|Image copyright MARVEL COMICS|
Well, it may have taken me around 40 years to get there, but yesterday I finally finished a journey begun in 1977. That was when I purchased the first issue of a new MARVEL mag called OMEGA The UNKNOWN (as well as the following four issues over the next few months), but for some strange reason I never bought another issue after #5. This was probably due to me never seeing #6, and if I ever saw subsequent issues (can't recall whether I did or not), the fact that I'd missed one would deter me from buying any more. (For me, back numbers weren't so easy to acquire as they are today, as I didn't know about comics fandom, comic marts, or comics shops which sold them.)
It made more financial sense to buy the book so that's what I did (though I'll still purchase the remaining 5 individual comics at a future date), and I read it at various intervals throughout the day until I was up to speed with the events of Omega's '70s adventures. Although writer (the late) STEVE GERBER (with MARY SKRENES) had intended to pen the finale, he left Marvel before doing so and the task fell to other hands (STEVEN GRANT). It's likely that the published wrap-up differs from how Gerber would've resolved matters and I'd have preferred to read his version, but at least I finally reached the finish line - even if it took 40 years to do so.
(It seemed that Omega was meant to be the adult incarnation of teenage protagonist JAMES MICHAEL STARLING, possibly from the future or perhaps in a BILLY BATSON/CAPTAIN MARVEL type way, but the enigma was never satisfactorily explained because the mag's short run prevented it from being fully developed. Grant's two-parter was likely just a hastily-devised, expedient, 'brush the dust under the carpet' way of appeasing readers who wanted some kind of conclusion to the storyline.)
Anyway, as I said, a voyage embarked on in 1977 was eventually completed in 2018, and the gulf between the two points seems like no time at all, though the realisation of just how much water has passed under the bridge since then also calls out to me for attention. That's one of the paradoxes of time - some past events can sometimes feel like only yesterday and a 100 years ago at almost the exact same moment, as both perceptions wrestle for recognition on the mattress of memory.
So dear readers, what's your longest period between starting and finishing a series, whether it be comic, book, or TV serial? And was journey's end worth the wait or somewhat of a disappointment? Do tell.