"The Ascension" on the cover and to my dismay the inside isn't "up." They actually have a title!
OLDER SPOILERS AHEAD
Title: "The Rising and Advancing of Ten Spirits"
With the Chosen all united the time has arrived for them to receive their powers from the Oans. First up is Xiang, the Chinese woman that Booster hangs out with in BG# 25 vol. 1, the one he "kidnapped" at the end of last issue. Her fellow Chosen give her some encouragement before she starts the process.
Floronic Man: Colors of the Rainbow!
What was the 80s' deal? Rainbows weren't that cool, if it was the Rainbow Raider would have his own series. I'm a little surprised he didn't at this point.
The Oans use their abilities to turn Xiang into Gloss. She went from a normal looking woman to ridiculously long red head with a plunging neckline that almost goes down to her lady bits. Xiangs' new body is odd, the waist looks like one false move would break her in half. The limbs and fingers are all elongated. I think they tried to design her with the dragon idea in mind given the fins on the costume. They showed a dragon in her vision and mention "dragon-lines" so it's the only thing I can link this look with. As Gloss she doesn't seem to associate herself with the Chinese anymore. All in all this just feel uncomfortably racist. It's hard to understand what was going through anyone's mind when they came out with this story.
I like how the other Chosen look on in wonder and excitement except for Tom. He looks vaguely horrified. Thank you Tom, you are on the short list of people that remained sane throughout this. Likeable and at times the voice of the readers.
Booster Gold: "Gloss." Huh? Just goes to show that all that glistens isn't Gold!
Wally West: Why couldn't she have helped you run away, Booster--?
Because then Tom and Guy would be the only likeable and smart characters in this. Okay, to be fair Wally actually had some heartfelt moments, but nothing was really done with them. He just mentions the same thing over and over again.
Gloss: Thank you, Herupa--Nadia! You'll never regret this!
Seeing as they look like their going to die soon I don't think their live long enough to regret it. But I'm pretty sure they would otherwise. Although I'm not sure if it would be more or less than they regret their failures with the Manhunters.
Why does a forest recognize Floronic Man and why does he knows that. It's kind of out of place since his powers don't get awakened after Gloss, Takeo goes next.
They turn the Japanese man into a living computer. Ignoring the glaring sterotypes this brings up do people really think computers when they think of nature? Gloss at least seems to have a connection to the ground. Like her Ram doesn't recognize himself as a part of his culture anymore.
Ram: The Japanese haven't been able to act directly, as men, since 1945!
I'm sure the Japanese readers that read this must have loved that line. But hey I'm sure others were offended too, because when you get down to it this book is a equal opportunity offender. Darkseid finds out about the Chosen being created and doesn't give a damn. You know your event is big when the biggest big bad you have doesn't give it a second glance. Gregorio is up next and he's a little nervous about the whole thing. I would be to if I saw the last guy turned into a bulky walking computer. He gets turned into Extrano, a cross between Doctor Strange, a Pirate, and Wolverines' hair. The Dr, Strange thing was likely intentional since Extrano is Strange in Spanish.
Extrano: I am strange--wondrous strange!--and the use of Spanish when we all speak English here makes it even clearer!
...What? It makes you strange to speak a language that another country doesn't use regularly? If that were the case most of us would be strange when we travel across the world. That hardly makes one person different or special. Oh and Extrano proclaims himself a witch. Yeah magic using is one of the elements too.
Extrano: I don't know what that's got to do with Earth, exactly--
What he said. Should I be worried that even the characters are noticing the problems now?
Phatom Stranger: Strange he may be. But never need he be a stranger.
Is that a pun or a proposition?
We have a pointless two panel scene asking what's up with the Guardians before cutting to Sinestro. Thank you for that. Mr. Miracle tries to get the Oans to rest since he seems to be the only one noticing their condition. They ignore him to finish what their doing. Betty talks in her "dreamtime" know-it-all way as her turn comes. She gets the most what-the-fuck destiny of becoming a floating head that somehow is linked with Extrano. Her green hair kind of makes her look like a head of lettuce. Truly this is evolution and will bring in the next stage of mankind. She doesn't even get a code name, she's still just Betty. Totally worth the loss of her body. One of the only cut away reaction shots that makes sense is Salima and Nikolai, the dead Chosen. Of course that is shrugged off as the Spectre takes away one of the few interesting ideas. Creeper laughs and Etrigan...
