Monday, January 23, 2017

Kamandi Challenge Special #1, Part Three

I'm falling further and further behind on my comic reading because of this Kirby shit.

I know, I know. Jack Kirby was a god among nerds. But if he was so great, how come he's dead now?

The third Kamandi story is from Issue #60. Remember that issue? It's the one that contained a "mind-blasting new origin of OMAC by Jim Starlin!" Who decided that everything Jim Starlin wrote would be described as somehow melting or destroying a person's brain? Was his writing really that trippy? If so, I should drop this blog and start up a Jim Starlin only blog. I bet it would be like reliving my LSD days. I say that as if my LSD days are over. I sure hope they aren't!

This issue is in black and white. Was it this way originally or does DC think I'm going to adult color it?

This issue isn't by Jack Kirby at all, so why am I wasting my time? The credits say it's by Jack C. Harris, Dick Ayers, and Danny Bulandi. The colorist's name has been removed just like the color. I'm sensing there was a lawsuit somewhere along the way!

This issue begins with Kamandi falling into The Vortex. I think that's the name of a vortex.

This is not a vortex.

Jim Starlin's OMAC story must have been really fucking weird for it to get the label "mind-blastingly" over the Kamandi story. Kamandi enters the Vortex which carries her away to a parallel universe. But that's not the weird part. By the 70s, that was cliché by DC's standards. The weird part is when Doctor Canus and his friend Sherlock Dog (who has a sidekick named Doile) try to help their parallel universe friend Pyra not die from a lack of energy. To do that, they need the help of the mutants who managed to open the huge doors in the Wondrous Western Wall which led to the vortex. But the dog-men can't get close without their radiation suits which were destroyed by the energy of the vortex. And because of all that, Pyra's ship turns into a bug.

I should have stuck to my original idea five years ago: critiquing Penthouse Forum letters.

My mind is pretty well blasted already so I hope this Special doesn't include Starlin's OMAC origin. I don't know why it would unless the Kamandi Challenge is going to feature a heaping helping of the One Man Army Corps.

On her journey through the infinite reaches of all space and time, Kamandi learns that he gets to be the focal point on which all futures rely.

Yeah but if there are infinite realities where all choices are possible, doesn't she actually choose all of them and none of them at the same time? So none of this really matters!

I suppose I'm being too hard-headed and should probably work with the story. I get what the Voice is saying. All these realities exist but sometimes some special person or event can change them in ways outside of the usual "all choices exist as parallel" worlds paradigm. And Kamandi is that special person!

Sometimes I like to argue with and correct myself before I have to hear from a blowhard Internet Actually Nerd. Mostly because their responses are never funny. They really should work on their material. It might not be so bad to be Actually'd if I could have a laugh at the same time.

Kamandi's friends are about to be murdered by the Kangarat Murder Society while Kamandi runs off to a brand new Earth that never experienced a natural disaster linked with radiation. The last hope her friends have is that Kamandi will turn away from this last temptation, turn away from the voice of the vortex devil, and return to sacrifice herself for her friends. I mean, she won't really sacrifice herself. But she is giving up a world where she can probably wear something nicer than the crusty Daisy Dukes she's been wearing for years and where her hair won't be full of lice and where they probably still have toilet paper.

On Kamandi's way back home, he's grabbed by Brute and Glob who decide to take him to The Sandman. Oh. That's probably why this issue is being featured! So that people reading it can go, "Oh shit! That's where Brute and Glob came from?! A Sandman comic before The Sandman! It's so nice that new kids are being born all the time so that comic book companies can use the same characters over and over again so that they seem new but then older fans who never grew out of comics can be jazzed about seeing old characters done in a modern way! Or something!"

The Sandman decides that Kamandi needs to learn that whatever she's seen in the vortex is as real as whatever she sees in dreams. So not real at all? Anyway, it seems like an unneeded delay for Kamandi. She's just being hassled by some guy who feels the need to prove that his job is way more important than it actually is. Don't get me wrong, I love dreaming! But if the person behind my dreams was all, "Stop thinking of them as entertaining! They're fucking super important, asshole!", I'd just think he was a twat with low self-esteem. You can't force people to appreciate things the way you think they should be appreciated. I suppose this whole control freak side of The Sandman is reflected in Neil Gaiman's take on his Sandman.

To teach Kamandi the lesson that needs to be taught for some reason, The Sandman decides to show him a movie about the some war on Santa Claus. He wants Kamandi to "watch and learn what an alternate Kamandi named Jed once learned long, long ago." I hate learning things that other people learned. How is their learning relevant to my life? Boring!

Anyway, Christmas is saved and Jed manages to make it back home where she saves her friends and everybody lives happily ever after.

What Did I Learn?
The Glob and Brute story in The Sandman makes a lot more sense to me now! I mean, it made sense before in the context of The Sandman that a few nightmares had escaped and created their own mini-Dreaming while manipulating humans into thinking they were the real Sandman. Of course it makes this story a little bit darker than it should be knowing that this Sandman will eventually kill himself due to Glob and Brute's machinations! Oh, I also learned that Kamandi's grandfather was OMAC and that Kamandi's world is OMAC's nightmare of what the world will become if he fails to do his duty. I also learned that I can only take about three Kamandi stories before I get tired of writing about Kamandi stories and just sum up the last story in one sentence.

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