Overview

O.M.A.C. #1

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O.M.A.C. #1

Credits

  • Words: Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen
  • Art: Keith Giffen
  • Inks: Scott Koblish
  • Colors: Hi-Fi
  • Story Title: Office Management Amidst Chaos
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 7, 2011

Brother Eye has one mission. Kevin Kho doesn't know what it is, but he knows he's the unwitting pawn of the super satellite in it. Empowered by Eye, Kevin has transformed into O.M.A.C., and in attacking Cadmus Labs, he'll get what he wants. Kevin just wants his life back.

O.M.A.C. is one of the more interesting series to spin out of the New 52. The titular character hasn't been a hero for years, and has been treated more as a mindless army and background fodder for event books. With a team featuring writing by DC co-publisher Dan DiDio and one third of the legendary Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis/Kevin Maguire team, it's an odd book from a production standpoint. Following that, it's a visually jarring style in comparison to the other books. Much like Batwoman, while not meshing exactly with the standard DC Comics design, it works not in spite of, but thanks to, its unique style.

If anything, O.M.A.C. is nothing but a love letter to Jack Kirby and the Hulk. Giffen's designs, emotions, panelling, pacing, and such are all reminiscent of Kirby. While in the past Giffen had been the focus of discussion when his pencils came close to another artist, this is nothing but pure fandom and love, with reverence to the King left and right. O.M.A.C. doesn't say much in this issue, but he stomps, terrorizes, and crushes everything in his path under the control of Brother Eye. If O.M.A.C. is the Hulk, well-meaning super scientist Kevin Kho is Bruce Banner and Brother Eye is the gamma radiation that changes his path for unintended destruction.

Part of the problem with this book is that it's a love letter to Jack Kirby and Jack Kirby fans. For those unaware of his particular nuances, it'll come off as a comic from another time. Even in O.M.A.C.'s design are elements from a bygone era; the massive malleable mohawk for one. Given the redesign of the machines since Infinite Crisis into a sleeker, modern frame (featured in an underrated miniseries by Bruce Jones and Allan Goldman from 2006), this new design harkens back to an era that might deserve to be forgotten, such as the pouches of the 1990s. Given that DC's all about updating designs, and even eschewed Superman's trunks for modern necessity, it's an oddity that stands out.

What doesn't stand out is Kevin Kho. Given that we only receive a few panels of the actual hero of the book (instead, devoting most of the book to his monstrous rampage), we have no concept of his personality. Michael Costner, star of the previous O.M.A.C. book, was well-defined (and tragic) beyond his special form. Buddy Blank, the original hero, hasn't been around in ages and thus doesn't have any sort of modern context and definition. In all instances, the book struggles to give focus to its underpowered human and Brother Eye empowered self.

O.M.A.C. is a book that's easy to like for some people, especially those who grew up with Kirby's work. In contrast, younger people who expect a different style might find the art weak and the writing lacking. This is a book that purely relies on the kind of fan reading it. While it's hard to give it unequivocal praise, it's easily one of the books that'll need a second look at in a month to decide if it's subscription-worthy.

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Comments

  • Bart Croonenborghs

    Bart Croonenborghs Sep 14, 2011 at 4:04am

    Making OMAC into the Hulk feels all wrong so I'll be skipping this one. feels like they left out all the drama of the OMAC character. John Byrne did a rather good miniseries about OMAC back in the day. the art also really jars with the slick modern logo at the cover, clash of styles going on there.

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