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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Living Up To Expectations: R.E.B.E.L.S. #1

R.E.B.E.L.S. #1

Written by: Tony Bedard

Art by: Andy Clarke

There is a series that I will always remember fondly that many people may forget altogether. Negation was one of the best books being produced at the ill-fated CrossGen and at it's core were two creators who I will forever been enthralled by: Tony Bedard & Paul Pelletier. When CrossGen closed up shop Bedard went on to write one of my favorite Marvel titles at the time Exiles. There was just something about team based books that Bedard seemed to get that I loved. The underlying lack of trust that characters can have that many team books seem to totally ignore. So when I found out he would be doing a modern DCU continuity sci-fi team book I nearly wet my pants in excitement. R.E.B.E.L.S. is a spin on the L.E.G.I.O.N. series from the early 90's. Vril Dox first came to my attention during the Adam Strange mini-series that can currently be found in the pages of the Planet Heist TPB that lead to the events of Rann-Thanagar War mini-series that occurred in the lead up to Infinite Crisis. Since then he has been seen in the much ignored Omega Men mini-series and now that Rannagar ... Thann ... the location of Rann-Thanagar Holy War ... has been in the forefront of some of the events of DC for a while and they've been really pushing their cosmic series it seemed like the perfect time for a new series involving the only good Coluan in the 21st century. Well, mostly good. There is something perfect about the kind of hero that Vril Dox is. And it leads to a great first issue. The first time you see Vril in the first issue of R.E.B.E.L.S. made me laugh so hard I nearly peed (I actually was reading it in the bathroom so I might have). The series is drawn impeccably by the totally underrated and totally amazing Andy Clarke. He has a fantastic sense of character and is perhaps best described as a mix between the best aspects of Travis Charest and Kevin Macguire. He knows how to draw a great looking character with very human expression on their face as well as terrifying space monsters. This book really just made me giddy from the word go. I think that Bedard said it best himself in a recent interview with Newsarama
"... There's a lot of back-biting and scheming. You know, you have something like Star Trek or the Green Lantern Corps, and you know who the good guys are and they do the right thing and everything. This isn't that kind of book. This is more like Firefly or Farscape, where people are always sort of not sure they can trust each other. And everybody's got their own agenda. And people are dropping like flies left and right. It's that kind of book."

Seriously that quote alone should give you a good idea of how a series has to purport itself if it wants to give me goosebumps. Green Lantern Corps is totally like The Jedi Order or the Federation, one governing body and everyone doing the best to do the best for all while hurting the fewest people possible. So if R.E.B.E.L.S. is going to be closer to the kind of sci-fi that Firefly and Farscape (two of my favorite series of all time ... and very clearly the kind of book that Negation was from the get-go) then I can certainly say that this book is going to be on the top of my to-read pile for quite some time to come. Good on you boys, good on you indeed.

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