I know next to nothing about OMAC, a short-lived character created by comics legend Jack Kirby in the early 1970s. He’s been on the periphery of the DCU since his introduction, and apparently had a somewhat higher profile over the last few years. I wasn’t around for any of that, and so far as I can recall I have never before read an OMAC comic book (or even a comic featuring the character in any capacity). I think that means my sensibilities line up well, in this case, with the quasi-mythical “new reader” that the continuity reboot of the New 52 is supposed to attract.
From that perspective, I think Didio and Giffen pulled it off. True, there isn’t very much story in the issue, but the hugely Jack Kirby-inspired art style and the frantic pace of the tale keep things moving so you don’t really notice how little is actually going on. A few panels are so madcap that you can spend a few minutes looking at them, focusing on the details of some clone creature or technological device.
Here’s what’s happening. Cadmus Industries is a stem-cell research project turned bioengineering and human genome-mapping company. 90% of the business operates in an office building stuffed with scientists studying the environment and bio-tech. But the other 10% is a subterranean super-science lab packed with Kirby-inspired technology, characters, and creatures.
There’s yellow-skinned mastermind Lord Mokkari and his Build-a-Friend robotic sidekick. Then there’s devil-horned Dubbilex, a super-psychic said to be one of Cadmus’s greatest creations. Plus huge-mouthed half-men called Gobblers and laser-wielding goons dressed in bright red with eyeless face cowls. The weird stuff below Cadmus is by far the most interesting element of this comic.
The main plot is pretty basic, and if it didn’t crash into a sweet-looking superscience lab, it wouldn’t be all that awesome. The comic opens with Jody Robbins, Assistant Director of an above-ground division of Cadmus, looking for her boyfriend Kevin Kho, who has seemingly vanished.
At the same time, Cadmus comes under attack by a bulky cyborg creature that identifies itself as O.M.A.C., who seems to be guided by an unseen benefactor or commander. The voice leads O.M.A.C. to a secret shaft that leads down to the hidden 10% of Cadmus’s operation. The voice reveals that it was once a part of Cadmus’s mainframe, and that is wishes to download its bank of DNA samples for its own purposes.
O.M.A.C. fights the weird creatures under Cadmus, gets the data he needs after a direct interface with the computer, and is teleported away to safety by the commanding voice. At the end of the issue, O.M.A.C. (we never do learn what that acronym stands for) reverts to Kevin Kho, and the voice reveals itself to be a satellite hovering above Earth called Brother Eye.
I enjoyed this comic despite its simplicity. The last page promises that next issue, “THINGS GET REALLY WEIRD”!