Thursday, April 23, 2009

Review: R.E.B.E.L.S. #3

R.E.B.E.L.S. #3

Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Andy Clarke
Released: April 15, 2009

Brainiac 2 is like a CEO billionaire who, if he lived in our world, would be circumnavigating the globe in a hot-air balloon, dating über-models, and conducting life-coaching seminars at airport Hiltons detailing his rise to entrepreneurial power. He is an alpha-male corporate titan who manipulates people into doing what he needs them to do, all while making it seem like it was completely their choice and in their best interest to do so. He sees the bigger picture and understands that the ultimate goal is bigger than the feelings of individual people, and he has absolutely no time to suffer fools who don't see this themselves. He is Vril Dox and he is here to save billions of lives if everyone would just get out of his way.

As often happens with powerful people, Vril Dox doesn't make friends so much as he acquires allies and R.E.B.E.L.S. is the story of him bringing together a team in order to take back control of a peace-keeping organization he once led that has now been ripped from his hands. The story is almost incidental as the real pleasure of this book are the moments of characterization that drive home this fundamental point. Dox is going to do what he wants and what needs to be done, because ultimately, this is one in the same.

Tony Bedard's strength here is that he writes Vril Dox with a deep understanding of what makes him an individual while keeping him true to his Coluan Brainiac heritage. There is a subtle and dry humor to the character, and this seeps into every panel and every interaction. The allies he picks up along the way don't entirely trust what Dox is doing nor believe everything he tells them, and they use sarcasm as a guard against him. Ultimately, though, they can't deny him; he has proven himself too many times to be doubted. 

R.E.B.E.L.S. may be shaping up to be a team book in the long-run, but there is no question that it will always be Brainiac 2's book to anchor, and the success or failure of this title will hinge on how well that anchor is written. For now, it is solid.

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