“The Omega Men” #3 is easily the most straightforward issue of the series to date, as Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda introduce us to Princess Kalista of Euphorix and show us the Omega Men’s attempt to capture her. However, not only is this issue still quite enjoyable, there are a few surprises lurking around the corner where you least expect them.
King does a good job of showing us Kalista’s personality; her slaying of a commoner and her battles against Tigorr and Scrapps show us how physically dangerous she is, while her dealings with her servant Talim give us her equally dangerous personality. It’s an effective and efficient painting of a character in just a few pages. It’s also nice to have the spotlight center on Tigorr and Scrapps when they go up against Kalista, with their different approaches showing us how each of them works. Tigorr’s brutally efficient attack is show-stopping, while Scrapps hurtling through the window is a riot.
As for the revelations at the end of the issue, they’re sharp and also continue to establish the cast of this book as unafraid to do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals. Don’t think that the take-down of Kalista is going to soften their edges; if anything, the actions of this issue make the group that much more dangerous now that we understand a little more of their devious nature as well as who’s calling the shots. Primus had always seemed a little dangerous up until now, but he’s just been downgraded strictly by comparison to his new boss.
Bagenda and Romulo Fajardo Jr. continue to knock out some great pages. The duels against Kalista are just elegant; every little panel is energetic, and Bagenda knows when to use all nine panels of the grid and when to shift to three horizontal panels so the characters can better face off against one another, across the page. This fight wouldn’t be half as nail-biting if it wasn’t for the art here; when Kalista and Tigorr’s fight comes to a nasty conclusion, you really feel like you’ve just gone through the wringer with both characters. Even the quieter scenes in the Omega Men’s brig are eye catching, as Bagenda brings the emotionally vulnerable Kyle’s storyline to life. Between the self-conscious way that he feels the bomb in his throat to getting glimpses of his sketches of Carol, it’s a tender series of pages that contrast the vicious fights of the first part of issue.
“The Omega Men” #3 is another winner and, hopefully, this issue will hook anyone who was on the fence. King shows the variety available in this series, and Bagenda’s art keeps up without missing a beat, doubly so with Fajardo’s luminous starfields in the background. Some of DC’s new series are hitting the mark each month, and “The Omega Men” is one of them. If you aren’t reading this series yet, give this issue a whirl. I suspect you’ll be hooked.