Saturday, January 24, 2015
OMAC #7 - The Ocean Stealers!
OMAC Volume 1 #7 marks the beginning of the end for Jack Kirby's "One Man Army Corps". Written and drawn as always by Kirby this issue is final issue inked and lettered by D. Bruce Berry.
The story begins with OMAC investigating a devastating mystery.
The water from a lake has disappeared utterly and swiftly leaving the plant and animal life which once trived there to die slowly and miserably. OMAC finds a peculiar cube embedded in the lake floor but despite his great strength he is unable to lift it.
But with a boost from the ever-present Brother Eye satellite he does manage just barely heave the cube out of the murky ground but it's a short-lived victory as the weight of the cube proves too much. Then Brother Eye announces he has discerned what the cube is.
The scene shifts to another lake over which a mysterious aircraft drops a similar cube. That cube quickly absorbs all the water from the once benign lake and the aircraft then retrieves the laden cube using special equipment dubbed the "weight neutralizer".
We then meet the perpetrator of this nefarious plot, one Doctor Skuba who alongside his daughter Seaweed and her fiance a man named Apollo. Skuba uses more special equipment to shift the lake-heavy cube and adds it to his collection in his ploy to corner the world's supply of water.
Meanwhile OMAC recovers and learns of the identity of Skuba before heading off to snare the water thief. Locating his island base, a dormant volcano he comes under attack by is able to fall free of the wreckage of his craft.
He immediately comes under the surveillance of his enemies who lure him into a vicious trap that transforms OMAC back into who he was before the Global Peace Agency found him, the bewildered Buddy Blank.
Water is man's most precious resource for certain and Kirby is wise in this cautionary fable to focus on it. Because of the relative and seemingly endless supply of water we have in the West we do some incredibly stupid things with it like water incessantly faux lawns in the middle of the desert. Such tomfoolery is the essence of the human character sometimes, a bravado in the face of existence which almost demands a comeuppance.
Doctor Skuba here is a bit of a cliche, a mad scientist with fishy eyes who has hatched a mad scheme. The really interesting addition in this tale is the presence of both Seaweed and Apollo, the greedy relatives who give Skuba someone curious folks to banter with. I was very much reminded of the Sivana family from the Captain Marvel mythos. The transformation of OMAC back into Buddy Blank, a feat which had never been suggested before also calls to mind the Shazam mythology. It is hardly a stretch to see that OMAC is a super-science version of "The Big Red Cheese" and not so much a Captain America of the future. Or perhaps he's all of those things.
The series reaches its finale next time.