Comic book fans know that Jack Kirby was the king. He was one of (if not the) finest artists in comics history. This year would have marked Kirby’s 100th birthday. To commemorate Kirby, DC Comics has revived one of his most beloved and fascinating characters: Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth.
The new Kamandi is set in a dystopian future where animals have evolved to replace humans. In Kamandi Challenge #1, we are introduced to Kamandi, the lone human with actual intelligence and the ability to speak. This makes him a much sought after commodity in the war-torn world of the animals. He’s force to fight in gladiatorial combat and treated like a slave by his animal oppressors. As a result, he struggles to find a way out of a world gone mad and find his parents.
A Round-Robin, No-Holds-Barred, Storytelling Extravaganza
The world of Kamandi has always been extremely engaging. But DC has struggled to find the right way to bring it back. So, this 12 issue series is a unique and intriguing idea. Instead of assigning one creative team to the book, DC paired 12 top writers with 12 top artists, and assigned each pair an issue. Each creative team will end their issue in a cliffhanger that must be resolved by the next creative team.
The double length first issue kicks off with story and art by Keith Giffen. Halfway through things are handed off to Dan Abnett and Dale Eaglesham. Giffen manages to mimic Kirby’s style so well you would swear these are brand new Kirby pages. And in the second half of the book, Eaglesham brings a more modern sensibility while retaining the iconic character designs of Kirby.
The first issue definitely sets readers up for a rollicking adventure through the world of Kamandi. It’s the kind of top tier comics entertainment that would make King Kirby proud.