Comic Review: Kamandi Challenge #9 (DC Comics)

By now, most of comic fandom’s current inhabitants, young and old, know who Jack (King) Kirby was and that 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of his birth. And so they […]

By now, most of comic fandom’s current inhabitants, young and old, know who Jack (King) Kirby was and that 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of his birth. And so they should.

DC Comics has brought Kirby’s 1970’s title Kamandi back to mark the occasion. This time around, it’s a limited run series with a concept that perhaps Jack would have appreciated: each issue is written and drawn by a different creative team, and the team takes the story arc in a new direction, from where the previous team left off.

While this sounds great, issue 9 seems to take a real departure from the regular series. It feels like a fill-in issue.

In this Tom King (writer) / Kevin Eastman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) (artist) chapter, we join Kamandi in a dungeon, where he is being held, prisoner. As the days go on and he witnesses his fellow prisoners being treated cruelly, he has time to reflect on his life and surroundings. Where will he go now, how will he escape?

And that’s where I had mixed feelings with the presentation of this leg of his life journey. The story being told was a deep one, full of thought and resonance. Think: “Waiting For Godot” meets “Groundhog Day” but drawn all in black and white, with little use of blacks, mostly halftone scratchings and ink blobs. Deep story, deep dungeon, and grey art!

The regular reader of Kamandi Challenge may find this issue a real departure, and there’s no doubt that Tom King has put his creative stamp on this Kirby creation, but I for one am looking forward to seeing Kamandi pages with color art again!

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!