Everybody’s Talking About Fatale So Here’s an O.M.A.C. Review

Here’s what we know about OMAC: the main character appears to have a fin on his head.

…And that is the full extent of our OMAC knowledge. So we decided to pick up a copy – issue #5, out this week – and find out what people seemed to be so excited about. The series has been widely recommended, after all. Written by Dan DiDio and drawn by Keith Giffen, OMAC was originally created by Jack Kirby – so the character, by definition, is very strange indeed. By day he is a young man with an office job, by five minutes later on in the same day he OMAC-TIVATES (which is amazing) and turns into a big blue Mohawk monster who yells things at people. He is given orders by a satellite, and the Government want him to stop smashing things up.

Issue #5 of the series is an extended fight sequence and crossover between OMAC and Frankenstein, with issue #5 of Frankenstein’s issue telling the same story but from Frank’s point of view. To that extent, what we’re really looking for here are a lot of people getting punched, buildings getting wrecked, and general chaos being unleashed.

You don’t actually get much of that in the issue. The fight scene is shockingly dull, in fact, with more panels of leaping than of punching. Giffen is famous for his sturdy, steady layouts, and this approach doesn’t fit with a big fight scene. Although he keeps things light and understandable, the fight is a total bore, and OMAC loses throughout. In most fights you expect the balance to constantly shift between the two fighters, but here OMAC basically gets beaten down time and time again, without offering any response. It may well be that when Jeff Lemire tackles the same fight scene over in the Frankenstein book that this shifts the other way, but it seems strange for a book to do it’s protagonist such a disservice.

The frame surrounding the fight is feather-thin, which is fine. But our glimpses of OMAC’s human persona – whose name I don’t know, because he’s so unmemorable – give us an unlikeable dullard who doesn’t have anything interesting to say whatsoever. DiDio’s script doesn’t go camp, or silly, or OTT one bit. The one-liners feel stilted, the cliffhanger is difficult to understand, and there’s barely a laugh to be had anywhere in the issue. The whole thing is a crashing bore, and doesn’t make me feel remotely inclined to ever pick up another issue of the series.

There is one funny bit involving an arm, though.

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