Post by Hoosier X on Jul 21, 2017 16:31:56 GMT -5
OK. Now that I have my Freedom Fighters series review out of the way, it's time to move on to Kamandi!
I finished my Kamandi collection last year but, as much as I love Kamandi, I still haven't read through the whole series from #1 to #59 (and beyond because DC published the black and white art for #60 and #61 in a Kamndi reprint collection recently). There's a bunch of these issues that I read when I bought them and then put them away and haven't read them since. So it's way past time to get started and read this awesome series from start to finish.
And I call it Kamandi Monday because once a week, hopefully every Monday, I'll be leaving a few comments about whatever issues of Kamandi I read that week. But I'm starting it on a Friday because I started my Complete Kamandi project last night. (And I think we can consider this a Kamandi Appreciation Thread in general. You don't have to wait until Mondays to comment.)
So I read Kamandi #1 last night. One thing that struck me last night was that a lot of this story was barely familiar to me. I thought of all the first issues and first appearance, like Hulk #1 and the first Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15 and Fantastic Four #1 and the first Batman and the first Captain Marvel in Whiz #2 that I've read over and over and practically have them memorized.
But I first read those when I was 11 or 12 and had the leisure to read them over and over. Plus, they were all reprints. Origin of Marvel Comics or the giant Limited Collector's Edition of Whiz #2 or whatever. So it was easy to just read them and not worry about bending the corners or something like that. (Of course, those reprints are now 40 years old and are collector's items in their own right.)
But my Kamandi #1 is pretty nice. It looks like a pretty solid VF to me. It really is almost too nice to touch. Also, it's Harlan Ellison's copy of Kamandi #1! Harlan was selling his comic book collection and I came across this info online and I looked at what was available and saw Kamandi #1 and I said: "I want a Kamandi #1, and here's Harlan Ellison's copy for $50 and that doesn't sound expensive to me." So I bought it. (I even got a certificate saying OFFICIALLY that it's Harlan Ellison's copy.)
That it's in such nice condition is just a plus. To be honest, I might be happier if it was a little worn and had writing all over it. "HARLAN ELLISON" written in ink across the top of the front cover or the splash page. "Jack stole this from me! I'll sue!" written across several panels. It would give my copy a little character and I'd be more comfortable dragging it out and reading it. (Kamandi #1 is reprinted in Kamandi #32, and my copy of that is pretty nice, but it's not as nice as my Kamandi #1. So I'll probably read the reprint in Kamandi #32 when I want to read Kamandi #1 from now on.)
Whether or not you think Kamandi #1 is a great start to a great series probably depends on what you think of early Bronze Age Kirby. If I had seen this on the stands in 1972 (when I was eight), I probably would have hated as much as I hated OMAC #1 when I read it at a friend's house a few years later. But I love both Kamandi and OMAC nowadays.
As for the story itself, it's a little bit "Planet of the Apes" but it doesn't seem like a rip-off at all because "Planet of the Apes" sounds so Kirbyesque to begin with. Kamandi emerges from his safe underground home to see the outside world, and there's the Statue of Liberty and primitive, mute humans. And then he runs into marauding Wolf-People! And then he gets in the middle of a battle between Tiger-People and Leopard-People! And the Tiger-People worship a nuclear warhead! And Kamandi is befriended by a dog who's a scientist!