‘Kamandi Challenge’ is the best way to enjoy new Kirby style comics.

Kamandi Challenge has been a delightful Jack Kirby homage/take on a classic character. Each issue has combined two creators at random and had them “solve” the problem the writer created for Kamandi in the previous issue. It has been fun to see the likes of Tom King, Steve Orlando, James Tynion, Jimmy Palmiotti, and more take on this character. This week we get Rob Williams teaming up with the illustrious Walter Simonson.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

After the jaw-dropping ending of last issue, Rob Williams and comics legend Walter Simonson take our hero to new heights…space! It’s the penultimate issue of this acclaimed round-robin series, and the mysterious Misfit has imprisoned Kamandi on his mothership headed on a one-way trip to the Tek-Moon! Now, Kamandi must decide between finding his parents and escaping his captors for good. It’s time for the last boy on earth to become a man. Will he be up to the challenge?

Why does this matter?

You can jump into every issue not having read the last because it’s all about getting Kamandi out of trouble and back into it. Considering the excellent careers of both the artist and writer we’re in good hands.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Martha!!! I mean…

The dialogue in this issue is so over the top it’ll probably make you laugh out loud. It has to be on purpose because the plot of this issue is way over the top. It’s jam-packed with characters screaming at each other, screaming into screens, and screaming in general. Williams gets Kamandi out of the trouble started in last issue’s cliffhanger with a bonafide surprise twist thrusting Kamandi into a brand new location I didn’t see coming. It also brings a promise to resolve Kamandi’s ever long wish to find his parents.

Simonson draws a great issue and his old school lines suit this kind of story. The villain, who ends up being hilarious, is mostly comedic because of his homely design. Simonson gets to spread his wings best when the space fighting action kicks into gear which includes laser blasts and tons of fast moving action. Simonson does a great job creating massive futuristic structures too, which was a staple of Kirby’s.

We’re going to space!

It can’t be perfect can it?

This comic is so over the top I suspect a lot of folks will be turned off by this book. If you know what you’re getting into you’re going to love it, but it’s safe to say this is over the top melodrama. That makes the character interactions silly at best. When a flying shark is dying to save Kamandi it’s going to be hard to feel bad since it’s so outrageous. The villain can get a little tiresome, mostly because he keeps saying the same sort of thing, but dammit I love it.

Is It Good?

Prepare yourself for one of the most over the top Kirby style comic you’ll read all year. This series is all an ode to Jack Kirby, but this one goes all in with the melodrama. If that sounds good to you you’ll love this.

Kamandi Challenge #11
Is it good?
This is the over the top melodrama that made Kirby timeless!
The melodrama and over dramatic action is so fun!
This will make you laugh out loud, especially when the villain shows up
Simonson draws great futuristic ships
It's so over the top I imagine some will be confused, or not like it