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Comic Book / Omega Men

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The Omega Men are a team of fictional extraterrestrial characters that appear in various cosmic comic books published by DC Comics. They first appeared in Green Lantern and were created by Marv Wolfman and Joe Staton. They are often represented as a group of renegades hailing from various planets in the Vega system, fighting against the oppressive Citadel.

Their most recent series, titled The Omega Men, launched in 2015 as part of the DCYou initiative, which emphasized genre diversity and story over continuity. A Sneak Peek containing the series' prologue was made available digitally for free. The premise of the series sees White Lantern Kyle Rayner captured and apparently executed on public broadcast by a team of rebels calling themselves The Omega Men. However, this death turns out to have been faked, but kicks off a new journey for Kyle as he comes along with the Omega Men as they rebel against the nearby galactic rulers. The 2015 series was written by Tom King (at the time also known for his work on Grayson) and illustrated by newcomer artist Barnaby Bagenda, and has been acclaimed by critics and fans alike.

Along with The Vision (2015) and the first arc of Sheriff of Babylon, The Omega Men forms the "Trilogy of Best Intentions", three of Tom King's works connected by recurring themes.

The Omega Men contain examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Claws: Tigorr's species fight mainly by slashing their foes with their claws. They usually aim for the neck for a quick kill.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • Various soldiers and mooks from the Citadel have their limbs amputated thanks to Tigorr's claws and Kalista's sword.
    • Kalista persuades the merchant on Hyn'xx to help her by cutting off his right hand. He quickly purchases a new limb to replace it.
  • Ax-Crazy: Scrapps is noticeably more vicious than the other Omega Men and expresses a love for killing. This is justified by trauma, as she is the last survivor of her home planet, having witnessed all her loved ones being exterminated by the Citadel at a very young age.
  • Bait the Dog: Primus lies to Kyle, misleading him to believe that he had a plan to save thousands of civilians that were selected for execution on behalf of his crimes. He doesn't, having only said that so Kyle wouldn't feel compelled to fight a losing battle against the Citadel army.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Subverted. While the Omega Men do some rather unpleasant things, the Citadel appears to commit far worse atrocities, with rampant executions and by killing an entire planet's worth of billions for the resources within the planet. However, the ending heavily implies it was really a case of Evil Versus Evil, since Kalista and Primus turn out to be just as merciless rulers as the enemy they toppled, with the former even being compared to the Viceroy by her dissidents.
  • Breakout Character: Lobo debuted in the original Omega Men series.
  • Continuity Nod: Hypnos are eye implants that hypnotize those who stare into the wearer's face, and played a prominent role in Grayson, which Tom King co-wrote. This series delves deeper into the device's origins, establishing that the Hypnos are actually a piece of alien technology that was sold by a merchant from the planet Hny'xx to an earthling who visited the Vega System in the past. The same merchant provides Kyle and Kalista with a new pair of implants in issue 7, as part of a plan to smuggle the two out of the planet.
  • Cool Sword: Kalista's weapon of choice is a razor sharp sword, which she has trained with from the age of six.
  • Corrupt Church: The Temple of Omega is very eager to take bribes. This is what allows the Citadel to finally capture the Omega Men; all they had to do was offer better payment to the Temple.
  • Crapsack World: The Vega System is a hellhole. Some of the worlds are corrupt, some are impoverished, one is in a Forever War... and then there's Voorl, whose entire population was exterminated so that the Citadel could harvest the planets' resources. The fact that the Green Lanterns can't enter (because of a deal the Guardians of the Universe struck with Larfleeze several billion years ago) doesn't help much.
  • Damsel in Distress: The Omega Men kidnap Princess Kalista and keep her captive with Kyle. Except it's all an act to win Kyle to her side. She's actually the leader of the Omega Men.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In the first issue, the Omega Men kill thirty-nine Citadel troopers. As is standard Citadel response, retribution is taken out on the population at a rate of a hundred to one. Thirty-nine hundred people are murdered in response to the death of a few nameless thugs.
  • Downer Ending:Although the Citadel is finished, the Vega system hasn't improved. Primus has become a governor who gladly uses violence to put down opposition, Kalista has murdered her rivals in secret and rules over her planet with an iron fist, Tigorr is unable to maintain peace between the tribes, and Scrapps is on the run. In addition, there are other entities—including Earth—who wish to harvest Stellarium to prolong their planets' lifespan. The series ends with Kyle being ordered to choose between siding with the Omega Men or Earth, though his answer is not shown.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Broot's last action is to break the supposedly unbreakable First Stone to retrieve the key within.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom:
