DC Reveals “Kamandi Challenge” At Emerald City Comic Con

by Thomas ODonnell
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During the DC Entertainment All-Access panel DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio revealed Kamandi Challenge, a 12 issue maxi-series with 13 creative teams!

Modeled after the ’85/’86 series DC Challenge which was an experimental limited series conceived during a rooftop party at the 1983 San Diego Comic Convention. The premise of the series was that each chapter would be written by a different author and illustrated by a different artist. No consultation between authors was permitted. As well, each chapter would end in a seemingly impossible cliffhanger from which the next creative team would have to resolve. Authors were free to use any character or concept from DC’s then-50 years of publication, with the exception of those whose appearances they were currently writing.


Dan DiDio had previously teased on his Twitter page:


James Tynion IV tweeted out:

The 13 teams DC announced for the series are:

  • Dan Abnett and Dale Eaglesham
  • Peter J. Tomasi and Neal Adams
  • Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
  • James Tynion IV and Carlos D’Anda
  • Bill Willingham and Ivan Reis
  • Steve Orlando and Philip Tan
  • Marguerite Bennett and Dan Jurgens
  • Keith Giffen and Steve Rude
  • Tom King and Kevin Eastman
  • Greg Pak and Joe Prado
  • Rob Williams and Walter Simonson
  • Gail Simone and Ryan Sook
  • Len Wein and José Luis García-López

The series will have a different creative team per issue to tell an interconnected story. From the looks of the tweet below, each team will be assigned a section of the map to set their adventure in.

Dan DiDio tweeted out:


Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth was originally created by Jack “King” Kirby!

Kamandi is a teenage boy on a post-apocalyptic Earth A.D. (After Disaster). The Earth has been ravaged by a mysterious calamity called the Great Disaster which wiped-out a substantial portion of the human population. A few isolated pockets of humanity survived in underground bunkers, while others quickly reverted to pre-technological savagery. Kamandi is the last survivor of the human outpost in the “Command D” bunker near what was once New York City. Raised by his elderly grandfather (Buddy Blank), 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.

Shortly before the Great Disaster, a scientist 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. By Kamandi’s time, the effects of Cortexin and the radiation unleashed by the Great Disaster itself had caused the animals to become humanoid and sentient, possessing the power of speech. The newly intelligent animal species, equipped with weapons and technology salvaged from the ruins of human civilization, began to struggle for territory.

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.

When Kamandi was sixteen-years-old, two members of the Wolf-Men tribe named Fen and Stek discovered Command-D and raided the compound. Buddy tried to protect his grandson, but was unable to survive the Wolf-Men’s brutal assault. Kamandi was now on his own. He soon found close allies in the form of a dog-man named Doctor Canus the canine scientist of Great Caesar (leader of the Tiger Empire) and three human mutants named Ben Boxer, Steve and Renzi. The four traveled across the ruins of New York fighting the Tiger Empire at every given turn. Fleeing from the tyranny of the Great Caesar, Kamandi and the others traveled the continent in their continuing crusade to rescue humanity from the bonds of slavery and extinction.

I think this is a great idea and hope this becomes a regular thing! I would love to see this concept applied to other characters in the DCU, how about you?

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