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Cover for Countdown Special: Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth, by Ryan Sook.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceKamandi, The Last Boy on Earth #1 (October 1972)
Created byJack Kirby
In-story information
Place of originEarth A.D.
Team affiliationsCheckmate
Notable aliasesKingsley Jacobs
AbilitiesSkilled fighter
Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth
Cover for Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth #1 (October 1972), art by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer.
Publication information
Schedule(vol. 1)
The Kamandi Challenge
FormatOngoing series
Limited series
Publication date
  • (vol. 1)
    October 1972 – September 1978
    The Kamandi Challenge
    March 2017 – February 2018
No. of issues(vol. 1): 59
The Kamandi Challenge: 12
Main character(s)Kamandi
Dr. Canus
Creative team
Written by

Kamandi (/kəˈmændi/) is a fictional comic book character created by artist Jack Kirby and published by DC Comics. The bulk of Kamandi's appearances occurred in the comic series Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth, which ran from 1972 to 1978. He is a young hero living in a post-apocalyptic future. Following the Great Disaster, humans have backslid to savagery in a world ruled by intelligent, highly evolved animals.

Publication history[edit]


DC editor Carmine Infantino had tried to acquire the license to publish Planet of the Apes comic books. When this failed to happen (rival Marvel Comics acquired the rights), Infantino asked Jack Kirby for a series with a similar concept. Kirby had not seen the films but knew the rough outline and had created a similar story, "The Last Enemy!", in Harvey Comics' Alarming Tales. In "The Last Enemy!", a present-day man finds himself in the post-human future, at which time animals, most prominently dogs and rats, can now walk bipedally and have founded their own civilization. (The story preceded the original Pierre Boulle Planet of the Apes novel.) Kirby also had an unused comic strip he created in 1956, titled Kamandi of the Caves. Kirby brought these elements together to create Kamandi.[1] Although his initial plan was not to work on the comic books personally, the cancellation of Forever People freed him up to do so.[2]

The series[edit]

The Kamandi series was launched in October–November 1972, and was written and drawn by Jack Kirby.[3] The book went to a monthly publishing schedule quickly, a sign of its early popularity.[4]

Kirby provided art and story through the comic's 37th issue, in January 1976. Kirby also drew issues #38 through #40, although they were scripted by Gerry Conway. Kirby subsequently left DC. The series continued, initially with scripts by Conway and art by Chic Stone. Later issues were written by Paul Levitz, Dennis O'Neil, David Anthony Kraft, Elliot S. Maggin, and Jack C. Harris (alternating), with art by Pablo Marcos, Keith Giffen, and Dick Ayers. It was canceled during the "DC Implosion" of 1978, despite respectable sales figures. The final published issue was #59, cover-dated September–October 1978. Two additional issues, completed but not released, were included in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2.[5]

Entering the DC Universe[edit]

During Kirby's run on the book, Steve Sherman indicated in the letters column that the series was connected to Kirby's then-current OMAC series, which was set in the future, but prior to the Great Disaster. The only obvious connection to the DC Universe occurs in issue #29, in which Kamandi discovers a group of apes who worship Superman's costume, and who speak of legends of him trying and failing to stop the Great Disaster.[6] The story leaves it ambiguous as whether the legends are literally true and the costume did belong to him. Kamandi believes Superman was real.[7]

Other stories, not by Kirby, explicitly take place in the DC Universe. Kamandi met Batman in The Brave and the Bold #120 (July 1975)[8] and #157 (December 1979).[9] Superman #295 (January 1976) establishes that the costume seen in issue #29 was indeed Superman's, and that Earth A.D. is an alternate future for Earth-One, distinct from that of the Legion of Super-Heroes.[10] Issues #49–50 of the series establish that Kamandi's grandfather was the elderly Buddy Blank, hero of the OMAC series, and features a brief return of OMAC's satellite ally, Brother Eye.[11][12] Kirby's Kamandi story in Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2 guest stars The Sandman and establishes that Kamandi is Jed Walker.

The 1975–1977 Hercules Unbound series and the OMAC backup stories in Kamandi and The Warlord tie OMAC to both the storyline of Hercules Unbound and to the Atomic Knights,[13] indicating that the Great Disaster was the atomic war of 1986 that precipitated the events of the latter. Superman #295 (Jan. 1976) implied that the Great Disaster was a natural occurrence.

DC Comics Presents #57 (May 1983) shows that the events of the Atomic Knights stories were a fantasy in the mind of Gardner Grayle,[14] but DC Comics Presents #64[15] and Crisis on Infinite Earths #2[16] make clear that Kamandi still existed in an alternate future of Earth-One.

