The Kamandi Challenge
Some comic fans associate Jack Kirby most with Marvel. It makes sense – he did his most high-profile work there. However, he also contributed a significant amount to DC, including the New Gods saga, which still plays a major part in DC’s mythology today. But it’s his non-mythic work that DC is celebrating with The Kamandi Challenge, which doubles as a loving tribute to both Kirby’s legacy and spirit.
Ostensibly a reboot of one of Jack’s fan favourite ’70s titles (inspired by Planet Of The Apes, about the last boy on an earth now dominated by intelligent animals), the book has a special twist: over the course of its run, 14 different teams will create their own narrative, end it on a cliffhanger, then hand off to the next team in the roster.
The first issue contains two stories, with Dan Didio and Keith Giffen’s opener featuring classic characters from the original, giant rats, and even a cameo from Kirby himself. Dan Abnett and Dale Eaglesham resolve Didio’s ending elegantly, then construct their own dilemma.
Pete J Tomasi and Neal Adams’ issue two includes an appearance from a significant piece of Kirby furniture, and allout war featuring a wide array of combatants (including tigers, apes and robots), leading to a fairly literal cliffhanger.
Fast, fun and thrilling – Kamandi Challenge’s focus on wild experimentation is the best possible tribute to Kirby, and if the opening issues are any indication, we’re in for a fun ride. Sam Ashurst
A rotating cast of creatives aim to recapture that Kirby magic with The Kamandi Challenge.