O.M.A.C. #2

OMAC #2

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The first issue of O.M.A.C. got some negative reviewage ‘round these parts, and not surprisingly. There might be a variety of opinions on Dan Didio as an editor or co-publisher, but as a writer the consensus is decidedly negative. Well before I knew him as DC’s Editor-in-Chief, I knew him as “the guy who ruined Superboy,” as his short run that closed out that series was terrible.

And yet, I thought O.M.A.C. #1 was a really fun comic, merging Cadmus and crazy Jack Kirby ideas with Keith Giffen’s Kirby-style artwork. I don’t know who to credit with the last issue’s entertainment value, but I thought it was surprisingly entertaining — and this issue was more of the same.

O.M.A.C.’s universe seems to be an exercise in efficiency, taking a bunch of the DCU’s various secret organizations and mastermind characters and putting them into the same places. Cadmus is now part of Checkmate, which is still secretly run by Max Lord, while Sarge Steel appears to be the public face of the international organization. And, of course, all that is mashed together with the Global Peace Agency from Kirby’s original O.M.A.C. series.

Meanwhile, poor Kevin Kho becomes the unwitting, unwilling pawn of satellite Brother Eye, who isn’t exactly a heroic influence, transformed (OMACtivated!) against his will into a relatively mindless hulk to do Brother Eye’s bidding. That bidding includes capturing people who’ve been experimented on by Cadmus, and some sort of rivalry with Max Lord.

And the rest is a parade of weird ideas, Kirbytech set pieces, and dynamic battles. O.M.A.C. has the kind of kinetic energy that people rightly associate with Kirby’s comics.

But for all that movement, there’s a surprising amount of depth here. We’re clearly only getting bits of a larger picture, but there are conspiracies against conspiracies working here, with no clear moral high ground — and our protagonist, our window into this insane world of secret societies and clandestine experiments. is caught in the middle of it with no idea what’s going on or how to get out of it. It’s an unconventional setup, and a lot more complex than I would expect from Dan Didio. Maybe the underrated Keith Giffen is the real mastermind here, or maybe this is just what Didio needed to cut loose. About the only problem I have with the series thus far is Brother Eye’s annoying substitution of “Eye” for “I,” a carry-over from the Infinite Crisis era. And that’s a pretty small problem.

O.M.A.C. is a hoot, and I recommend giving it a shot. It’s One Massively Amusing Comic.

tags: dan didio, keith giffen, omac, scott koblish

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