In the wake of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Great Disaster would not occur, and the boy who would have become Kamandi instead became Tommy Tomorrow.[13][17]


In the aftermath of the Infinite Crisis limited series, a bunker named Command D has been built under the ruins of the city of Blüdhaven.[18]

In early 2007, DC Nation house ads showed part of Darkseid and mention a Great Disaster. Additional DC promotional art for the series Countdown shows the Statue of Liberty in ruins, as in Kamandi #1. Dan DiDio later revealed that the Statue's appearance in that teaser ad was a reference to the Sinestro Corps War. Throughout 2007, DC Comics contained references to a coming Great Disaster. In Countdown #31, Buddy Blank and his unnamed blond grandson are introduced into the storyline. As of Countdown #6, The Great Disaster is in its early stages on Earth-51 due to the outbreak of a virus, which is causing humans to develop animalistic features, and animals to develop humanoid features. In Countdown #5, the virus claims Earth-51's Buddy Blank's daughter, but his grandson is safe. Una, an alternate Earth's version of the Legion of Super-Heroes Triplicate Girl, gives him her Legion flight ring, which he uses to safely get him to Cadmus' "Command D" facility, which was used to control Brother Eye, and has the defenses necessary to protect them from the virus' victims. As he settles in, he hopes that his grandson can forgive him for making him "the last boy on Earth".

In Countdown: Arena #2, an ape Starman from Earth-17 mentions he is attempting to form a truce between the forces of Kamandi and Ben Boxer, indicating a second variant Kamandi Earth, unlike Earth-51.

Kamandi and The Demon appear in "Devil's Play" written by Joe Kubert and Brandon Vietti with art by Vietti, published in Joe Kubert Presents #6 (May 2013).

Final Crisis[edit]

Kamandi is seen in DC's Final Crisis limited series, a sequel to the earlier Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis. In the first issue he appears in what seems to be a time distortion, asking Anthro, the "first" boy on Earth, for the weapon the New God Metron gave him, a reference to the series' opening scene in which Anthro, like Prometheus, is given knowledge in the form of fire. He makes another appearance in the second issue as one of the captives of the evil New Gods alongside Batman, warning the detective character Dan Turpin that they are making slaves of them. In the final issue, he appears on Earth-51 after it has been reconstructed.

DC Rebirth[edit]

Cover of The Kamandi Challenge #2, art by Kenneth Rocafort. This 12-issue limited series brought Kamandi back to the DC Universe in 2017.

As part of the DC Rebirth continuity and commemorating the 100th anniversary of Jack Kirby's birth,[19] in January 2017 DC published the first number of The Kamandi Challenge, a 12-part limited series with each issue featuring a new creative team (a total of 12 writers and 12 artists for the miniseries), a concept loosely inspired on 1985's DC Challenge.[20] During the Infinite Frontier Checkmate mini series, it's revealed he founded the organization as an adult named Kingsley Jacobs aka "King".[21]

Writers on the series included Dan Abnett, Peter Tomasi, Jimmy Palmiotti, James Tynion IV, Bill Willingham, Steve Orlando, Marguerite Bennett, Keith Giffen, Tom King, Greg Pak, Rob Williams and Gail Simone while artists were Dale Eaglesham, Neal Adams, Amanda Conner, Carlos D'Anda, Ivan Reis, Philip Tan, Dan Jurgens, Steve Rude, Kevin Eastman, Joe Prado, Walter Simonson and Ryan Sook.[22]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Map of Earth A.D. from Kamandi #32 (1975).

Kamandi is a teenage boy on a post-apocalyptic Earth which the textual narrative describes as Earth A.D. (After Disaster). The Earth has been ravaged by the mysterious Great Disaster. The precise nature of the Great Disaster is never revealed in the original series, although it "had something to do with radiation". Both the letter column and issue #35 confirmed that this does not mean a nuclear war. The Disaster wiped out human civilization and most of the human population. Isolated pockets of humanity survived in underground bunkers, while others reverted to savagery.

Shortly before the Great Disaster, a scientist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Dr. Michael Grant, developed a drug called Cortexin, which stimulated the reasoning abilities of animals. During the Great Disaster, Grant released the experimental animals affected by the drug, and dumped the Cortexin itself into the stream created by a broken water main. In the ensuing days, animals escaping from the National Zoo drank from that stream and became affected by the drug.

