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Let’s go down to Rockefeller Center for a nice skate and a superpowered fistfight – Omega the Unknown #9

December 11, 2011

For some reason I always used to think that Omega was a Jack Kirby creation. Maybe it’s the Kirby dots in the character box.

I’m not sure that it was advantage that most of Marvel’s titles were centered in New York City. I never liked that DC’s heroes were all champions of fictional cities that you could never really place on a map, and that half of the burgs had pretensions of being an Earth-1 stand-in for the Big Apple. Confusing. That Marvel’s pantheon was a NYC stable may have generated some staleness, but it was simpler, and it most assuredly added authenticity to the books. The artists lived and worked there (sometimes they were born and raised there) and that familiarity seeped into their work. You could imagine characters flying or swinging or running down the comic streets because they looked like New York’s streets. And now and then a landmark was thrown in for good measure, just to help you get your bearings.

Well, we have a big landmark here. MEET ME DOWN AT THE GIANT GOLD STATUE. Rockefeller Center — with its noted buildings, skating rink and statuary — serves as a backdrop, and an apt one for the holidays.

Omega the Unknown, that strong, taciturn 1970s alien with a strange connection to a young orphan (not that kind of strange connection), here (Script: Steve Gerber & Mary Skrenes, Art: Jim Mooney) does battle with Marvel’s Blockbuster down at the Rock. Before we get to that though, let’s meet the (then) new Foolkiller and his ridiculous Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber duds:

Point that deadly vaporizing gun at yourself, Foo’.

Blockbuster busts no blocks in this issue, but does shatter plate glass and thus get the attention of Omega — Plateglassshatterer:

Off Omega goes in hot pursuit of Blockbuster and the promised reward, and looky where they end up:

Before there was Tonya Harding vs. Nancy Kerrigan, there was Omega vs. Blockbuster. Place your bets.

A prominent storytelling rule is followed here, the one that says if a comic book has a famous statue featured in its pages, said statue must be either A) ripped off its pedestal and used to club a character over the head, or B) used as a backstop when a character is thrown into it. B it is!:

Omega scoops himself off of Prometheus’ golden lap, gets his ass kicked, and then Foolkiller shows up and kills Blockbuster. MERRY CHRISTMAS:

Hey — more Kirby dots. BLOCKBUSTER DID NOT DIE IN VAIN.

Jemm, Son of Saturn was my Omega the Unknown, with an alien and a kid and a city. I liked Jemm as a youth, and I can see why others liked Omega, even if it died a quick death after the next issue (the Omega issue, as it were). The latter has been collected — maybe you’d want to track it down. Make it a Christmas gift to yourself or the comic-lover in your life. Fair warning: Not every issue contained landmarks and skating rink-themed dustups. Can’t win them all.

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