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The OMAC Project: Infinite Crisis Special #1
I've been getting attuned to the DC Universe as of late through the hilariously bad Teen Titan series. I thought that even though I didn't know 100's of comics of back-story, I could at least discern what the hell was going on by merit of recent events. Oops. The OMAC special, a tie in referencing a lead up series to Infinite Crisis, isn't just another "read Infinite Crisis #X first" deal, no it goes way beyond that. This has so many bizarre tie ins to secondary characters that not even reading summaries of back stories helped me grasp anything beyond....whether I know who Sasha is or not, she's still boring. Because even when DC turns the tie-in power to full, they still can't make a comic with interesting twists. In fact reading the summary of the OMAC mini-series made this tie-in seem all the more...money whoring by comparison.
OMAC, the series, centered around nano-robot covering body things, Batman building bad orbiting supercomputers, so secret organizations who seem to appear in DC comics once every 5 years or so, and just general hackery. Luckily, OMAC the special ignores most of that and instead shoots for the "how can we get one last go out of a dead series" angle. Even though Infinite Crisis destroys Batman's rogue orbiting super computer junk ("Brother Eye") he luckily survives re-entry...so we can have this comic. It's like Jesus rising from the dead to atone for sins, except with a lot less readership and a lot more "remember old Blue Beetle". So with satellite in the desert of Saudi Arabia, and apparently holding information on the weaknesses of all the worlds superheroes (GREAT PLANNING BATMAN!) the best team of superheroes the world has go in to destroy it...right? No Sasha does, Batman's bodyguard turned half robot turned boring. She goes from whining about not being worthy of working with "real" superheroes to not saying much at all. That is, she doesn't say much because despite the comic being about her fighting off mental control from Brother Eye while trying to blow it up, most of the panels are spent on such critical sub-plots as "black advisor to the president is appointed Black Queen of Checkmate". See, this is where that whole "too many bullshit tie-ins" thing comes in. All she does, beyond yell a lot, is send two more C-list characters after Sasha, on a mission that results in them appearing in a few panels together. There's also some time wasted on China/Russia/Israel sending guys to Big Brother, but I think that's either for a higher body count, or so the artists can draw really stereotypical panels of where they think Chinamen should be (yes, the Great Wall).
The end is that Brother Eye is destroyed....something that one would have hoped Infinite Crisis could have accomplished, instead of needing another tie-in to establish that he is "really, really dead". Like, totally dead. Well, not really, since he may have gotten some of his conscience into Sasha, but I say that only because it's DC, and they are not going to let some creative new villain like and evil supercomputer slip away with only one miniseries/climatic world changing event to his name. On that note, when is the Monitor coming back?
If there was one angle about OMAC I "liked" it was most certainly how it reflects on DC's resistance to change anything, ever, at all. The comic reflects this in multiple ways, for starters it has Green Latern, who while being in only a few panels (and saying even less) is a monument to un-change. He is made of anti-change. How you say, considering the story doesn't concern him? Green Lantern symbolizes DC's hate of change by his sheer existence, because if DC liked change, they would have killed him off and replaced him with a more interesting superhero, like Bushido. I regress, the real deal here is two fold. One is that they have to create another tie-in to establish the death of a character. As I noted in discussing the ending, it's all fairly redundant while only adding the options of further undoings. The second, and far more hilarious angle, is how the OMAC special deals with the main character, Sasha. One of the biggest changes of the miniseries was that she was turned into a robotic being instead of being human. Life altering and shocking, or as much as you can get out of a thoroughly B character. But the OMAC special? By the end not only does she not die in blowing herself up in the middle of Brother Eye, she lives and has the robot part of her magically stripped off in the blast, leaving her to stand half naked and declare how hot a day it is. Yes, in one tie-in blow, DC rends dead one of the major changes the miniseries brought about. It didn't even last a year, a change back that would be impressive if they weren't already bringing Superboy back as well.
A huge explosion, at which Sasha is at the center, kill her? Nah, she just gets un-roboted by it. I can't fake this shit.
Art was...bland. There wasn't much action in the comic, but the characters were just dully designed. Robotic Sasha was just colored in grey tones, and the OMAC defender of Brother Eye looked like a bipedal Alien knock off. To it's credit the OMAC special did not use the "5 million lines" approach to detail that has so marred the recent DC entries, but the resulting artwork was simply more generic, versus overtly bad.
It's a...It's a...generic alien looking thingy?!
The OMAC special will go down as just another notch in DC's belt so to speak. Another off shoot that will rake in a couple 10 thousand in sales simply by having one tiny shard of continuity fanboys must own. For the rest of us, it's even more a labor in DC-isms (undoing changes, bland exercises in referencing, horrible use of B-list characters) than the recent Teen Titans...or even Infinite Crisis. It really is that bad. So bad that I won't even make a "Superboy punches the universe and resets shit" joke, since as DC clearly states in the OMAC special, the joke's on the reader. They're just going to keep undoing and redoing minor changes from now until everyone stops reading.