Comics

Issue by Issue – Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth #18

Kamandi #18Writer – Jack Kirby
Artist – Jack Kirby
Inker – D. Bruce Berry
Letters – D. Bruce Berry

The story picks up a little while after the events of the last issue and Kamandi is still free of the Apes that want to sell him off as a slave and living in the underground ruins where the Gopher-men dwell. Like the Gopher-men, Kamandi has been stealing supplies from the Apes on the surface, angering them in the process and they in turn have been hunting him down, killing or capturing making no difference to them. There is a mystery underground though, one that Kamandi has been wondering about ever since he arrived and after escaping from the Apes who were tracking him, he finds himself before the great machine that the Gopher-men tend to once again. Jack Kirby promises a mystery and he wastes no time in bringing it to light. It seems that said machine was simply kept in order to make noise, a noise loud enough to keep a giant sand-worm type of monster away and when the machine breaks, the worm rears its head and there is nothing that Kamandi or the Gopher-men can do. Kamandi has faced a lot of foes in his tenure above ground since leaving his shelter those many moons ago, but he has never faced anything quite like the monster that plagues them now. It is a fearsome beast, an unstoppable creature that neither Kamandi nor the Apes on the surface are unable to do anything about. It is only by chance that the creature is defeated and it shows just how wily Kamandi can be when he needs to. The artwork is fantastic as always, perhaps a little better than usual as the book features so many outlandish elements. The worm is quite fearsome and it is a lot of fun to see the Apes try and take it on and quite futilely at that. The best part of the entire book is that Kamandi is a free man from the first page to the last, Kirby evading the prisoner trope he so frequently revisits. A truly fun issue injecting a little giant monster action into the science-fiction atmosphere that Kirby is so adept at creating.

4 out of 5
Kamandi #18a

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