"In Kamandi #50 (post-Kirby), it is revealed that Kam's grandfather was Buddy Blank AKA OMAC. That does not mean that it's Buddy who is killed here and frankly it's hard to fathom that OMAC's world became Kamandi's in two generations!"
There was a big push in the mid-late 70's and up to try and make DC more like Marvel, and that included everything being tied into ONE single continuity, even in cases where an individual series was clearly meant to stand alone in ITS OWN, SEPARATE continuity. DC had a lot of them, and trying to "reconcile" them was a fool's errand. I guess they had a LOT of those working for them.
I've long felt that if LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES was allowed to have its own, separate continuity, it never would have gotten so F***** up from the late 80's-on up. (And I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way about ALL-STAR SQUADRON. Heck, after CRISIS, both OMAC and KAMANDI were considered as "never happened". But of course they did-- the comics are still there.
One of my favorite DC minis a few years ago was BATMAN: DARK DETECTIVE by Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers & Terry Austin. It was clear to me-- though MANY younger fans seemed incapable of grasping this-- that Steve was writing NEW stories set on EARTH-1. That's right. Not some Earth similar to "Earth-1", the REAL "Earth-1". Which, post-CRISIS, had never not existed, had ALWAYS continued to exist, it's just DC had stopped writing new stories set there (by insistent EDITORIAL EDICT). Insanely, DC editorial (no doubt led by Dan Didio) has expressed a firm desire to NEVER publish the 2nd half of the intended 12 issues... even though Paul Gulacy has offered to illustrate them.
I just don't get that. Thousands of "Esleworlds", yet they persist in NEVER doing any new "Earth-1" stories. Even the current LEGION, I understand, is on an Earth "similar" to the original while not ACTUALLY being the real thing. I mean... WHY NOT?????
Kamandi of the Caves sample strips can be seen here.
I haven't been able to find an account of what the premise of Kamandi of the Caves was going to be, but possibly Arkmanadas was going to be accepted into the cave tribe as Kamandi. If so, I think the strip's premise somewhat resembles that of "Tuk the Cave Boy" from Captain America Comics, set in prehistoric times. Tuk was a caveboy raised by primitive cavemen, but actually from a more advanced race. Unlike Arkamandas he had lost his parents too young to remember them, and he wandered with a Cro-Magnon man called Tanir.(1) The Kamandi of the Caves strips have a character who may have been intended for the role of adult mentor figure, the caveman Roag. However, he has a wife and child, and I don't think he would've been depicted as leaving them behind to wander with Arkamandas/Kamandi.
Now, in this interview Infantino says he created "the idea of the kid alone in a post-apocalyptic world". If I'm right, this will not have been quite the premise of Kamandi of the Caves, so it could have been Infantino's contribution. An article in the Collected Jack Kirby Collector, online at Google Books, has a quote from an Infantino interview in Comic Scene Spectacular #6 in which Infantino said he "created Kamandi and plotted that for him [Kirby]," and didn't care about not getting creative credit because "As Editor, it was my job to create things." I doubt Infantino persistently plotted the series, but a plot contribution by Infantino could explain the similarities to Beneath the Planet of the Apes at the climax of Kamandi #1 (not only does Caesar's crowd worship the bomb, Kamandi tries to set it off as Taylor does his bomb in Beneath).
This post at the Kirby dynamics blog has images of what might be a proposal for the DC Kamandi while the feature was in development.
I think the claim that Kirby had not seen more than a few minutes of one of the Apes movies appeared in a Kamandi letters column.
(1) Their relationship reminds me of Kamandi's with Ben Boxer. At different points in Kirby's time on Kamandi Kamandi wandered by himself and with Ben.
The Kamandi presentation looks a lot like the POTA TV series with the Tigers replacing the Gorillas.
Weird thing about the warhead, Kamandi tries to destroy it because it's too powerful for Caesar to control yet at the end, nothing happens to it, the Tigers still have it and it's never mentioned again! More proof of an editorial "suggestion"?
