Omega the Unknown Classic

omega the unknown classic cover trade paperback
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Odd character with an odd story

Some uneven storytelling especially near the end of the series

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Omega the Unknown (Volume 1)/Defenders (Volume 1)

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Steve Gerber/Mary Skrenes/Steven Grant/Mark Gruenwald

Artist:  Jim Mooney/Herb Trimpe

# of Issues:  12

Release Date:  2005


Omega the Unknown (1) #1

Reprints Omega the Unknown (1) #1-10 and Defenders (1) #76-77 (March 1976-November 1979).  A boy named James-Michael Starling is having dreams of a strange being. He’s alien and mute. When James-Michael’s parents are revealed as robots in an accident that “kills” them, James-Michael is put in the care of a nurse and her friend in Hell’s Kitchen. When the being now known as Omega begins to appear in Hell’s Kitchen, James-Michael questions if he’ll find out his connection to Omega before it is too late.

Written by Steve Gerber, Mary Skrenes, Steven Grant, and Mark Gruenwald, Omega the Unknown Classic collects all of Omega’s appearances from his short lived series to the wrap-up issues in Defenders comics which came later. The collection features art by Jim Mooney and Herb Trimpe and though it had low sales initially, the series has gained a cult following through the years.

Omega the Unknown was a strange comic. It had classic Marvel characters with internal conflict, but also a strange mystery running throughout the series. Omega’s identity and his tie to James-Michael was explored through much of the issues. When the series abruptly ended with Omega’s death in Las Vegas in Omega the Unknown #10 (October 1977), readers had to wait until Defenders (1) #76 and 77 (October 1979-November 1979) to get the answers that the series had been promising. Written by Steven Grant, Steve Gerber allegedly didn’t like the ending, but it did at least give an ending to the enigma of the series.


Omega the Unknown (1) #2

One problem with Omega the Unknown is that it really didn’t have super-villains (or a hero for that matter) and when it did, it felt weird. Omega battled Electro, Blockbuster, a new Foolkiller (when Gerber added his character Richard Rory from Man-Thing to the series), Nitro, and had a run in with the Hulk. Omega met his end at the hands of police as he tried to capture Ruby Thursday…yep, Omega went out as a chump.

Omega the Unknown Classic is worth picking up to see a really odd series from the classic age of Marvel. The series’ popularity has continued and it became an integral part of Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude. Lethem would later go on to write a relaunch/retelling of Omega the Unknown in an Omega the Unknown ten issue limited series running from December 2007 to September 2008.

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Omega the Unknown

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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