New comic book to feature Toledo ZooWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In a surreal example of fact-meets-fiction, the Toledo Zoo will be the setting of O.M.A.C. No. 7, a comic book published by DC Comics and available for sale beginning March 7. This marks the first time since 1941’s All-Star Comics No. 4 that the Glass City will be prominently featured in a mainstream superhero comic. O.M.A.C. is written by DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio and is drawn by veteran artist Keith Giffen.
This issue’s story has Kevin Kho, the book’s reluctant hero, trapped in the Toledo Zoo while on the run from enemy agents of a mysterious organization. Normally, Kevin can transform into a hulking super-human called O.M.A.C., thanks to a sentient orbiting satellite, but finds he can’t change while at the Zoo. There he discovers talking animals and an evil “warden” who conducts illicit experiments on the beasts. As one might expect with such strong plot elements, the real keepers of the Toledo Zoo were reportedly not contacted about the story before publication.
DiDio has said that he and Giffen like to utilize real-world settings among the fantasy environment of O.M.A.C., to keep the book grounded in reality while presenting its science fiction ideas. When they planned for their character to be on the run in this part of the country, they looked at the map and decided Toledo and its zoo would suit their fictional purposes. He’s also reported that one of the animal characters in the tale was inspired by a real-life Toledo fan of the publication.
O.M.A.C. is an updated version of a comic with the same title originally published in 1974, and created by the legendary Jack Kirby. Ironically, the current O.M.A.C. is being canceled next month after its eighth issue, the same number of issues that the original book saw print before its cancellation. Kirby’s title stood for “One Man Army Corps” but the current comic has not yet revealed the meaning behind its acronym. Its main character, though, will continue to see action in another DC title, “Justice League International.”