There's no question that by the end of his initial stint at Marvel, Jack Kirby had no love for the company and was holding back ideas. Did he really contribute that much to the Marvel Universe in the late '70s?
But as soon as he jumped ship to DC, he created an entire new mythology from the ground up, and he wasn't done yet. One of his later creations was OMAC, the One-Man Army Corps.
In a bleak future world, corporate cog Buddy Blank is empowered by orbiting supercomputer Brother Eye to become a brutal force for justice. He wore an orange and blue costume with Brother Eye's symbol on the chest, and sported a big black mohawk. Well, OMAC and the future he came from were wiped from existence in one of DC's forgettable "time altering" stories, but his legend lives on, somewhat, thanks to DC's newest time-altering Infinite Crisis (and Series 1 of DC Direct's IC action figures).
Ramping up his paranoia factor to about 1,000%, Batman built an orbiting satellite to monitor every superhero on earth. Rather than being scared by his own Orwellian activities, Bats embraced them, naming the satellite "Brother I" (pronounced "Brother One" - that's a Roman numeral). Despite the fact that Bruce built the satellite with the same fiduciary subterfuge that allows him to funnel money directly from Wayne Corp to his own war on crime, it's discovered and hijacked by DC's chess-themed superspy agency, Checkmate. Checkmate used Brother not only to keep tabs on the metahumans, but also to activate sleeper agents capable of killing them, because their Black King had secretly been harboring anti-metahuman sentiments for years.
When an agent was to be activated, Brother I beamed down a signal that kickstarted a computer virus that had secretly been administered to 1,373,462 people worldwide via vaccine. The virus then took control of the host body and covered it in a standard cybernetic shell - originally an Observational Metahuman Activity Construct, later the Omni Mind And Community - complete with a mohawk and eyeball symbol on the chest. To complete the Kirby homage, when Brother I breaks free of all its former controls, it rechristens itself "Brother Eye."
To suggest his electronic nature, OMAC is cast in translucent blue plastic. The sculpt is a bit wonky, but accurate to the comic art: he's got the big, weird hip bones, the spindly biceps and the Popeye-style forearms, and is a bit light on detail everywhere else. His "face" is one unblinking red eye set in the center of his head and surrounded by tiny cracks, making it look like it's there due to impact.
The only real paint on the figure is the orange on the Brother Eye logo and some circuit-board detailing printed in light blue on OMAC's chest, arms and legs. The prototype photos of this figure showed it as a solid, metallic blue, so the choice to go translucent is a surprise, but it works. The figure is about 8" tall, and moves at the ankles, knees, hips, elbows, shoulders and head. The hips, shoulders and head are balljoints, and while the big mohawk does restict the head movement a little, you can still get a lot of poses out of it.
All the Infinite Crisis figures come with an IC logo base, placed at the top of the card like the Teen Titans line. There are clear plastic pegs taped to the inside of the tray to help the figures stand, though OMAC doesn't need them. However, since the OMACs could fly, the figure includes a metal stand to help him hover above the ground, same as the "Hush" Superman. The stand is 6" tall and plugs into the small of his back, putting a few inches of air between OMAC's feet and the base.
OMAC doesn't have any accessories, per se, but he does have interchangeable hands. The nanovirus gave the OMACs some shape-changing ability, and their favorite weapons to form included a simple, straightforward blade and a dual pincer. The single prong goes on his right hand, and the double on his left. They're printed with light blue circuitry, just like the rest of the figure, but popping the hands off can really be tough.
The fanboys seem to have hated Infinite Crisis, and for once their complaints are not entirely unfounded. The series had some really good moments, but it was way too concerned with decades-old stories to actually play well. And while this might not be the best re-imagining of an old character, the OMACs definitely fell into the "worthwhile" side of the IC equation. It's surprising - but definitely not unwelcome - that we got a figure so fast.
Which DC "Crisis" has been the best? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge