Monday, August 11, 2008

REVIEW: Jack Kirby's OMAC

DESPITE my rampant cynicism, I'd been looking forward to buying this hardcover collection of Jack's flawed eight-issue series from 1974 ever since I heard it was being published by DC.

The story of future worker drone Buddy Blank being converted into a super-powered peace agent was intriguing. The King's vision of this future world was grim to say the least.

Kirby's ideas are as left-of-centre interesting as ever and - for a change - his writing (even his dialogue) is pretty strong, too. His artwork's even more dynamic than usual and inkers D. Bruce Berry (a pleasant surprise, I must say) and Mike Royer are probably responsible for that.

I really enjoyed reading OMAC in one hit. DC's also added some nice touches - excellent production values, additional pencilled roughs by Kirby and an informative introduction from his assistant Mark Evanier.

In fact, there's really only one negative aspect to the whole darn thing and that's the final issue itself. Y'see, by that stage, Kirby had quit DC to return to Marvel. He didn't even do the cover on OMAC #8 (Joe Kubert did the honours).

It wasn't selling well, so DC decided to discontinue the title. Which they did in spectacular fashion - by wrapping up the whole damn series in one final panel. ONE FREAKING PANEL.

It's literally the most sudden ending of a comic-book series I've ever read (Evanier describes it as "a whiplash-inducing sudden stop"). Wow, he's not kidding.

Still, that disappointing premature ending aside, OMAC is well worth picking up - just so you can see how good the King could be when he was on song and firing on all cylinders.

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