Marvel Ended 2021 with a Surprising Return and Starts 2022 with Another
Marvel‘s one-shot Timeless wrapped up 2021 with a tease of what’s to come in 2022. The comic teased the return of Marvelman/Miracleman to comics and it looks like the proper Marvel Universe. 2022 kicks off with another return in the pages of Darkhold: Omega.
Darkhold: Omega wraps up the miniseries that had heroes corrupted, led by Scarlet Witch, to take on Chthon. The event has been an interesting one, feeling slightly off due to its delays.
With the heroes facing Chthon, an energy ball forms with a character inside. The heroes attack the individual not knowing who he is and thinking they’re competition in defeating Chthon (they’re corrupted, roll with it). The mysterious character stops their attack by finds his energy spent and facing Chthon himself who attempts to cross over to Earth when he’s stopped by Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom.
One of the comic’s endings features Janet Van Dyne confronting the mystery character in Pennsylvania who has crossed over to Earth from Other-Realm.
Who’s the mysterious character?
Omega the Unknown!
Yes, over a decade on the sidelines the classic character is back and what that means is unknown (no pun intended).
Omega the Unknown debuted in March 1976 in Omega the Unknown #1. The character was created by Steve Gerber, Mary Skrenes, and Jim Mooney.
Omega is the last remaining member of an alien race and escapes to Earth. The comic also features James-Michael who has dreams and visions he shares with Omega. We find out James-Michael’s parents are robots after an accident where he wakes up later in a private hospital exhibiting a lack of emotion to those events. After being attacked Omega shows up to protect James-Michael and James-Michael eventually shoots bursts from his hands, something Omega has done as well. The series followed the mystery of James-Michael who is fostered by two young women in Hell’s Kitchen and Omega being a hero. What’s the connection between the two?
The series wrapped up after 10 issues leaving a lot of questions unanswered. They were sort of answered in two issues of The Defenders in 1979 written by Steven Grant.
In The Defenders, we learn that Omega and James-Michael are bio-engineered beings engineered by a mechanoid race called the Protars. The Protars decide to create an ideal race of humanoids when they foresee their extinction. At the end of The Defenders, James-Michael destroys himself and Omega is dead after being shot by police in his own series. Basically, the characters were written out of existence by a lot of death.
Last we saw the use of the character was a 2007 10-issue limited series by Jonathan Lethem and Farel Dalrymple that delivered a new take on the character.
In Darkhold: Omega, Omega is referred to as model X3Z, a reference to the previous run which teases what readers should be checking out, his 10-issue series and then the two issues of The Defenders. All of them are available on Marvel Unlimited.
It’s unknown exactly what happened to Omega that he wound up in Other-Realm and it’ll be interesting to see where Marvel takes this one. But, with the return and Miracleman and now this? 2022 is sure looking to be an intriguing year that celebrates and brings back some classics.