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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #15

Are you ready… for the Acronym Week Day Two that’s coming!? Because it’s here!

Today’s column is a big one. And there are lots of images. It’s not for the faint of heart. It may wreck your face.

1/15/07

15. OMAC

I was going to do this one yesterday, but I didn’t have enough time to devote to it. I don’t really have the time now, but I’m taking it anyway. OMAC is more important than Joseph Conrad. You heard me.

OMAC (that’s One Man Army Corps) is my favorite Jack Kirby work. Ever. And I say this as someone who adores everything he’s ever done, especially the New Gods. But OMAC is like being punched in the face and loving it. It’s so big and loud and crazy and awesome that it enters into the realm of the sublime.

OMAC is the best acronym in comics. Ever. Ignore those posers that are running around the DCU these days thanks to That Darn Crisis; this guy’s the real deal.

Here’s the story: Boy (Buddy Blank) meets satellite (Brother Eye). Satellite turns boy into world’s greatest fighting machine and gives him the world’s greatest mohawk. Asses get kicked. Crotches get geared. Believe it.

You like mad ideas? OMAC has mad ideas leaking out of its pages. Kirby throws in stuff like pseudo-people, build-a-friends, faceless peace agents, cities to rent and fill with assassins just to kill one guy, giant monsters, little monsters, brain-switching, water-stealing… The list goes on. And the series has the best splash pages of all time.

It only lasted eight issues, but it was great. If we don’t get an Absolute OMAC within my lifetime, it’ll be a damn shame. The book deserves it. And no revival– not Byrne’s or Rucka’s or Jones’s– can possibly live up to the original. No world-gone-mad could ever be envisioned better than Kirby’s!

Even Paul Pope thinks OMAC is awesome. He did an OMAC story in his issue of Solo.

And now for more images. Here are a few pin-ups drawn by your friends at the Royal Academy of Illustration and Design! Click to enlarge. I hope they don’t mind me borrowing their drawings. I simply wish to share them with fellow comics enthusiasts.

Cameron Stewart:

Ramon Perez:

Andy B.:

Scott Hepburn:

Links for today:

OMAC #1! The first full issue! Online! Thanks to Kevin Church. Now you, too, can experience the goodness that is One Man Army Corps. Enjoy!

OMAC: An Illustrated Tribute: Written by Chris Sims.

Chris Sims tells us again why OMAC rocks. Remember the time OMAC fought twelve guys at once? Or when he punched seven people in the face simultaneously? Chris Sims does.

9 Comments

Hell yeah!
I love OMAC. Too bad DC went and sullied how cool he was with that monstrocity that lead into Infinite Boredom.
I’d like to see a nice little trade of the Kirby OMAC, like how Marvel’s doing with the Kirby 70s work. Its some of his underrated work.
And Buddy throwing a prostitute on the cover of the first issue..what’s not to love?

I dig OMAC for what/when it was, but the back-half (particularly the final two issues) were a bit short of the mark, feeling like The King had lost interest–or the path. (Or both.) Just my two cents.

Agreed, though, some mind-blowing splashes.

Well, this is definitely a winning testimonial. A terrific comic by Jack Kirby from the 1970s. And I like comics that end. They show you wonderful things for a little bit. Then it’s over, you move onto other things, and you fondly remember and revisit that series.

You can read #1 on my website, which is nice of me.

heh.

That is nice of you. And quite awesome.

So I’ll edit it into the links. Thanks!

“My body is REJECTING the bullets. I AM OMAC.”

My god, that was awesome.

He also started a chain of blow-ups. Which is also rad.

It is a tremendous pity Jack Kirby didn’t live to see the love for these books that’s still out there, with all the reprint collections and tributes and so on. Every time I think of the largely “huh-wha?” reaction they got at the time from publishers, and many fans, it makes me sad.

OMAC, especially, always struck me as the one 70’s DC series that really could have/should have been a movie. Think what could be done with today’s CGI capabilities and the Kirby vision… production design with that Ken Adam You Only Live Twice chrome-and-rock look… aw, man, now I’m just making myself depressed.

The Kirbydotter

March 10, 2007 at 9:26 am

If OMAC was made into a movie it would have to be directed by Terry Gilliam! ONly he could make such a wacky satire of futurology and anticipation.

By the way, for the first Anonymous poster, Omac wasn’t throwing a prostitute on the first issue cover, it was a dismantled android. I remembered that cover really spooked me when I was an ad for it back when I was a kid (probably in an issue of Kamandi); I thought that Omac was throwing away a girl stucked in a block of cement!

I just read (last week!) the complete run (which I recently got on Ebay for a ridiculously low price for such a Bronze Age classic!

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