Comics Features Reviews

The O Men Volume 5 Marks the End of an Era

It has been a long and convoluted adventure filled with stark revelations and brutal twists but the time has finally come to review the stunning conclusion to the fate of The O Men. But with so many sub-plots and loose ends to consider, is Martin Eden able to deliver a conclusion worthy of our expectations? What fate is to befall our heroes and what does the future hold for them and the rest of humanity? Only one way to find out. Onto the final instalment of the thrilling adventures of The O Men. And if you wish to look over this series from the start, check out our review of the first volume here!

Well, what can I say in terms of story? This is the last volume here and I can’t go too in depth because of spoilers, but there is a lot of content and revelations being brought to life on near every page here. After the events of the last volume, a few familiar faces return to be part of The O Men (and we get a short explanation as to where they have been) to assist Kelly, Grace, and Asylum, with taking down the vultures. But something is wrong with Grace and her methods have the team on edge. And all the while they focus on dismantling the Vultures, a group of supervillains that many we have already encountered, named “The Vicious Circle II” are planning to take them out, with a mole on the inside. And with these events; we get to learn the true origins of Anathema, the past of Doctor O and what he has been hiding from the team, and also, the true identity of Miss Scarlet. All of this is brought to light amongst the chaos as well as an enemy even more dangerous than those they have faced thus far…

Now the story that Eden has built here has developed high expectations from myself over the past volumes and I am glad to admit they were well met. A lot of outstanding questions were finally answered and clearly presented to us through the art design, which remain visually stunning and highly unique as ever. Like in the previous volumes, flashbacks of past events are given slight variations from the traditional design, especially upon learning the true origins of Anathema. Taking on a rougher, darker shade of pencil sketches, reflecting the times of which they are set and overall darker tone (no spoilers!). Despite this, there is only one gripe I have and that is the ending feels a little forced and glanced over in some places. The final issue takes a perspective of someone that has been there since the start watching over the past and the future events throughout The O Men timeline. But what usually took a few pages or even a whole issue to discuss and expand upon is summarised in a single frame in some places, including what could be amazing fight scenes and even the fate of some former team members quickly shown to us before moving onto something unrelated. A lot of story ideas and twists feel potentially disregarded here in order to end this series on a high which is a little disheartening. But there is a great opportunity to continue this series long into the future, and I’m sure he can always expand upon these plot points if needed (please).

So to conclude, this final volume of The O Men ended the series on a strong emotional high even if it may have felt a little rushed towards the end. These characters that we have seen develop through this adventure have grown from strength to strength with a strong mix of strong emotional narrative and light-hearted relationships that wasn’t afraid to touch upon more personal issues amongst a superhuman cast. As time progressed so did the quality of the art design and the variety of unique personas gracing the pages, each with unique designs and quirks that worked well off each other in a way that felt realistic and relatable despite the powers. If not clear already, I enjoyed every volume of this series and I wish Martin all the best in his future projects and would love to see what this world may yet have in store.

Have you had the chance to read The O Men? Do you agree with our opinion on this series? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

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Connor Filsell

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