Friday, May 30, 2008

JACK'S ONE MAN SUPER-SOLDIER CORPS

ITEM! Hey there, Heroes! It’s time once again for your Uncle Stan to prove that he isn’t just a soulless corporate shill who’ll pimp any project with the name “Marvel” stamped on it! Heck, I’ll even promote products published by the professed opposition if the money is right. But I kid, I kid. I’m a kidder. What are yah gonna do? Sue me? Good luck with that one... but I digress.

Out this week from the Distinguished Conglomerate is the deluxe omnibus edition of Jack "King" Kirby’s OMAC: One Man Army Corps, and it’s a better read today than it was in the mid-70s! The most shocking revelation for Yours Truly came when I read Madcap Mark Evanier’s inevitable introduction to this Kirby collection. Apparently OMAC is another one of those ideas that Jolly Jack originally had back during the late-60s at Marvel, but which he chose to keep to himself. According to Ever-ready Mark, OMAC was originally conceived by Jack as a version of Captain America that took place in the future. Let that sink in for a moment, kids. That means that sometime in 1968 Jack envisioned an entire alternate line of Marvel Comics that took place in a future timeline. On our own, Marvel wouldn’t come up with that idea until Johnny Byrne and I cooked up the Marvel 2099 imprint in 1993! And as always, Jack was there way ahead of us mere mortals...

Sometimes it makes me dizzy thinking what would’ve happened if my publisher-uncle-in-law Marty Goodman hadn’t been such a puerile putz and treated Jolly Jack better while he was at Marvel. Jack was banking ideas like crazy after Marty went back on his word to salary the King and make him a company employee with bennies! Imagine a Merry Marvel Multiverse where Doc Doom mixed it up with Mister Miracle, where the Demon and Doctor Strange confronted Dormammu, or where Darkseid takes out Thanos for being a copy-cat trademark infringer! Not to mention a future-Marvel universe where a successor to Steve Rogers gets his super-soldier powers from a orbiting computer in the sky called Brother Eye! I guess if the quantum theory sciencey guys are right and there are an infinite number of parallel universes out there where every possible scenario is played out, then there are places in the multiverse where that’s exactly what happened. In those universes, your Uncle Stan probably has twice as much to be humble about! It boggles the mind, pilgrims...

Excelsior!
Smiley

2 comments:

imd85 said...

I couldn't agree more. Everytime I re-read my step father's 4th World Comics, I can't help thinking "These should have been Marvel books!" Darkseid is such an incredible villain: he should have been mixing it up in the Marvel U instead of being wasted over in Echh-Land. Ya know it was my love of the character that had me put aside my general distaste for DC and give their first issue of Final Crisis a look, a series that promised to have ol' Darkseid in a major role. And what did I find? A hopelessly convoluted mess, that's what! Now I'll admit I haven't read DC in YEARS, but you'd think with a Summer Event© they'd make an attempt to have it be more accesible for new readers! And say what you want about Secret Invasion, at least it started with a bang! The first issue of Final Crisis killed off two major characters in the most underwhelming ways possible. Blech, I don't think I'll be able to stick this one out.

Anway, sorry to vent at ya Smiley. Keep up the great blog and I'll keep reading.

Stan the Man said...

You know imd85, we're a little bit hard on ol' Brian Michael Bendis around these here parts, but it's only because we love him. That, and he writes for the House of Ideas, and therefore incurs story-telling expectations one whole order of magnitude greater than other Disastrously Convoluted comics!

There was a fantastic article on the What If? Kirby had created the New Gods for Marvel scenario in John Morrow's excellent Jack Kirby Collector. If your Uncle Stanley's memory didn't sometimes work slightly less well than a shot-gunned sieve, I could even tell you what ish it was. See what happens when I give Irving Forbush the day off? Maybe another reader knows and will send in the answer!

Smiley