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December 21, 2010

Touring the Cosmos: R.E.B.E.L.S. #23

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Written by: mike
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One of my favorite DC titles has to be R.E.B.E.L.S. When I first picked it up, I wasn’t sure what I was in for. L.E.G.I.O.N. and R.E.B.E.L.S. have each been one of those titles that I just didn’t think would last, so I never bothered. But now, with Tony Bedard twenty-three issues deep, I am more than impressed.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #23

Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Claude St. Aubin
Inker: Scott Hanna
Cover: Francis Portela with Javier Mena

R.E.B.E.L.S. is one of those books that I just keep plugging to whoever I talk to. Yes, I am a sci-fi fan, but R.E.B.E.L.S. has been consistent month to month, and not really talked about. It features a wide range of characters, from Adam Strange to Lobo to Green Lanterns. New and epic villains like Smite and Stormdaughter, and interesting takes on old ones like Starro. It surprises me that R.E.B.E.L.S. isn’t one of the hottest books on the scene.

In this month’s issue, we are picking up the pieces after a battle with Brainiac. Vril Dox is set to meet up with John Stewart in front of a huge audience, to show that L.E.G.I.O.N. and the Green Lantern Corps can work together. The Psions are picking up the pieces after they were attacked by Starfire, only to be interrupted by a very bitter, powerful, and angry enemy of L.E.G.I.O.N. The Vega system is also given two brand new Lanterns to protect them. A little insight is also given into Vril Dox’s relationship with his son, Lyrl Dox.

Tony Bedard manages to pack all of this into one issue, which is pretty amazing. Usually when writers try to fit so much into one issue, the stories seem diluted. Bedard on the other hand, has managed to juggle a very eclectic group of characters, and keep them all interesting. Between Vril Dox’s conversation with John Stewart, and the initiation of the rookie Lanterns, Bedard has been turning out the best DC books month to month.

If you were to look back at St. Aubin’s work in issue #1, and compare it to now, you would notice a huge difference. I have nothing but good things to say about what he has done with this book, and it only gets better and better. When dealing with a cast of this size, it may be hard to get the detail into each and every character. St. Aubin is able to make the main focus of each panel really stand out, but also seems to set a real tone and image for the reader with his background work. When the R.E.B.E.L.S. and Green Lantern Corps are making amends in front of a huge crowd, you really get an amphitheater feel. Also, when John Stewart and Co. land on Rann, you feel a sense of awe with their appearance like most of the onlookers in the story would. It would also help to pay attention to some of the smaller nuances that St. Aubin provides, like Lobo’s exhaled smoke (check it out, you will see what I mean).

If you’re a fan of any sort of cosmic/space/sc-fi stories, this is the DC book to read. I mean, yes, the Green Lantern side of the universe has been in the spotlight for some time now, but R.E.B.E.L.S. manages to put a bunch of very unique and very different characters into one captivating story. Bedard and St. Aubin are turning out a great space opera month after month, and are only getting better at it (Plus, we get to see Lobo more often, and who doesn’t want that?).

Mike Parente
mike@comicattack.net

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