Friday, August 19, 2011

OMAC #8 (November-December, 1975)

Brother Eye created a new “structure print” to restore OMAC, but before a corrective beam could reach Buddy Blank, the nebbish sunk immaterially through the rock upon which he stood. The great eye of the thinking machine closed, as Brother Eye calculated its next steps.

Through the same process used to create his hidden base, Doctor Skuba “thinned out” then solidified Buddy Blank’s atoms within the volcanic rock. Seaweed thought Buddy was cute, but Apollo still wanted to ice the “twerp.” Instead, Buddy was given the ten cent tour, and learned Apollo was only the most recent beau of Seaweed to experience atomic manipulations. Skuba had turned her past boyfriends into horrific creatures stored in a “Chamber of Monsters.” Apollo clearly loathed his “feather-brain” bride, and respected the courage of the poor men.

Meanwhile, Skuba had learned that the enemy he faced was an artificial intelligence, and attempted to gun down Buddy Blank to insure OMAC could not be revived. His pistol exploded, as Brother Eye managed to turn Skuba’s base’s defenses against him. Barely surviving to reach safety, Doctor Skuba traced Brother Eye’s transmission back to its orbit in space. Using a powerful beam, Skuba bombarded Brother Eye with meteors and space debris, turning it into something of a magnet. Encased, Brother Eye was further impaired by a solar beam that turned the debris into “ a prison on slag.” However, the effort had caused Dr. Skuba’s equipment to explode “in a gigantic fireball,” bringing “destruction to the evil Skuba!”

“The Place of Fear” was by Jack Kirby with Mike Royer. According to Mark Evanier’s introduction to the 2008 hardcover collection of the OMAC series, Jack Kirby had been “setting up something big for #9,” but then decided to return to Marvel Comics. The sales on OMAC were not such that DC saw a future in it under other hands, so they inserted a new final panel by a different artist “to remove the immediate cliffhanger. Many other story points were left unresolved… and since Jack wasn’t around when it came time to draw the cover, Joe Kubert did the honors.” A few years later, OMAC’s continuity was incorporated into Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth, and a back-up series was added in the final issue of that book before the DC Implosion wiped it out. The back-up was revived by Jim Starlin for about a year in The Warlord, until Kirby’s conception of OMAC fell into the obscurity of very random and spaced out guest appearances.


Anj said...

Thanks for reviewing this book, a hole in my DC knowledge.

It is trippy enough for me to look for in the cheap boxes at cons.

Do you know anything about the Byrne Prestige series.

Diabolu Frank said...

Glad you dug it, Anj! Byrne is an altogether different beast, and I may cover that thing in the near future. I've only actually read one sorry, cynical, point-missing issue.

Henry R. Kujawa said...

Dek Baker & Davis Morris finally did OMAC #9 (as a fanzine) in 2002, which picked up exactly where OMAC #8 left off and FINISHED the story. I heard about this in TJKC magazine, and sent away for a copy of it. Totally blew my mind, then and now. That 2 "fans" should do a BETTER job capturing the look and spirit of Jack Kirby & his concept than anybody (and I mean anybody!!!) at Dc has ever, ever done since, is bizarre. DC was really foolish not to strike a deal with Baker & Morris to include OMAC #9 in their OMAC collection. To me, it is the ONLY "legitimate" continuation of the character ever done.

Diabolu Frank said...

Sounds cool, Henry! Wish it was available online. Chris Sims has more here.