Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Random Thoughts: OMAC Project

I have a love-hate relationship with the OMAC Project Miniseries. At first it was my favorite of the post Countdown, pre-IC minis. It was the only one that really seemed to give any personal, emotional weight or acknowledgement to Ted Kord's death.

I remember thinking the moment where Bruce presents the broken goggles and Booster takes a shot at him was actually, surprisingly pretty powerful.

The next issue started out awesome too, as many former JLI/JLE members teamed up to figure out what the hell was going on and to avenge/honor their friend's memory. Okay, so Max Lord ended up killed in Sacrifice instead, it still had a lot of emotional poignancy.

I thought it could be great, a dark, sad bittersweet counterpoint to Formerly Known As/I Can't Believe it's Not the Justice League.

But then all of a sudden the mini series lost me. Maybe it was the emphasis on Sasha Bordeaux, a character I found mildly intriguing in Murderer/Fugitive, but quickly grew to resent when she began to overtake the plotline I actually cared about in OMAC project. And as she kissed Batman, seemed to die, got injected with nano-tech, and became all shiny...well, I just didn't care. (As metal chicks go, Bulleteer's hotter anyway.)

And then the way the JLI in the end pretty much got their asses handed to them, culminating in Booster leaving for the future. Yeah he came back, cool. But damn if that didn't erk. I was reading the series for some narrative closure damnit. It would have been much much more satisfying to see the JLIers actually kicking ass in honor of their fallen friend than the constant travails of the metal chick in the satellite.

So I wasn't really planning to get the oneshot. But it had Bea on the cover, and I love me some Fire. Didn't think I'd like it much.

I was...sorta right. It was weirdly a mix of really awesome stuff and really boring stuff. I *don't* *care* about Sasha Bordeaux. AT ALL. Metal or no. Sorry, she could have been intriguing, but too much too soon and at too much cost.

But then, the stuff with Amanda Waller and Fire...*that* stuff. Fucking awesome, man. I do believe Checkmate's gonna rock. I enjoy some dark espionage stuff sometimes, and Amanda Waller as the black king (KING, not QUEEN, hah!) will be awesome. Alan Scott is apparently going to be the opposing white king, which should be great too. This has the makings to be really awesome.

...but is there any way to get rid of Sasha and replace her with someone better? I know Katana or Shiva are busy, but there must be other vaguely morally ambiguous female characters out there that would be much more interesting in that role.

And if there aren' could always make a new one. :-)


  • At April 07, 2006 4:57 AM, Blogger Joseph B. Hewitt IV said…

    Ah ha! I found your blog again. I stumbled onto it a few weeks ago just doing the 'next blog' thing but then accidently closed my browswer.

    Anyway... ummm... love the blog.

  • At April 07, 2006 5:07 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    :-) Glad you found me! And thanks! Nice to meet you!

  • At April 07, 2006 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I dunno. Sasha doesn't annoy me, but she's been around for years and we don't know anything about her but that she's maybe just a bit too willing to play along with crazy people. She's too stern and close-mouthed to function well as an everyperson - but if that's not what she is, we could use some other hook. Otherwise, yeah, I wouldn't miss her if she suddenly vanished, only to be replaced by . . . I dunno, a depowered Linda Danvers. A former Royal Flush Queen. Somebody new.

    Anyway, in the meantime, any series with Alan Scott and Amanda Waller is gonna be worth a second look. I'm not quite excited, but I'm willing to be.

  • At April 07, 2006 9:43 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Well, you may have something there. I don't necessarily mind characters that are quieter, more enigmatic, and fade into the background more (Sand is my favorite JSA-er, after all, now *he*'d be a good choice for Checkmate as lowkey and efficient as he tends to be...) my problem is that usually being showcased in a mini=series makes characters *more* interesting, not less. Though I freely admit a lot of my apathy is more because of the lost potential than anything else.

    Rucka might win me over especially if he does manage to play with what you point out. I'm usually fond of his work and Checkmate still sounds nifty.

    If not though, I reserve the right to clamor for a replacement if she still sucks. :-P

  • At April 07, 2006 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I didn't even know there *was* an OMAC Project one-shot.

    DC sure loves to take my money.

  • At April 07, 2006 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'd settle for seeing Sand back in the JSA (hint, hint, Paul Levitz), but don't let me stand between you and your dreams!


    As for Sasha . . . well, I figure there's room to hope that time away from Max Lord's freakshow will give her a chance to break out of "generic calculating double agent" mode, and turn her into someone more fun to follow. But, by all means, start clamoring now: it'll keep Rucka honest!

  • At April 07, 2006 6:40 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    djack: Heh, me too. In fact if Wes's ghost does show up next issue, which the cover seems to hint, I'm gonna be real damn pissed if there isn't even a mention of Sand.

