Pick of the Week

October 5, 2011 – O.M.A.C. #2

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Avg Rating: 4.0
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.9%
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Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

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 is 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.

Conor Kilpatrick
Oh, that was a great last page!


  1. Haven’t read it yet but I know this was a good pick. O.M.A.C. is a very very close second to Batman for best book of the reboot, in my opinion.

  2. This was definitly top of the list in reading order, and it didn’t disappoint.

    This was my dark horse pick for book to come out of nowhere, and I’m so glad that it’s paying off.

    It’s good to just have some good, old-fashioned fun. I wouldn’t want every book to be like this, and honestly…this one does it so good, you don’t need another.

  3. Loved it too – glad to see it make POTW over some really good books this week.

  4. I almost skipped this series, but damn it we need more books with mohawks in them. Glad I am on board.

  5. I think this week is a Sophie’s Choice week for DC fans. I am having a hard time picking my favourite from among Action Comics, Animal Man, Swamp Thing (the usual suspects) with added amazing Penguin: Pain and Prejudice… Omac would also be up there… a lot of good books this week.

    Then you have Green Arrow and Hawk and Dove… oh well. Still, a lot more winners than clunkers.

  6. If Conor thinks this was better than the trifecta of awesome that was Action, Animal Man, and Swamp Thing, then I need to make a second trip to the store.

  7. Good Pick! It was indeed a lot of fun!

    I think they’ve place Metropolis in Kansas ala Smallville, with the signs on the Interstate that says “I35 Metropolis”. Since the real I35 does run through Dallas/Ft. Worth and goes all the way north to Minnesota , I think we can infer that Metropolis would probably lie in Kansas.

    Sorry, I found it interesting…

  8. I was almost certain iFanboy was going to put a marvel book as pick of the week to be fair, this really came at a surprise, OMAC has gotta be that good. Guess I’ll have to make another trip to LCS

  9. Holy!……. I cannot believe this POTW, I thought I was the only human being that saw something special in Omac. I feel so vindicated. Glad to hear all the positive reactions, I was afraid that this was going to be one of the first cuts too.

  10. Totally agree. Like with Godland, it’s so great to get a hint of what vintage Kirby art would look like with modern production values. I will just add that this is not a new style for Giffen. Look back over his work and you’ll see it.

  11. Walking Dead vol. 7 HC is my POTW.


  12. Okay, Okay, I guess I have to check this out now. If it was better then Animal Man and Swamp Thing.

  13. This makes me so happy this is POTW. That drawing of Kirby Max Lord rules.

  14. I guess that clinches it. I’m going to go buy this issue and #1. Who would’ve guessed?

  15. Eye loved this, not what eye picked for POTW but a great book. OMACTIVATE!

  16. FUCK YA! this book is what comics is all about!

  17. Great pick – Couldn’t happen to nicer book! I now consider myself a fellow ‘OMAC-Daddy’!!!

  18. A lot of good books this week and OMAC was definitely near the top. Nice pick.


  20. I loved the first issue and will be picking up the second today… but a book with DiDio’s name attached as pick of the week? I suspect there will be reports of minds being blown coming in from around the internet. (I also predict people suggesting this review is a very long typo or very late April Fool’s prank.)

    But the Kirby-ness of the first issue is what I dug so if this next issuecontinues to embrace that, I’m sold!

  21. I love this freakin’ book. The “eye” thing got annoying, but otherwise it was great. The fight scene was a blast. And oh man, that last page.

  22. Severed!! Love the anticipation, slow intrigue that is Severed. The art takes you back to that era, and totally creeped me out . Cant wait for the next issue

  23. Kirby Kirby Kirby. I don’t share the affection for all things Kirby lots of people seem to. Everyone looks like a cave man and the colors irritate my eyes. I can usually at least see where the POTW is coming from, but this… I don’t know. I don’t like anything about OMAC. My pick was Animal Man again, which I guess is funny since a bunch of people seem to hate that art, too. To each his own.

    • Like him or not, Jack Kirby is the single most important figure in the history of American comics by leaps and bounds.

    • Kirby’s stuff never looked pretty. That’s not why people like it. And it was always colored horribly too. People love it because, simply, comics are all about figures in motion, and absolutely no-one has ever made action leap off the page like Kirby did it. He also had a boundless imagination, both visual and story-wise. But I guarantee no-one ever picked up a Kirby comic because his leading men looked handsome and his women looked beautiful.