By Kamandi's time, an unspecified period after the Great Disaster, the effects of Cortexin and the radiation unleashed by the Great Disaster itself had caused a wide variety of animals (most of them are descendants of escaped zoo animals following the disaster) including but not limited to barracudas, bats, cheetahs, coyotes, crocodiles, dogs, gophers, gorillas, kangaroos, leopards, lions, lizards, pumas, rats, sloths, tigers, and wolves, to become bipedal, humanoid, and sapient, possessing the power of speech. Others animals ranging from dolphins, killer whales, and snakes developed sapience, but retained more or less their original size and form. The newly intelligent animal species, equipped with weapons and technology salvaged from the ruins of human civilization, began to struggle for territory. Horses were apparently not affected, and serve as a means of transportation in the technologically impoverished world of Earth A.D.

By this time, most surviving humans are acting bestial, with very limited reasoning ability. Most have only the most rudimentary ability to speak, although they can be trained. The precise cause of the loss of reasoning ability is ambiguous in the original series. The animals treat humans as beasts, using them for labor or as pets.

Kamandi is the last survivor of the human outpost in the "Command D" bunker near what was once New York City. "Kamandi" is a corruption of "Command D"; it is unclear if Kamandi ever had any other name. Raised by his elderly grandfather, Kamandi has extensive knowledge of the pre-Disaster world, thanks to a library of microfilm and old videos, but he has spent most of his time inside the bunker, and is unaware of the state of the world outside. When his grandfather is killed by a wolf, Kamandi leaves the bunker in search of other human outposts.

He soon discovers that the only other intelligent humans left on Earth are Ben Boxer and his friends Steve and Renzi, a trio of mutants genetically engineered to survive in Earth A.D. He also makes a number of animal friends including Dr. Canus, the canine scientist of Great Caesar (leader of the Tiger Empire) and Caesar's teenage son Tuftan. Later additions to the cast included the alien woman Pyra, the girl Spirit and the consulting detective Mylock Bloodstalker and his associate Doile. Even the most sympathetic animals, however, are nonplussed by Kamandi and Ben's ability to speak.

Kamandi and his friends set out to explore the world of Earth A.D., in hopes of one day restoring humanity to sapience and civilization.

Other versions[edit]


The Elseworlds miniseries Kamandi: At Earth's End was issued in 1993, but had little relation to the Kirby comic except by name. This series was followed up by Superman: At Earth's End, both written by Tom Veitch.


In the third story arc of the Superman/Batman series, which showed the heroes traveling through time, they met or fought with, variously, Sgt. Rock, Jonah Hex, Darkseid, and Kamandi.[23]

Superman & Batman: Generations[edit]

In Superman & Batman: Generations III #3 (May 2003), one of the stories was set during the century immediately following the 'Great Disaster' engineered by Luthor's robotized brain. It dealt with Superman II, Batman, and other survivors of the technological age dealing with Kamandi-like intelligent animals and overgrown ruins.[24]

Wednesday Comics[edit]

Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook produced a Kamandi serial for Wednesday Comics in 2009.[25][26] The stories for Wednesday Comics have their own continuity.

The Multiversity[edit]

The sixth issue of The Multiversity, titled the "Multiversity Guidebook", features Kamandi on his version of Earth as one of the 52 Earths of the Multiverse. Kamandi is shown searching an ancient ruin in this issue.

In other media[edit]


  • A Kamandi animated series was optioned during the late 1970s, but was cancelled before entering the production phase.[27]
  • Kamandi appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Mikey Kelley. This version is a recurring ally of Batman.



Kamandi received a figure in the DC Universe Classics line in 2010.


Kamandi appears in Justice League Adventures #30 as an ally of the Flash.

Collected editions[edit]

  • Kamandi Archive:
    • Volume 1 collects Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth #1-10, 224 pages, October 2005, ISBN 1-4012-0414-7[30]
    • Volume 2 collects Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth #11-20, 228 pages, February 2007, ISBN 1-4012-1208-5[31]
  • Countdown Special: Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth 80-Page Giant #1 collects Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth #1, #10 and #29.[32]
  • Kamandi by Jack Kirby Omnibus
    • Volume 1 collects Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth #1-20, 448 pages, September 2011, ISBN 1-4012-3233-7[33]
    • Volume 2 collects Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth #21-40, 424 pages, December 2012, ISBN 1401236723[34]
  • Wednesday Comics collects Wednesday Comics #1-12, 200 pages, June 2010, ISBN 1401227473[35]
  • Kamandi by Jack Kirby Omnibus collects Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth #1-40, 896 pages, March 2018, ISBN 1401274692[36]
  • The Kamandi Challenge collects The Kamandi Challenge #1-12, 460 pages, April 2018, ISBN 1401278361

See also[edit]

Jack Kirby Kamandi Artist’s Gallery Edition, Volume 1 and Volume 2, Hard - Cover IDW.


