I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got one new comic plus a hard cover collection:

  • Savage Dragon – 139
  • The Incredible Hercules “Secret Invasion”
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

  • “Omega the Unknown” by Jonathan Lethem (with Karl Rusnak) and Farel Dalrymple and Paul Hornschemeier
  • “Omega the Unknown” was a series that was published in 1976 by Marvel Comics. It ran ten issues before it was cancelled. As a child it was one of my favorite series. I didn’t buy it off the stands which means I probably got it from one of the older kids in the neighborhood after he was done with it. I also remember always having all ten issues in a bunch so I knew that’s all there ever was going to be of the series. The ten issues probably reached my eleven or twelve year old hands in 1977 or 1978.

    I’m guessing that I read all ten issues six to eight times between my receiving them and the end of high school. I haven’t read them since despite having purchased them on Ebay a few years ago.

    Obviously the series was also a favorite of the writers of this new volume about Omega. This isn’t a continuation of the 1970’s story but an adaptation of it. It’s not a remake by any means (except for maybe the first issue) but they try to capture the oddness and mystery of the original in telling a similar story.

    I think they succeed pretty well. The original “Omega the Unknown” was never a typical super hero tale and was loaded with Steve Gerber (the original writer) weirdness. This volume embraces the weirdness but doesn’t overdue it as could be the case.

    The story is about a really smart but odd teenage boy and the title character “Omega” who is a silent warrior fighting robots who destroyed his world but are now on Earth. The boy has been home schooled all his life but his parents have recently died so he is living in NYC now and trying to blend in with the rest of us.

    Who are the lead characters really? What is their relationship to each other? These are the mysteries of “Omega the Unknown”. If you are expecting straight forward answers then you better look somewhere else. The original series was canceled before the answers were given and it was never really about the answers anyway. it was about asking the questions. It was about wondering. So is this series though there are some more answers. Just not all of them.

    Much like the original “Omega the Unknown” was different than all of the Marvel super hero stories around it at the time this series is also different than the rest of Marvel’s offerings. It’s about mystery, alienation, and weirdness in a way that’s quite relatable. I wasn’t sure how I was going to react to an adaptation of an odd and forgotten series that I loved as a kid but the writers loved it too. And they used their love of it’s quirky uniqueness to make something interesting of their own. Give it a look.