    • It's established that planets explode at the end of their lifespan, due to the instability of their cores. This is what happened to Krypton, though every other world is doomed to the same fate, including Earth.
    • Doc self-destructs on Voorl, and the explosion is powerful enough to shatter the planet itself. Deprived of their source of Stellarium, the Citadel is forced into fighting every other planet on the system to secure a new reserve.
  • Explosive Leash: The Omega Men plant an explosive device in Kyle's neck to keep him captive. Subverted in that it's not actually an explosive; it's a tracking device.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Primus takes a shot to the eye late in the story. He is shown wearing a bandage over it for the rest of the time.
    • Kalista kills Sali, a native, via eye-stab during training.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Viceroy casually negotiates for the deaths of thousands of innocent lives as if he was haggling for a bank loan.
  • Full-Circle Revolution: Much of the team, especially Primus and Kalista, begins to use less-benign methods after the Citadel is overthrown. Primus' retaliation against a peaceful protest results in thousands of deaths, Tigorr's planet is thrown into a civil war, and Kalista puts down dissidents secretly. Scrapps is the only one who is not shown commiting any atrocities, but that's due to her becoming a fugitive after the conflict.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: One of the central themes. Both sides are shown as doing very bad things in their conflict. While the Omega Men do tend to have fairly good intentions, how "grey" the Citadel is is more open to the reader's interpretation.
  • Honey Trap: Kalista had recruited Primus to the Omega Men's cause by sleeping with him. She employs the same tactic again to earn Kyle Rayner's sympathy.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: As a vicious, bloody war rages for the control of the five worlds of the Vega system, Kyle Rayner and the Omega Men finally confront the Viceroy of the Citadel in his chambers. Kyle prevents Scrapps from killing him, saying that they need to show that they're better than the Viceroy. Unfortunately, Princess Kalista kills him anyway, leading to the Omega Men becoming the new brutal rulers of the five worlds.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the very last page of the series, Kyle discusses how he used to view gutters, the lines between comic book panels, as bars separating the "civilized" readers from the "savage" characters, with the implication that he no longer thinks of them that way. Likewise, fairly strong real-world allegory can be drawn from this story.
  • Mythology Gag: The Citadel strip-mines planets for Stellarium, a mineral that can supposedly stop planets from becoming geologically unstable and exploding. Way back in a Bronze Age Green Lantern story, Tomar-Re was dispatched by the Guardians to use it to stop Krypton from going up. In fact, what happened to Krypton is the very reason the Citadel are gathering this mineral, to sell to other civilizations that don't want to go the same way.
  • Off with His Head!: Kalista finishes off her father and the Viceroy by decapitating them with her sword.
  • Rebellious Princess: Exaggerated. Kalista is not only the true leader of the Omega Men, she essentially leads the system-wide rebellion against the Citadel.
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: Broot's species communicates by randomly adding "is being" to the middle of their sentences.
  • Take a Third Option: While the Citadel and Omega Men believe that the only way to find peace is by eliminating the opposing group, Kyle attempts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict throughout the whole story. He fails, with Kalista ending the war by executing the Viceroy in cold blood.
  • Unobtanium: Stellarium, the rare substance only found on the Vega system planets, is needed to prevent Earth Shattering Kabooms.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: The first issue was exceedingly light on exposition, expecting to audiences to be able to follow the narrative based on the artwork and contextual dialogue.
  • Warrior Princess: Kalista, of the Brahmin, has been raised in swordfighting since she was six years old.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • The Omega Men are fighting against an evil oppressive regime, but they use very dirty tactics, manipulating those in the crossfire, and leaving thousands of innocents dead in their wake.
    • In the last issue, the Viceroy of the Citadel argues that he is the real hero, because the destruction of Voorl was a small price to pay to save trillions of lives with the Stellarium they've been able to mine from the planet.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The US military leader reveals the current status of the surviving Omega Men to Kyle after he has arrived back on Earth: Tigorr's people erupt into a civil war without a common enemy to unite them; Primus becomes governor of Ogyptu, but orders his troops to shoot down unarmed protesters; Scrapps is a wanted fugitive again; and Kalista becomes queen of the now-freed planets, but under her rule, dissenters "disappear."

Oh lord,
For you shall return, return, return,
And we shall burn, burn, burn,
For we are the low, the cursed, the beggar,
And you are the end, the curtain, the omega...