Hey, didn’t I just do a Comic Book Club? Yes, it looks like I did. While I still recommend reading Stitches, I’ve got something completely different yet similar in a strange way for y’all today. Familiar with Omega the Unknown? Well, you’re about to be, so let’s get this Comic Book Club session going.
A few weeks ago I was at the library searching through whatever graphic novels happened to be out at the time. I picked up the first volume of Hellboy and the newest volume of Fables, but off to the side in what I assume are “Staff Recommendations” were Stitches and Omega the Unknown. I’d heard of neither of those, but as it turns out, Stitches was awesome. So would Omega the Unknown be awesome, too? Absolutely, otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here telling you to read that as well.
Omega the Unknown is a strange book. Told in ten chapters, it covers a whole lot of ground and introduces a bunch of fascinating characters, such as Alex, a kid raised by robots, as well as a strange hero from space, a girl from his high school, The Mink, and even a random talking head…thing. It’s all very tough to explain, but the simple summary is that there are robots and a kid that shoots energy from his palms. Go with that.
Within the first chapter or two, I had a lot of questions. Answers would come, but sparingly and only when it really made sense. I can’t think of a moment where the plot has to come to a complete halt just to explain something. Everything flows naturally from start to finish. I was always surprised when a plot point was explained because I’d almost missed it. This is actually a very good thing. A lot of times, plot points hit way too hard and overly dramatically, sometimes seeming out of place or completely lame compared to what I’d pieced together in my head. Omega the Unknown’s plot gives details that you agree with and move on from. I had to stop a few times and go, “Wait, how did I know this happened here? Oh, that’s right, they answered that a chapter ago while I wasn’t looking.” So major kudos to authors Jonathan Lethem and Karl Rusnak.
Let’s not forget the art here, though. Farel Dalrymple illustrates and Paul Hornschemeier does the colors, and in case you don’t believe me that they made an excellent team, go look at one of the pages I posted. The colors scream “super hero comic,” but the illustrations are somewhat sloppy in a good way, the sort of style that lets individuality breath here. Omega the Unknown doesn’t remind me of anything else I’ve read despite feeling so familiar.
I wasn’t aware until finishing the book and reading the back section that Omega the Unknown was originally a Marvel Comics character from the 70’s that lasted for ten issues. Reading through I discovered that the team at work here made sure to parallel their story very closely to a lot of the major themes of the original run since it had such an impact on them as kids. The result just left me fulfilled as a reader. I loved every bit of this book.
So you’ve got your new recommendation for a graphic novel. Go read Omega the Unknown and make the title ironic. Or don’t go read it and let it stay a quiet masterpiece. Whatever, I’m just trying to help you out. That’s all for now, so go read!
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