New Reviews of Old Comics
Not long ago I found OMAC #5 in the dollar boxes and was pretty excited by it. Finding #1 for only a buck? That’s crazy! Considering I also pulled #2 out of there, that’s a pretty good day at the comic shop for me.
OMAC, for the sadly uninitiated, is an acronym for One Man Army Corps, one of Jack Kirby’s creations for DC during his run there in the 1970s. It’s separate from the Fourth World, but set in a dystrophic future. As the cover screams, “A startling look into…the world that’s coming!” The story opens with OMAC destroying a factory that manufactures people, or at least human looking robot type things. The rest of the issue gives a little insight into what OMAC’s world is like and how he was changed from meek and mild Buddy Blank to the powerful OMAC.
Although the entire story is only 20 pages long, it’s a decent origin story, albeit fairly typical among super-heroes; meek, mild, put-upon guy who gets pushed around by bullies is given fantastic power by an entity unknown to him and chooses to uses those powers for good. Sound familiar? I thought so. The rest of the story is pretty interesting, and considering this is the early 70s, fairly progressive for comic book story telling with some of the concepts Kirby tries to put forward in this issue. Of course OMAC wasn’t well received at the time, which is unfortunate, but I think comic fans have been looking at the title more favorably in recent years. For the issues I’ve read, including this one, OMAC is turning into one of the titles I really enjoy reading. The lead character, is a bit crazy looking with the blue Mohawk, multi-colored costume and giant eye on his chest, but I do find the overall story very intriguing. It helps I’m also a big fan of stories like Orwell’s classic 1984.
One note of criticism I can’t ignore is the cover. Seriously? That’s a lousy cover, especially for a first issue. There is more text than art which has always struck me as unnecessary on comic book covers; let the art draw in the potential reader. Admittedly in this case the tiny figure of OMAC tossing a box with a woman’s face, hands and legs toward the reader isn’t very compelling, but we all know Kirby was capable of some incredible cover art. Just look at Mister Miracle #1 from the same time period as OMAC.
Cover aside, I dig OMAC and hope I find the remaining handful of issues I’m missing to round out the series.