As for OMAC, in his final issue (#8), he caught in a massive explosion and doesn't reappear until Jim Starlin's back-up in the last issue of Kamandi and continues in The Warlord, with a new costume, to boot!
Does he try to destroy it because he thinks it makes them too powerful? I interpreted him as out to commit an extravagent suicide.
Yes, so did I but the trigger was that the Tigers had this weapon of mass destruction and were using it to dominate their conquests. So if Kamandi wanted to end it, he was going to take them out with him. Perhaps getting rid of the Tigers would help the Humans rise again or some such notion.
"As for OMAC, in his final issue (#8), he caught in a massive explosion and doesn't reappear until Jim Starlin's back-up in the last issue of Kamandi and continues in The Warlord, with a new costume, to boot!"
As it turns out, OMAC #8 was the middle of an intended 3-part story. So they cancelled the book at least 1 issue too early.
In 2002, David Morris & Dek Baker created their own OMAC #9, "IS THIS THE END OF OMAC?!" It picks up exactly where Kirby's last issue left off and properly finishes the story. As far as I'm concerned, that's the REAL sequel, and everything DC did with OMAC after Kirby "never happened". The amazing thing was how, despite the art being a bit crude, both the art and especially the WRITING managed to capture the essense of Jack Kirby's style better than almost anybody I've ever seen over the years.
I wrote DC and suggested that if they ever collected OMAC in a single volume, they owed it to fans to include this episode-- even though it was NOT published by DC and done by a couple of fans. But they didn't...
As published, the last panel of OMAC #8 was a non-Kirby paste-up. The original version said: "Don't miss the climax of the 'Skuba Incident!' It's a classic! IT'S THE WALKING DEAD! Unforgetable!"
The Secret Origin of Kamandi:
The Jack Kirby Collector #40 is the Kamandi issue. According to Mark Evanier: “Infantino was back in New York and speaking to Jack on the phone. They got to talking about the movie, The Planet of the Apes, which had come out a few years earlier and spawned numerous sequels (including a current hit) and quite a mechandising bonanza. As Jack explained it to us a few days after the conversation, Carmin said he’s inquired about doing a comic book based on the property and found the rights were either unavailable or prohibitively expensive…
“According to Jack, Infantino thought the time migth be right for something like Planet of the Apes, but asked Jack if he could up up with an idea similar enough to attract the Ape fans but no similar as to attract lawyers. Jack, of course, said yes. One of the great things about Kirby was his unshakeable belief in his own ability to create on any playing field. If you asked him if he could whip up a new western or a new war comic or just about anything, he always said ‘Sure’ and plunged into the task with gusto.
“I seem to recall that Jack had not seen any of the Planet of the Apes movies though he certainly knew the premise annd he may have read the novel on which the film had been based. As a starting point for the new comic book feature, he dug into an old art portfolio in the closet where he kept unsold, unused materials. There, he found about a half-dozen samples for an idead he’d once had for a newspaper strip entitled ‘Kamandi of the Caves.” The concept had been abandoned in the pencil stage but, Jack said, its time had come.
“He then began to describe the strip he had in mind, incorporating a few ideas that Infantino had said he’d like to see included. I recall thinking that apart from the name, what he was creating had very little to do woth the strip he’d just shown us. As it evolved later, it would move ever farther from that premise.”
Oddly, horses never get the chance to evolve. They remain beasts of burden though Kirby does introduce some talking burros later on.
I think you’re misremembering when the talking burro was introduced. Kirby’s premise was that only animals with appendages, not hooves, would evolve. (An intelligent snake was also introduced post-Kirby.) There’s an essay in one of the LOC pages which addresses this point. Similarly (as already noted), all that business of tying OMAC and Kamandi together was not Kirby.
The map at the end is a bit vague but Kirby does get to most of it!
He not only gets to it, but he also expands it to include the rest of the world!
