Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Kamandi Challenge #7 Review

Up in the Air...

Written by: Marguerite Bennett
Art by: Dan Jurgens, Klaus Janson, Hi-Fi and Clem Robins
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 26, 2017

The fun thing about the Kamandi Challenge is to see how the writers pick up the dangling cliffhanger from the previous month and deal with them and then move forward.  Well, that used to be the fun thing until this book kind of broke under the weight of so many crazy cliffhangers and turned into more of a chore than anything else.  It's now up to Marguerite Bennett to pick up the pieces and get it all back on track, but after the butcher job Steve Orlando let loose last issue, that may be a tall order indeed.  Does Bennett do it or should we all just write this series off as a failed experiment way before it's even over?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with Kamandi falling into the Communi-Bears' Atomic reactor and what should be his certain death...until he put on the Cortex Crown and commands it to take him to his pal, Renzi.  He finds him just in time to be captured by humanoid dogs and away we go into another wacky issue of the Kamandi Challenge!

The dogs are the Bulldog Britanneks and while they say it a couple times too much, I really liked them.  The thing that Bennett (and Dan Jurgens) gives us that has been missing from other issues is a sense of humor.  Really, Kamandi's world is pretty crazy and Bennett and Jurgens just go for it.  There is even some dogs playing poker here which will always score points with me.

Back to the story, the dogs know Kamandi's mother, but before that can be fully explored, their blimp is shot down over the Wasteland and after a nice Point Break free falling save, Kamandi and his friends are in big trouble.

The rest of the issue is all about the gang fighting off an Ice Wizard (polar bear) and his polar parasites.  Kamandi pulls his weight and gains the dogs' respect and in the end, uses the Cortex Crown to save the day again.

It ends with Kamandi taking leave of the dogs and Renzi and heading south to find his mother.  Of course, things don't go as planned and we are left with another cliffhanger, but this one is less crazy and more about setting up the next story.  I give Bennett props for that.

This is one of my favorite Kamandi issues because of the humor, but also because Bennett seems better at keeping her eye of the overall story than most of the previous writers.  Sure, there are still some crazy bits, but we are finally reminded about what Kamandi is trying to do and I'm glad because I actually had forgotten.  I think some of the other writers were too interested in making a crazy cliffhanger to remember it themselves.

I really liked Dan Jurgens art a whole lot.  If you forgot how good an artist he is (or didn't even know), this issue will get you up to speed.  It's not just that it looks good, but his art fits the story and characters so well.

Bits and Pieces:

While the Kamandi Challenge is a hard sell for anyone not involved since the first issue, Bennett and Jurgens give readers one of the best issues so far.  It has humor, great art and most importantly, the focus that the previous ones lacked.  Thank you Marguerite and Dan, I am back on board this book!


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