Jul 5, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 861: Omega the Unknown #10, October 1977

https://www.comics.org/issue/31556/

There's an argument to be made that this would actually be a great place for us to leave the story of Omega and James-Michael. I'm kind of reminded of the Milligan/Fegredo series Enigma, in which the main characters simply walk off screen at the end and we stop following their story, even though some of the plot points aren't quite cleared up. The end of today's comic would make an interesting ending, though leaving us hanging over the revelation of new versions of James-Michael's parents would be a bit cruel. But Omega's end in this issue? It could totally work.

One of the letters in today's comic articulates my own reaction to Omega, and strengthens that Lynchian vibe (especially after Twin Peaks episode 8 - what the hell was all that?!): I have no idea what's going on in this comic. It offers hints of a narrative that we just don't have enough information to fully comprehend quite yet. Why does the caped man want to make lots of money in Las Vegas? What's the deal with the weird secret-compound-like state of James-Michael's old home? And the fact that we can't comprehend it is just fine. Not everything we hear, or experience, is comprehensible. Why, then, should our stories be?

I had mentioned that this was only sort-of the end of Omega. Though the comic promises that the story will be finished somehow in the pages of The Defenders, Steve Gerber and Marvel acrimoniously parted ways not long after this comic was published, and the finale of Omega was handed to Steve Grant. So there is a final chapter to this story in The Defenders (and I'm in the process of tracking it down), but it won't be the ending that the story was heading toward, or deserves.

Glad to have read this - it cements my thinking that Steve Gerber was just too far ahead of his time to garner the kind of success he deserved. Had he been one of those up and coming writers during the British invasion of the late 80s, I think he might have rivaled Moore, Gaiman, or Morrison in terms of fame and popularity.

On to something different tomorrow. See you then.

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