September's preliminary sales charts have been released, and to my surprise, O.M.A.C. #1 was the lowest selling title of the new 52. I know that the comic's retro pastiche has limited appeal, and I wasn't expecting to tear up the charts, but I definitely thought it'd do a little better than it did. The audience for a comic featuring a giant blue mohawked man punching crazy looking things can't be that small, and I thought that word of mouth from the terrific first issue would give sales a nice boost. While O.M.A.C. still sold well enough to justify a reprint, the bottom of the heap isn't a great place to be, especially when few comics boast bigger numbers for their second issue than their first.
All that's a shame, because this issue has even more to offer readers than the last. From the introduction of Checkmate to an editor's note that literally had me laughing out loud, this comic never stops throwing cool ideas at you, and never stops being fun. Everything that was great about the first issue, from the sense of energy and epicness to Keith Giffen's Kirby channeling, is still here. And everything else? Is better. There's more story, snappier dialogue, more focus on characters. The action scenes are bigger and more exciting, and this is where we really get a sense of what O.M.A.C., Brother Eye, and Cadmus can do. Giffen and Dan Didio deliver plenty of story and excitement for the money, and give readers lots to think about while they wait for next month's issue.
What's great about O.M.A.C. #2 is that it works as a jumping on point in spite of picking up right where the last issue left off. Within the first page, we know that what O.M.A.C. is, that he's Kevin Kho, and that Brother Eye is using O.M.A.C. to control him. They say that every issue is someone's first issue, and O.M.A.C. makes sure that new readers can read this one with no problems. The increased focus on Brother Eye provides readers with some interesting in-depth explanations, and I actually think several elements from the last issue are easier to understand here. The first issue is good stuff, and I recommend reading it, but this issue is still a perfect place to start.
I love dark and creepy series like Animal Man and Swamp Thing, but that's not all I want to read. O.M.A.C. is the comic book equivalent of a chaser, giving you enough goofy, crazy fun to knock gruesome thoughts out of your head and make your next read more potent. There are a lot of horror books in the new 52, and if you're trying to add some variety to your pull list, O.M.A.C. is a great way to do it. Odds are you're not reading any comics that contain the word "OMACTIVATE", and your life might be just a little bit better if you were. I've also seen many people lamenting the lack of comics they can give to younger readers. While a bit of mild language keeps O.M.A.C. from being a true all ages title, it's definitely appropriate for a younger crowd, and it's something fans of kid friendly books might want to support.
Maybe Giffen's Kirby style artwork isn't your thing. Maybe you were scared off by Dan Didio's co-writing credit, or by the righteousness of O.M.A.C.'s mohawk. Maybe all you know of OMAC are the cyborgs we saw in Infinite Crisis, and can't figure out those guys could carry an ongoing series. Whatever kept you from trying O.M.A.C., I impore you to give the second issue a chance. I can't promise that you'll like it, but I can promise that it's a well constructed comic that offers something really different from most books on the shelves. It's the sort of comic that's worth trying, even if it doesn't seem like your thing. And the final page reveal should leave any longtime DC reader intrigued.
So if you missed out on O.M.A.C. #1, try flipping through issue #2 and seeing what you think. If you like it, try grabbing the reprint of issue #1 or getting it when it takes a price drop on Comixology. Most importantly, if you thought it was awesome, be sure to tell your comic reading friends. I'm not going to let a comic as good as O.M.A.C. go down without a fight. O.M.A.C. is never going to outsell stuff like Batman or Green Lantern, but word of mouth can still make a difference in the comics world. Here's hoping that next month, O.M.A.C.'s place on the comic book charts is a little bit prettier.