By Tony Bedard (writer), Andy Clarke (artist), Jose Villarubia (colorist)

The Story: The story opens with a Dominator Fleet Admiral doing possibly the most original thing I’ve ever seen to break out of a force field in space. The splash-page outcome is spectacular. Then Khunds move in and we are brought to the Gil’Dishpan world, where Dox is trying to pull stuff back together. Our favorite little tyrant is as popular as ever with everybody he looks to for help. Then Starro’s forces attack.

What’s Good: Dox, as always, my favorite little dictator is in fine form; blustering, manipulating, ordering and plotting so that he gets his way. It’s worth mentioning that Dox really is a creation of both writer and artist. Bedard has the story, but the superb, expressive faces that Dox makes throughout the book add just as much. Furthermore, since the art is so good, Bedard has the flexibility to do less dialogue and exposition.

The Aliens – Dominators are always cool. Bedard has their point of view down pat. The Gil’Dishpan are the same. They speak differently, think differently and surprise you throughout the story. They even have a Reefmarshall. I don’t have a lot of experience with them (I stopped reading Legion long before they were introduced), but the warping powers are great and I love what Bedard, Clarke and Villarubia do with them. The Khunds are also depicted reveling in their idiosynchracies.

As for the art, Clarke and Villarubia deliver outstanding work. The Lunavore, while scientifically implausible, is visually arresting, as is the Dominion fighter chasing it. Another nice touch is Dox’s personal force field. It’s so much more obviously primitive than Brainiac V’s. I really appreciate this sort of retro tip of the hat to continuity. And the cover, including Villarubia’s blending of the colors, is just fantastic.

There’s a writing rule which says you should never put a gun on the mantle-piece in Act One, unless you intend to fire it in Act Three. When the Durlan faces off against a dominator on the Gil’Dishpan world, she says, “I wouldn’t fire a blaster in a methane ocean, Admiral.” Let’s just say that Bedard doesn’t disappoint in Act Three, so his plotting is up to snuff.

What’s Not So Good: There’s almost no point in having this section here for me when I’m reviewing R.E.B.E.L.S., but if pressed, I will say that Wildstar as a character leaves me cold. I don’t find her slightest bit compelling. However, there are so many other good characters, that maybe this is intentional. If pressed further, I would argue that you can’t ignite a methane planet. If oxygen (which is required to combust methane) were already in the atmosphere, it would be slowly reacting anyway with the methane to produce carbon dioxide and water, both of which are very stable.

Conclusion: Month after month, R.E.B.E.L.S. delivers. This book is no exception. Go buy it.

Grade: A-

-DS Arsenault

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