Thursday, August 22, 2013

80-Page Thursday: Countdown Special: Kamandi #1!

Today, another reprint tie-in to Countdown, but this time one I hadn't read at all, unlike the OMAC one we saw a while back: Countdown Special: Kamandi #1, reprinting three Jack Kirby classics. (With inks from Mike Royer and D. Bruce Berry.)

In "The Last Boy on Earth" the series is set up: named after the bunker complex 'Command D,' the young boy finds himself alone in a terrible world after his grandfather (retroactively revealed to be OMAC, which may or may not make a damn bit of sense...) is killed by a pack of scavenger wolf-men. With the exception of Kamandi, mankind appears to have fallen even below savagery, to the level of dumb animals; while animal-men talk, think, and fight in the ruins of man's world. (Not unlike Planet of the Apes, except other animals get in on the action.) Captured by tiger-men, Kamandi is about to detonate the nuclear warhead they worship when he's stopped by the kindly Dr. Canus, who introduces him to Ben Boxer, an intelligent human.

Some of Boxer's history is revealed in the next story, "Killer Germ." Boxer (and his friends Renzi and Steve) were mutated to survive the Great Disaster, gaining atomic powers, but strictly speaking weren't human anymore. Their NASA complex is destroyed this issue in an attack by bat-men and the deadly giant germ Morticoccus.

Next, in "The Legend!" after spying a flying figure, Kamandi and Ben meet a tribe of apes who worship an ancient artifact and have a series of tests to rediscover the 'Mighty One.' The tests are more like a competition, and Kamandi pushes Ben into trying out; even though one of the tests is to be launched by a catapult. The apes had not had a lot of luck yet with that one, but kept trying. They still had the Mighty One's uniform, and after winning it (after a fashion...) Ben decrees it should be held until that hero's return. (This story puts Kamandi in DC continuity, unless you argue the apes were worshiping a movie prop.)

Fun and fast moving, these are great stories. I'm mildly surprised DC hasn't tried for a stand-alone Kamandi movie. Step one: hire some Twilight-style teenage hunk that's willing to go shirtless the whole movie. Step two: Uh, special effects, or something. Step three: Profit! Seriously, it's like Kamandi was allergic to shirts or something.

No comments: