Today, DC released the sixth issue of The Kamandi Challenge, by Steve Orlando and Philip Tan, which picked up on the cliffhanger left behind by last month's creative team, Bill Willingham and Ivan Reis.
It was a...particularly gruesome cliffhanger, and arguably the most difficult one yet to figure out an easy "escape" from -- but Orlando and Tan did it, with a little help from research and bending the rules of science.
The concept of The Kamandi Challenge is that each incoming writer/artist team will leave a cliffhanger to be picked up by the previous team, "challenging" them to get the characters out of the mess they've put them in.
The series was conceived not only as a fun event series and a way to make the Kamandi property something that DC can use again, but as a celebration of the hundredth birthday of Jack Kirby, which will come later this year.
At the end of the fifth issue, Kamandi was lying on a table, his chest wide open as a mad scientist removed organs from the gaping cavity.
Orlando and Tan joined us to discuss three quick questions that we've been asking each successive creative team. You can see them below.
You can also check out both of the cliffhangers in question, in the attached image gallery.
What was your reaction to the cliffhanger you received?
Steve Orlando: Panic! I really thought Bill and Ivan might have done the impossible and stumped us. I really thought about doing a Bobby Ewing with the whole thing, a :
Kamandi wakes up from a terrible dream.
But that wouldn't have been fair. So instead I dug into the animal fact file, and found a way to get those giblets back into Kamandi's chest, body-horror be damned.
Philip Tan: I immediately thought, thank gawd it's up to Steve to solve it! But seriously, it was so ridiculous getting the cliffhanger where our hero is literally missing his insides... I was ready to give in to the solution done a million times before, let him die and let "comicbooks" bring him back to life... But alas, I have Steve, and he is a genius >;))
What did you pay forward to the next creative team?
Orlando: Hopefully an exciting challenge and a unique setting! Our city, the Bear Commune Mishkingrad, walks! It moves! It's a steampunk horror traipsing its way across the Tundra. We give them vistas and horizons that can be as much Eisenstein as they are Kirby.
Tan: I think for my side it was to make sure they won't have the same chance for a solution, or... They won't have anything to use at all in Kamandi's dangerous vicinity! That and to make sure the whole environment is against him! Again, Steve's a genius!
How have you been inspired by Kirby?
Orlando: King's endless creativity is the first thing that comes to mind, and his use of it in the face of real-life harrowing evil. Here is a man that was on the beaches, facing down fascism and hate, and didn't let what he saw weigh him down. It pushed him to create even more heroes for us, to remind us to be more than we are. King was a fount of ideas, of drive, that I hope I could even barely resemble, if I'm lucky.
Tan: Like a lot of artists from my generation, I was attracted mainly to the flashy elements of comic book art! Back then, what's more important to me was how many lines per square inch I can put down, and totally ignored the subtleties and craft of good comics storytelling. It was not until later on that I fully appreciate, and still continue to learn now, from Mr Kirby's works. It was beyond just making pretty visuals, it was energy, emotions and creativity that fuels his works! And as I finally understand that, I am still in the process of learning how to give what he gives his audience.0comments
MORE The Kamandi Challenge:
- Breaking Down the Issue 1 Cliffhangers With Dan Abnett
- Breaking Down the Issue 2 Cliffhangers With Tomasi & Adams
- Breaking Down the Issue 3 Cliffhangers With Palmiotti & Conner
- Breaking Down the Issue 4 Cliffhangers With Carlos D'Anda
- 5 Reasons To Look Forward To The Kamandi Challenge
The first six issues of The Kamandi Challenge are availble in comic book stores and online at ComiXology today.