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Rann-Thanagar Holy War 2 by Jim Starlin

01/05/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Rann-Thanagar Holy War 2 in the USA - or Buy Rann-Thanagar Holy War 2 in the UK

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Rann-Thanagar Holy War 2 by Jim Starlin, Rob Lim and Rick Leonardo. pub: DC Comics. 168 page graphic novel softcover. Price: $19.99 (US), $22.99 (CAN) or about GBP 8.00 (UK) if you know where to look. ISBN: 978-1-4012-2503-2.

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When I was reading the first volume of the ‘Rann-Thanagar Holy War’, for the life of me I couldn’t spot the name of the deity the inhabitants of Thanagar were supporting but presume the second volume would tell me. Ah-hah! He doesn’t have one...well, until now. Actually, it was more a case of anyone knowing was forbidden to speak it and there wasn’t many left over the millennia.

It’s an odd battle between the two races in many respects. On Rann, we know that Sardath, Adam Strange’s father-in-law, is running things but blink and you’ll miss it but someone called Grand Mor is his opposite number on Thanagar. The war is faced off on many fronts, including a couple space wars with spaceships. In the meantime, the super-heroes involved are fighting on a different front and even manage to trick a stand-off between the two races the first time even if it with a hodge-podge device that also has a side trick of giving Comet a new hair-do. In many respects, knowing what the heroes are capable of would probably guide you as to certain plans although there was barely a hint of what the Weird could really do. In many respects, both Animal Man and Hawkman more or less became bystanders here simply because they were out-classed but then when the likes of Bizzaro Superman is whipped in a single power blast, most of them would be and with a force shield preventing outside communication to the likes of the Green Lantern Corps or even the Justice League.

In an odd way, it’s a shame that more philosophical aspects of supporting their respective gods other than going to war isn’t covered but likewise, we don’t really see either of these two supposed gods as being anything more than conquerors. I use the term ‘supposed’ because things aren’t always what they appear to be and some of this is in the spoiler zone. When you have a reality where there are powerful super-beings who can be mistaken for gods let alone pantheons of those who are supposed to be, it’s more amazing that more of them haven’t wanted to extend their kingdoms. The conclusions here at least demonstrate that they wouldn’t get their own way.

It isn’t an all-out war throughout this series and there are some great comedy moments to off-set the war. If I have to be critical then it’s not seeing much of the Rannians or Thanagarians as anything but cannonfodder so they lack impact and concern for their welfare. The gods themselves posture far more than anything but considering they got two alien races to doing their fighting for them, maybe that’s just as well. An interesting turn in the DC Universe even if it doesn’t stretch writer Jim Starlin too much.

GF Willmetts

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