Saturday, August 28, 2021

OMAC Two By Two The First

Jack Kirby was a visionary, looking ahead to the future.  With his output at DC decreasing, Kirby had to come up with a new idea, and that was to look ahead to the world that's coming....

...with OMAC, the One Man Army Corps!

Brother Eye And Buddy Blank

Thus the saga began in OMAC #1 (September-October, 1974) written and penciled by Jack Kirby, with inks and letters by Mike Royer,  with the title character destroying the factory of Pseudo-People, Inc. at the behest of the Global Peace Agency.  

But, why, and who is OMAC?

The Global Peace Agency (the nameless, faceless people who seemed to run the world), approached Professor Myron Forest, creator of the orbiting satellite called Brother Eye, to create for them an agent who could fight the menaces of the future world.  They found a perfect candidate in average Buddy Blank, an employee of the questionable Pseudo-People, Inc.,  who could be turned into the man they needed.  

Poor Buddy was a minor employee, not liked by his co-workers, except for the pretty Lila, who was his only friend.  

Buddy followed her once, and discovered her secret, she was a prototype of a new weapon his company created, robotic life-like friends (that were bombs that would explode when assembled).  This horrified Buddy, but the company was planning to eliminate him, had not Brother Eye took this moment to begin his transformation into OMAC.  OMAC, then battled the traps in Section D with his newfound powers.  But, in discussion with Brother Eye, realized OMAC should meet his creator, then they had to take out the man behind the company...Mister Big!

Blood-Brother Eye

OMAC started his quest to meet Professor Forest in Electric City in OMAC #2 (November-December, 1974) written and drawn by Jack Kirby, inked by D. Bruce Berry and letters by Mike Royer, but found Electric City to be closed as it was rented out by one man (Mister Big, who figured not even a vineyard could contain the incredibly lawless party he wanted to throw for himself).

A couple of party goers helped take OMAC further into the city (though they were hired killers for Mr. Big), where OMAC found Professor Forest.  Forest helped OMAC understand that he was created to fight in a world where armies going to battle was too dangerous, so he was changed into OMAC (with little memory of his previous life), to be a powerhouse for peace.  

That's when the hit men attacked, only stunning OMAC, but killing the Professor.  OMAC realized he had to stop Mr. Big.  The party was a cover to end Project OMAC, though it only allowed OMAC, enhanced with power by Brother Eye, to track down Mr. Big, Major Domo and the rest of his criminal organization, no matter the damage to the city and its populace.  

OMAC did have a final battle with them...where he was killed?  That's when the Global Peace Agency popped in to arrest Mr. Big and Major Domo, who resisted, but were taken out by Brother Eye.  The GPA then revealed they only let them think OMAC was dead (as part of the reason they could arrest them), and revived OMAC, who would continue as the enforcer for the Global Peace Agency.

An oddly prophetic look at future times, with an agency beyond governments arranging the world to its whim, and criminals controlling cities to do their bidding at a causal thought, but these and more were part of the world of the future in Kirby's OMAC!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Remembering Artist Jim Aparo

Remembering artist Jim Aparo (August 24, 1932 - July 19, 2005) on his birthday.  

Jim Aparo was known for his work on Phantom Stranger, Aquaman and the Spectre, but one of his best known and beloved work was on Batman team-up in Brave and the Bold....

...but, one of the strangest guest stars in one of the team-ups. was Jim Aparo himself, as this cover he drew shows!!!

Small War Of The Super Rifles

In Brave and the Bold #124 (January, 1976) by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo,  Batman is nearly taken out by a hood with a "super gun"....which Batman learns is an experimental M-76, when he is saved by Sgt. Rock (World War II veteran, assigned to get the stolen guns back from the Thousand, the group that stole them).  While doing that, Batman opens a locker and dies....what?  That's what Jim Aparo says....until he realizes the writer's script has been changed, by the terrorists who broke into his Connecticut house!

Thinking fast, Aparo escapes the fiendish felons, finds a nearby lighthouse to keep drawing (where he has Rock save Batman), then calls Bob Haney and Murray Boltinoff to get tips to help Batman and Sgt. Rock track down the Thousand, and save him at the lighthouse the fiends were approaching!

Truly, one of the craziest tales Bob Haney ever gave us, but, a wonderful adventure for artist Jim Aparo!

Of course, Jim also drew (but didn't participate) in adventures of the Spectre and the Phantom Stranger teaming up with Batman (as well as Aquaman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Black Canary and more, which you can check out on the link on their names!).

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Remembering Gene Roddenberry

Remembering Gene Roddenberry (August 19, 1921 - October 24, 1991) on what would have been his 100th birthday.

Gene created Star Trek, then, brought Star Trek: The Next Generation to syndicated TV screens in the 1980s.

Star Trek #26 (December, 1991) was the last original Star Trek comic book to come out before Gene passed, "Where's There's A Will...", by Howard Weinstein, Gordon Purcell and Arne Starr, with cover by Jerome K. Moore, with the original crew working together.... and you can find out about more of the Star Trek comic series here!


Star Trek: The Next Generation #25 (November, 1991) was the last TNG book to come out before Gene's end, and "Wayward Son" by Michael Jan Friedman, Peter Kraus and Pablo Marcos (with cover by Jerome K. Moore) dealt with Worf, his son Alexander, parents Sergey and Helena Rozhenko, as well as the outrageous Okona!

