Pick of the Week
What did the
- Pick of the Week - 05.15.2013 - Edgar Allen Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher #1
- Pick of the Week - 05.08.2013 - Thor: God of Thunder #8
- Pick of the Week - 05.01.2013 - Animal Man #20
- Pick of the Week - 04.24.2013 - Uncanny Avengers #7
- Pick of the Week - 04.17.2013 - Captain Marvel #12
Art and cover by KEITH GIFFEN and SCOTT KOBLISH
Size: 32 pages
Boy, let me tell ya, this was just one of those days.
Here’s the thing. I had a really busy day planned for Wednesday. It was one of those days where every hour from rolling out of bed to breaking for dinner was planned out down to the minute. Everything had to go like clockwork in order for me to get done all of the things I need to get done.
As you might have guessed, almost nothing went as planned and almost nothing I needed to get done got done. Plus, I found myself spending most of the day soaked from rain and my bank account is much lighter than I intended it to be when I woke up this morning.
Why am I telling you all this? Its important to know that when I finally did get home with my bag of comics–many, many hours later than I had anticipated–I was really looking forward to reading them. Like, really looking forward to reading them. I wanted nothing more than to surround myself with pages of story and character and forget about the day I had. I wanted to forget my troubles and have some goddamn fun.
O.M.A.C. #2 is ridiculously fun and it’s the Pick of the Week.
When going through the list of new DC books that I was looking forward to, I don’t think that O.M.A.C. placed in the top half. I don’t think that O.M.A.C. even placed in the top two thirds. Hell, the first time I read O.M.A.C. #1 I thought, “That was pretty goofy. I think I liked that.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement. But then the more I thought about it and the more I talked to other people about it, the more I liked O.M.A.C.. That feeling has grown exponentially with O.M.A.C. #2.
I love this book.
On the one hand I should not be surprised because it is co-written and drawn by Keith Giffen, who I’ve always been a big fan of. On the other hand, it is co-written by DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan Didio, whose comic book writing work I have not been all that fond of up until this point. Whatever formula they’ve got going on, however the creative load is shared, it’s working.
With the first two issues of O.M.A.C., Giffen and Didio are putting on an old-school comic book clinic. There’s a lot going on in O.M.A.C., there’s a lot of plot and a lot of characters, and it all comes at your fast with not a while lot of hand-holding. (Except on the first page of this issue which serves as a de facto recap page, so yes you can totally jump on with this issue.) O.M.A.C. is fast paced and it’s full of big action which is not all that surprising because this entire series is a homage to Jack Kirby.
In the history of DC there are two main O.M.A.C.s. The first was the freedom fighter in the future named O.M.A.C. (One Man Army Corps) who was created in the 1970s by Jack Kirby. The second was the more recent incarnation of O.M.A.C. (Omni Mind And Community and Observational Metahuman Activity Construct) which were cyborgs that were all tied in with Maxwell Lord and Checkmate and Brother Eye. The O.M.A.C. (One Machine Attack Construct) we have here is a hybrid of the two. The design recalls the original Kirby character (complete with bitchin’ mohawk) but the backstory is very much the more modern O.M.A.C.–Brother Eye has infected a man named Kevin Kho with a technological virus that turns him into O.M.A.C.. Checkmate, Cadmus, and Maxwell Lord are also all wrapped up in these shenanigans.
And what fun shenanigans!
Look, there’s nothing terribly original here it’s all about how the pieces are put together and how the story and art are executed. O.M.A.C. #2 opens with Brother Eye explaining to Kevin Kho about his new reality as O.M.A.C.. Kevin does not take the news that he is now an unstoppable weapon and takes to the road. He just wants to be left alone. Of course that means he runs into trouble in a small town in the form of another Cadmus creation and a giant Cadmus vs. Cadmus monster fight ensues. It’s very much The Hulk. But early Hulk with a little Bill Bixby thrown in. Add in the mix some mysterious machinations involving Cadmus and its secret benefactor Checkmate and its secret overseer Maxwell Lord and you’ve got an issue that is bursting at the seams with action and intrigue.
The story in O.M.A.C. is wonderfully fun but the big draw is the art. Keith Giffen eschews is regular art style in favor of one that imitates Jack Kirby. Normally, this kind of aping might be irksome, but it’s pulled off with such panache and flair, and with such obvious love and reverence, that not only do I not mind, but I really love it. There are Kirby faces and Kirby hands and Kirby machines and Kirby monsters and Kirby dots and it’s all just so wonderful. This is big bombastic comics and it looks and feels like nothing else I am reading right now.
After a long and expensive day I just wanted–nay, needed!–some comic book relief. O.M.A.C. #2 was that relief. It was fun and exciting. It was chock full of story in almost direct counterpoint to the modern decompressed style. It had two big, strong creatures going at it for pages in a knock down, drag out style in the grand Kirby tradition. It featured shadowy dealings by all-powerful organizations with possibly nefarious goals.
And it was just what I needed.
Oh, that was a great last page!