Thursday, 7 March 2013
ARE YOU READY FOR OMAC?
OMAC - ONE MAN ARMY CORPS! According to former JACK
KIRBY assistant MARK EVANIER, Omac was based on an unrealised
idea for a futuristic version of CAPTAIN AMERICA that Kirby had come
up with around 1968 while still at MARVEL. Whether he decided to hold
off due to growing dissatisfaction with the company, or because he felt
the time wasn't right for such a character, we'll probably never know for
sure. However, the future Cap finally saw the light of day as Omac
over at DC COMICS when Jack jumped ship in the early '70s.
Unfortunately, it never really caught on - lasting a mere eight issues
before cancellation. If DC had expected Kirby to infuse new life into their
comic line due to their mistaken belief that Jack had been the main man
behind the fortunes of Marvel Comics (a rumour that was doing the rounds
back in the late '60s, early '70s), they must have been sorely disappointed.
With the exception of four magazines (JIMMY OLSEN - 15, MISTER
MIRACLE - 18, KAMANDI - 40, and THE DEMON - 16), his other
titles were all cancelled before they had seen out a dozen issues.
(Jack's tenure on THE LOSERS lasted for twelve issues exactly, but
the comic predated his involvement and continued after he left. None of
The Losers were Kirby characters, unlike the GOLDEN GUARDIAN
and the NEWSBOY LEGION in Jimmy Olsen's mag.)
So Kirby went back to Marvel - and failed to make much of a dent
there either on his second time around. The problem was that, although
Kirby was a solid and dependable storyteller in his own right, without the
input (one might say magic) of his former collaborator STAN LEE, his
stories were competent but uninspired, with leaden dialogue and an
increasingly abstract style of art.
However, even lacklustre Kirby is well-worth looking at, and I have
fond recollections of most of his DC output from this time. (Just a shame
he didn't use a scripter in the style of Lee to 'punch up' his stories a bit.)
Anyway, enjoy the covers of all eight issues of Omac, even if the
last one is by JOE KUBERT and not Jack himself.
Posted by Kid at Thursday, March 07, 2013