A couple of weeks ago, friend and compatriot Glenn Walker (he of @monsura and regular contributor to all things cool on this very website), came to visit my hometown city of Toronto for Biff Bam Pop!’s Editor-in-Chief, Andy Burns’ monumental birthday celebration.
It was a wonderful affair, full of frivolity, chatter and seemingly endless shot glasses of Jägermeister (many of us are still shuddering at the taste in our mouths).
At a breakfast get together the next morning, Glenn and I stated talking about our love of comic book industry-changing creator, “King” Jack Kirby (creator of so many of your favourite comic book heroes and villains), and his 1972 post-apocalyptic protagonist, Kamandi. He reminded me of the mid-eighties DC Comics series, the DC Challenge, on which today’s Wednesday Run column comic book pick is based.
And Kamandi, the beloved Last Boy On Earth: in a brand new, limited series, full of story and art and wonder and industry legends working on the creation of the industry’s all-time Legend.
Today sees the release of the hugely-anticipated The Kamandi Challenge #1!
The Kamandi Challenge #1
Written By: Dan Abnett and Dan DiDio
Illustrated By: Dale Eaglesham
Published by: DC Comics
Published monthly for twelve issues in 1985 through 1986, the DC Challenge had a simple but enticing proposition: each chapter would be written and illustrated by a different creative team and end in an impossible cliffhanger. The next team would need to resolve the narrative problem, left behind by the previous duo.
A fascinating and entertaining premise, right?
Flash forward thirty-two years.
Biff Bam Pop! will be covering more Kirby releases over the coming weeks and months, including IDW’s awesome Artist Edition books that feature his amazing pen and ink work. In what is seen as a year-long celebration of Jack Kirby’s birth (he’d be 100 later this year), the 12-issue, double sized, The Kamandi Challenge brings the fun back to the comic book art form!
On an epic quest to find his long-lost parents, and set in the far-flung future, here, Kamandi (and readers) will not only face cliff-hanger endings, but will discover new and fascinating locales from throughout the end-days of the DC Universe. In the first issue, written by Dan Didio and Dan Abnett and illustrated by the much loved Dale Eaglesham, Kamandi is found in the clutches of genetically-mutated tigers and in a place where he must face the threat of the ultimate weapon!
Kamandi was always seen as a DC Comics take-off of Planet of The Apes, but with the imagination of Kirby run wild, the world the boy inhabited took on a life of its own where tribes of Lions, Tigers, Jackals and Apes vied for supremacy. As a statement on atomic warfare, the earth itself was changed to a near-unrecognizable status. Mankind had been nearly wiped out and continents mysteriously shifted and renamed Island of the God Watchers, Country of the Screamers, Ocean of Giant Waterspouts and Strange Fire Area.
Each issue of The Kamandi Challenge builds upon that creativity. Future chapters will employ industry legends such as: Peter J. Tomasi and Neal Adams, Len Wein and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Rob Williams and Walter Simonson, Gail Simone and Ryan Sook, Bill Willingham and Ivan Reis, Marguerite Bennett and Dan Jurgens, Keith Giffen and Steve Rude and many, many others!
It’s a great time to be excited for the Last Boy and the end of the world! Make the run to your local comic book shop today and pick up the first issue of The Kamandi Challenge!