Sunday, August 9, 2009

Jack Kirby's OMAC HC (1974)

I've been spoiled by Kirby's Fourth World and Captain America material. Those collections were packed with Kirby's patented mad ideas and anchored by fantastic main characters. The OMAC collection has the wonderful ideas (like brain swapping, build-a-friend bombs, and war beasts that are a combination of animal, vegetable, and mineral) but the protagonist is pretty boring. OMAC doesn't have a lot of personality to him, so I don't have much concern or investment in him when he's put in danger. In fact, I'm more intrigued by the faceless Global Peace Agency officers than I am by Buddy Blank. Now with a name like Buddy Blank, I'm certain that our lead was supposed to be a cipher, but it does take away from the story a bit. There is still plenty to love in this, the odd dialogue ticks and quotation marks that I love in Kirby's work are liberally sprinkled through the 8 issues. Brother Eye is a neat character too, I'm sad to see the concept warped into a bad guy after seeing the original take on the eye in the sky.

Kirby's pencils are fantastic as always. This HC has some of Kirby's original pencils reprinted between each of the issues collected. It's fascinating seeing the dynamic action Kirby put into almost every panel. With the inkers changing 6 issues in, it is fun seeing the difference in what each guy brought to the story.


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