Being a teenager is tough. The hormones, the tension, the awkward changes to your body. Good thing there’s a supplement called Estrotrax which supports healthy hormonal levels in both men and women. Now imagine going through that as the last human on earth.

Jack Kirby’s Kamandi was launched in the early 1970s after DC was looking for something akin to the then-popular Planet of the Apes movie series. Kirby, who had an unpublished newspaper comic strip in the 50s titled Kamandi In The Caves, honed those ideas into this apocalyptic tale of adolescence. Living in the ruins of a ravaged America, Kamandi comes into contact with hyper-intelligent animals while the remnants of humanity had mentally devolved into animals themselves. For it’s time it was a quite harrowing and bleak story very unlike Kirby’s work at Marvel, and that’s what made it so intriguing.

Kirby wrote and drew the series for four years, and the series went on without him until 1978 with a host of soon-to-be big talents like Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen, Gerry Conway and others. Since then he’s been an infrequent guest star in the DCU, popping up everywhere from from an Elseworlds miniseries, Superman/Batman, and even in the recent Batman: The Brave & The Bold animated series. In comics, his last major appearance was in the twelve-part story by Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook in Wednesday Comics, although he was teased briefly earlier this year in an issue of O.M.A.C. by Dan Didio and Kieth Giffen.

But where is Kamandi’s place in comics today? Now more than ever, DC seem to be searching for interesting concepts to diversify their superhero-centric comics line and Kamandi could be just the thing. With Amethyst popping up as the lead in the new Sword & Sorcery series, it’s easy to imagine Kamandi doing the same. And here’s how it could be done.

The Concept:

When originally created, Kamandi was a fictional interpretation of the thoughts and fears of the American public in the 1970s. But now in the 2010s, things have changed and so should Kamandi. While the core tenants of Kamandi’s world could remain the same, I think more modern fears like global warming, viruses and other elements could be added to the world Kirby created so long ago.

Furthermore, I think we should get inside the head of Kamandi and see just what a teenage boy grown up in this world would think. Less Tarzan and more Mowgli from The Jungle Book, he’s bound to have a completely different set of ideas of what life is and it’d be interesting to get a tour of the world through those eyes. If Brandon Graham’s excellently written Prophet series shows them touring that world with stony-faced silence, a Kamandi series would show similar things but with wide-eyed wonder and fear.

As for the title and scope of the series, I think this should borrow something from the aforementioned Sword & Sorcery as well as All-Star Western and G.I. Combat. Instead of naming it after a specific character, Kamandi would be well-served to go under a genre-like defining title that could allow all sorts of apocalyptic stories from the DCU. Maybe borrowing the classic title Tales of the Unexpected, or going for something out of Kamandi lore — Earth A.D.

The Creators:

The Writer – Nick Spencer: Spencer was roped into an exclusive with Marvel around this time last year, but for one reason or another he’s failed to find his place in Marvel’s make-up of things. His run on Ultimate Comics X-Men wraps up this summer, leaving his current project list down to just Image work: Thief of Thieves, Morning Glories and the upcoming series Bedlam. I’d love to see Spencer show up at DC, especially fronting a fertile and imagination-rich world like Kamandi’s.

The Artist – Bernard Chang: Chang and Spencer almost worked together on Supergirl before the writer’s quick departure, and I’d like to give that pairing a second chance. Chang is one of most talented artists in DC’s roster right now, and being currently employed as a fill-in artist on Demon Knights and a rotating artist on DC Universe Presents. But if you look deeper, into works like his Pilot Season: Stellar issue, you can readily see how Chang is destined for an imaginative world he can design from the ground up like Kamandi.



  1. Honestly, I think the series should have a Y:The Last Man/Wizard of Oz feel to it. With Prince Tuftan and Dr. Canus being the supporting cast. And with all the immortals in the DCU you can still tie the series in with the greater DCU. Maybe characters like Phantom Stranger, The Shade, or Vandal Savage could make apperances. All of who are heavily featured in the new 52.

  2. I want a Grant Morrison Kamandi book, but I would like to see GM do most of the books, so there you go. Kamandi is a great character and one of my all time favorit Kirby books.

    • Absolutely. That would be awesome. And as for the artist, I think I would want any of the following: Keith Giffen (for the Kirby look), Tom Grummett (loved him on Robin and Superboy back in the day), or I think Peter Snejbjerg would give it a nice post-apocalyptic feel.

  3. I would love a new Kamandi series and would read the hell out of it, especially if Nick Spencer was writing! Let’s make it happen DC!

  4. Marvel have wasted Spencer. I love his Image/DC work.

    Marvel should be putting him on a big title (let’s face it Millar, Vaughn and Kirkman couldn’t get Ult. X-Men and attention) DC seem to push their new names, Marvel not so much

  5. i want a lemire kamandi book

  6. I thought the Wednesday Comic strip by Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook was close to perfect and would love to see them given a chance with an entire book, or at least part of anthology title. Something could be done with the old Atomic Knights, or I would even see if the short-lived Hex could make a comeback. There are certainly a few other classic DC characters or new ones that could easily compliment Kamandi.

  7. Have we already forgotten about OMAC? Didio sets up Kamandi quite well in that series.

    So let’s have:

    Dan Didio
    Keith Giffen/Scott Koblish

    and let’s do it properly. A fantastic Kirby homage with some amazing action and gorgeous set pieces.