Saturday, January 17, 2015

OMAC #5 - The Road Of The Damned!

OMAC Volume 1 #5 is dated June 1975. The story and art as usual are by Jack Kirby with inks supplied by D. Bruce Berry.

This OMAC story begins with one of the most disturbing images of the "world that's coming".

The young and healthy are being stolen and their bodies are being sold off to the highest bidder so that the aged and dying can have a new lease on life, but at the cost of the death of the donor.

OMAC is briefed and  tasked with penetrating the criminal ring which is dealing in this heinous marketplace and stopping them cold.

To that end he seeks out a lowly criminal named Buck Blue and forces the reluctant Blue to assist him to located and infiltrate the location at which the dastardly transformations are accomplished.

To that end Blue takes OMAC into the lair of the villains where OMAC is able to defeat the villains with the help of the GPA which deploys its other agents.

Buck is seemingly converted when he realizes his own girlfriend has been taken by the body snatchers. The guy who appears to run things, Fancy Freddy Sparga, is stopped but as the tale ends  OMAC must still find the secret location where the hideous transformations are accomplished, a place called "Terminal".

This particular view of the future by Kirby is perhaps the most vile he concocts during the run of the series, because it seems to my mind to be the one most likely to happen. In a society bristling with capitalist fervor and in which liberty is increasingly simply equated with "free markets" it should come as no surprise that certain lives are valued more than others, and often that determination is made on the basis of accumulated wealth. ("Makers" and "Takers" sound familiar.) The notion that the poor might be preyed upon for the body parts is hardly something anyone might think is not already happening in some dark corner somewhere.

While it might not take quite the dramatic shape that Kirby creates here, it certainly is the case that increasingly humans are seen as a resource for the advancement of wealth, a cost of doing business. So leaping to this extreme seems right in line.

More next time as we head to Terminus.

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