This twelve-issue series continues this week with Harley Quinn creative duo Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner working to get Kamandi out of a pickle and into one. This series allows each creative team to pick up where the last one left off with the challenge of getting the character out of and into danger so the next creative team can do the same. So far it’s been a fun series with lots of surprises, but how is issue #3? Is it good?
Kamandi Challenge #3 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
After the stunning cliffhanger of the last issue, the red-hot team of writer Jimmy Palmiotti and artist Amanda Conner takes the wheel and steers us toward a wild new adventure. Now, Kamandi is embraced by the God Watchers as a holy messenger! Can he keep up this charade long enough to survive? Or will the truth lead to the end of the last boy on earth?
Why does this book matter?
Given the success Palmiotti and Conner have had with Harley Quinn I suspect fans of that series to be on board for this one. On top of that, Conner is drawing this issue, which she doesn’t normally do on Quinn these days, which is a fun delight for longtime fans.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Long way down.
This issue brings a definite Alice in Wonderland vibe that the previous issues didn’t have. Those issues had strong science fiction and fantasy concepts, but this one–complete with strange cultural ideas and cuckoo characters–feels more entrenched in a world of wonderment. Kamandi gets out of the pickle Neal Adams thrust him in last issue as he plummets to his death only to be saved by a strange mix of animal characters and bat people. Along the way Kamandi is touted as their savior and given a strange woman as a gift of sorts. She is his completely which is probably every teenager’s dream come true. This companion character ends up being a surprise in more ways than one and ends up being one of the more fulfilling aspects of the issue.
Overall, the plotting of this issue delivers in a lot of ways–from fun action, to interesting character dynamics that didn’t exist just one issue ago, to a brand new threat that’s massive in size. This issue is another great example of how fun this story can be, especially for anyone who loves surprises. It also adds new layers to Kamandi’s situation (something from his past life shows up) and makes the world he inhabits more complex culturally.
Conner’s style suits this type of story too. It’s got a cartoony vibe that helps make the gore stand out as even more grotesque and it’s quite good at capturing the cartoony characters as well. She also employs panel outlines that aren’t completely straight which give the book a more hand drawn and genuine sort of feel. Three splash pages in the issue add up to showcasing some dramatic beats quite well too. The colors by Paul Mounts deliver a fun pop to the story and give the animal creatures a layer of realism.
What a fun character.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Unless the plot is going backwards a bit, I wasn’t a fan of who Kamandi runs into to end the book. We’ve already seen this type of animal character before, although maybe that’s on purpose? It’s not entirely clear, but it left me wishing they ran into a brand new threat given how anything can happen in this world.
Is It Good?
Another excellent issue that feels incredibly different from the last. Kamandi Challenge is the perfect book for anyone looking for surprises, adventure, and excitement!