Some people might consider battling hordes of malevolent aliens while dodging pursuers from every law enforcement agency in the galaxy a bad day, but for the Omega Men that's just an average day. Beginning this October, the interstellar rebels will experience some of their worst days and perhaps some of their finest hours in the pages of the six issue "The Omega Men" mini-series from DC Comics by writer Andersen Gabrych and artist Henry Flint. CBR News spoke with Gabrych about the series.
The Omega Men were recently reintroduced to readers in the pages of a number of DC's science fiction themed mini-series like "Adam Strange" and "The Rann-Thanagar War," but the team made it's debut over twenty years ago. "'Omega Men was a fairly popular and influential comic book in the '80s that featured work by Giffen, Moore, Gibbons, Wolfman, and other tremendous luminaries about a diverse group of alien freedom fighters in the Vega System," Gabrych told CBR News.
It was the Vega system's vast distance from the setting of the title he was writing at the time that originally drew Gabrych to the project. "Last summer, at Comic-Con International in San Diego, 'Batgirl' was coming to a close and I was thinking about what I wanted to do next, and having spent three years in the dark, dirty alleys of Gotham and Bludhaven, I was excited to go the opposite direction… Big powers, huge canvas, cosmic in scope," Gabrych said. "And coincidentally, I was approached by Dan Didio and Bob Schreck about my ideas on revitalizing DC's Outer Space 'properties' post-'Infinite Crisis.'
"'Omega Men' turned me on right away. Long story short, I looked at the old series, cast, and themes and threw out what I didn't like, expanded what I did like, added my own love of cosmology, biology, and socio-political issues that I am deeply passionate about (diversity, tolerance, and religious fundamentalism) and whipped it up with the ol' over-the-top action blender. And here we are."
When the series begins, the Omega men are not in a good place. It's "One Year Later" and in that time span things have gone horribly awry for the group. "Let's just say… there's only five Omega Men left and they are really not happy about it," Gabrych explained. "We've got Tigorr, the grizzled leader. Broot, the pacifist powerhouse. Doc, the, uh, well, Doctor. Elu, the foul mouthed living cosmic storm, and Ryand'r, Starfire's brother, who has a whole new set of powers, codename, and prophetic dreams. They are angry and lashing out, violently."
The Omega Men's violent operations will take place primarily in the Vega System, but readers can also expect a familiar third planet from the sun to be the site of some intense action in the series. "Vega is a notoriously volatile system of over twenty planets, but just before this series, has unified together under an ancient, forgotten religion. Only the Omega Men are left to believe in their 'old' individual Gods, or whatever," Gabrych stated "And Earth holds one of the keys to unlocking the creation of the universe, so let's just say Manila will never be the same."
Gabrych couldn't get into specifics as to what exactly the Omega Men are doing in Manila or other plot details. "I really would like to leave this one open," he explained. "I encourage everyone to come to this book without any pre-conceived notions of the Omega Men, Sci-Fi Comics, my work, or anything else and just go for the crazy-ass ride."
A diverse and colorful cast of characters will find themselves dragged along on the crazy ass ride that is "The Omega Men." Some of these characters will be allies, some will be adversaries and depending on the situation, some may even be both. "They are the Omega Men. They fight everybody," Gabrych said. "We'll see the Guardians, Green Lantern, Superman, the Teen Titans, the 'new' Darkstars and the Spider Guild among others…"
Gabrych wants "The Omega Men" to be a story that's just as diverse as his cast of protagonists and supporting characters. For the tone of the story, he's weaved together elements from a variety of story types including hard science fiction and space opera. "Striking a balance between high-octane action, hard sci-fi (and, wow, actually based in real science), spirituality, with the heart of a super hero comic was my goal," he explained.
"The Omega Men" won't look like any other superhero comic. Gabrych has seen the finished work of his artistic collaborators and feels that the series will be one of the best looking comics out there. "No joke, with Henry Flint's art and Dom Regan's 'colours' (that's for you, Dom!) there is absolutely nothing that looks like this book," Gabrych stated. "Henry Flint's art is going to blow your mind. With each issue he is turning it up a notch. It's incredible to watch. I wait anxiously at my inbox everyday hoping for a new glimpse of what he's doing. He still exceeds my expectations every single time. And just wait until you see his women. My God, his designs of the two 'new' Omega Men (Women?) that come on board (in issues 2 and 4 respectively) are just beyond, beyond radical. If Henry's hitting homeruns, then Dom Regan is sending that shit out of the park. He is a true artist and a visionary who brings such bold power and rich subtlety to every panel creating a look like nothing else. I gush. But it is really some of the most dynamic and original art I've seen since Frank Quitely. Yes. There, I said it. It's that good. It is nothing but a privilege to write for these guys."
Gabrych hopes to continue to write for those guys, both his collaborators and his protagonists in "The Omega Men." The writer is chomping at the bit to do a sequel or follow up to the mini-series. "I feel like I've only scratched the surface of what the Omega Men can be," Gabrych explained. "I would love to really run with these guys, get really crazy! If you guys like what Henry and I are doing and want more please let DC know! I would also love to do a L.E.G.I.O.N. series as a follow-up to the events of Omega Men. Vril Dox (LEGION leader) has become one of my favorite characters I've ever written and his new 'sidekick' is really making me unbelievably happy."
For Gabrych, writing "The Omega Men" has been a fun and fulfilling experience and he believes that readers of the book will have the same experience. "To everyone out there clamoring for 'something different'… buy this book," Gabrych said. "I have gotten the most amazing responses from everyone at DC (who has been totally awesome putting some weight behind this launch, big thanks to Dan, Michael, and Matt!) and to everyone who's read the previews… I can't wait for you all to see where this is going!"