Heck, after CRISIS, both OMAC and KAMANDI were considered as "never happened".
IIRC, post-Crisis, Kamandi and Tommy Tomorrow were ret-conned into being one and the same being, from two different timelines.
One of my favorite DC minis a few years ago was BATMAN: DARK DETECTIVE by Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers & Terry Austin.
Not to threadjack my own discussion, but a hardcover collection of all of Rogers’ Batman comic book work has been solicited for release this coming Wednesday. And speaking of my own discussion…
Issue #2: Kirby introduces Rats into his list ove evolved species. He also introduces Ben Boxer’s two friends, Renzi and Steve. All three can “fission” there bodies into metal (much like the X-Men’s Colossus would later be able to do). Ben Boxer explains: “It’s how my people survived the radiation disaster!--By exposing themselves to the rays in small intervals until they literally became--nuclear people!,” treating radioactivity as if it were an allergy. Their bodies also emit “invisible rays” which control their dirigible balloon. Yeah, right. Whatever.
Issues #3-5 occur in and around the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, and deal with the conflict between the Tigers and the Gorillas.
Issue #3: In an earlier post I speculated what a Jack Kirby The Planet of the Apes might have been like, and this all-ape issue is the closest thing there is to such a thing. Kirby’s double-page spread of his “Ape City” looks very much like the city described by Pierre Boulle in the Planet of the Apes novel, except that the pedestrian apes use “transit ropes” rather than “monkey bars” to traverse the streets.
New Character: It hardly seems worth mentioning the gorilla Chaaku since he doesn’t survive this issue.
Issue #4: Some fans would later complain that the meta-textual joke of Kamandi finding a copy of The Demon #1in the ruins fixes the “Great Disaster” in time, but if the “Great Disaster” should happen tomorrow, a copy of The Demon #1would be found among the ruins of my LCS, so maybe Kirby the visionary was foreseeing the rise of comic book specialty stores. :P
New Character: The fourth issue also introduces Kamandi’s friend and ally Tuftan the Tiger, son of Great Caesar.
Issue #5: The conclusion of the Tiger/Gorilla skirmish in Las Vegas give Kirby the opportunity to address the so-called “Generation Gap”:
Tuftan: Kamandi is incredibly intelligent for an animal! We can communicate with each other even as you and I, sire! You mustn’t…
Caesar: Shut up, Tuftan! We don’t communicate at all! In fact, I’ve long sensed a wide gap in the thinking of your generation and mine!
New Character: Kamandi’s “girlfriend” Flower. The most fantastic aspect of this issue, frankly, is that a boy Kamandi’s age would try to ditch a topless babe like Flower!
This is only my second time through Kamandi, and I must admit I’m enjoying it much more than the first even though only a few short years have passed. Kamandi is inarguably Kirby most popular 1970s DC series, although I must admit, the fact that I didn’t just finish reading his “Fourth World” epic this time around may have something to do with my more lenient assessment.
Here we go... ALARMING TALES #1 / Sep'57 -- "THE LAST ENEMY!"
Looks like Kirby didn't need to read the POTA novel... this came several years before the novel!
Wow, that really looks like a Kamandi prototype! The cover of that issue looks familiar. I'm sure I've read that story (or one very like it) but I can't remember where. In TJKC #40 Evanier cites a 1957 story from Harvey's Amazing Tales as being similar in concept. Every story in that same, unidentified issue foreshadows later work.
"The Cadmus Seed" presents early version of cloning factories later shown in Nick Fury and Jimmy Olsen;
"The Fourth Dimension is a Many Splattered Thing" presages the Nagative Zone from Fantastic Four;
"Donnegan's Daffy Chair" suggest a prototype for the Metron's "Mobius chair" from New Gods.
Jeff said: "An intelligent snake was also introduced post-Kirby."
In fact, no. Sacker, the conniving and capitalistic snake first appeared in Kamandi #12 and, IMO, is his greatest villain.