It Is the 100th Birthday of Jack King Kirby, and DC is cranking out a bunch of Kirby-related one-shots Throughout the month of August to celebrate the Event. Even though it comprises some of the DC Universe’s bedrock, his Bronze Age perform for the provider isn’t as well-known or –regarded as his work at Marvel…where they’re observing the King by not even publishing the flagship title he co-created together with Stan Lee. Well! We can’t worry about the missteps and rudeness of the others, can we? We could worry just about our own home, so let’s see what is in my review of New Gods Special #1 !
So, full disclosure: Jack Kirby’s Fourth World stuff isn’t my favorite. I am aware that’s akin to pissing in the Holy Water in church, but it’s the reality. I love plenty of Jack Kirby comics, and there are parts of the eternal struggle between Highfather and Darkseid that I do like, but since you get in the nitty-gritty of the detailed Earth, the more it starts to feel as a six year-old kid’s fever dream. This comic is indeed an anthology, with one feature-length story by Shane Davis, then a shorter one by Walt Simonson, afterward a few Jack Kirby reprints. I am planning to do my very best to encapsulate each one.
The first story is about Orion, the son of Darkseid traded for Scott Free (aka Mr. Miracle) so as to secure a truce between New Genesis and Apokolips. Bug the Forager informs Highfather and Lightray, who in turn inform Orion that Darkseid’s son Kalibak is about New Genesis, firing up an energy pit that will turn the planet into an annex of Apokolips. He is enslaving the bug people to do this, however Orion is barely interested in that stage, more annoyed that Kalibak is trying to twist the deal and appeal to their own daddy behind everybody’s back. Orion goes berserk as well as turns Apokoliptan ugly whilst chasing down Kalibak, but finally catches up to him and licks his arm sickeningly! Kalibak entices Orion to kill him and claim his Darkseidian birthright, but Orion chills out and utilizes a Mother Box to turn himself handsome again, before Boom Tubing Kalibak back to Apokolips for his punishment. In the end, Orion’s happy for a fella out of New Genesis, in which, you know, lava is not spewing from pits and you don’t hear the wails of the tortured at all hours of the day and night.
Our second story is…also around Orion. It is actually Orion’s very first assignment for Highfather, to analyze an evil existence he felt coming out of the seas of Apokolips. So they are swimming about, and it turns out the evil presence is gigantic piranha creatures that they run away from via a Boom Tube? And that is it. There is a lot of dialogue referencing material from Kirby’s Fourth World, but on the face of it, this seems like a randomly-recorded occasion in the life span of Orion. Walt Simonson’s artwork seems pretty terrific, for certain.
The remainder of the book is a couple of back-ups from issues of Forever People, including Lonar, a personality that looks like a proto-Orion that never took off by himself. Most interesting part, to me, was when Lonar is sifting through a ruined city and finds what seems like Thor’s helmet. This joins Kirby’s Fourth World to his Third World, which could have been all the Asgard stuff at Marvel. I mean, seriously, that is it. There’s an amazing Kalibak pin-up, and a pretty terrific essay by one-time Jack Kirby helper and comics historian Mark Evanier. I believe I enjoyed that the majority of all.
Otherwise, this was a fairly crummy problem for five dollars. Both of the new stories were more fawning reminiscences of previously-released comics, and the back-ups were more vexing than interesting. This comic book is nothing to hate, it’s simply not particularly memorable nor does this make me wish we could get more. I mean, to continue the next story, just read Jack Kirby’s New Gods, I figure? If you can get your hands on these reprints, that’s. They go for a mint. Better that you read them on digital, which might be a better use of your time and cash.
New Gods Special #1 Review
“Orion of New Genesis”
Writer/Penciller: Shane Davis
Inker: Michelle Delecki
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterers: A Larger World’s Dave & Troy
“Teeth of the See”
Writing and Drawing: Walter Simonson
Coloring: Laura Martin
Lettering: John Workman
Cover: Davis, Delecki & Sinclair
Cover Price: $4.99
On Sale Date: August 2, 2017
Bits and Pieces:
If you love Jack Kirby’s Fourth World so much that you can brook unlimited reminiscences of those comics with no new being inserted, then you’ve found your comic. If you’re anything less than an expert on the subject, however, you should probably steer clear. The artwork is all of excellent quality but the stories are somewhat boring and confusing. And no amount of frenzied wikipedia-searching makes them interesting.
Score : 5.5/10