Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Jack Kirby and the Fourth World

If anyone has been wondering what I have been up to this past month... I have been visiting Jack Kirby's Fourth World! I have known about the war between New Genesis and Apokolips along with Darkseid's search for the Anti-Life Equation for many years. My first introduction to Darkseid was actually in X-Men/Teen Titans from 1982! Later, Darkseid and his minions became Superfriends villains on the Legendary Superpowers Show cartoon. Then the Fourth World was re-introduced to comics audiences with the reboot of Superman in 1986. Despite all of this background, I actually had never read Jack Kirby's original story lines from the 1970s. Over the past month I have been compiling and reading digital copies of Jack Kirby's complete original Fourth World saga! It has been a wonderful journey.

The Fourth World was a vast story line that Kirby brought with him to National Periodicals (DC Comics) back in 1970. He actually came up with the plot while working for Marvel Comics on the Thor back-up feature Tales of Asgard. Kirby envisioned a race of "New Gods" who appeared after the Old Gods had destroyed themselves in Ragnarok. Being disgruntled with his situation at Marvel comics, he sat on this story line and these characters until he jumped ship to DC in 1970.

The story actually begins in the pages of Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen and continues in three other titles -- The Forever People, The New Gods, and Mister Miracle. Legend has it that when Kirby arrived at National (DC) He was given his choice of any current title he wanted, so he told them to give him their worst selling title and he would make it their best seller and that's how he he ended up with Jimmy Olsen.

To decide what stories to include in this compilation, I consulted the reading order in the Omnibus edition that was recently released. I didn't keep this to purely Kirby as most would, I included the side stories from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane as well and also issue 152 of Jimmy Olsen that wraps up some of the Morgan Edge/Intergang story line.

I also included an interlude with Action Comics 544 because it shows the origins of the "new Lex Luthor" and "new Brainiac" and also the First Super Powers comic series seems to pick up right after the Luthor story in it.

Although Kirby left the story unfinished with the cancellation of the series with New Gods 11 in 1972, he came back in 1984 to do a conclusion for DC Graphic Novel 4 - The Hunger Dogs. But the story actually doesn't end there...

Kirby also did the comic tie in series for the Kenner Super Powers toy line which also includes his Fourth World characters and settings, the second series is actually set directly after and referenced the events from the Hunger Dogs graphic novel! Therefore, the first two super powers series are included in this line up!

Here is my reading order:
  • Story of Ragnarok from Tales of Asgard from Thor 127 and 128
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 133
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 134
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 135
  • Forever People 1
  • New Gods 1
  • Mister Miracle 1
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 136
  • Forever People 2
  • New Gods 2
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 137
  • Mister Miracle 2
  • Forever People 3
  • New Gods 3
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 138
  • Mister Miracle 3
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 139
  • Forever People 4
  • New Gods 4
  • Mister Miracle 4
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 141
  • Forever People 5
  • New Gods 5
  • Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane 115
  • Mister Miracle 5
  • Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane 116
  • Forever People 6
  • New Gods 6
  • Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane 117
  • Mister Miracle 6
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 145
  • Forever People 7
  • New Gods 7
  • Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane 119
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 146
  • Mister Miracle 7
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 147
  • Forever People 8
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 148
  • New Gods 8
  • Mister Miracle 8
  • Forever People 9
  • New Gods 9
  • Mister Miracle 9
  • Forever People 10
  • New Gods 10
  • Mister Miracle 10
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 152
  • Forever People 11
  • New Gods 11
  • Mister Miracle 11
  • Mister Miracle 12
  • Mister Miracle 13
  • Mister Miracle 14
  • Mister Miracle 15
  • Mister Miracle 16
  • Mister Miracle 17
  • Mister Miracle 18
  • Action Comics 544
  • Super Powers V.1 1
  • Super Powers V.1 2
  • Super Powers V.1 3
  • Super Powers V.1 4
  • Super Powers V.1 5
  • New Gods V.2 6 – second story
  • DC Graphic Novel 4: The Hunger Dogs
  • Super Powers V.2 1
  • Super Powers V.2 2
  • Super Powers V.2 3
  • Super Powers V.2 4



3 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for you visit! Jack Kirby was the King of comics that's for sure.

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  2. Kirby's art is iconic! He could do 5 to 6 full comic pages a day in his prime!

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