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Review: The Omega Men #1

The Omega Men #1 cover
Cover by Keith Giffen and Mike DeCarlo

The Omega Men #1
Published and © by DC, April 1983

Title: “The Omega Men!”
Synopsis: The Omega Men lead a rebel takeover of the planet Slagg, then move on to Broot’s home world, Changralyn.

Writer (plot): Roger Slifer and Keith Giffen
Writer (script): Slifer
Penciler: Giffen
Inker: Mike DeCarlo

Review: Grim and violent, Omega Men was ahead of its time – and that might not be a good thing. Free of Comics Code restrictions, this early direct-market-only effort goes for edgy but feels gratuitous instead. The overall narrative is OK, but Roger Slifer’s characterization is weak and the dialogue is quite clunky. Keith Giffen’s art is similar to his early Legion work, which is perfect for this series’ sci-fi setting. But, like the story, the art here is mired by unnecessary gore. Omega Men has potential, but needs to settle down and stop mistaking excessive violence as sophistication.

Grade: B

Second opinion: “This series is either going to develop into something very good or very bad.” – Kevin McConnell, Amazing Heroes #22, April 1983

Cool factor: Keith Giffen’s art. His early work was perfect for sci-fi.
Not-so-cool factor: Tigorr? Harpis? Demonia? Come on, people, let’s show a little effort with the character naming!

Character quotable: “I just spotted a rutting mate that’ll get me through the night!” – Tigorr, keeping it classy

A word from the writer: “It is my goal to make all of these characters unique as individuals.” – Roger Slifer, from “The Art of Creation, the Creation of Art,” an introductory essay in this issue
A word from the artist: “I was bitching around the office that I needed a change of pace. … The Legion is a science-fiction series about thirty different super-powered beings, so they game me Omega Men as a change of pace – which is a science-fiction series with a hundred super-powered beings!” – Keith Giffen, in Comics Interview #1, February 1983

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on May 27, 2013.

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