Review: Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth #29

Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth #29 cover
Cover by Jack Kirby

Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth #29
Published and © by DC, May 1985

Title: “Mighty One!”
Synopsis: A group of intelligent apes who worship the memory of Superman wonder if Ben Boxer is the “Mighty One” returned. 

Writer (idea): Steve Sherman
Writer (script): Jack Kirby
Penciler: Kirby
Inker: D. Bruce Berry

Review: Mythology plays such a huge role in Jack Kirby’s oeuvre, from inspiring his creations to the role many of those creations now play in our society. That makes this Kamandi tale, which wrestles with a future culture’s mythmaking around the memory of Superman, fascinating. It’s the kind of concept later writers such as Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman could have built amazing work around. The King doesn’t reach those levels here, but there are plenty of nice touches and his story holds up well. Kirby’s art is also quite strong, on par with his other work from this era.

Grade: B+

Second opinion: Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: It’s pretty hard to go wrong with Jack “King” Kirby riffing on myth.
Not-so-cool factor: For all the other Superman references, not calling out Ben Boxer as a literal “man of steel” was a little odd.

Character quotable: “W-why you’re nothing but a fan! A hero-worshiping fan!.” – Ben Boxer, with a little meta commentary?

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Nov. 1, 2021.

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