Warning: SPOILERS for Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth! are ahead!
Up until last year, besides a few appearances in Batman: The Brave and the Bold (which can be streamed with an HBO Max subscription), Jack Kirby creation Kamandi has never appeared outside the comics. Thanks to the DC Showcase label though, the Earth A.D. continuity’s Last Boy on Earth now has a story to call his own, as Batman and no other major DC Comics superheroes share the spotlight with him. That being said, Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth! did include some major Superman references, and writer Paul Giacoppo shed light on how those were thrown into the animated short.
After originally being attached to the release of the animated DC movie Justice Society: World War II, Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth! is now included in the DC Showcase — Constantine: The House of Mystery compilation, alongside the title extended short, Blue Beetle and The Losers. During my conversation with Paul Giacoppo about his work on Kamandi, I inquired about why he highlighted Superman in the animated short, and the writer revealed that while the comic book story this short adapted also included a Superman reference, he came up with some ways to tweak how the Man of Steel factored into the narrative equation. In his words:
The events of the original “The Mighty One” unfolded in 1975’s Kamandi #29, with the super intelligent apes in that story initially believing that the cybernetic Ben Boxer could have been the reincarnated hero, revealed to be Superman. Within Paul Giacoppo’s adaptation, Kamandi (voiced by Gotham’s Cameron Monaghan), Ben, the tiger Prince Tuftan and various others are put through a series of trials by the gorilla cult led by Golgan in an effort to determine if any of them are the Mighty One in a new form. Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth! viewers only learn the Mighty One was Superman when Kamandi emerges victorious and opens a box given to him by Golgan, and inside is Superman’s cape. That’s the big tipoff that the apocalyptic reality where Kamandi fights for survival on a daily basis is the future of the original DC universe, at least as far as this short is concerned.
But the Superman cape wasn’t the only reference the the Kryptonian hero’s larger mythology included within Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth!. Paul Giacoppo also revealed a distinctive object that can be noticed towards the end of the short, but was originally intended to be a part of Kamandi’s trials. Giacoppo explained:
The Daily Planet is an integral element of Superman lore, and in most depictions, the newspaper’s headquarters is easily spotted in Metropolis by that distinctive globe atop the building. While it’s unclear how much time has passed in this DC Showcase short’s continuity between the original DC universe dying and the Earth A.D. reality coming into existence, thanks to documents and other information that survived, Kamandi knew about the Daily Planet, and thus realized what he went through took place within the building’s wreckage. It’s a shame the globe didn’t end up being used in the final version of the trials, but keep an eye out for it nonetheless the next time you’re watching Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth!.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s DC Showcase — Constantine: The House of Mystery compilation is available to buy on Blu-ray and Digital, and CinemaBlend will share more coverage on these animated shorts in the coming days. For now, you’re welcome to read about why Blue Beetle spotlighted other Charlton-era characters, the DC character who almost appeared in The Losers and how Constantine: The House of Mystery was inspired by Doctor Who.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.