Though Omega 1: The Hacker Wars may not be counted among infamously delayed comic book stories such as the multi-month gap between issues for Kevin Smith’s Batman Cocophany and The Widening Gyre or the whopping 3 year delay for issue 3 of Smith’s Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do (you might be noticing a trend), there is another indie filmmaker behind Omega 1 who wants to finish what he started.
Marc Edward Lewis first conceived the story of a futuristic female amnesiac super soldier for hire back in 2006 when he and the character’s inspiration, Alina Andrei saw the lack of strong female leads in the comic landscape. The series, written by Lewis with art by Emmanuel Xerx Javier, only made it to issue 4 when publication was halted and the story has remained in limbo for over a decade.
But Omega 1 is hard to kill and is looking to make a comeback through a fan-funded Kickstarter campaign with goals that go beyond simply creating 2 more issues and collecting them into a trade paperback. Using his professional audio production and directing skills, Lewis has already created motion comics from the original 4 issue run and intends to push the world of Omega 1: The Hacker Wars into live action by producing a television pilot for an ongoing series.
So is Omega 1 a story worthy of investing your dollars in? I’ve recently read the initial 4 issues and though reviewing a 12 year old comic seems to fall into the category of “a little late” I think you’ll find that the themes presented in this graphic adventure couldn’t be more timely.
As a longtime comic book reader who caught the bug during the massive industry explosion in the early 90’s, Omega 1: The Hacker Wars took me back to the team books of that era in a big way. The story focuses on the mysterious origins of Meg aka Omega 1 and her seemingly innate combat abilities that allow her to decimate hordes of attackers, which are enhanced by a visually engaging magnetic power as well. Think Magneto meets Aeon Flux and you’ve got a basic take on Omega 1’s power set.
There is also a family element at play with her team of information couriers for hire. There’s big, bald and muscular, Dagger often found trading witty banter with the blonde spitfire, Lina who not only emits energy blasts, but can control the minds of men through mystical means. The two also share a Johnny Mnemonic like ability to store secure digital info in their heads through surgically implanted ports in their skulls. Sorry, no talking Dolphins here.
You see in this world of the future, devious hackers have made the transfer of electronic information unsafe hijacking everything from banks to government servers, requiring the services of elite couriers who can defend the secrets they carry with them through any means necessary. Omega 1 has found herself aligned with such a group and though she can’t remember her past, they care for her as she is and support Meg in finding the truth about who she is.
The group’s missions are soon compromised as Dr. Bertrand, a scientist working for a Hacker cell creating super soldiers shows up with the yin to Omega’s yang, Sigma, a Russian Alpha (or genetically altered warrior) who matches our hero move for move in combat. We also get a sense of jealousy from Sigma who is looking to prove herself better than her predecessor, which adds an extra wrinkle to the plot.
Soon Omega’s allegiance is being fought over by the Hackers and a government agency called ETHOS who all claim to know the secrets of her past, promising to reveal Meg’s true place in the world if she joins their side. There’s a lot of anguish there for Omega to deal with, y’know, when she’s not slicing people to ribbons.
Omega 1: The Hacker Wars has a lot going for it. Lewis manages to make each character distinct in attitude and the individual designs by Javier are top notch. The action is dynamic and well staged, conveying the necessary emotion or excitement intended by the scenes. It’s a well constructed book that certainly plays to the intended live action incarnation of the series.
Book 4 does end at a critical moment in the story as both sides clash in an icy battle, with Lina captured and tortured, while Dr. Bertrand seems mortally wounded. The only way to find out the rest of the story is to support the return of Omega 1: The Hackers Wars and get some nice rewards for your support like original art, variant cover comic books, collector cards and even a chance to voice a character in upcoming motion comics.
Omega 1 is a cool concept, with great art and a lot of ambition behind it to keep your fandom growing for years to come. Heck, if the campaign is successful, we may even see some Omega 1 cosplay at conventions in the near future. It can’t all be Batman and Avengers, right?
If you’re a comic book fan or not, supporting independent art is always a great way to spend your money to keep original ideas flowing for years to come. If you need to make it more personal, just imagine that great unrealized dream you wish you had the money to make a reality and be that wishmaker for somebody else.
You can find the Omega 1: The Hacker Wars Kickstarter page at this link.