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Saturday, June 25, 2005

OMAC #1 - Brother Eye and Buddy Blank

Brace yourselves for "The World That's Coming".

OMAC ##1 is some strange stuff even by 1970s Kirby standards. What can you make of a book that opens with a full page splash of a disassembled robot woman "Build-A-Friend" in a box saying "Hello -- Put me together and I will be your friend"? Just plain weird.

Also, kind of an unusual story structure for Kirby, as he opens with the climax of the story, then has a flashback to the origin building up to the first scene and then the conclusion. It works pretty well, as it moves the action right up to the front and sets up the rest of the issue nicely.

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Anyway, after seeing OMAC bring down the Build-A-Friend shop, we flashback to his origin, as the faceless Global Peace Agency tell Dr. Myron Forest that they have selected Buddy Blank to be the subject of the OMAC Project, leaving Forest to activate the sleeping satellite Brother Eye. After a view of Buddy's life at the offices of Pseudo-People, Inc. and some bizarre scenes of their "psychology section", we see that he was befriended by the previously revealed to be a Build-A-Friend Lila, as part of an experiment in making lifelike beings. As Buddy stumbles onto the secret section and finds out the secret of Lila and the nefarious assassination plans she's to be part of, Brother Eye transforms him to OMAC.

A wonderful issue, brilliant in its almost pure oddball insanity, if Kirby comics were drugs this issue would be the equivalent of mainlining uncut Kirby. Even the artwork seems like a heightened pure version of Kirby. Not for the faint of heart or uninitiated.

Mike Royer inks the 20-page story and the cover (which is a flipped version of the original art Kirby did for the cover). Kirby also writes a text page about how rapidly the world has changed and will continue to change, including the mention that part of the inspiration for this issue comes from seeing the "autitronic robots" during a trip to Disneyland with his granddaughter.

Published 1974

1 comment:

dave said...

Even the artwork seems like a heightened pure version of Kirby.

That's pretty much what I thought back when it first came out. Unfortunately, Bruce Berry took over the inking and by this point, Kirby just seemed so demoralized... he had good concepts in each issue, but the execution was lacking. I still bought 'em, though!