Wednesday, December 26, 2018

"The End" Week: OMAC #8!


It's not by design, but the theme this year seems to be surprise cancellations: from 1975, OMAC #8, "Human Genius vs. Thinking Machine" Written and penciled by Jack Kirby, inks by Mike Royer.

OMAC barely appears this issue, as his alter ego Buddy Blank is stranded on a rocky island, then disappears before the satellite Brother Eye can feed him the power to transform. The confused Blank is captured by the monster-making Dr. Skuba, his creepy daughter Seaweed, and her boy-toy Apollo. Seaweed lets slip they, like the creatures Skuba had created, had been transformed by "atomic manipulation," which I think was an extreme cosmetic measure. Brother Eye continues fighting Skuba, defending Blank and turning Skuba's weapons against him. Skuba doesn't go down easy, though, and launches beams into space to attract space rocks to Brother Eye, enclosing it in rock. And in the last panel--not written or drawn by Kirby--Skuba's equipment overloads, destroying his island in a massive explosion! Is this the end of OMAC? Um, it's the last issue, so...

Well, not so much. Sequart has a pretty definitive look at OMAC, and even they aren't sure exactly what happened. Kirby's contract with DC was up at that point, and while he may have had one foot out the door, he may have been willing to do another issue and wrap things up. That didn't happen, but DC has gone back to this well more than once, with varying results. OMAC would return in Kamandi #59: the last issue of that book. Then the rest of his back-up stories went to Warlord. I've more than come around on Kamandi, but I always felt it would've been stronger with an actual ending; now I'm wondering if OMAC wouldn't have as well.

2 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

OMAC only ended after 8 issues???? Damn. I'm surprised DC shut it down yet let Kamandi go on and on. Crazy.

H said...

The bottom line is OMAC wasn't selling well enough. It's a shame too- it's probably my favorite Kirby series.

I would have liked a proper conclusion to the storyline but not sure if an ending would've worked- OMAC's mission seems like one of those never-ending deals.