The latest series produced by Scout Comics, Omega Gang, is a tale about a gang of Generation Z misanthropes born into a world of inopportunity, racism, and exploitation. Finding solace in only one another, the group gets a chance to change their lives when they discover a set of eggs that hatch strange yet powerful monsters. Tiny creatures empowered by their owner’s hopes and fears.
It’s Persona 5 meets Pokemon for the next generation. Where a group of teens, roiled by what’s left in the wake of their opportunity-ravaged futures, seek to change their misfortunes with their monsters. What I love about this comic is how doomed every character feels as it uses characterization to identify with the problems of today’s world.
In that regard, Omega Gang is honestly just Deadly Class for the next generation. A comic with some seriously punky characters, those angst-riddled, “only my friends understand me” kinds of people. Homophobia. Inequality. Racism. War. There’s a lot to be upset about regarding the future and Omega Gang addresses this head-on, through lines of deeply philosophical narration and characterization that fit the anger of our times.
You’ve got Gabriel, a friendly blonde teenager still in the closet hiding from his well-off yet disapproving family. Adham, who is a star athlete that has to work harder than others to support his family and is consistently being made fun of over his race. Luna, the Eternal Ankh, that’s a goth girl with suicidal tendencies battling severe depression. Then Amaranta, a burning flame of vengeance and a girl who’s not going to be taken advantage of anymore.
The story kicks off in a chance encounter in a park, where the gang find eggs that hatch into their own iteration of phobia Pokemon, which they call OMEGA MONSTERS. The powers of these creatures connect to their dreams and fears, that kick-in during tense and emotionally dire moments. Here’s the description from the official press release by Scout Comics
They are the Omega Gang: Gabriel, Adham, Luna and Amaranta. They are a group of Gen Z teenagers, living in the small English town of Norwich, dealing with all the problems and insecurities typical of youth. Already burdened at birth by economic and social issues, they see only darkness in their future. The discovery of the OGs—monsters linked to their fears and dreams—gives them a ray of hope for the first time.
However, these strange creatures also bring a lot of trouble! The teens desperately try to hide their creatures’ existence from the authorities, while dealing with their monsters’ powers and explosive growth—all the while trying to cope with their own personal problems.
They have two choices: turn this discovery into the good kind of trouble that can change the world or collapse under the pressure.
Atop of this, the comic touches on some adult themes. Things like modern day sexual abuse, xenophobia, and conservative disownment. It is in these moments we see the monsters of our characters transform, kind of exactly like it does in Persona 5.
You see, overall, the kids blame the adults for a lot of their problems. And though they’re not wrong, much of these issues – problems of inherited generational trauma – are a result of the times and being teenager just trying to fit in and get by.
In terms of art, the style feels colorfully modern with good panel layering, whimsical backdrops, and violet blues. The color palette feels reminiscent of Papergirls or Deadly Class. And the monsters likewise evolve into fun new creatures in the first four issues.
The use of phones and texts are similarly, also reminiscent of Persona 5 as there’s a lot of group chatting. There are also, heavy gaming references from Pokemon to Death Stranding, all for a sweet blend of comics and gaming that I think fits the voice of Gen Z. Noted for being extremely gamer-heavy.
More than anything, there’s a ton of self-aware anxiety masked by self-assuredness in Omega Gang identity, a fun reason to see the friends come together though at the cost of being a little too into their world headspaces. Albeit, a common thread for Generation Z.
Omega Gang #1 (OF 8)
Written by Matteo Rivosecchi
Art and Cover by Niccolò Ielapi
Letters by Maria Letizia Mirabella
On Sale 5/24/2023
Omega Gang is one of those comics worth checking out if you’re feeling upset about the times (who isn’t?) and want to see a series that wants to represents the voice of a next generation. With angry monsters, killer creatures, and heartwarming lessons of finding yourself, you can’t go wrong checking this out.