REVIEW: Kamandi Challenge #9

Welcome everyone to our little comic book corner. This week we will be covering “KAMANDI CHALLENGE: Can YOU solve it before they do? #9 of 12” To be fair, I first need to state that spoilers are possible when talking about such an intriguing and interesting take on a comic. So if you love puzzles, I implore you to turn away now and come back after you have read this comic.

For the rest of you who have decided to read on, let us get into this amazing and interesting twist to comic writing. If anyone has ever played the RPG Gamma World they get the idea of having strange things happen to your character. You wake up, with no memory of where you were or are. If on the off-chance that you do have memories, they seem like an acid trip that no one should believe but they do. In a world where everything is off kilter, your best friends are animals and strange things like monster gods, pillow worshiping monkeys or other oddities is the norm… Anything can happen.

You will find your unlikely hero traveling in ways he is confused about, eventually finding himself in a room with some wonderful and truly inspired characters. As the days pass, you find out some truly fun and creative stories about the hero’s fellow captives. Day by day, they get to know each other but slowly one friend or another is dragged off into the unknown to never be seen again. This is something some of us see quite regularly… As you will see soon.

While the hero works hard to become stronger, so he can fight against this unknown machine that comes and takes his friends, you learn about those around him. There is a singer who sang for dog soldiers on the front line, there is a baby whose mother cries for them not to be taken away each time the machine appears. There is even a little Duck who writes about beating the machine that takes everyone away. It is very heartfelt introduction to these characters. You end up caring about every one of these characters even though they normally have no name associated or used in the comic.

While I cannot ruin it for you, you find one by one that the characters are all stolen from this little room where our hero is kept. He fights time and time again to keep the friends around him and loses each and every time. In this simple aspect, you can see how important each and every character in this comic is to the hero. Day after day he fights for them, but loses each and every time. In the end, we finally learn the hero’s name… The fight he has gone through is a personal one that we all can connect too.

Now it is hard for me to give any comic a full 5 out of 5 stars. This comic had me fooled as to what it truly meant and when I reached its conclusion I found tears falling down my face. When a comic that is no longer than 25 pages is able to do something so dramatic it truly does deserve the best score possible. Sadly 5 stars is the limit I can give, but if possible I would give far more. I think anyone with a dream should read this, and remember the hero in this comic. This hero reflects all of us in some way, and just like him, we can never give up. That is what comics are all about right?

Writer TOM KING

Illustrator KEVIN EASTMAN
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