Rann-Thanagar War

Author: Dave Gibbons
Artists: Various
Titan Books
RRP 8.99
ISBN 1 84576 231 2
Available 24 March 2006

The planet Thanagar, home to a predatory, militaristic civilisation, has long found itself in opposition with Rann, a world devoted to the unending pursuit of knowledge. For years, they have endured an uneasy, unsettled peace. But now, in a cruel twist of fate, Rann finds itself teleported into the Thanagarian planetary system, threatening the existence of both worlds and inflaming age-old hatreds. As tensions evolve into all-out war, heroes from both worlds - Hawkman and Adam Strange - unite to prevent genocide. If they fail, the conflict threatens to engulf other worlds in interstellar chaos. Alliances will be forged, friendships tested, and the balance of galactic power forever changed as the fate of two worlds is decided...

Rann - Thanagar War could have been an interesting addition to the Countdown to Infinite Crisis series of stories. The planet Rann is on the verge of all out war. As tensions rise between two alien factions, Rannian space cop Adam Strange travels to Earth to enrol the help of Thangarians Hawkman and Hawkgirl. With the balance of the universe in jeopardy, can their unified front avert an inevitable disaster?

While the artwork is pretty impressive, I found the actually story a little on the dull side. War, what is it good for? Not comic storylines - that's for certain. This is a real "blokes" tale. Plenty of beating of chests and honour is thrown around like clothes in a washing machine. When asked by his daughter why they can't just flee the planet before war threatens to destroy them, one of our heroes simply says: "Sometimes you have to stay and fight". I think not.

Quite frankly I am surprised at how sloppy Dave Gibbons's writing is here. Is this really the same man whose 2000AD work we grew up on?

If you are a huge Hawkman and Adam Strange fan, then you might find something of merit here, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Nick Smithson

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