    • I can see why some people like this style, but I just don’t find it appealing.

    • @Josh – As someone who doesn’t know the history of American comics, I would love to hear why Kirby is so important. Maybe a special edition episode where you and the gang go over some of the most important figures in comic book history and discuss what their contribution was?

    • You know how comic books have people flying at you now? He pretty much invented that. Breaking out of grid based panels, he was on the forefront. Multimedia techniques in comics, that too. Also he imagined the large majority of the Marvel Universe and not to mention cosmic insanity Fourth World for DC.

      Oh and Captain America.

      Arguably the best character designer in comics history.

      Could draw at a ridiculous speed at his peak also.

      You don’t get a nickname like King for no reason!

  24. My pick was avengers 1959 1 I loved that arc in new avengers so I was real excited for the mini I also loved animal man 2 great review though connor but omac has never done it for me so I didnt pick it up I also liked detective comics 2 but Ilove tony daniels bat run superior 5 was a good read casanova avaritia 2 was fun. Im also high on stormwatch a good week of comics for me.

  25. @party I agree I respect kirby but im not a fan of his work at all. I grew up on todd mcfarlane he is my art icon I never take any thing away from what kirby ment to the comic industry but its not for me.


  27. Based on this pick, I checked out the first issue. I definitely needed to read this one with a different mindset than Animal Man or Swamp thing. OMAC is a fun and crazy title with stylized art that required me to step into the same child-like mindset I have when I watch the Brave and the Bold cartoon. It’s actually a perfect all-ages title that doesn’t require any knowledge of previous continuity. I can see people hating this title if they went in with a different mindset but this is a solid title that is drastically different from a lot of what I read on a monthly basis.

  28. Yes!!! So true. I almost didn’t pick this up because, well why not just read a Kirby book, right? But it was the first one I read, the most fun of the stack, most fun of the day, and I just loved reading it. I’m with you on the POW.

  29. For myself, and others too I suspect, when the 52 titles were annouced this one received one of my biggest “what the?!” reactions. However, based on the strong reactions here to the first issue, I gave it a try, liked it, and decided I would read more if it was in the budget. I just read issue two this morning and thought that it was loads of fun. I think that Conor is onto something with the early Hulk comparason. Not only the art, but the story seems a homage to older styles of comics. And then the reveal on the final page . . . perfect. Can’t wait to see what they do with Lord or where this goes next. I have plenty of more books to read before I make my pick, but I can say that OMAC just got promoted to my definate to buy list.

    Honestly, Kirby has never been a favorite artist of mine, though, i completely acknowledge his importance. That said, it is fun to see his style employed in this book.

    Oh, and similar to Conor, I read this issue when I was tired, stressed, and really needing something to relax. And OMAC delievered . . .

  30. N.O, !

    I C.A.N.T. B.E.L.I.V.E. T.H.A.T. T.H.I.S. I.S. T.H.E. P.I.C.K. !

    I’ll definitely buy this as I use the PotW as a way of trying out new titles. But, really, the first issue wasn’t particularly good. It’d have to have desperately improved in the course of one issue.

  31. This is exactly what I want from a comic book.
    I can’t think of a single way it could be improved.
    Glad to see so many other people loving it.

  32. “Great” pick of the week. I “look forward” to reading the book. 🙂

  33. A.W.E.S.O.M.E.:) this was my pick as of yesterday afternoon.

  34. Awesome, I’ve loved these first couple issues of OMAC. I’m so glad I picked this up instead of Batgirl last month, as this title has been the biggest pleasant surprise for me out of all the DC comics I’ve sampled. This issue didn’t get me as high as the last one (I think the artwork during the big fight scene was good but not as good as in #1), but I’m starting to get really intrigued by the storyline. Everyone’s in bed with everyone, they all have hidden agendas and Kevin’s caught in the middle of it all. I’m on this as long as it stays as good as it’s been.

    It was a good week all told. Action and Stormwatch were much better in issue #2, I’m happy to say. Animal Man, Chew and Severed were all really good. My pick of the week was Swamp Thing, so far, though. I think of all the combined #1s and #2s so far, ST is the most well crafted series. I was afraid this issue would be all exposition, but we got some nicely rendered action as well. I haven’t read Casanova yet, though, so it might change. Avaritia #1 was really moving, so it might be a toss up when I get done with it.

