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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Kamandi - the Last Boy on Earth 59 - Kamandi ends, and an OMAC story

The Dc Implosion brings a painful conclusion to Kamandi - the Last Boy on Earth. Issue 59 (Sept/Oct 78) also contained what was intended to be the first chapter of a new OMAC series.

Harris, Ayers and Bulanadi begin the Kamandi story as the last one ended, with Pyra's ship approaching the Wondrous Western Wall. Kamandi, Spirit, Dr Canus and Bloodstalker are all aboard. Despite the big lock, there is no obvious way to open the wall and pass through. Pyra determines that radiation can open the lock, but of a level far greater than she has access to.

Pyra lands the ship as they explore the wall and try to figure out what to do. But then then Kanga-Rat Murder Society show up. They believe themselves tasked with protecting the wall and repairing any damage to it, and have guns that emit a strange black substance that counters any energy that leaks through cracks. They capture Kamandi and crew, as one might expect they would.

As weird as the creatures are, the kanga-rats want to kill Kamandi and co with bolas. That's difficult enough that Kamandi manages to overpower one and steal his gun. They steal one of the Kanga-Rats jump ships, and all take off.

Returning to Pyra's ship, Dr Canus theorizes that the energy Ben Boxer and buddies are giving off in their Evermore ritual will be enough to open the lock. Spirit uses her webbing to create suits out of the energy resistant black stuff that comes from the Kanga-Rats guns, and they sly off to pick up the radiation from the mutants.

It's an insanely complicated idea, but it all works, and in very few pages, too! The lock is opened, and so is the Wondrous Western Wall.

As the story ends, Kamandi gets pulled in to the realm beyond the wall, and a voice addresses him.

And that's it. The end. You can all go home now.

Like, seriously, could there have been a worse possible place for the book to end? Just over a year down the road Kamandi would return in an issue of Brave and the Bold which really lamely and quickly tied up the ending to this, but it was never considered satisfactory. Just kills to have it end here.

OMAC's return just comes off as a tease, thanks to the cancellation of the book. Jim Starlin and Josef Rubenstein do a good job bringing the character back, in a tale set not long after the end of his book's run, three years earlier. They also do the cover for the issue.

OMAC had just finished his battle with Dr Skuba, and learns that Brother Eye is no longer completely functional, having been damaged and sealed up. As a result, OMAC is no longer receiving all the energy and power he usually does from the satellite.

And things have gone from bad to worse in his future world. The corporations have banded together to attack the Global Peace Agency. OMAC talks with the last surviving member, who fills him in on all the plot developments, and then hands him a tape which will explain more, before he dies.

So OMAC and Brother Eye get re-introduced, his current situation gets laid out, and then it's done and over.

Unlike Kamandi, this will actually be developed further. In 1980 OMAC would return as a backup series in Warlord, picking up from the end of this chapter.

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