OMAC (Buddy Blank)
Cover to OMAC #6 (July-August 1975) with the original OMAC. Art by Jack Kirby.
|Created by||Jack Kirby|
|Alter ego||Buddy Blank|
|Team affiliations||Global Peace Agency|
|Notable aliases||One-Man Army Corps|
|Abilities||Superhuman strength, speed, durability and explosive energy generation provided by Brother Eye|
OMAC (Buddy Blank) is a superhero comic book created in 1974 by Jack Kirby and published by DC Comics. The character was created towards the end of Kirby's contract with the publisher, following the cancellation of his New Gods series and was reportedly developed strictly due to Kirby needing to fill his contractual quota of 15 pages a week. As envisioned by Kirby, OMAC is essentially Captain America set in the future, an idea Kirby had toyed with some years earlier while at Marvel Comics, but had never realized.
Set in the near future ("The World That's Coming"), OMAC is a corporate nobody named Buddy Blank who is changed via a "computer-hormonal operation done by remote control" by an A.I. satellite called "Brother Eye" into the super-powered One-Man Army Corps (OMAC).
OMAC works for the Global Peace Agency (GPA), a group of faceless people who police the entire world using pacifistic weapons. The world balance is too dangerous for large armies, so OMAC is used as the main field enforcement agent for the Global Peace Agency. The character initially becomes the Ares-like war machine to save a female coworker at the Pseudo-People factory (manufacturers of androids initially intended as companions, but later developed as assassins). The coworker is revealed to be in actuality a bomb, and Blank is left in the employ of the GPA, sacrificing his identity in their relentless war, with faux parents his only consolation and companions.
The original OMAC series ended with its eighth issue (November-December 1975), canceled before the last storyline was completed, with Kirby writing an abrupt ending to the series. In Kamandi #50, by other creators, OMAC is tied into the back-story and shown to be Kamandi's grandfather. An OMAC back-up feature by Jim Starlin was started in issue #59, but the title was cancelled after the first appearance. It would later finally see print in Warlord, and a new back-up series would also appear in that title (#37-39, 42-47). OMAC made an appearance as a guest alongside Superman in DC Comics Presents #61.
In 1991 OMAC was featured in a four-issue prestige format limited series by writer/artist John Byrne that tied up loose ends left from previous stories. Byrne would later reuse OMAC in Superman & Batman: Generations 3, an Elseworlds limited series.
In Countdown to Final Crisis, Buddy Blank is featured as a retired, balding professor with a blond-haired grandson. In #34, Buddy Blank is mentioned but not seen, and is referred to as having direct contact with Brother Eye. He is contacted by Karate Kid and Una in Countdown #31, and appears in #28 and 27. A version of Buddy from Earth-51 appears in #6 and #5 where the Morticoccus virus is released. The virus results in worldwide destruction. Buddy leaves his Project Cadmus laboratory job and assisted by Una, attempts to rescue his daughter and grandson. After spending some time moving through Metropolis, they find Buddy's family, only to be attacked by humanoid rats. Una and his daughter are both devoured, but not before one of them manages to toss the Legion flight ring. Buddy uses it to take his grandson to safety in a scientific facility named "Command D" in Blüdhaven. In the final issue, Countdown to Final Crisis #1, Brother Eye rescues Buddy and his grandson from the bunker and from starvation by turning him into a prototype OMAC with free will. This entity resembles the original Jack Kirby OMAC.
Powers and abilities
Through interfacing with the Brother Eye satellite, via an invisible beam to his receiver belt, Buddy Blank is transformed into OMAC and imbued with an array of superhuman abilities. The base of these abilities involves density control of Blank's body. An increase in density leads to superhuman strength and enhanced durability, while a decrease in density leads to flight and super-speed. Brother Eye could provide other abilities as well, such as self-repairing functions and energy generation.
The character, along with the Brother Eye satellite, was reimagined for the Infinite Crisis storyline. OMACs are portrayed as cyborgs, humans whose bodies have been taken over via a nano-virus. The characters retain OMAC's familiar mohawk and Brother Eye symbol on their chests. The characters are featured in The OMAC Project limited series which leads up to Infinite Crisis, and a subsequent OMAC limited series. The acronym has multiple meanings through the series: "Observational Meta-human Activity Construct", "One-Man Army Corps", and "Omni Mind And Community."
- In the Superman storyline "For Tomorrow" (2004-2005), two super-soldiers were featured, each representing a generation of cybernetically enhanced warriors named "One-Man Army Corps". They bore no physical resemblance to any other version of the OMAC.
