[Spoilers for Rann-Thanagar: Holy War ahead]
With the recent announcement of Jim Starlin putting an end to his most famous creation, Thanos, I thought it was a good time to review one of his miniseries, Rann-Thanagar: Holy War.There is a lot of history from multiple series going into this, including the the original Rann-Thanagar War, Hardcore Station, 52, and other cosmic stories. I can just break down the plot into our heroes fighting against religious freaks and overly hyped up villains in space. Sounds like a short summary, but for eight issues that’s your lot. What I really want to talk about in this series are the characters, and boy are there a lot of them.
Our main heroes are Adam Strange and Hawkman, the representatives of their planet, who have some pretty good camaraderie with each other. Tigrar from the Omega Men, Starfire, Chief Justice Max from Hardcore Station, and Animal Man all serve little purpose in the series. However, Animal Man is treated like garbage throughout the series, constantly being injured and insulted by the other characters. Captain Comet, when he’s not acting like the original Booster Gold, and Bizarro are here to show off how strong the villain Synnar is when he blasts down Bizarro and causes a strong telepath like Comet pain using his mind. My favorite character throughout it is Starman (Prince Gavyn,) who manages to tame Bizarro with cartoons and food, and then battle an evil god called Lady Styx. The real character problem is The Weird, who’s power of intangibility allows him to defeat both main villains, and save everyone multiple times.
There’s also a lot of nonsensical and quite frankly preachy dialogue and plot points. Hawkman is beaten up by Rannians for trying to tell them how evil Styx is and is about to be executed. Then they look outside and a volcano disappears, so they let Hawkman go. Adam Strange’s stepfather becomes very religious for no reason, and tries to push it on everyone, akin to a Jehovah’s Witness. The metaphor isn’t exactly deep or insightful is what I’m saying.
Final Notes: It starts off pretty strong when they are gathering up a team and the scenes of intentional comedy like when The Weird lives up to his name, or the occasional side conversation are promising. But then it gets all muddied with too many cults and depressing moments with no satisfying resolution. The characters are mostly pointless, with The Weird, Captain Comet, and Adam Strange pulling most of the weight. It’s just a mostly boring and preachy story with a couple character highlights from Bizarro and Prince Gavyn.
Rating: Borrow from a mate