Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Kamandi - The Brave And The Bold!

One of the blessings of being a Bronze Age comic book fan is being able to enjoy the "Haneyverse". The Haneyverse was that special and highly distinctive continuity which existed nowhere but in the The Brave and the Bold issues written by Bob Haney and illustrated by greats such as Neal Adams, Irv Novick, Dick Dillin, and especially Jim Aparo. It was in the relatively early days of the Haney-Aparo run when Jack Kirby's Kamandi was given his first stab at an audience outside the confines of his own comic book.

The problem is a fairly severe one. Isolated in a future apocalyptic version of the DCU how could Kamandi being combined with the ready star of The Brave and the Bold -- the Batman, a hero with a more or less grounded sense of reality. Well when it begins the story is a conundrum indeed. Kamandi is being hunted by a posse of Apes led by the Batman. It seems Batman was whisked into the post-Great Disaster future by means of magic. He simply falls down in Gotham City and his essence shows up in Kamandi's world. It's efficient, insensible, and pure Haney. In a twenty-page or so story it gets the job done. Batman then gets mistaken for another intelligent animal and using pure chutzpah and a steady karate chop takes command of a Gorilla gang. Kamandi and eventually Batman protect a band of humans holed up inside the massive heads of Mt.Rushmore. Just as they succeed, Batman is whisked away to once again inhabit his body. Part of visiting the Haneyverse is never having to say you're sorry.

Many years later Batman and Kamandi partner again, but this time it's Kamandi who time travels, drawn into the 20th Century by an unknown power. He becomes an enforcer for some local mobsters and Batman is of course forced to bring him to his senses and once again stop crime for a few seconds on the streets of Gotham.  

I miss the take-no-prisoners writing of Bob Haney and I terribly miss regular visits to the Haneyverse.

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  1. Maybe the right sort of team-ups/crossovers would have bought Kamandi more time?…Rip Hunter, Adam Strange, the Atomic Knights, The Flash & Grodd…Also, after looking at the Kubert covers above – maybe the infusion of a couple of scantily-clad lady co-stars would have helped secure the bronze age fan boy audience (like Roy Thomas’ Conan covers…). Of course they would have had to drop the ‘Last Boy On Earth’ from the cover logo I suppose…

    1. Kamandi, Last Boy Gigolo! There's a Vertigo book in that somewhere.

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