders if he will become the target of Prince Gavyn's wrath. Meanwhile, Sardath and the Grand Mor of Thanagar are each planning an escalation of conflict, readying their fleets for combat. Hearing of this, Adam and Hawkman break out their "secret weapon," and split the team up, taking Comet and Bizarro with them out into space. The "secret weapon" turns out to be a telepathic wave broadcaster, a device which will use Comet's telepathy to speak to every member of both fleets! Despite discovering that the Thanagarians have extremely advanced cloaking technology, Comet is able to use the device to suggest that each of the fleet's respective gods has ordered them not to fight.
Meanwhile, Deacon Dark and Synnar have made their way to Rann, where the "second coming" of the Nameless is set to take place. Placing a ziggurat in the middle of a desert, Dark begins the ritual while Adam, Hawkman, and Weird take a closer look. No sooner are they spying on the ceremony than they realize that Thanagar has snuck a cloaked fleet into low orbit around Rann! Deacon Dark tells Synnar that he is blessed to give the Nameless his name, and the cunning Synnar makes a power play, giving the name "Synnar." But this backfires on him, as the Namless is born into Synnar's body, which is changed to resemble the dark, armored form he wore in Hawkman and Adam's respective visions.
Review: This is one of those issues where a lot of stuff happens, but it seems like not a lot of stuff happens. Does that make sense? Sort of anti-decompression taken to it's ultimate level. We have enough material here for two issues, but the fact that the Thanagarians have an invisible space armada just doesn't seem to have the weight that it should, and instead we focus more on the second half of the issue and the rise of the Demiurge.
In any event, beyond suffering from being a middle chapter, this is a pretty good little comic, with some good character moments from the three leads, some nice pencils from Lim, and the plot moves along a good bit. And, of course, I am a sucker for Synnar the Demiurge. But it really does suggest to me that Starlin wanted 12 issues, got 10, and made due.
Image: Rann-Thanagar Holy War #5, 2008, Jim Starlin.