Archive for the ‘Omega the Unknown’ Category

The Defenders #77

September 12, 2010

Steven Grant // Herb Trimpe
November 1979
**
Led by the moody Moondragon, a handful of superwomen bungle their rescue of a starchild. It’s the confused finale to Steve Gerber’s cult classic Omega the Unknown. Grant lacks Gerber’s hermetic sense of subtext but he does undermine expectations & subvert the superheroics.
[last issue: The Defenders #76]
[next issue: The Defenders #78]

The Defenders #76

September 10, 2010

Steven Grant // Herb Trimpe
October 1979
*
How does a non-team disband? Hop randomly from subplot to subplot. The A-story ties up a two-year-old loose end, a cancelled Marvel comic called Omega the Unknown. Rookie writer Grant flattens that book’s enigma (how’s a serious boy tethered to a heroic stereotype?) under necessary exposition.
[continued from Omega the Unknown #10]
[last issue: The Defenders #75]
[next issue: The Defenders #78]

Omega the Unknown #10

September 9, 2010

Steve Gerber & Mary Skrenes // Jim Mooney
September 1977
***
OtU‘s last issue, adding enigmas even as it’s cut short. James-Michael & his gal-pal visit his old home, where they find copies of his robot parents! The mag’s other strand ends more definitively, as the Caped Man decamps for Vegas to make $ for his ‘mission’, only to be gunned down by the LVPD.
[continued in The Defenders #76]
[last issue: Omega the Unknown #9]

Omega the Unknown #9

September 8, 2010

Steve Gerber & Mary Skrenes // Jim Mooney
July 1977
****
This prickling weirdness ought to be felt all the time on the Marvel U’s outskirts. The creative team returns to hammer out a complex critique of superhero vigilantism: Foolkiller (from Gerber’s Man-Thing) sees crime as an aesthetic offense, while Omega & his foe have identical, mercenary motives.
[last issue: Omega the Unknown #8]
[next issue: Omega the Unknown #10]

Omega the Unknown #8

September 7, 2010

Roger Stern // Lee Elias
May 1977
**
The fill-in work continues. Elias is an adequate sub for Mooney, while Stern (a rookie) shows basic chops. He ushers in Gerber’s alter ego from Man-Thing, a Nice Guy named Richard Rory, along w/ Rory’s foe, Foolkiller. Otherwise it’s a generic fight btw. the Caped Man & a Captain Marvel foe.
[last issue: Omega the Unknown #7]
[next issue: Omega the Unknown #9]

Omega the Unknown #7

September 6, 2010

Scott Edelman // Jim Mooney
March 1977
*
In a bid for readers, dumb answers & dumber action. The unique tug of the heightened script is lost as the strange Cptn. Marvel/Billy Batson dynamic flattens into a phony riff on Shane. Mooney’s art is rushed too: now it’s that uninspiring ’70s Marvel style (think Sal Buscema) & lacking backgrounds.
[last issue: Omega the Unknown #6]
[next issue: Omega the Unknown #8]

Omega the Unknown #6

September 5, 2010

Steve Gerber & Mary Skrenes // Jim Mooney
January 1977
****
Gerber & Skrenes push that pivot-point btw. realism & superheroes to a new extreme. Omega prowls Hell’s Kitchen looking for a schizoid murderer; James-Michael walks those same streets confused by the bums & his own pubescent urges. New York’s a violent, lonely town & no superhero can change that.
[last issue: Omega the Unknown #5]
[next issue: Omega the Unknown #7]

Omega the Unknown #5

September 4, 2010

Steve Gerber & Mary Skrenes // Jim Mooney
November 1976
***
Another brush w/ the inexpressible. For Omega it’s magic, as he struggles w/ a local shaman; for James-Michael it’s emotions, as he wrestles w/ his reaction to a friend’s hospitalization. The “unknown” of the title must refer to the paths that Gerber & Skrenes are blazing in superhero comics.
[last issue: Omega the Unknown #4]
[next issue: Omega the Unknown #6]

Omega the Unknown #4

September 3, 2010

Steve Gerber & Mary Skrenes // Jim Mooney
September 1976
***
The A-plot involves a neighborhood bruja & a damsel-in-distress—nice to see non-Anglo NYers!—& the B-plot is realistic school bullying. Together, they dramatize how existence grinds the spirit out of you. If the art matched the writing (Mooney’s okay but conventional), OtU would be a masterpiece.
[last issue: Omega the Unknown #3]
[next issue: Omega the Unknown #5]

Omega the Unknown #3

September 1, 2010

Steve Gerber & Mary Skrenes // Jim Mooney
July 1976
***
The altogether strange Omega starts in on starts in on standard action-heroism w/ that old convention, the face-off in a TV studio (executed ably by Mooney). But the clear, intense voice of the narrator compels you to focus on the kid’s coming-of-age instead: a depressingly violent first day at school.
[last issue: Omega the Unknown #2]
[next issue: Omega the Unknown #4]

Omega the Unknown #2

August 31, 2010

Steve Gerber & Mary Skrenes // Jim Mooney
May 1976
****
Omega shows bicentennial NY as it was: bums, burglars, & egg creams, cockroaches in your 4th-floor walkup & crap in your vestibule! The young protag has an uncanny mental connection w/ the mute superhero, which causes trouble for everyone when Bruce Banner gets rolled by punks in Hell’s Kitchen.
[last issue: Omega the Unknown #1]
[next issue: Omega the Unknown #3]

Omega the Unknown #1

August 30, 2010

Steve Gerber & Mary Skrenes // Jim Mooney
March 1976
****
In a word, unique. Purple prose, urban alienation, budding puberty, & omega-shaped stigmata constitute this bizarre fusion of ’70s Marvel & underground comix. A preternatural kid survives a car wreck that kills his robot parents; a red-caped superhero, last of his kind, escapes his doomed planet.
[next issue: Omega the Unknown #2]