Issue by Issue – Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth #59

kamandi-59Writer – Jack C. Harris, Jim Starlin
Artist – Dick Ayers, Jim Starlin
Inker – Danny Bulanadi, Joe Rubenstein
Colours – Carl Gafford
Letters – Milt Snapinn, Gaspar Saladino

With the fifty-ninth issue of his book, Kamandi’s adventures officially come to an end and it does so in the worst way, which was of course, a cliff-hanger. For the last number of issues, Jack C. Harris and Dick Ayers have chronicled Pyra’s mission to discover the energy source which caused The Great Disaster. it is a matter of urgency as her people need that energy to remain alive. Pyra too is feeling drained after recent adventures and now as she and the companions which include Kamandi, Doctor Canus, Spirit, Mylock Bloodstalker and Doile among their number, reach the great wall which holds back the Vortex, they find themselves attacked by a murderous Kangaroo cult who protect it. There is a flurry of action and while the heroes find themselves captured, they soon break free with a plan to get through the door which bars their way and it involves Ben Boxer and the mutants. In one sense, the story is an exciting one and Harris along with Ayers do a fantastic job on it. It has all you could ever want and leaves you wanting more. As a last issue, it does a poor job, namely because the creative team never expected it to be a last one, but neither did any of the other books cancelled in 1978 during the DC Implosion. Not only is there a cliff-hanger which leaves the adventure without a conclusion, there is now a back-up feature just beginning starring OMAC by Jim Starlin. So while as a reader, the story is thrilling, it is also frustrating simultaneously. For those that may not know, there were two unpublished issues that would see print in an unfinished form in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2. Now, almost forty years later, DC is set to print the remaining two books in 2017 and while they may not be Kirby-caliber, Harris and Ayers have crafted some extremely fine issues of their own. As it stands, while the storyline remained unfinished and left a number of dangling plot threads including the fate of our hero, it was a strong issue, albeit a sad one as it marked the end of an era.

4.5 out of 5

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