The Ka­mandi Chal­lenge

Comic Heroes - - Comics We Rate -

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.

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