In June 2011, DC Comics’ one-time publishing experiment, the DC Universe line, will be fully incorporated into the larger DC Comics continuity. Dubbed “The New 52” the line will consist of 52 new ongoing titles directed at audiences both new and old. One of the titles is “O.M.A.C,” a revival of the Keith Giffen created Jack Kirby homage character and series from the mid-1970s.
DC Universe executive editor Dan DiDio and Giffen visited the CBR Tiki Room at WonderCon to speak about “O.M.A.C.” in the New 52. Joined by artist Keith MP and inker Scott Hanna, Giffen discussed his work on the book, the new/old partnership with DiDio and his thoughts on the New 52 project as a whole. Plus, Giffen pitched an interesting new use for Power Girl!
Giffen on his long-running partnership with DiDio and their relaunching of “O.M.A.C.”: It’s one of those things I’m not unhappy about. We’ve been working together for a while and we’ve even been termed “the odd couple” before because of our sketchy investor views on stuff. I kind of took a look at “O.M.A.C.” and said to him, “That’s the kind of thing I want to do.” He did a carpenter’s hat check on whether we could fit it in as part of the October launch and he did and here we are and it’s great.
DiDio on how “O.M.A.C.” fits into the DCU:We’ve seen a lot of Kirby-influenced characters already but this gets specific to the original Jack Kirby take on the Kirby-verse. We felt by doing “O.M.A.C.” we get to really capture that total Kirby-feel in terms of the concept and the storytelling.
Giffen on how faithful this iteration of “O.M.A.C.” is to the original book: For myself it’s almost beat for beat exactly. I definitely looked at Jack’s stuff and said, “OK, that works, now what can I do to modernize it, tweak it or what have you?” But yeah, it’s very close. I look at it and I clearly see Jack’s influence all the way, which is why I wanted Keith here as the artist so I could make sure that flavor stays in the book. It’s not slavishly close, but it’s deliberately meant to look and sound like Jack Kirby.
Giffen on the influence that other DCU titles will have on “O.M.A.C.”: I think what we’ve decided is that “O.M.A.C.” reflects what’s going on in those other titles to some degree, but as we’ve seen with the “Justice League” books, some connect directly, some connect way off in the background. So maybe a little here, little there — we’ll wait and see how it goes.
Giffen on the use of the Global Peace Agency: I knew right away that Ted Kord was part of that. Even though we don’t see him in the first issue, you’ll find him in at least the second issue. I also wanted to explore other teen heroes of the DCU, so that’s one reason why Lagoon Boy turned up. I felt like, if they’re off to the side and not part of the main action you can bring them into “O.M.A.C.” and use them as you would in any other situation.
Giffen on the use of magic: I’m not as interested in using of the parks of power per se as I am in the magic of dreams, and I find that if you get into that you can do more with it. We’ve done more than I anticipated here — I mean, I didn’t anticipate having O.M.A.C. cloned and that’s just something you have to do when you bring it into the DCU. I am kind of fascinated with technology going haywire, so that’s why Brother Eye went haywire in the series.
Giffen on Power Girl in the New 52: This is totally off the record, right? [laughter] Here’s the pitch: So for the New 52, in the New 52, Power Girl should just, she should just be able to fly. No explanation, no fanfare — there should be one page where you just see her flying. Bam! There it is.
Giffen on his frustration with the creative turnover at DC: I’ve expressed my opinion on the creative coming and going at DC since I left. My biggest regret is loosing Greg [Rucka] and J.H. [Williams]. I mean, the losses on the creative end have been staggering. I lost my entire world when I left [in 2006], subsequently Greg leaves and then J.H. leaves and you start to say, “What’s left?” What I am, is I’m hopeful. I’m optimistic and I think DC’s taken steps to address a lot of its problems creatively. It would be nice to see a little more crossover between the editors and creators and I hope things can start percolating there for them.
DiDio on speaking out against the creative turnovers: The one thing I’ve done since I’ve stepped in is try to put the focus back on the creators. So that’s why we launched the monthly newsletter — so fans were able to see what was developed and tell stories. Yes we’ve had some departures but you’ve seen brand new creators coming in and I actually think we’ve seen the quality has gone up. Part of it is getting a better respect for titles and the others is getting a better respect for the talent that comes in on the other side.
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