Wednesday, January 25, 2017

New Comics Wednesday: Kamandi Challenge

Today is Wednesday, and that means it's New Comic Book Day - the day all of this week's new comics hit the store shelves (both physically and digitally). Every comic I feature here on Daddy Rolled a 1 is one that I'll personally be picking up later this evening when I go to my local shop with my daughter after I pick her up from school.

Please note also that every Wednesday, I tweet out which issues I picked up that week, and then over the course of the week I send out individual tweets with 140-character reviews of each issue. You can follow me on Twitter here.

Lastly, if you're really interested in more comic reviews, I do "professional" reviews for the comic book site, ComicAttack where I post my reviews under the name "Martin." You can search my tag to see what I've reviewed lately.

As with all of my comic book overviews, I will attempt to explain what makes this comic interesting without giving away any spoilers. 

For today, I'll be focusing on Kamandi, which I know holds a special place in the heart of many old-school gamers, especially those who enjoy Gamma World. Kamandi is described in the comic as "The Last Boy on Earth" - he is the protagonist in a post-apocalyptic earth following the "Great Disaster" in which most of humanity has been reduced back to a savage state in a world that is now ruled by intelligent animals that walk upright, can use tools, and speak a common language.

Kamandi was created back in the 1972 by Jack "The King" Kirby as DC's answer to The Planet of the Apes franchise, to which they did not own the license but which was a very popular science-fiction property at the time. It ran for about six years, through 1978, and the character has popped up since then in a variety of ways, most notably in the "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" animated series on Cartoon Network from 2008 - 2011.

Today's comic I'll be picking up is the Kamandi Challenge #1, which is the first issue of a 12-part limited series by DC Comics. As part of a centennial celebration of Jack Kirby's birth back in 1917, DC created the Kamandi Challenge wherein each month, a different creative team will write and illustrate a chapter in a Kamandi story and leave off with a cliffhanger, and the following month, the next creative team has to pick-up where the previous team left off to propel the story forward. The teams include some of the best names in comics, including Peter J. Tomasi (current writer of Batman), Neal Adams, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Bill Willingham (yes, the same guy who used to illustrate old D&D products), Gail Simone, Keith Giffen, Greg Pak and so many more.

If you're a fan of Jack Kirby, post-apocalyptic stories, or fun comics with a Silver Age vibe, you'll definitely want to pick this up. I haven't had a chance to read the actual issue yet, but everything I've seen leads to believe that this will be right up my alley. The original Kamandi comics had a ton of inspiration for a post-apocalyptic style role-playing game and have impacted a current project I'm working on, so I suspect that this new series will add even more ideas.

Note that last week, DC also published the Kamandi Challenge Special #1, which is a reprint of the classic Kamandi #32 double-size $0.50 "giant" issue from 1975, which in turn also included a reprint of the #1 issue of the series. It's a great way to familiarize yourself with the world of Kamandi and its cast of characters.

Anyone else picking up the Kamandi Challenge today? I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

  • Format: Monthly 12-issue limited series, full color
  • Where to Buy:  As always, try to buy it at your local comic shop. You can find one by visiting the Comic Shop Locator. If you don't have one, try a bookstore, or you can buy the digital version to read on your PC, tablet, or smartphone by going to Comixology.  That link takes you to the Kamandi Challenge #1 page, where you can find a link to buy the first issue.
  • Price: $4.99 per issue
  • Rated: "T" for Teen
  • More Information: The official DC page on the Kamandi Challenge

Hanging: Home office (laptop)
Drinking: Just came from a pub where I drank a Mikkeller "George" Imperial Russian Stout
Listening: "Waltz for Debby" by Cannonball Adderly


  1. I haven;t picked this up yet but I'm looking forward to it.

  2. From what I've gathered from reading your blog for years, I think this would be right up your alley. One neat thing they are going to do is have the author of each chapter tell how he or she would have written the follow-up to get Kamandi out of whatever cliff-hanger ending he's put into, so you can compare that with what the next creative team ended up writing. It's pretty fun.

    Last week, DC put out "Kamandi Challenge Special #1" which was basically a reprint of Kamandi #32 and Kamandi #1 from the 1970's, along with a few new stories that they say have never been published before. It's also got a great spread page of the map of Kamandi's world. Unfortunately, it's a bit pricey at $7.99!

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