Omega the Unknown

omega the unknown cover trade paperback tpb
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 9/10

Fun art, interesting story

Not a standard comic and has more of an independent feel than most Marvel titles

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Omega the Unknown

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Jonathan Lethem/Karl Rusnak

Artist:  Farel Dalrymple

# of Issues:  10

Release Date:  2008



Omega the Unknown (Limited Series) #7

Reprints Omega the Unknown (Limited Series) #1-10 (December 2007-September 2008).  Titus Alexander Island is raised and schooled by his parents, but suffers dreams of a man called Omega.  When Alexander’s parents are killed in an accident, Alexander finds they are robots.  Placed in the custody of a hospital worker and now finding himself in New York City, Alexander finds difficulty fitting in.  Alexander works to adjust to his new life, and the being called Omega finds himself in the city being hunted by the self-proclaimed superhero known as the Mink and others.  What is the connection between Alexander and Omega and what does it mean for the world?

Written by acclaimed author Jonathan Lethem with Karl Rusnak, Omega the Unknown is a limited series modern version of the cult ’70s Marvel comic of the same title.  The series received positive reviews and an Eisner nomination for Best Limited Series and Best Lettering and has been collected in a hardcover version.

Omega the Unknown is important to Jonathan Lethem and that helps this title.  In his award winning novel, The Fortress of Solitude, the characters often talk about the short lived comic and with such an obscure character, it is obvious that Lethem probably read and liked the comic as a kid.  That puts a lot of stock in the series since he is a fan and he’s going to treat the character correctly.


Omega the Unknown (Limited Series) #8

It is interesting to read this series side-by-side with the original series (which has also been collected as Omega the Unknown Classic) in that it does follow certain aspects of the original story.  Both series were ten issues and both series had the strange ties between the title character and the younger character (called James-Michael in the original series).  Here, Lethem gets the advantage of being able to finish the series when Gerber was forced to bring in other Marvel characters like Hulk and Electro and the questions were never answered (until much later in Defenders)…It is more of a self-contained story in Lethem’s version thought the final wordless Omega the Unknown #10 is a bit hard to follow at points.

The series as a whole is kind of “wacky”.  I don’t necessarily love that, and some of the basic storyline is difficult to understand.  Much like the original series, it is unclear how the reader is supposed to interpret the story.  Is it serious?  Is it a comedy?  I get a bit tired of the Mink part of the story and rather wish that they had stayed more focused on Alexander and Omega.

I also think that Farel Dalrymple’s art is very interesting.  The series has some great covers and fun interior art.  Dalrymple’s style can’t work with everything, but it works great here with the bizarre story.  He obviously has fun with the character and it is reflected in his art for the series.

Omega the Unknown isn’t for everyone.  Fans of the character must pick it up, but if you are just an X-Men, Spider-Man, Superman, or Batman type reader, you shouldn’t expect a real super-hero comic.  It feels like a very independent title and if it weren’t for the preexisting Marvel Comic, you wouldn’t know it wasn’t an independent experimental series…Omega the Unknown was an oddity in the ’70s and remains an oddity today.

Related Links:

Omega the Unknown Classic

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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