Sunday, January 25, 2015

OMAC #8 - End With A Bang!

"Don't let the door hit you on the way out."

I'm sadly reminded of this phrase as I look at OMAC Volume 1 #8, the final Jack Kirby installment of the series which folded as his ground-breaking contract with DC ended and he packed his bags to return to Marvel. He was gone so swiftly and with so little regard for the work he'd been doing for DC that this issue doesn't even sport a Kirby cover, but a rather odd one by the great Joe Kubert. OMAC seems oddly small in this cover and well, it's just not the same. One thing about this final issue is that Mike Royer returns as inker and letterer infusing the finale with a bit more energy than the capable but limited D. Bruce Berry had been able to muster.

The story begins where the last issue left off, with OMAC gone and his avatar Buddy Blank confused and seeking help.

As Brother Eye works to fix the problem, Buddy finds himself atop a dormant volcano, the mysterious base of the water-stealing mastermind Doctor Skuba, though of course Buddy has no idea of all of this. Then just as the energy which will rekindle OMAC arrives from space, Buddy is sucked into the volcano and the energy bolt lands with no effect. As far as Brother Eye can tell both OMAC and Buddy Blank have vanished.

Within the lair Doctor Skuba and his daughter Seaweed and her avaricious fiance Apollo look  upon the captive Buddy Blank with cold disdain. Then Buddy is given the grand tour of the base with Seaweed demonstrating some pride in what evil her father has been able accomplish with his plot to steal all the Earth's water and hold it hostage.

Doctor Skuba meanwhile gets in contact with the Global Peace Agency who order him to abandon his plot and stand down. He of course refuses.

Buddy then encounters some of Skuba's mutated creations developed from former men who rejected the fair Seaweed. It's also suggested that the relative beauty of Seaweed and Apollo is the creation of Skuba.

Skuba then appears and confronts Buddy but he runs away as the GPA begins its assault on the base. They drop mysterious canisters into the base which take control of Skuba's own equipment.

But Skuba is able to trace the source of the attack and turn it back against the satellite Brother Eye. Brother Eye becomes magnetized and draws in metallic meteor material which then covers the satellite which is the source of OMAC's might. But the backlash results in a powerful solar beam which heads toward the volcano base of Skuba. As Brother Eye goes dormant the beam causes the base to explode violently and with that explosion the adventures of OMAC come to an abrupt end.

It's a shame that Kirby was not able to give his series a proper ending, and sadly the ending we do have is not by Kirby but by some anonymous DC staffer who concocts a final panel showing the explosion of the volcano base.

Kirby had left the building and that's all that need be said. The final issue of OMAC is a shame really as the greatness of what Kirby hoped to create when he first arrived at DC was dashed from its truly epic possibilities to sadly not even being able to complete one more comic to properly finish what was proving to be a very creative series.

Something should have been worked out, but it wasn't and he have this truly disappointing end. Sigh.

While technically the story ended with a bang, the creative drive by Jack "King" Kirby ended with a whimper. More is the pity.

But surprisingly there is more to come as others come to play in the house that Jack built. More next week.

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  1. One more series overview where you've absolutely nailed it, issue by issue. I've reread Kirby's DC work more often than pretty much any other comics, and yet you always manage to point out things I never noticed about them even after all this time.

    As seen in the Jack Kirby Collector issue 40, the original art for the last page of this issue displays a coming attractions blurb promising "the climax of the Skuba Incident" in a story called "The Walking Dead!" So right up to the point where he finished this issue, Kirby believed there would be another one.

    1. Thanks for the kind words. Since Kirby hardly ever wasted a concept, I wonder if that "walking dead" idea surface in another comic anywhere. I've got my issue of JKC on the nightstand right now, I'll give it a closer look.

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