Of all the fifty-two titles in DC’s relaunch, this one continues to be the most unpredictably entertaining. Throw in an appearance by Frankenstein and cross-reference S.H.A.D.E., and you’ve got an acronym-filled adventure that looks to set the crossover bar high for the relaunched DC Universe.
Jeff Lemire follows his charge over to this title and helps Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen get the voices and rhythm right for this story. Before Frankenstein hits these pages -- or, rather, hits O.M.A.C. -- we get a little bit of background on how S.H.A.D.E. and Max Lord’s Checkmate interact with one another. In two words: not well. There’s a lot of sniping between Lord, field commander Sarge Steel, and Father Time. It’s entertaining in its simplicity, and puts the right edge on the story as Lord and Time begrudgingly work together to track down O.M.A.C.
Returning to his day job just in time to find a threat there, Kevin Kho (O.M.A.C.’s host) decides to take an ill-timed break just when the agent of S.H.A.D.E. crashes in. DiDio, Lemire and Giffen allow for plenty of fisticuffs and explosions and add a layer of Brother Eye posturing against Father Time underneath it all. The sum of those parts is a fun story that pushes the boundaries of the panels and gives Giffen and inker Scott Koblish plenty of space to throw in all sorts of dynamic visuals, including a double-page centerfold that has O.M.A.C. putting the hurt on Frank something awesome.
As exciting as this issue was -- the first crossover for “O.M.A.C.,” the pairing of O.M.A.C. and Frankenstein, the almost-reveal of a secret sinister bad guy, and the continued pomposity of Max Lord -- there were a couple speedbumps that took me out of the story for a bit. The first is on the second page spilling to the top panel on the third page, with Max Lord and Father Time posturing. The sequence seems a bit off, like one of the word balloons should have been placed differently in one of the panels. It ends up being a disjointed back-and-forth that could have had a little more fire under it. The second instance occurred at the end of the issue -- on the splash page -- when the mysterious, shadowy figure that Mokarri reports to places both an “I” and a “You” as the subject of a sentence. Both of these are easily dismissible and didn’t hurt the overall story delivered here, but both could have been easily avoided.
This issue keeps right in line with the series to date. Giffen and DiDio continue to celebrate the DC Universe and its wackiness, with a decidedly Kirby-centric focus. Giffen continues to exude Kirby-like qualities in his art and the book is better for it. The setting of Cadmus, the goings-on underneath, and sinister, shrouded figure on this issue’s final page all call out to Silver Age awesomeness and offer up some fabulous Kirby-inspired visuals.