Friday, July 16, 2010

Kirby Saw it Koming!

In OMAC, Jack Kirby imagined a bizarre dark future where mankind's base appetites were fed by far-flung technological excess. In his cautionary tale, outlaw corporations produced scientific horrors that required a One Man Army Corps to set things right. OMAC #1 was originally published in 1974, and at the time, was apparently a bit too far out and fantastical. The book was canceled after eight issues, but I contend that Kirby was ahead of his time, and that OUR world is slowly turning into OMAC's world!

The first issue introduced us to Buddy Blank, a faceless nobody working at Pseudo People Incorporated. After being bullied by a co-worker, Blank is sent to the "Psychology Section":

That scene was the very first thing that came to mind when I saw this story about a Chinese frustration venting chamber on Boing Boing recently:

But that's not the only future prediction that Kirby pegs in this issue. Buddy later is transformed into OMAC to bust up the Pseudo People factory when he finds out that the "Build-A-Friends" that the factory produces are being used as assassination devices!

Yes, Kirby was once again presaging the existence of a horrifying reality, in this case the RealDoll. Although at least no one has figured out how to make a RealDoll into a WMD (yet).

Now, I know it won't be long before some evil rich bastard manages to buy an entire city as his personal debauched playground...

Or before some withered old megabuck$ sickos figure out a way to transplant their brains into stolen young bodies so they can live forever...

But you know it's gonna happen sooner or later. In the world that's coming, we're gonna need OMAC: One Man Army Corps! 


Ivan said...

There's a reason Kirby was King: he could see the fuuuuuuture!

Odkin said...

While I think you're wrong, particularly about demonizing the rich, it was disconcerting to see a "Cartoonize Yourself" Google ad directly beneath your posting. It shows a hot young thing transformed into a cartoon, which sort of fits the Kirby theme of reenginering people as commodities. And you're making money off every click. :-)

Lazarus Lupin said...

One of the odd laws of sf is that the crazier the prediction the more likely it will come true given enough time. This is why satirists tend to be so prescient in their writings. Obviously the universe is in on the joke.

Lazarus Lupin
art and Review