    I'll give Sasha a bit of time. Only a bit though. Maybe Fire can slap her if she gets annoying. :-)

  • At April 07, 2006 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Y'know, I think we could use an entire series of nothing but Fire slapping people who're annoying. It's an untapped niche!

  • At April 07, 2006 10:38 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    I'd read it. :-)

  • At April 09, 2006 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I really disliked the OMAC Project as a whole, especially since the evil satellite is dead now--there's a guy who RPs him who posts in my blog sometimes, and I'm afraid he won't be coming around no more :(. That, plus retconning Bea into a bloodthirsty assassin, even though people with well-stocked longboxes have said that Bea's origin states she refused to kill when she was a spy. It's almost like Rucka doesn't think a woman can be strong unless she's willing to kill, but that might be me reading too much into it.

    It was also depressing to realize that Ted's plot wasn't going to have a dramatically satisfying finale, and that even that wouldn't be dealt with.

  • At April 09, 2006 2:18 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    *nod* The lack of emotional closure is annoying, without a doubt.

    I'm not as bothered by the Bea retcon though, because I tend to find the "spy who refuses to kill" to be a deeply irritating cliche. I mean, personally, I'd imagine death doesn't happen terribly often in espionage if you do your job right, but that there are moments when you might have to cross the line.

    More though, it's impossible for me to imagine a government trusting an agent so much who *isn't* willing to do what it takes. Even if the circumstances never come up, why would they even resort to an agent that they can't control? The "spy who doesn't kill" cliche always seems to be used as short hand for "look how edgy and hardcore my character is! But they're still good guys of course!!1!" with an extra dose of: "he/she's so independent, no one can boss him/her around". But espionage, especially governmental espionage, is first and foremost, I'd imagine, about following orders and completing a mission.

    A spy has to be trusted with a lot of very sensitive intelligence, and why would a government trust someone who can't/won't follow their orders?

    But I do see what you mean about the killing thing, I think I blogged about it a while back. (shameless plug)

    It's an irritating trend. I would have preferred it that the necessity of killing someone had never come up during Bea's career. Then there would be an underlying question, would she have been able to do it if she had to? Could she now? Which would be background interesting drama to me.

    (And those mini-comics are *very* funny. :-))

  • At April 09, 2006 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, from what I understand, Bea had been used mostly to seduce people and gather information until the accident that gave her her powers, and even then she wasn't really that good at it. The Brazilians wanted her to use her new power for assassinations when necessary, and she left their service rather than remain in that situation. So in a sense Bea was never in a position where she had to hurt anybody, and that potential for drama would still be there if she hadn't been retconned.

    But then that'd be passing up an opportunity to screw with one of the last unscrewed-with JLI members, and God knows we can't have that. :D If I were Guy I'd be getting very nervous right about now.

  • At April 09, 2006 6:23 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Yeah, the retcon does limit that. Still, I'll wait and see what Checkmate does with it.

    They do seem to have it in for the JLIers, even if only subconsciously. Kind of like the folks in Infinity Inc.

    Guy's probably safe though, as he was really one that *JLI* screwed with. In Green Lantern, the injury that made him the jackass we all know and love, wasn't really played for laughs as much. GL really had moments where it was very clearly acknowledged and portrayed that this was a man reduced through damage into a child's mentality. An *angry* child really, but a child.

    JLI played it straighter though, recast him into just the amoral jerk buffoon. Which was funny, don't get me wrong, but it really tended to gloss over the complexity of the character. And reading GL v3 right before reading JLI makes some of the characters, especially Batman or J'onn who should have known, look like utter bastards. Ted, Booster, the others were okay, they didn't know what they were dealing with, but you can't tell me Batman and J'onn didn't know about the brain damage/seven-year coma. Not when it's a matter of public record.

    Then naturally there's the stuff with General Glory which was just a bad idea in general for many, many reasons.

    But then, Guy's not really a JLI character. Not like the others. Fire and Ice, Max, all got their start there. Ralph and Sue were around longer but their primary focus was there. Booster and Ted had original series, but their primary focuses were in JLI. Guy's primary focus was still in Green Lantern, then his own series. Which might be why he's managed to escape the others' fates.

    Guy Gardner: Warrior restored both sanity (as much as he ever had it) and mental acuity. I haven't really forgiven Rebirth for destroying Warriors (all...those...artifacts! And the statue of Ice! The figurine her *mom* gave him...) so unceremoniously, but Recharge has set him up in what looks like a leadership/command position for the Green Lantern Corps.

    So he gets to be sane, smart, and has the recognition he always wanted. And as the most easily recognizable human male in the GLC book (now that Hal's got the main title and Kyle's got Ion) basically assures him as the most prominent "star" of the ensemble cast.

    Sucks for all the others though. :-(


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