Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Kamandi Challenge #10 Review and **SPOILERS**

We Had to Kill the Human in Order to Preserve Him

Writer: Greg Pak 
Penciller: Shane Davis 
Inker: Michelle Delecki 
Colorist: Hi-Fi 
Letterer: Clem Robins 
Main Cover: Francis Manapul
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: October 25, 2017


The Challenge plods on, now two issues away from its completion (after this one.) Who will win? Who will lose? Has anyone been keeping score? What’s the grand prize? Something tells me these particulars should have been figured out before the Challenge began. No matter, we soldier on in my review of The Kamandi Challenge #10, which commences here!

Explain It!

The way the last issue played out, this one could start anyway Greg Pak felt like. He could have had Kamandi emerging into an endless forced orgy. Or have him walking onto the set of a 20th Century game show. Since it doesn’t matter, the way he did begin the issue—with Kamandi about to eviscerated and catalogued by robots as part of an overarching research project—is good enough. The head robot, plated in gold (don’t you love robot hierarchies?), sees that Kamandi is a human and puts a halt to the dissection. Humans are meant to be studied, not murdered! Apparently.
They show him to a facsimile of a 20th Century human domicile, where Kamandi sees a picture of his mother and himself from long ago. He says he has to find his mama, then escapes the robots’ clutches and emerges from the ocean—in the midst of a bunch of mutated sharks with arms chanting “blood” over and over! But it turns out they don’t want blood…they are against the robots that control the area. Indeed, when they see Kamandi is bleeding, he’s enlisted to their side as they defeat some pursuing ‘bots. On land, one Arm Shark has to insist that the others don’t eat Kamandi…so I guess they are looking for actual blood?
The Arm Sharks explain to Kamandi that The Commander, who lives in a large tower, is the one controlling the robots and therefore must be destroyed. For some reason, Kamandi thinks this is somehow related to his mother, so he agrees to do so. To help out, some anthropomorphic big cats guide Kamandi through the woods to the tower. They’re very self-defeating, referring to themselves as “Dead Woman” and “Dead Girl” because they believe life is fleeting and cheap. What terror hath The Commander wrought?!
Kamandi makes it to the tower, his “Dead” buddies having actually died along the way. He fights his way through a bunch of robots, when another human shows up spraying bullets to help the situation: Kamandi’s mom! She’s a pretty good action hero, and it looks like everything is going to work out just swell, until we learn at the end that Kamandi’s mom and The Commander…are one and the same!
This issue does feel more back “on track,” and in the spirit of this Challenge, but it was a dud, for the most part. For one thing, the cliffhanger is lame as hell. For another thing, Kamandi’s safety seemed dubious with the Arm Sharks and the robots, like something hadn’t been thought all the way through. The art is spectacular, and there are some fun, crazy moments in this book, but as a coherent story it’s fairly a flop. It looks like we’ve reunited Kamandi with his mom, which was ostensibly the point of this whole story, so that should make Jim happy.

Bits and Pieces:

The wacky adventuring along with anthropomorphic denizens are back in this issue, but it's a collection of wild scenes that aren't very well strung together. Kamandi vacillates between tonight's Blue Plate Special and the most important preservable resource, depending on the page. This issue does bring this issue back to a core story developed in issue #1, which frankly I wasn't sure would be happening at all. So kudos for that.


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