On 28 August 2017, comics legend Jack Kirby would have turned 100 — and as part of a year celebrating his contribution to the comics industry, DC has lined up a huge roster of writers and artists for a bizarre new "challenge" series, based on one of Kirby's more out there creations: Kamandi, the last boy on Earth. Sketch cover art for Kamandi #1, by Bruce Timm
Star of his self-titled series between 1972 and 1978, Kamandi was a post-apocalyptic survivor of an Earth — referred to as "Earth AD" — ravaged by an event that turned what remained of the human race into a pre-technology civilisation, while intelligent animals became the dominant species. Kirby wrote and drew the vast majority of the series' first 40 issues before he left DC.
Now, though, a veritable who's who of the comics industry is teaming up for a new 12-part miniseries featuring the character, dubbed "The Kamandi Challenge": Twelve writer-artist teams, randomly assigned to each other, were tasked with writing one issue each of the series, with the stipulation that they each take place in a different section of Kirby's Earth AD, also randomly assigned to them.
Without knowing what prior teams had written, the creative duos had to come up with their own single-issue Kamandi tale, starting wherever the last issue had taken place and ending in a new area the next team had to pick up from. Here are the teams working on each issue:
- Issue #1 by Dan Abnett/Dale Eaglesham
- Issue #2 by Peter J. Tomasi/Neal Adams
- Issue #3 by Jimmy Palmiotti/Amanda Conner
- Issue #4 by James Tynion/Carlos D'Anda
- Issue #5 by Bill Willingham/Ivan Reis
- Issue #6 by Steve Orlando/Philip Tan
- Issue #7 by Marguerite Bennett/Dan Jurgens
- Issue #8 by Keith Giffen/Steve Rude
- Issue #9 by Tom King/Kevin Eastman
- Issue #10 by Greg Pak/Joe Prado
- Issue #11 by Rob Williams/Walter Simonson
- Issue #12 by Gail Simone/Ryan Sook
It's... definitely a bizarre way to structure a comic series, especially with each team having no idea what's come before them. But it's a pretty unique way to celebrate Kirby's legacy at DC. The Kamandi Challenge is set to begin in January, with more details on the series being revealed later this week at New York Comic-Con.