Well, I was doomed to finally hit a comic I didn’t like as much as the rest surrounding it. Of course, I don’t hold it against Rann-Thanagar War, I just don’t think this is my type of comic. Interstellar superhero stories (with the exception of some Green Lantern) aren’t really my cup of tea, and that’s pretty much all this is. The planet of Rann has been teleported a little too close to Thanagar, upsetting their ancient pact to leave each other the heck alone. What’s more, Rann’s appearance has thrown Thanagar off orbit and decimated the entire planet. A handful of other civilizations have flown in, hoping to steal Rann’s technology and form alliances to further their own causes. Hoping to help, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Captain Comet, Adam Strange, a few Green Lanterns, and a host of others join forces to fight the good fight and bring down the evil forces at work.
That evil force is primarily Onimar Synn, but quite frankly there are so many devious and deceitful characters in this story that just about everyone is suspected of subterfuge at one point or another.
I love character-driven stories, so maybe that’s why this one just didn’t do it for me. There was a ton of action on nearly every single page, but not much in the way of character development. The focus is instead on the epic battles that take place, which is perfectly fine, just not really enough to keep me interested in the story.
I’ve read far less about any of the characters here than most, so with the exception of the GLs, I wasn’t really too invested in what all happened. At one point Shayera dies, which I think is supposed to be this big emotional moment, but I was just left confused: why is Carter Hall so upset? I thought Kendra was the new Hawkgirl, having taken over a new body? Again, the fact that this wasn’t explained may not be the comic’s fault; perhaps it’s referencing back to earlier stories that, had I been into Hawkman, would have been obvious.
I stress that it’s not the comic’s fault that I didn’t like it because I really think I’m just inherently not a fan of these types of stories. This could be the greatest interstellar superhero war epic ever written, and I’d still be forcing myself to finish it. I like my comic books just a tad bit more grounded in reality, or at least on this planet. What’s more, I felt like this story didn’t really tie into any others I’ve been reading lately. Truth be told, there is only a brief reference to a “crisis” that’s coming, and it’s tacked on to the very last page, as though the editors wanted to remind readers that this story takes place in the same universe as all the rest, and will be affected by Infinite Crisis as well.
Quite frankly this story felt like it could have been placed at numerous points along the shelf. The Green Lanterns were the only grounding force in the story for me, reminding me of its place in the timeline simply because Kyle Rayner is Green Lantern. I appreciated being able to fixate the story at a certain era of the timeline, but nothing else pinpointed exactly when this takes place. The story floats around with little connection to the rest of the DC universe, and given how tightly written recent stories have been, I found this disappointing.
Sorry Rann, Thanagar, and all the other civilizations referenced in this comic. I just don’t really care too much about what goes on up there. I just keep telling myself that maybe these characters are going to pop up again during Infinite Crisis, so reading this comic wasn’t completely random.