Monday, November 07, 2011

Review: O.M.A.C. #3

When reading O.M.A.C. #3, it occurred to me just why I love this comic so much. My love for Jack Kirby has more than a little to do with it, but what I think really gets me is the similarity to Japanese tokusatsu shows. They both have transformations, over the top heroes and villains, a heaping helping of silliness, and of course, wonderfully fun action scenes. Toku is something I think comics could stand to take some cues from, and it's great to see O.M.A.C. doing just that, even if it isn't intentional.

New characters and concepts are introduced at a neck breaking speed throughout the issue. From the terrifically fun Checkmate Elite to the surprisingly powerful Psi-Fi Man, O.M.A.C. throws out ideas in at a rate few comics do. The rapid pace would feel overwhelming in a lot of comics, but there's a simplicity at O.M.A.C.'s core that really makes this work. I often get frustrated when comics don't spend much time on something I find interesting, but jumping from idea to idea feels natural to O.M.A.C. If the book sticks around, I imagine we'll get some kind of big bad, but I hope we still keep getting peeks at wacky henchmen and crazy future tech. O.M.A.C. just wouldn't feel right if it was too focused on one thing.

But in spite of all the new content, this issue didn't measure up to the last one for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm still having a blast with O.M.A.C., but I think some aspects of the book are losing their impact for me. I was excited by what was truly new, but O.M.A.C. himself is becoming less interesting to me. There was some focus on Kevin's relationship with Brother Eye here, and I really hope that we see some kind of shake-up soon. Kevin has the potential to be a likable, engaging character, but it hasn't been tapped yet. Right now, I'm more entertained by everything around him than I am by anything he's done, and I think the book would be much more involving if I had a stronger attachment to him. So much about O.M.A.C. is impermanent, and I want Kevin to be the constant.

Keith Giffen's artwork is absolutely essential to the book, and it's only been improving with each issue. I've spent a lot of time talking about how effectively use channels Kirby's style, but there's plenty to love here that's pure Giffen. The composition of his pages is spectacular, and every panel is full of energy. One of my favorite things about his work is how much fun most of the characters look like they're having. Even O.M.A.C., who is always completely focused on the task at hand, seems to gain some pleasure from throwing his punches. It's little details like that that keep the constant action interesting. I really enjoy the book's dialogue, but the story Giffen tells with his art would hold up without a single word.

O.M.A.C. #3 isn't quite as entertaining as the issues that came before, but it's still a great send-up to comics of old. This issue probably won't pick up any new fans for the comic, but it's good enough that those who were already enjoying it should stick with it. I'm hoping O.M.A.C. can keep all its eccentric charm, but finds something that will attract new readers as well. I'm having a lot of fun reading O.M.A.C., but it's time for the comic to do a little more.

By Marceline with No comments


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