the return of xombi

Comic book heads, remember Xombi? He was a Korean American superhero, created by John Rozum and Denys Cowan, that was part of DC's people-of-color-friendly Milestone Comics line back in 1990s.

While the cult-favorite series, about a scientist-turned-undead, nanotechnology-enhanced supernatural being, was relatively short-lived, it was one of the few Asian American comic book superheroes I remember ever headlining his own book back in my own comic book shop-dwelling days.

So I was pleased to hear that DC recently relaunched Xombi, with original co-creator John Rozum at the helm, and immortal series hero David Kim front and center, back battling more supernatural/science oddities.

Here's a feature io9 did on Xombi last month, with nothing but words of praise for the new series, and an interview with Rozum on bringing back the title: The Return of Xombi, the 1990s Comic That Made Alan Moore Freak Out.
The idea of a comic that blends nanotechnology and mysticism is still just as weird as it was 15 years ago. Do you think people are finally ready for supernatural posthuman stories?

I certainly hope so. The world is certainly a strange place and almost daily there are little news items that are so bizarre that if someone made them up we'd find it too much for us to suspend our disbelief over.

No matter how weird the concepts, or content of Xombi, when it comes down to it it's really a story that everyone can relate to in some way. As we age our bodies start doing things we don't want them to, and stop doing things we do want them to. While it may seem like a dream come true to never have to worry about a decline in health, or aging, or even having to go the bathroom, David's body is doing some freaky stuff that he should be concerned about even if he isn't. This is a guy who if he's hurt can't let anyone touch him in case the nanites in his body use that other person as raw material to heal his wounds. How much of David Kim is actually David Kim and how much of it is these nanomachines? As the story progresses this is going to be an increasingly relevant question.

Aside from the body issues, it's also a story of someone who has been removed from his life and essentially placed in a new one and trying to find a place for himself in this new life while not letting go of where he came from. Most of us have been through this life transition at least once and we should be able to relate to David's difficulty with his own transition.
It sounds weird and awesome, and I'm looking forward to checking it out. Unfortunately, I hear that sales of the first issue weren't so hot, and according to Comic Book Resources, Xombi debuted at #171. That doesn't really bode well for the future of this title, but I do hope it has time to find an audience. Guess I should make my way over to the comic book store a little bit faster. (Thanks, Ryan.)

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