Etrigan: But now the world reeks of woman-smell--to Etrigan, another hell!
Uh...very awkwardly phrased.
Celia asks about Betty and we learn that the Chosen are all linked together but especially Betty and Extrano. While racist man isn't with the group anymore I do have to wonder what he would have become. Then I have the horrible image of them putting him in spandex instead of making him a disembodied head. Seeing the outfit they gave Celia--or Jet--it's better that the world never knows what he could have become. She comments on how she used to think heroes dressed stupid now she knows that it's the reason behind it. What's the reason behind her wearing an oddly shaped metal swimsuit that might cut you if you move the wrong way?
Floronic Man refuses to take the powers of the Oans since he's already connected to the Earth, which makes his addition pointless but he's still considered one of the Chosen. Toms' finally called and after seeing the freaky transformations he naturally declines. Actually he says that he never wanted to be one of the Chosen but only went along with it because he thought it was the right thing to do. Hal's confused so Tom explains that he's not the same guy he once was. While he had fun helping out when he was single he has a family now. I love how Hal looks like he can't comprehend anything he hears about the responsibility of being a married man with kids. Like he really upset that his friend doesn't want to be a hero with him.
Hal Jordan: --I guess it figures I'd be the last one to see what you're saying!
Hal's always been kind of slow in that regard. It makes sense that he wouldn't get it until the last issue.
Hal Jordan: You know how hard I've tried to change my life the same way you have--getting married, maybe having kids--
Say what? Hal Jordan has tried to settle down? Does Carol know about this or is she somewhere in the back coughing "bullshit" under her breath?
The other Chosen are cool with Toms' choice and the Oans say they still have seven people. Tom let's them know that according to basic math there are only six Chosen without him. They finally let it slip that Harbinger is their last choice. This has only been hinted at with the meaningfully glance they shared after sending her away crying and her going on about her connection to Earth/evolving. Among themselves they never spoke of another member on panel. It also makes their decision not to tell her more idiotic because it directly put her in danger. Harbinger wasn't protected like the others and could have died. Instead of accepting her destiny she does a U-turn saying she'll do things her way not theirs. Nice to see someone at least gets pissed off with the Oans being manipulative bastards. Besides the GLs I guess.
Despite not getting the same treatment as the others who gained powers Tom is given some to access whenever he wants to protect him. Lucky for him this doesn't change him like the others it merely gives him Twilight sparkling affect. Elsewhere the racist guy from before has put together an army swearing to use the insight he got from the Oans to murder anything to do with change. Yet another example of the brilliance of the people who brought us the Manhunters. HHH and Nadia die, something only Hal seems shocked about proving he really is the last one to get the point. Arisia goes on about them having a complete life ignoring the dead decaying GL beside her. Did the creators of this series think his suffering was funny? Why is this guy even here? He's done nothing but look like he was suffering and squeaking every now and then.
Booster Gold: So that means, the Chosen are complete, too! It's been a long and winding road, as the bard or somebody said, but--congratulations!
I really like this for several reasons. First of all Xiang/Gloss is the first to respond which is nice considering their time together. There's also the fact that Booster has a connection to this he doesn't realize and ironically is the first to congratulate them. If this was done better it would have been a better bridge between the generations. The heroes of the past, the Chosen and Booster Gold, the man who's the direct result of the world their supposed to create. I also like the touch with Booster mentioning the Beatles since he is a fan of the 60s according to his own series. Plus it has him not quite sure of the reference he made, another hallmark of his first series.
Jet: Bot it seem sorta--anti-climactic now!
I'll say, more so if you read up on what's to come for this group. Ranging from an AIDS vampire to a drug lord that gets his powers from cocaine and considers himself a god. BTW the Oans never explain how all of these things are linked with nature.
Overall: This was completely insane and while some of it will likely make sense with the tie ins I really doubt all of it would. Outside the offensive parts this was pretty enjoyable. I might do reviews of more comics like this at some point, particularly a Teen Titan issue I found. Comics that are so bad that their good should get more attention. I'd recommend this series only if you're into reading this sort of thing but even then you should pace yourself. Just let everything these guys are saying set in and it becomes funnier.
Did You Notice?: Jet, Gloss and Extrano all have the same huge, round earrings. Is that supposed to be symbolic of Earth?
Questions Raised?: What would the Oans do if all the Chosen were alive and accepted their destinies? They'd die before all of them were changed.