The Crusty Curmudgeon’s Comic Classics

Hey Pronto Fans, welcome to our new bi-weeky column, The Crusty Curmudgeon’s Comic Classics, written by David Torsiello. David focuses on titles that are largely forgotten today, though their influences can often by felt in modern issues. Here’s Part I of David’s first post, about the oddball 1976 Marvel comic, Omega the Unknown.

Omega the Unknown: Greatest Comic Book Ever?

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What was the best comic book ever? Ask ten people and you could get as many answers. Usually, though, the debate boils down to a just a few possibilities: Watchmen. Dark Knight Returns. Maybe Ghost World or Love and Rockets if you’re of a more alt-comix bent. Sandman. Maus.

I’m probably the only guy you’re ever going to meet who would make a case for the 1976 Marvel title, Omega the Unknown.

At the very least, Omega was a comic that was ahead of its time. Maddening inscrutability was its hallmark nearly fifteen years before Twin Peaks and almost thirty before Lost. The strip features a twelve-year-old kid with a most uncommon intellect and an even more uncommon personality, to go along with a title character that does not utter a single word until the fourth issue—and even then it’s just a single word (“Why?”). He won’t speak again after that until the seventh issue, where we get a whopping four words out of him (“secret” and “I am sorry”). Not only does the guy not speak, he doesn’t even get thought balloons. Not one; not ever. Intrigued yet?