Review: Kamandi Challenge #1

In comics, there are two creators that truly stand above all others. Those creators are Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

This isn’t because these two men are the greatest to ever live, but because the characters they have created have largely gone on long after Lee and Kirby stepped aside and let other creators use them. And this doesn’t just go for characters like Captain America, Spider-Man, and the X-Men, but for smaller characters as well, such as the Inhumans, the Juggernaut, and the New Gods. There is just something about the characters that these two men created that has made later writers really want to dig deep and explore.

While DC Comics has never really had the opportunity to work with Stan Lee in his prime, they did get Jack Kirby. You can really feel how much the heads of DC really love Kirby’s work because, in the past few years, they have greenlit an OMAC series, a massive crossover between the Green Lanterns and the New Gods, and, now, they are doing a maxi series on Kamandi the Last Boy.

Admittedly, I don’t have much experience with Kamandi the Last Boy (other than his brief appearance in Final Crisis #1), but I have been intrigued. Ironically, because I didn’t really know what the big deal was. I’ve seen the massive omnibuses of a primitive looking boy in a post-apocalyptic land. How could that compare to Kirby’s other creations? What did Kamandi have that put him on the level of superheroes? I know he is beloved because there are massive omnibuses of his stories. It was this wonder that lead me to pick up this issue and try to figure out why Kamandi was not left to the passage of time.

Now that I’ve read the issue and met Kamandi for the first time, I have to say, I am impressed.

Each issue of this series, Kamandi Challenge, will be written and drawn by a different creative team. I was happy that the prologue was done by Dan Didio and Keith Giffen (the same team that brought us the OMAC series at the beginning of the New 52). They clearly love Kirby’s work and it’s cool to see them get a shot at another Kirby property. And I think that is what makes this challenge so cool. They aren’t making this comic because every month there needs to be a Kamandi book (much in the way that there needs to be a few Batman books a Superboy book). This comic is made because these creators have been dreaming about writing and drawing a Kamandi story since they were children.

What makes Kamandi special? Kamandi is special because he brings out the best in the people who write and draw him.

Also, there is a robot Jack Kirby in this story. If that isn’t enough for you, I don’t know what is.

Rating: 8 out of 10