Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Omega the Unknown by Jonathan Lethem Illustrated by Farel Dalrymple YP FIC LETHEM

Titus Alexander Island (let me start by saying this may be my new favorite character name!) is not your normal kid. He is hyper intelligent and has odd dreams about an alien super-hero protector that seems linked to him somehow and he just found out his parents were robots after they are scrapped in a car crash. Now a local New York super hero (whose main super power is how great his PR team is) wants to find out how Titus is linked to the strange alien super hero and there is also a plot by microscopic robots to infect and enslave all mankind. And the real bad news is now he has to go to public school. This is all just the start to the strange new vision by acclaimed author Jonathan Lethem.

This is a wonderfully weird and bizarre comic. It starts with loads of strange mysteries and even by the time they are all answered the reader still feels completely mixed up (but in a good way). Lethem has made a world in where robots, alien invasions, and super heroes are about as mundane as fast food, but in a weird way it makes everything so much more interesting. The books characters all have their own motivations and even the faceless aliens that are behind the robot plot are sort of odd tragic. My favorite character besides the incredibly deadpan fish-out-of-water Titus is The Mink. He’s an ego-mad superhero that uses propaganda and deceit to keep the world from questioning his actions. He does so many illegal, immoral, and illegal things and is a giant jerk, but somehow I just kept liking him more and more. The art is very distinct and doesn’t look like a traditional super hero book. Characters are all realistically proportioned and there is a very simple soft and thick line work used for everything. It is absolutely pitch perfect with the strangeness of the story. I hope that Lethem does more comics in between novels because Omega is wonderfully original and deserves to be mentioned alongside works like Jeff Smith’s Bone (YP FIC SMITH) and Alan Moore’s best work (YP FIC MOORE).

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