Image Credit: Cutaway Comics (Fair Use)
Image Description: The cover of Omega #1
Tides was provided with a free review copy of the comic
By James Ashworth
Following on from the release of Lytton #1 and #2, Cutaway Comics has now begun the second series in their burgeoning Doctor Who spin-off empire – Omega. Unlike its action-oriented predecessor, Omega takes a new direction, exploring political intrigue and skullduggery on the world of Minyos, but just like Lytton, it’s well worth your time.
Minyos has previously made an appearance in Doctor Who as the home of the crew of the R1C in Underworld. With that story having something of a mixed response from fans, to say the least, you may be pleased to hear that having watched that serial is not essential to understanding Omega, though may lend some extra context. The first issue begins with a brief recap of the basic story of the Minyans, skirting around the edges of mentioning the Time Lords, who are instead addressed as just ‘The Gods’. While the initial set-up may be a little reductive for those with more knowledge of Doctor Who (it’s fair to say the Time Lords are normally a little more complex than just nice), it sets the scene very well.
As part of this setup, we are introduced to Oxirgi, a senior politician, if not the leader, of Minyos. With the Roman-inspired garb, and his political machinations, it’s hard not to draw parallels to I, Claudius as he manipulates public opinion to his own ends. As for Omega himself, he takes something of an Arc of Infinity role, a quite literal shadowy figure influencing events from the sidelines. Opposed to them is Princess Malika, who seeks to reclaim the planet from the grip of rioting and martial law.
The characters are portrayed well in the story, and even more so by the art, with one particular page featuring striking panels featuring a black hole that add real heft to the storyline. The artwork is less distinctive than that of Lytton, which is by no means a criticism of either, and lends a certain vintage quality to the comic through the penmanship of John Ridgway from DWM et al.. In a lovely touch, following a regeneration, the art style itself changes to suit.
This regeneration itself may be the only slight misstep in the story, given the surprise with which it is met. With other relatives of the character having already been executed, it seems as though the people, or those in charge, should probably be aware of this fact. Putting that one minor niggle aside, it’s hard to find much fault with Omega at all.
As such, it’s about time to move onto the backup strip, the pulp-fiction inspired The Demons of Eden. A sequel to Nightmare of Eden (which is summarised briefly before the comic), it fits very well into the mould of a cult horror, with a group of nuns fighting off the demonic hordes of the Krib deep in an abandoned jungle. It’s another great strip in its own right, and it will be interesting to see where things go.
Omega #1, then, is nothing less than a triumph. It seems that Cutaway have found their stride with this release, and put something together that is sure to delight Doctor Who fans and non-Whovians alike. It’s well worth picking up a copy if you can.