  1. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Kirby had already introduced a similar concept and characters in Alarming Tales #1 (1957)...Coupling the premise with his unpublished "Kamandi of the Caves" newspaper strip, Kirby's Last Boy on Earth roamed a world that had been ravaged by the "Great Disaster" and taken over by talking animals. {{cite book}}: |first2= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Cronin, Brian (February 18, 2010). "Comic Book Legends Revealed #248". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 1, 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  3. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 164. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  4. ^ Sacks, Jason; Dallas, Keith (2014). American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1970s. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 978-1605490564.
  5. ^ Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2 (Fall 1978) at the Grand Comics Database
  6. ^ Greenberger, Robert; Pasko, Martin (2010). The Essential Superman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. p. 145. ISBN 978-0-345-50108-0.
  7. ^ Kirby, Jack; Sherman, Steve (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Berry, D. Bruce (i). "Mighty One!" Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth, no. 29 (May 1975).
  8. ^ Haney, Bob (w), Aparo, Jim (p), Aparo, Jim (i). "This Earth Is Mine" The Brave and the Bold, no. 120 (July 1975).
  9. ^ Haney, Bob; Barr, Mike W. (w), Aparo, Jim (p), Aparo, Jim (i). "Time...My Dark Destiny!" The Brave and the Bold, no. 157 (December 1979).
  10. ^ Maggin, Elliot S. (w), Swan, Curt (p), Oksner, Bob (i). "Costume, Costume--Who's Got the Costume?" Superman, no. 295 (January 1976).
  11. ^ Maggin, Elliot S. (w), Ayers, Dick (p), Chan, Ernie; Alcala, Alfredo (i). "Trial by Fear!" Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth, no. 49 (February–March 1977).
  12. ^ O'Neil, Dennis (w), Ayers, Dick (p), Alcala, Alfredo; Auad, Manuel (i). "The Death Worshippers!" Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth, no. 50 (April–May 1977).
  13. ^ a b Markstein, Don (2010). "Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on May 27, 2024.
  14. ^ Mishkin, Dan; Cohn, Gary (w), Saviuk, Alex (p), McLaughlin, Frank (i). "Days of Future Past!" DC Comics Presents, no. 57 (May 1983).
  15. ^ Evanier, Mark (w), Saviuk, Alex (p), McLaughlin, Frank (i). "May You Live in Interesting Times!" DC Comics Presents, no. 64 (December 1983).
  16. ^ Wolfman, Marv (w), Pérez, George (p), Giordano, Dick (i). "Time and Time Again!" Crisis on Infinite Earths, no. 2 (May 1985).
  17. ^ Wolfman, Marv (w), Pérez, George (p), Ordway, Jerry (i). "Final Crisis" Crisis on Infinite Earths, no. 12 (March 1986).
  18. ^ Janson, Tim (April 19, 2007). "Counting Down to Countdown IV: The Great Disaster and the Atom: Kamandi and the Great Disaster!". Newsarama. Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  19. ^ Burlingame, Russ (October 3, 2016). "DC Announces Kamandi Challenge Creative Teams, And Teases More Plans to Celebrate Jack Kirby's 100th Birthday". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on January 24, 2018.
  20. ^ Collins, Elle (December 22, 2016). "An Epic Adventure Is Underway In The Kamandi Challenge #1". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on January 24, 2018.
  21. ^ Checkmate Vol. 3 #4
  22. ^ Sims, Chris (October 3, 2016). "DC Reveals Art And New Details For Kamandi Challenge Tribute To Kirby". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on December 19, 2018.
  23. ^ Loeb, Jeph (w), Pacheco, Carlos (p), Merino, Jesus (i). "Absolute Power, Part 3 of 5: When Time Goes Asunder..." Superman/Batman, no. 16 (Late February 2005).
  24. ^ Byrne, John (w), Byrne, John (p), Byrne, John (i). "Century 22: Out of the Ashes" Superman & Batman: Generations III, no. 3 (May 2003).
  25. ^ Renaud, Jeffrey (August 26, 2009). "Wednesday Comics: Dave Gibbons". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on January 9, 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  26. ^ Trecker, Jamie (August 6, 2009). "Wednesday Comics Thursday 4: Ryan Sook Brings Kamandi to Life". Newsarama. Archived from the original on January 6, 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  27. ^ Stewart, Tom (April 2007). "Kirby Goes to the Devil: The Saga of Devil Dinosaur and the Escape of Jack Kirby". Back Issue! (#21). Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing: 65–69.
  28. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (January 29, 2021). "WB Slates Four 'DC Showcase' Animated Shorts for 2021-22".
  29. ^ Harvey, James (February 21, 2024). ""Justice League: Crisis On Infinite Earths, Part Two" Arrives April 23, 2024". The World's Finest. Retrieved February 21, 2024.
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External links[edit]