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Omega The Unknown #2: Review

May 1976
Steve Gerber, Jim Mooney

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Welcome to Hells Kitchen!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Omega The Unknown #2 Review by (November 14, 2023)

Review: So, having resisted the impulse to throw Spider-Man into issue #1 to attract readers as was standard practice in that era (check out HOWARD THE DUCK #1), they trot out Hulk for issue #2. The chief purpose of that encounter, aside from getting people to buy the comic, is to demonstrate Omega’s relative strength and he comes out well, though the fight is brief. Omega’s inner monologue is quite interesting as he tries to comprehend this brave new world and his own fitness to inhabit it. And what he is thinking, James-Michael is asking and we get some different answers with a humorous edge, thanks to the cool and snarky Amber Grant. And by now we have the general idea of the series so we can let it play out as the scenes change with the next issue.

Comments: “Conceived and written by Steve Gerber and Mary Skrenes.” Page one lettered by Gaspar Saladino. Only appearance of Hulk in this series; he is coming from DEFENDERS #35 and on leaving returns to DEFENDERS #36. First appearance of Gramps. The narrator refers to Ruth’s friend in jail; this is Richard Rory from MAN-THING; he will arrive here in issue #8. According to GCD, Hulk’s and Banner’s faces were altered by Marie Severin. Issue includes an interview with co-writer Mary Skrenes. 


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Omega The Unknown #2 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Dr. Thomas Barrow continues to examine James-Michael Starling but is still unable to penetrate the reserve of this boy who seems to have no emotions, not even about his parents who died. But Barrow continues to take a proprietary interest in JMS….

As Omega the Unknown carries off the damaged robot assassin he fought, Electro appears, zaps the hero with a bolt of electricity, and steals the robot for his own purposes….

The next afternoon, James-Michael is discharged from the clinic and goes home with Amber Grant and Ruth Hart to their apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. JMS is a bit confused by the dismal neighborhood, enlivened by Amber’s sarcastic commentary on catcallers, beggars, and human excrement in the hallways. Inside the apartment, he encounters cockroaches, cramped quarters, and bars on the windows, all confusing to him. And when Ruth sprays insecticide on a roach, his chief concern is the ozone layer….

Seeking a change of clothing for disguise that night, Omega breaks into a pawnshop and interrupts three thieves already in the shop. He subdues them but is shot in the shoulder…and at that moment, James-Michael feels the pain of the gunshot and is shocked awake and confused. Back at the pawnshop, Gramps, the pawnbroker, holds the robbers at bay with a shotgun, telling Omega to hide in the back while the police are there. After the police have gone, Gramps dresses Omega’s wound and offers him a job….

The next day, Amber takes James-Michael to a soda shop to taste his first egg cream. A trio of punks harass a shirtless man lying in the street; he warns them of trouble but they don’t listen. And then he turns into the Hulk and starts smashing them. Omega, in street clothes, challenges Hulk who throws a newsstand at him, tearing his togs and exposing his hero suit. As the two mix it up, Amber takes photos. Omega drops a load of cars on Hulk, slowing him down for about two seconds. And then Electro appears, zaps the two super-combatants, and makes off with Omega. Meanwhile, in the soda shop, James-Michael has collapsed and gone into shock….

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Jim Mooney
Jim Mooney
Phil Rachelson
Rich Buckler (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Irv Watanabe.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)

(Max Dillon)

(Bruce Banner)

Plus: Amber Grant (Amber Douglas), Ruth Hart.

> Omega The Unknown: Book info and issue index

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