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Komak is a warrior who fought to attain a leadership role of his home world Talok III. The militaristic regime has its sights set on conquering Earth as a new colony in its expanding empire and an outpost on the moon was established to achieve this goal. Only the traitor Mikaal Tomas stands in the way. Tomas had been appointed the lead in the takeover operation but Tomas rebelled against the government and his world’s militant culture after his lover Lyysa was executed for her sympathy toward humans and her plans to sabotage the campaign.

The ruling council has charged Komak to eliminate the traitor. It’s a chance to redeem himself when another soldier failed and subsequently was killed by Komak’s “star power.” Rather than talking direct charge to engage Tomas himself, Komac directs a fighter from the mind slayer class to kill the defector. First Guardsman Turran Kha is unsuccessful in his attempt to kill Tomas. The council praises Komak for his brutal decisiveness in the first instance but his character could be seen at fault for twice choosing someone else who failed to do the job, but, to break the fourth wall, that’s what Gerry Conway’s plot called for.

Komak reappeared after years of comics limbo in the lead story in 2024s DC Pride anthology. Ewing’s plot and characterization is a very good example of how to flesh out an underused character and to make them more interesting in the span of a short story. Ewing references the original story while alluding to other fights between Komak and Mikaal. At the same time Ewing concisely elaborates on how Tradlavian people weren’t concerned about the sex or gender identity of other people they were sexually or romantically involved with. Rather their fixations were focused on to which faction a person belonged: Mind Council, culture warrior, Body Politic, or Might-Righter. Tradlavians have an intense emotional need to conquer or even kill people on this basis.

Rather than familiarity breeding contempt as the popular saying goes, these two last Tradlavians have a complex relationship thanks to the biological urge to fight each other from time to time. More than friends, lovers, and enemies as Ewing writes. Ewing uses Komak as a way to explore how both characters can sidestep that inherent emotional trait and evolve and in doing so, suggests the same applies to us and our fellow humans.

Aside from the strength and fighting skills one associates with a person built like a brick outhouse, Komak has a lens glove that creates semi solid light. A poor man’s power ring as Ewing describes it. Komak displayed a destructive vision based power in his first appearance. Sharp eyed fans of the Legion of Super Heroes will notice Komak and Tomas come from Talok III and catch the connection to Talok VIII which is the home planet of Shadow Lass who has the power to create total darkness and manipulate it as well as the adapt her vision for darkness.

Read Mikaal Tomas’ profile.

The first appearance of Komak is First Issue Special #12. According to the Grand Comics Database Komak’s next appearance is a very brief cameo dream sequence in Starman #48. Komak’s most recent appearance is in the Hello, Spaceboy story by Al Ewing and Stephen Byrne published in the DC Pride 2024 anthology.

Komak created by Gerry Conway and Mike Vosburg. Art by Stephen Byrne and Mike Vosburg and Mike Royer in the three panel sequence.

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June 28, 2024
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