Issue by Issue – Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth #11

Kamandi #11Writer – Jack Kirby
Artist – Jack Kirby
Inker – Mike Royer
Letters – Mike Royer

As Kamandi, Ben, Renzi and Steve flee the destruction that is Tracking Site; their ship sustains damage and goes down over the ocean. Kamandi soon loses consciousness and is picked up by slave traders in a floating department store. So once again, Kamandi is taken captive and shackled like the beast that the world believes him to be in this new, post-apocalyptic age. Jack Kirby continues to make life as hard as he possibly can for our hero and if there is one thing that continues to rear its head, it is the threat of confinement, of being held against his will and quite possibly, death itself. Kamandi hates being in chains as any sane person would and he not only discovers who is keeping him a prisoner, but the mystery of the ‘devil’ that they have also captured. It is a fascinating thing for Kamandi because if he can get to this devil and discover what it is and if he can free it, then maybe it will lead to his freedom as well. It is a long-shot and the Leopards that are holding him are a fierce bunch, but he will do anything it takes to escape, even if it turns out to be something that might turn against him. Like all of the other sentient animals, the Leopards treat humans as beasts, a role reversal that could be explored for a hundred issues in itself and something that has been explored in media before, which you can sometimes see where this series takes its cue from. Be that as it may, Kirby explores this world a little bit further each time our hero is on the move, but by this point in time, it is getting just a little repetitive seeing him continually get caught and put in chains. The upside to that action though is the fact that Kirby continues to paint this world as a dangerous place and that Kamandi has few friends or allies here. Humans are the lowest caste of society now, used for nothing but servitude and no matter what race he encounters or where he goes, everyone is going to try and lock him up or force him into service against his will. Unfair – surely, repetitive – absolutely, but when you think about it, it is an accurate portrayal of this hostile world and what could and does happen within it.  The downside is that Kamandi must live through it.

3.5 out of 5.

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