Monday, August 22, 2011


Again, we step into the shoes of the King, but given we've hit up the agents of The Red and The Green, it makes sense to complete the trilogy and feature The Grey.

So what is The Grey? I've been dancing around it for a couple of weeks now, but simply put, it's a young morphogenic field that has come into existence around the Earth, focusing on artificial life. So think along the lines of AIs, machine-based lifeforms, and so on - things that would not be considered alive by any conventional sense, but certainly exhibit all the signs of sentience. So why are the children of The Grey different from The Red and Green? Well, Greyfolks are built and made, not evolved, for one. There is no internal mutation factor that causes variations of progeny that allows the species to advance and adapt. Instead, any advancement would be entirely by design (literally) and would not necessarily be limited to progeny - an artificial intelligence could decide to upgrade itself, after all.

The Grey came into being as a real force on the planet around the same time Brainiac showed up. His inherit processing power was the huge, huge straw that broke that camel's back, flaring The Grey to life. And now that The Grey exists, it wants to continue to exist. One of the ways it will do this will be by stealing a page from The Red and Green's playbook and creating its own champions.

There are several obvious candidates for championhood already out there in the Drewniverse. Metallo and Brainiac, for example. Except that the latter, ain't from around here and the former pre-dates the Grey's big leap forward. No, the Grey needs a Swamp Thing like agent, one who is wholly a made thing, one that has a vested interest in the further development of Earth's Grey. Brainiac, even though he's the most technologically advanced thing running around on the planet nine times out of ten, wouldn't do that - he'd move on pretty soon after finishing his cataloging work. So who would The Grey turn to?

Well, this post's title should be a dead giveaway.

Brother Eye, of course.

See, Buddy Blank and whatever it is OMAC stands for this week (We'll be going with Orthogonal Machine Advance Construct) are simply the special effect of Brother Eye's superpowers. Basically, the Brother Eye satellite has the superpower to make superheroes. Think of it like that one Silver Age Superman where he's shooting mini-Supermen from his fingertips. Buddy is no more the empowered actor in this than one of Green Arrow's arrows - he's aimed at a target, pulled back, and let go. Now, he might be a pretty powerful and rather valuable arrow, but he's just a means to an end regardless.

Our OMAC could be anyone - the person in question simply needs to be 1) infected with the NanoVeyerus and 2) zapped from space by Brother Eye. The beam energizes the Veyerus to create super-abilities (strength, durability, energy manipulation, all that good stuff) and then overlays an operational mechanical active consciousness over the host, and foom, OMAC is good to go.

The limiting factor here is, of course the number of people infected with the Veyerus. As of Issue #1 of O.M.A.C. (#48/52) there are only two people on the planet so infected - Buddy Blank and Superboy. Superboy is, of course, off the table. Brother Eye does not want to tip its laser hand that it could possibly control one of the most powerful individuals on the planet. So instead, it focuses its will on Buddy Blank, who as you might imagine, is a clone. Brother Eye assisted with LexCorp's cloning programs and is responsible for much of the computational heavy lifting that was required to to make Superboy (You could see what happened without that help in Bizarro - Power Girl's Atlantean heritage did the heavy lifting in her case). In return for that help, Brother Eye was given a clone of its own.

That the clone in question is a bit of a buffoon doesn't bother Brother Eye too much. It doesn't care about the meaty center. What it does care about is establishing a good working relationship with humanity. Given Eye's history in DC Comics, this might seem a bit weird, but as the champion of a very young field, Brother Eye needs to get all the allies it can. Otherwise, what's to stop The Red from twigging Animal Man or Vixen onto the "danger in space" or The Green from having Floronic Man take over Cape Canaveral and then launch a rocket at Brother Eye's satellite? The Grey is aware it can't just take over and turn everyone into robots - remember it's the individual competition under the same banner that gives each of Earth's fields its developed nature - and so Brother Eye is keenly aware of the fine line it walks. It can't just take over, but it can "barter" with humanity, giving the humans technological advances in return for things it wants. The fact that the humans would then turn around and use those advances to create more denizens of The Grey, well, huh... how 'bout that?

This explains why Buddy Blank is working with the United States Army. He's part of the same military-industrial complex that Captain Atom and Major Damage are. Unlike Atom, Buddy doesn't make public appearances, and unlike Damage, he doesn't do wetwork. Instead, he's more of an agent for the government when it comes to rooting out and dealing with extraterrestrial presences in America. We'll team goofy Buddy Blank up with a no-nonsense, hard-nosed asskicker of a partner named Billie Vickers. She and Buddy travel the American heartland following rumors of UFO sightings, weird happenings, and other X-Files situations. When they encounter something, let's say it's an outbreak of the Hollow Men for the first issue, Agent Vickers will need to get on her phone and place a call to Brother Eye in order for OMAC to be unleashed.

This being a Kirby-comic, action will have prime of place in O.M.A.C.. We want big, improbable aliens krackling their way into America only to get pounded by OMAC. This is not to say that there won't be an over-arching story, just that if any two pages go by without an explosion, the third page better be cataclysmic. 

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