Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth Omnibus Vol. 1 – Jack Kirby

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Right, right, so the obvious thing to think you first learn about Kamandi The Last Boy On Earth is that it’s a cheap knock-off of the Planet of the Apes, right? Well technically you’d be right, but in a more profound sense, you’d be wrong.

I mean, yes, Kamandi lives on a post-apocalyptic Earth where animals, including gorillas, have assumed supremacy over nature and mankind has been reduced to vermin. And I’ll admit that that is the Statue of Liberty on the cover.

But those details fade into atoms of triviality when considered in the context of the book’s authorship. Kamandi was created by Jack Kirby, that genius who with only pen and ink invented such luminaries as Captain America, the Fantastic Four, and that old monster Darkseid himself!! He’s really creative, that’s what I’m saying.

And that creativity oozes through each page of Kamandi. Our protagonist is befriended by Ben Boxer, a descendant of humanity’s greatest minds who wears an ancient space suit to contain the radioactivity spewed forth by his body. When he presses the nuclear reactor in his chest he becomes an invincible, and gains a resemblance to the Silver Surfer. Later, Kamandi encounters bipedal lions who work as rangers in a nature reserve, humanity being the endangered species in question. The finale of this volume involves a malevolent dwarf using his psychic powers to unleash an omnicidal germ to an unsuspecting planet!!

All of which would make a very good movie. DC should probably focus on making cinematic adaptions of this franchise instead of Superman.

If you like the story lines in your stories unhinged and your comic art beautiful, check out Kamandi!!

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