The OMAC Project
by Greg Rucka, Geoff
Johns, Judd Winick, et al
(DC Comics, 2005)

The OMAC Project, part of DC's Countdown to Infinite Crisis event, turned the DC Universe on its ear and added a new level of menace to the hero business.

In the aftermath of Identity Crisis, during which Batman and other heroes learned that some members of the Justice League had magically wiped certain memories from the minds of key villains and even a hero or two, Batman created a satellite network to keep a suspicious eye on the world's super-powered do-gooders to ensure that they never again crossed that line.

But the Brother Eye network is hijacked by an organization with an unknown agenda, and Batman is locked out of the system. Worse, the surveillance program is linked to the OMAC project, in which innocent civilians can be co-opted by an adaptive drone warrior system to eliminate super-powered individuals.

In the opening chapter of the story, Ted "Blue Beetle" Kord is the only person suspicious of the subtle unfolding of events. And, displaying a remarkable level of detective abilities, he tracks the problem to its source -- and is shocked to his core by the person at the heart of the matter.

As the OMAC series progresses, the heroes begin to fight for their lives as the warrior drones proliferate. Before the conclusion, some lie dead -- one in particular is dramatically and brutally murdered. The lives of others are dramatically changed. And nothing, yet, has really been solved. The big conflict is still coming. And the trust that once bonded JL members into a team has been broken.

The "big events" so often promised by the comic-book industry are often satisfying, but in many cases underwhelm the readers. The OMAC Project, as well as the cross-titled Countdown to Infinite Crisis, rocked the DC Universe in a big way and will not soon be forgotten.

by Tom Knapp
1 April 2006

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