- The Tangent Comics comic The Joker's Wild (1998) parodied OMAC with a beta-version automated policeman called "Omegatech Mechanoid Armored Cop".
- DC would later make a nod to OMAC during the DC One Million event in 1998. In Superboy 1,000,000, one of the future Superboys is known as Superboy OMAC, or "One Millionth Actual Clone", and the title of the story was "One Million And Counting", repeating the acronym. He appeared in the Superboy and Young Justice specials, as well as the DC One Million mini-series. His appearance is based on OMAC, and he gains increased power from Brother Eye.
- In Kingdom Come, Alex Ross created a female version of OMAC named OWAC, (One-Woman Army Corps).
- The One Million 80 Page Giant also introduced a female Luthor with OMAC elements who called herself the One Woman Adversary Chamber.
- OMAC made a brief appearance in Elseworlds' JLA: Another Nail when all time periods meld together.
- Some basic OMAC units resembling the first OMAC were featured in Final Crisis.
In other media
- The original OMAC, Buddy Blank appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "When OMAC Attacks" voiced by Jeff Bennett. OMAC battles Shrapnel in a long and destructive battle arranged by Equinox. In this episode, Buddy did not know he was OMAC until Batman tells him his purpose. While OMAC handles Shrapnel, Batman interrogates and fights Equinox. Shrapnel is eventually brought to justice by OMAC and the previously clumsy Buddy Blank buys time for Batman to stop a nuclear meltdown by distracting Equinox after reverting from his OMAC form. In "The Power of Shazam," OMAC is among the heroes that got taken over by the Starros.
- Batman's ending in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe involves him creating "OMAC" (Outerworld Monitor and Auto Containment) robot versions of Batman to maintain the balance between Earthrealm and DC Universe. It is designed to monitor and trap invaders from different universes.
- It was announced at New York Comic Con 2009 that OMAC will be released as a figure in the Justice League Unlimited toyline down the road. This version of OMAC will also be released as a figure in wave 15 of Mattel's "DC Universe Classics" line.
- Versions of the modern OMAC have been released in both Mattel's DC Universe and DC Direct toy lines.
- Jack Kirby's O.M.A.C.: One Man Army Corps collects O.M.A.C.: One Man Army Corps #1-8, 200 pages, May 2008, ISBN 1-4012-1790-7
- Callahan, Timothy (June 5, 2008). "Jack Kirby's O.M.A.C.: One Man Army Corps". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on January 6, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Evanier, Mark (2008). "Introduction". Jack Kirby's O.M.A.C.: One Man Army Corps. DC Comics. pp. 3–5. ISBN 1-4012-1790-7.
- McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
In OMAC's first issue, editor/writer/artist Jack Kirby warned readers of "The World That's Coming!", a future world containing wild concepts that are almost frighteningly real today.
- Kirby, Jack (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Royer, Mike (i). "Brother Eye and Buddy Blank" OMAC 1 (September-October 1974)
- 'OMAC' at the Grand Comics Database
- O'Neil, Dennis (w), Ayers, Dick (p), Alcala, Alfredo; Auad, Manuel (i). "The Death Worshippers!" Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth 50 (April-May 1977)
- Wein, Len (w), Pérez, George (p), Marcos, Pablo (i). "The Once-and-Future War!" DC Comics Presents 61 (September 1983)
- Dini, Paul; Giffen, keith (w), Derenick, Tom (p), Faucher, Wayne (i). "Loose Ends" Countdown to Final Crisis 1 (June 2008 (April 23, 2008))
- Rucka, Greg (w), Saiz, Jesus (p), Saiz, Jesus (i). "---Part One--- The Eye in the Sky" The OMAC Project 1 (June 2005)
- Rucka, Greg (w), Saiz, Jesus; Richards, Cliff (p), Saiz, Jesus; Wiacek, Bob (i). "---Part Five---...Long Live the King!" The OMAC Project 5 (October 2005)
- Rucka, Greg (w), Saiz, Jesus; Richards, Cliff (p), Saiz, Jesus; Wiacek, Bob (i). "---Conclusion---Loss of Signal" The OMAC Project 6 (November 2005)
- Brandon Vietti (director); Stan Berkowitz (writer) (October 16, 2009). "When OMAC Attacks!". Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Season 1. Episode 123. 22 minutes in. Cartoon Network.
- "Jack Kirby's O.M.A.C.: One Man Army Corps". DC Comics.com. Retrieved January 6, 2013.