Dec 11, 2012

The Last Boy on Earth: Kamandi and his buddy Ben

In 1972, Marvel began to publish two comic book series about gay-vague teenage boys: Werewolf by Night, about a teenage werewolf, and Kamandi, about the last human boy on Earth.

An attempt to capitalize on the popularity of The Planet of the Apes franchise (1968, 1970, 1971, 1972), it is set an a post-Apocalyptic world where sentient animals rule (everything from apes to rats), and humans are extinct.

Except for Kamandi, the last of the human survivors bunkered in Command-D (thus his name), who is raised by his elderly grandfather and emerges into chaos, hunted for sport, imprisoned in a zoo, experimented on by scientists who want to know how a human could be sentient.

Though described as "a boy" and "a tyke," Kamadi is drawn as an extremely muscular teenage with long blond hippie-hair, naked except for tight cut-off jeans.

He is captured a lot, muscles taught and struggling.  Or he fights with high kicks that display his bulging pecs and 8-pack abs almost as well.

Just as the werewolf, Jack Russell, had a middle-aged boyfriend, Kamandi soon meets other humans (he's the last boy on Earth, not the last man). He is rescued by Ben Boxer, leader of an underground human-resistance movement, and his colleagues, Steve and Renzi, who are not shy about physical displays of affection.

For the next 30 issues, Ben and Kamandi fight together, rescue each other, search the ruined cities for each other.  Kamandi occasionally meets girls, momentary dalliances that mean nothing.  And there is no question for Ben: he has eyes only for the blond muscle god.

See also: Jim Steranko; and DC Comics Muscle.

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