Warning: Spoilers below!
DC Cosmic has been going through a lot lately. The multiverse is dying, hypertime is in danger and heroes are falling. And Justice League Odyssey has been among the books in that cosmic landscape, dealing with some of the repercussions of the events that have been taking place. The book had major starting troubles and lost direction fairly quickly, with its creative team abandoning the book after 5 issues. But since then, the master of cosmic comics, Dan Abnett, has taken the helm and guided the book into a deft new direction. Answering questions remaining from the previous team and weaving together dangling threads into a cohesive story, Abnett, alongside the likes of Carmine Di Giandomenico, Daniel Sampere and Will Conrad, has brought a consistent vision and direction for the title.
With Justice League Odyssey #12 acting almost as a finale of that first run and direction set up by Josh Williamson and Stjepan Šejić, this month’s latest issue, Justice League Odyssey #13 acted as almost a relaunch. Issue #12 saw pretty much the entire odyssey team fall to Darkseid, turned into his new heralds, if you will, his New Gods. Cyborg, Starfire and Azrael all became acolytes of the dark god Darkseid.
Jessica Cruz, meanwhile, was the only one to resist and faced the wrath of the tyrant’s Omega Force, vanishing into nothing. However with issue #13 effectively being an all-new #1 in all but the number, we’re given major revelations. Jessica isn’t dead. Or, well, she was. But the Omega Force that killed her also brought her back. Her ring is destroyed, but she now has the ability to tap into the fiery Omega Force that the dreaded dark god himself uses. But beyond that, Dan Abnett, along with Will Conrad, introduces us to a whole new team of cosmic characters here. For what do you call when you need to defeat an evil cosmic Justice League? You call a team of Guardians!
The solicits of the book even cheekily nickname the team The Guardians Of The Ghost Sector at one point. The pastiche is clear and fairly amusing, especially given Abnett helped forge the cosmic corner of Marvel and put together the modern Guardians team in the 2000’s with Andy Lanning and others. Now given the keys to the DC cosmic kingdom, he’s throwing in any and all the toys possible. With that in mind, it’s worth taking a look at this new team, as this issue was essentially a whole new debut, with a whole new direction, ending the previous run and kicking off a whole new one.
The mysterious man in the mask who dual wields, Okkult has put together a special squad to tackle the grave threat that faces the cosmos: Darkseid. Unwilling to reveal his identity under any circumstances, Okkult is very much the Star-Lord of Abnett’s title. He has a plan to help save the universe by calling in a motley crew of characters across the cosmos who may prove useful, even in the face of absolute annihilation.
Dex-Starr is, of course, the fiesty furball you don’t mess with or ever make the mistake of underestimating. He’s here on the team as a powerful asset, out to save the universe no matter the cost. He’s very much the Rocket of this squad, sharing banter with the rest of the team, being more than just what many might expect of a bit of an amusing animal character, carrying real pathos and weight. When the chips are down, he’s the animal space hero you want on your side.
The ex-antagonist who operates in a bit of a gray area, she’s very much the Gamora of the roster here. The super-warrior of space is someone who could use redemption, which was a key element for Abnett with Gamora back in the day. Holding vast amounts of power and secrets, Blackfire or Komand’r, if you go by her true name, is a woman who’s unsure of where to go from the place she’s in. But one thing’s for sure, she doesn’t want to see the cosmos end. She’s here to help save it and even guard it if need be.
Eskatons are a brand new creation by Abnett and Giandomenico, described as ‘carrion-eaters’ or vultures, to put it simply, that arrive and come into existence at the time of The New Gods’ fall. They’re celestial moths, drawn to the dying flames of a new god. And they’re here to put out the flames for good. They feed on the end of the beings of The Fourth World. As is evident, they boast a strange body which can extend like vines to strike at their foe. Visually and in base conceit, they’re a lot like Groot. And one of these Eskatons will be joining the Guardians Of The Ghost Sector soon, as the solicitations for the next two issues promise. Curiously though, the ties to Darkseid himself, as beings who’re out to kill the cosmic being, evoke Drax The Destroyer. Abnett’s clearly have a lot of fun here.
Jessica Cruz/Richard Rider
Green Lantern is, of course, inevitably the Nova. But as mentioned above, she no longer has her ring. That’s been destroyed. Instead, much like The Novas tap into The Nova Force, Jessica Cruz taps into The Omega Force. It’s her alone, with no aid, no Lanterns, alone in a sector of space, ascending and doing the impossible that needs doing. She’s very much Abnett’s Richard Rider, ascending to prime power. Even in the face of death and annihilation, she will not fall. And her heroism is held in awe by a great many.
These are just the beginnings of the team here, as solicits tease expansions and more additions to the Guardians team here. Dan Abnett and Will Conrad have launched an all new era and direction, with an all new roster of characters. The above team is aided by the tech expert Arla Hax Of The Zamaron Science Academy (the off-shoot ancient species of Guardians that run The Star Sapphires) and they’re soon to be aided by another cosmic heroine, as the ranks grow and rosters evolve. A brand new expansion of DC Cosmic is here, as Abnett, known for his masterful Marvel Cosmic and Warhammer 40k work delivers on the promise he made upon taking over the book, which was ‘bringing the cosmic’. Who’s to come next? Pastiches of Adam Warlock, Phyla-Vell, Moondragon or maybe even Mantis? Only time will tell, but it’s worth keeping on this corner of the cosmos.
Justice League Odyssey #13 is out now, where the origins of the new team can be found!