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Get this man a barber STAT – OMAC #7

January 11, 2011

It’s a mohawk…OF THE FUTURE!

I like OMAC. The old OMAC, not the re-imagined cyborgs that showed up a few years ago to plague the heroes of the DC Universe. He was Kirby’s future version of Captain America, drawing his strength not from a serum but Matrix-style from a literal (Brother) Eye in the sky. Who needs a single Super Soldier when you can have a real honest-to-goodness One Man Army Corps? There was a straight-ahead, unadorned quality to the character that I still find appealing.

And I see a lot of guys walking around today with modified mohawks, so I suppose he was a hairstyle trailblazer on top of all that.

In “The Ocean Stealers!”, Jolly Jack’s penultimate issue with the future-man of questionable hair, water is going missing. And we’re not talking about the some pig drinking all the aqua in the office water cooler. No, we’re talking about entire bodies of water:

That spread reminds of that first Galactus arc in The Fantastic Four, when the damage that the world-devourer would do was presaged. I seem to recall (I don’t have that issue handy) dried ocean beds and such, much like this.

And I like those nifty snowshoes that OMAC sports.

While he’s wandering around the dried lakebed he stumbles across a strange looking metal bar. When he tries to lift it he can’t, and it takes a boost from Brother Eye for him to finally heft it — and Kirby makes us feel every ounce of the effort, putting us right in OMAC’s (snow)shoes:

The strain is too much for the guy, and he needs to head to the nearest metrosexual spa…OF THE FUTURE!:

Why don’t you get a pedicure while you’re at it, “hero”…

The pre-transformatio-Beta-Ray-Bill-looking guy fills OMAC in on the bar and what’s going on with the water:

That’s a scheme worthy of Mr. Burns, I have to admit.

When OMAC goes after the bug-eyed Doctor Skuba (and his strangely normal and utterly useless daughter and her boyfriend), the baddie blasts him with a ray that takes away his evolved powers:

So before he was basically Billy Batson, right down to the fashion sense and the double-B initials. Huh.

My enthusiasm for Kirby’s 1970’s DC work isn’t at the level of many’s. Jack could be ham-fisted when he was scripting, but I’ve always like the energy of the efforts and the goofy tableaus he’d put his characters into. I’d say this ish gamely represents that, with oceans condensed into metal bars and vitamin rays aplenty.

Oh, and OMAC is Kamandi’s grandfather. I didn’t know that until I scoped his Wikipedia article before I wrote this post (or I had forgotten that particular factoid). Apparently his bad-hair gene was recessive.

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