Losing Gene Roddenberry was like losing family....

...but, as Bones said about Spock, "He's not really long as we remember him".

Monday, August 16, 2021

National Tell A Joke Day 2021

Instead of going with that other guy that usually fights Batman, here's a cover with Ambush Bug, finding out that humor is subjective, as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are not amused by what Irwin Schwab (Ambush Bug's alter ego) had said to them.

In Action Comics #565 (March, 1985) by Keith Giffen, Robert Loren Fleming and Bob Oksner, Irwin tried to recruit heroes for the premier of his own first issue....much to the chagrin of the heroes.

It likely wasn't on National Tell A Joke Day....but, Irwin's cover copy again!

Friday, August 13, 2021

Two Quick Shots Of The Suicide Squad

There are two members of the Suicide Squad from the recent movie that were similar, yet had very different foundations before they ended up serving time with the Squad.

The odd thing, as professional assassins, both of them likely could have been hired to be a part of the team, but instead they were captured by heroes, and forced to serve like most of the other members.

So, without further ado, here's a quick rundown of Javelin and Blackguard.


This German assassin was first hired by Congressman Bloch (by the Monitor) to take out Green Lantern and Ferris Aircraft with his special weapons....from which he took his Green Lantern #173 (February, 1984) by Len Wein and Dave Gibbons.  The battle continued into the next issue with Green Lantern winning (and a little flashback in the next issue to before events in these two issues.

Javelin was recruited for the Suicide Squad in Justice League International #13, where he and the Squad faced off against an equal number of members, and, in Suicide Squad #13, the battle ended, with Batman very leery of the Squad.  Javelin next showed up in Suicide Squad #58, preparing with the team to attack Circe's island, and it looked like she finished him off in War Of The Gods #3....yet, he survived, returning in Power Company #5, then again in Deadshot #4 and #5 as part of team to take out Deadshot....

...with a few appearances as a member of the Suicide Squad proper in Checkmate #6 and #7, then as a villain on the run in Justice League: Cry For Justice #2 and #3, sometimes with his trademark German accent, sometimes not, but always there with his Javelin, ready to battle (as long as the money was right).


Richard Hertz (though no alter ego given in his first appearance) in Booster Gold #1 (February, 1986) by Dan Jurgens and Mike DeCarlo, where he was the main enforcer for the 1000 (a group of mobsters that grew out of the 100, which faced the Thorn and Black Lightning).  Basically a tough guy in a super suit, with a few technological weapons, he was a menace to Booster Gold for his first four issues.

Blackguard next appeared in a super prison in Green Lantern #52, though mostly in passing.  Blackguard got an upgrade from the demon, Neron, in Underworld Unleashed #1, and was part of a team of enhanced villains (including Cheetah and Earthworm) to attack Guy Gardner's bar in Guy Gardner: Warrior #36.  His birth name was revealed in JLA: Classified #4, where it looked like he retired, but he was recruited for a Squad mission in Suicide Squad: Raise The Flag #4, and served until he, like most members recruited for this mission, gave his all for the team (which was through issue #7, though the only covers he made were those of Booster Gold)..

Of course, these aren't the only members of the Suicide Squad, and covered before are: Rick Flag and Captain Boomerang, Amanda Waller, Harley Quinn, Polka-Dot Man, and Bloodsport, as well as folks who appeared like the Thinker, Calendar Man, and the mystery villain, with more to come!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Superman Olympics

You'd figure Superman would do well in the Olympics, with all of his otherworldly powers...but you'd be wrong!

A little extra this time around, starting with a reprint of a Superman story with him in the Olympics from Superman #284 (February, 1975) with a Nick Cardy cover, and seeing where that takes us!

Superman 284

In the new story in this issue, Clark returns to Smallville to meet with Chief Parker and deal with his old homestead...

...and comes faces to face with his past....and battles Superboy, in a story about "The Secret Guardian Of Smallville!" by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and Bob Oksner.

This issue also has puzzles, a feature on people who broke into the Fortress of Solitude, and a few reprints....

...including a story where Superman had to work on comics from Superman #25 (November-December, 1943), dealt with a modern Alice in Wonderland from Superman #41 (July-August, 1946) , his own taxes from Superman #148 (October, 1961) and the death of Clark Kent from Superman #42 (September-October, 1946).

But, the selling point of the issue was the main reprint....from....

Action Comics 304

"The Interplanetary Olympics" by Leo Dorfman, Curt Swan and George Klein from September, 1963, has Superman competing in an intergalactic game, and as shown, being outclassed by Borko of Gorn and Boscar of Krag!

Superman and Lana Lang were taken there by force, but Superman's powers seems to fail him (a deliberate ploy by the man of steel, to prevent the criminals in charge from syphoning his powers to use in their nefarious scheme).

But, if this seem oddly familiar....(but not reprinted in the Superman issue....).

Action Comics 220

"The Interplanetary Olympics" by Ed Hanilton and Al Plastino from September, 1956, has Superman competing in an intergalactic game, and as shown, being outclassed by Bronno of Kor and Sharn of Iwo!

Here, Superman was unable to perform due to Kyrptonite being used in the construction of the stadium!

Just when you thought you'd seen every Olympic controversy!