  35. This pick is surely a sign of the Endtimes. An ill omen of things to come.

  36. I picked this up because of your review, and I’m getting into it! I thought I was going to drop it after the first issue (did nothing for me), but it’s starting to pick up. The only problem I have with it is Dan Didio’s *awful* third-person narrative. Plus Brother Eye randomly switching between “eye” and “I.” It might have just happened once, but I found that a little sloppy. But that’s just M-EYE opinion. 🙂

  37. One Man Army Corps is still the coolest acronym ever.

  38. It sounds like this has been the most surprising book out of the new 52. I was too skeptical of it because Dan Didio was writing it but I guess for once he found a nice groove with this book. Maybe if my shop ever gets a 2nd print of both issues I’ll pick them both up.

    My POTW was Chew #21. The series has always been great but this is one of the better issues in a long time. Lots of funny and great panels in this and I love where the story is going.

  39. omac is a great book i love it cant wait for issue 3

  40. First POTW I disagree with, two back to back issues of mediocracy with this title

  41. This may be the biggest surprise POTW since I’ve been around here. I skipped it after the very mediocre first issue. Too many titles and OMAC didn’t make my cut.

  42. Boo. After a remarkable and inspired first issue, OMAC #2 just felt like it was going through the old tired motions. #1 was one of my favorite’s last month, and this is in last place so far for month 2.

  43. dropped this book might get issue 2 though

  44. OMAC was my favorite book this week. One of the most fun books around.

  45. http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2011/10/07/everybody%e2%80%99s-talkin%e2%80%99-about-dc-comics-the-new-52-friday-afternoon-et-edition-3/

    Getting some props over at DC for the pick of the weeks.

    The cheque must have cleared 🙂

  46. Well the DC numbers have come out and while DC has destroyed everyone in overall sales…there is some bad news (related to this comic).

    Apparently out of all the 52 new books, OMAC is the lowest selling out of all of them. So hopefully with this being POTW it can stay a float for longer..

    Although again, I doubt very much that DC will cancel ANY books for a good year or two. But still, if you love this book or if you are interested in it (like I am) then definitely pick it up next month.

  47. Love the Kirby homage all the way!!! Great to the point article pointing out whats good about this book with words like panache and flair to love the mimicking Kirby style, which 100% makes this book that much cooler and a respectful, nostalgic throwback tip of the hat to Kirby. Giffen’s always been fun to me and love the Kirby Fourth World/New Gods/O.M.A.C.(Darkseid,Orion,Mr.Miracle,Etrigan The Demon,Big Barda) corner of the DCU,great characters from a comix legend, so this is pairing minds in its prime and not at a better time. I for one haven’t read this book yet and know I’ll like it and am holding out for the 1st collected trade on OMAC, I loves me some straight through, no ads rock em sock em comix and look forward to this with anticipation. I have to cut corners on my once and often too big of a pull and think this will make a nice soft or HC on my bookshelf. BTW, Conor, aside from this enticing review I just have one question: Does O.M.A.C. take place in the current main DCU or is he gonna be Earth-2 like Huntress and JSA?

  48. top three book in all of comics a none is reading it.

  49. Outstandingly Masterful Assessment Conor

  50. As I commented above, I agree with all the praise for this issue; however, I read Swamp Thing this morning, and that edged out OMAC for me as pick of the week.

    Over all, DC did well this week, taking three series that I liked but was not wowed by the first issue (Swamp Thing, OMAC and Stormwatch) and improving in quality with the second issue. Swamp Thing and OMAC were both, in their own ways, fantastic issues. Stormwatch has a little further to go, but it’s heading in the right direction. Makes me feel good for the months to come . . .

  51. So is this a nostalgia pick?

  52. Really? The book of the week? I’ll give you the art is very good 4/5. However the story? I had to re-read it again and I can’t see what everyone else is seeing. The characters are very dry, stoic. After reading it, I still can’t remember any characters other than Maxwell Lord. I agree with TomSwift the organizations do seem cliche and where do they fit in the DC Universe? I still don’t know what this book is about?

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