Review: Pax Omega / Written by: Al Ewing / Illustrated by: Al Ewing / Published by: Abaddon Books / Release Date: April 17th
Pax Omega is part homage and part pastiche of the sort of comic books that we now describe as classics. It features strange alien gods, dinosaurs, men of steel, super spies who work for agencies with interesting acronyms, vile fiends and tragic heroes. I defy anyone who is familiar with the works of Josh Kirby to read this without imagining the scenes in Kirby’s distinctive art style.
Author Al Ewing writes in an easy going, pulpy style that suits this sort of tale down to the ground. I get the feeling that it was as much fun to write as to read, as the humour and action are joy-filled and entertaining. This isn’t going to win any prizes for literature, but it should win something for being such a pleasure to read.
It’s also filled to the brim with pop culture references and puns. The plot is very comic book in feel; alien beings arrive on Earth during the time of the tyrannosaurs, and with the intention of setting themselves up as gods, skew the world in such a way that it becomes a place filled with super-powered beings. The result is a series of short stories, each linking seamlessly into the other, revealing more and more about the world as the tale progresses.
Along the way, we get a tale about the dangers of Artificial Intelligence, the consequences of a post-human society and of course, two-fisted heroes punching Nazis, as well as steampunk monsters and lone gunmen. Intertwined is a weird tale of science-fiction and mad science, and this strangeness carries the story forward and adds a unique edge to it all.
Though a self-contained story in its own right, Pax Omega bookends Al Ewing’s sequence of books in the Pax Britannia series of steampunk style novels, and does so very well. Fans of the Marvel Classics graphic novels will like this, as will anyone who likes good, solid, four colour fun. It’s ideal holiday reading for the geek on the move, and well recommended.