Current Reviews


Rann/Thanagar War #6

Posted: Monday, October 10, 2005
By: Shaun Manning

Writer: Dave Gibbons
Artists: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Joe Bennet

Publisher: DC Comics

The heroes of Rann make their final stand against Onimar Synn and his undead army. As Adam Strange, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Captain Comet, and Tigorr take the fight to Synn, Rannian elder Sardath endeavors to forge a peaceful conclusion to the war with Thanagar. But even if the hordes of evil are vanquished, a more inescapable doom may await both sides of the conflict.

Throughout Rann/Thanagar War, the thought dominating my mind has been, “Somebody needs to tell Dave Gibbons that Kyle Rayner is from Earth!" The Green Lantern, long derided by DC traditionalists for being too “hip,” has in this series been known to utter “Great Guardians!” and other grievous inanities. In this issue, it’s not that Kyle’s dialogue gets any better, but rather a more important concern has surfaced: by the end of #6, it becomes immediately and painfully clear that the entire miniseries is superfluous. Over the course of six issues, nothing happens.

This isn’t a Marvel-style nothing happens, where the heroes sit around and talk and eventually come to some sort of conclusion. No, there’s plenty of action. We even have a major character death, as Hawkwoman falls in battle. But the sum of the events contained in six issues could have been covered in three panels. At the end of the excellent Adam Strange miniseries, which set up Rann/Than, the warlike planet Thanagar has been transported across deep space to neighbor the peaceful Rann. This, of course, throws gravitational rotations off, threatening to destroy both planets. At the end of Rann/Than, the two planets are still at war, Hawkwoman is dead, the Green Lanterns fix gravity, and a hole opens in the sky. Also, something happens to Onimar Synn that may be significant, but certainly doesn’t warrant an entire miniseries.

While the two previously concluding Infinite Crisis minis had open-ended finales, OMAC Project and Day of Vengeance both had many key moments, moving the status quo of the DC Universe from point A to point B. Rann/Thanagar War not only lacks a proper end, but also wants for a middle, with the result that we finish up not far from where we started. This water-treading makes this series the weak link of the IC tie-ins, and the stiff characterization from an A-list writer makes Rann/Thanagar War a severe disappointment.

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