Friday, 31 August 2012
GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: O.M.A.C. vol.1 OMACTIVATE!
There's nothing subtle about this re-working of the Jack Kirby character whose name stood for One Man Army Corp but is now in, DC's New 52, One-Machine Army Construct in the hands of Dan Didio (DC head honcho) who co-scripts with artist Keith Giffen. Giffen's art channels Jack Kirby to perfection while remaining clearly Giffen's own. Matching the art, the script also echoes Kirby's massive sound and thunder in a completely unsubtle assult on the reader and it's just great.
Didio and Giffen have done an excellent job of transforming elements of Kirby's work for DC in the 70's into a new form. Originally OMAC was just a tough enhanced human with a Mohawk haircut. Now he's something closer to a human monster with the Mohawk transformed into some kind of energy field. Utilising the body of Asian-American Kevin Kho, the enigmatic Brother Eye controls the monstrous OMAC into attacking the enigmatic scientific research institute Cadmus (itself secretly funded by the Checkmate organisation under the leadership of the ruthless Maxwell Lord). This brings OMAC into conflict with a variety of supervillains (at least one from Apocalips), monsters, and heroes (the latter including Frankenstein and a certain Kryptonian) and meeting a few characters who once appeared in Kamandi.
Fans of Jack Kirby will be squeeing in their seats and I couldn't blame them. This is a massive explosion of comic book energy which still manages to find space for some sly humour.
Disappointingly, the comic was cancelled after the eight issues included here so, for the time being, OMAC is de-omactivated. At least it ends in a satisfying manner and I'm sure the character will return somewhere.