RETRO REVIEW: Omega the Unknown (1978)
Did you get a chance to pick up Darkhold: Omega #1, available at your Local Comic Shop beginning today, Wednesday, January 5th, 2022? If so, you might have been slightly perplexed by the inclusion of a character called Omega the Unknown! This somewhat obscure Marvel Comics character first appeared in an eponymous ten-issue series that began in 1978.
Omega the Unknown
Omega the Unknown #1 by Steve Gerber, Mary Skrenes, Jim Mooney, John Costanza, and Petra Goldberg was first released in 1978. Set in the Marvel Comics universe (characters like Electro and Hulk play supporting roles), this story follows a twelve-year-old named James-Michael who discovers he has an inexplicable connection with a mostly-silent extraterrestrial superhero called Omega Man.
Over the course of the ten issues we got, James-Michael’s parents were killed and revealed to be robots (with his late mother’s head in the first issue providing an image that even influenced the art in Darkhold: Omega #1).
From there, James-Michael befriends a woman named Amber, who is a photographer for the Daily Bugle. In spite of J. Jonah Jameson’s sexist remarks, Amber’s photography career begins to progress over the course of the series.
But in the tenth issue, Omega is apparently shot to death by police in Las Vegas. What was the connection between James-Michael and Omega Man? We wouldn’t find out until Defenders #76 and 77 (but more on that soon, Marvel Blog True Believers).
Available on Marvel Unlimited
If you want to read all ten issues of the 1978 run of Omega the Unknown, they are available through the Marvel Unlimited app. There are also ten issues in the ten-issue 2007 retelling by Jonathan Lethem, Karl Rusnak, Farel Dalrymple, and Paul Hornschemeier, which you can also read on the app (but which is significantly less intertwined with Marvel Comics continuity).
Did you get a chance to read Darkhold: Omega #1? How about the ten issues in the original Omega the Unknown series? We want to hear from you, Marvel Blog True Believers! Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.