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Thursday, 29 June 2017

OMAC 1 - OMAC debuts

Jack Kirby and Mike Royer turn out a really disturbing futuristic super hero series with OMAC 1 (Sept/Oct 74). OMAC stands for One Man Army Corps, and the book is set an undefined number of years ahead of the present day.

Just in case the cover image was not creepy enough, the splash page gives an even better view of Lila, a "build-a-friend" whose quasi-sexual pose just makes the visuals even worse. We start the story mid-stream, with no idea who OMAC is, or why he is so tormented by Lila, and then watch him destroy her and the factory she came from.

The story then jumps backwards and works its way back to the beginning. We meet Professor Myron Forest, a scientist who is helping the Global Peace Agency create the ultimate agent. They select Buddy Blank, a low level person, basically a non-entity, to be the unwitting subject of their experiment. Forest has created a sentient satellite, Brother Eye, which will connect with Buddy and transform the guy into OMAC. Buddy knows nothing about any of this. He is ignored by women, treated poorly by his boss and his co-workers, and fairly miserable.

There are shades of Brave New World throughout this story. Buddy is meant to get rid of his frustrations in the "Psychology Section," where there are rooms for crying, destruction, abusing androids and burning cars, but all of this just disturbs him.

Buddy has made one friend, and that is Lila. Although the reader knows she is a robot, Buddy has no idea, and is puzzled at the way Lila always has to run off. He decides to follow her, down into the secret laboratory she comes from.

There he discovers that Lila, and other robot women like her, are part of a plot by Mr. Big. The women will be rigged with atomic bombs, sent out to seduce and then kill world leaders. Lila's whole relationship with Buddy was a test to see how well the robots performed. Buddy learns all of this just as Brother Eye makes contact with him the first time, turning him into OMAC.

So Mr. Big's men try to kill OMAC, but he is sent strength and fighting skills by Brother Eye, and easily defeats them, and then destroys the factory.

As the story ends OMAC learns about his connection to Brother Eye, and his creation by Myron Forest. Brother Eye teleports OMAC away, and he sets out to find Mr. Big and Professor Forest.

The story continues in the next issue.

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