The Last Boy On Earth is in the clutches of Lord Caesar, king of the tigers, who has possession of an ancient device that he thinks will give him ultimate power.  Turns out, it’s actually an atomic warhead…  This will all end in tears, I know it.  Your Major Spoilers review of The Kamandi Challenge #2 awaits!

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Neal Adam
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letterer: Clem Robins
Editor: Brittany Holzherr & Dan Didio
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in The Kamandi Challenge: After waking up to find his quiet hometown is some sort of simulation populated by robots, Kamandi realizes that he is, in fact, the last boy on Earth.  Or at least the last one who is able to think critically, speak and who knows anything about the world before the apocalypse.  Taken by Doctor Canus to be trained for the human fighting games, he attempted escape, only to witness the king of the tigers activating one of the last surviving atomic bombs…


So, for those who hadn’t heard, ‘The Kamandi Challenge’ is a new version of ‘The DC Challenge,’ where creative teams take on what highfalutin’ writer call The Exquisite Corpse: Each team creates their chapter, leaving a cliffhanger for the next team to resolve.  Issue 1 had two chapters which reintroduced a lot of the Kamandi supporting cast, leading to this issue’s open as Kamandi tries to convince the animals that he is actually intelligent, while trying to disarm the nuclear weapon about to go off in their midst.  It does not go well, and he is overpowered by a tiger as the counter reaches zero and…

…an ape with a gun leaps out?  Turns out that the weapon was actually a Trojan horse from the rival gorilla tribe, which swoops in for the attack and allowing Kamandi to escape into the Museum Of Weaponry.  Chased by Canus and Tuftan, Kamandi finds a mysterious artifact under a tarp: The Mobius Chair of Metron!  Miraculously, he is able to teleport the three of them away with it, ending up near the legendary Human Game Preserve.  Suddenly, Tuftan and Canus are knocked out by Manhunter robots, leading Kamandi to leap to almost certain doom…


…which is a really cruel cliffhanger to leave for the next creative team, to be honest.  Still, this issue has a lot going for it, including a really clever out for the issue of the nuke, and some nice references to Kamandi comics past in the art and dialogue.  (There are even overt references in Kamandi’s trippy teleport away from the tiger’s stronghold, which made me happy even as it confused me.)  The art is first-rate as well, as Neal Adams inks with a thicker line than much of his recent work, bringing back elements of the old-school Neal Adams in the action sequences.  Best of all, this issue seems to be having fun with the history and lore of the DCU, something that has been a little bit harder to find in the post-Flashpoint world.  Centering the book around one character helps to focus the narrative much better than the original DC Challenge did, although the sudden appearance of space-faring robot cops proves there are still wacky things to be had in these pages…


Maybe it’s the gimmick, maybe it’s the clear joy with which the creative teams are playing with these characters, but ever page of this issue made me happy.  The Kamandi Challenge #2 is clever, fun and energetic, with excellent art across the board and great skill in resolving and setting up new cliffhanger threads, earning a very impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall.  If you haven’t been following this series, I recommend picking it up, especially if you want a stand-alone comic that doesn’t require additional reading to get into…



A fun, frenetic read full of action and interesting bits of story and lore. This book is shaping up to be a joyful reading experience...

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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