OMAC #1

It’s reported that Jack Kirby’s 1974 DC series OMAC: One Man Army Corps is to finally be reprinted in a nifty hardcover collection in 2008. About time too, says I. DC probably missed a trick by not reprinting it a year or two ago in the run up to Infinite Crisis when the new OMACs (the Batman variety) were storming the DC Universe. Still, better late than never, I guess.

I love OMAC. It’s one of my favourite Kirby Kreations. Though it’s essentially an 8-issue fight scene — really, OMAC hardly goes more than a page without hitting something — it’s full of outrageous Kirby invention. From the decidedly euphemistic ‘Build-A-Friend’ female love dolls, to a Mr Big who can rent a city for murder; a monster that has cyclotrons for eyes; and a guy who steals oceans. It’s all great stuff, pulled off with the trademark Kirby panache.

OMAC himself is a bit of a vacuum at the centre, being a kind of high-tech SHAZAM! character, but it’s what surrounds him that is important. Though he never got around to them himself, Kirby left loads of great plot ideas and concepts on his original character sheets for the series, such as the notion that OMAC and his normal alter ego, Buddy Blank, are not aware of each other’s existence. OMAC’s adoptive parents are another notion that Kirby didn’t do much with. Really, there’s a treasure trove of material that’s ripe for exploiting should the right creative team come along. My vote would be for Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett — a brand new OMAC series by those guys would be something to see!