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Old 02-23-2018, 09:51 AM
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Default Donít Ask JUST BUY IT! Talking about Jack Kirbyís Fourth World

Hi! Iím Octo!

Not too long ago in the DC thread, Estragon and I both wound up starting to read Jack Kirbyís Fourth World Omnibus (well, heís started, I havenít cracked my copy open yet but I am going to soon), which naturally lead to discussion about the Fourth World because, frankly, that may well be the best thing that Jack Kirby ever produced. And since Jack Kirby is Jack Kirby, that is some LOFTY praise. And then I realized that the discussion has some meat on its bones. So why not make a dedicated thread just for it?

Besides, I like dedicated, community reading threads like this.

Anyway, I may have the details a bit wrong, but the genesis of the story is that Jack wound up quitting Marvel due to not being allowed to write the stories he wanted to in the comic he was basically working solo on (Thor) and being denied any input on a solo series for another character he was personally invested in (Silver Surfer), got fed up and left. In fairness, that Surfer solo series was awful, especially considering Jacks work on it. I donít blame him for his reaction.

Not long after, DC realized that they could hire the guy who was almost singlehandedly responsible for their inability to dominate the comics industry, so they lured him over with the promise that heíd have cart Blanche to do whatever he wanted. Give or take a few things that they wanted. And also he wasnít allowed to draw Superman. Which lead to The Fourth World, a biblical epic space opera that got its start in the wildest dang Jimmy Olsen storyline ever. And considering how that guy canít go a long weekend without getting adopted by his best friend, or married to a gorilla, or turned into a 50-foot turtle-man, thatís saying something.

Anyway, thatís all I have to say for right now. However I have intensely whet my appetite for cracking that gigantic omnibus open and letting sheer bombast wash over me like a refreshing spring rain.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:22 AM
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I read and gave away volume 1 years ago. Not because I wanted to, but because the only time I am not a terrible packrat for comics is when I am travelling. And I often travel with really good comics. So I often give away REALLY GOOD comics. To friends, if I can help it. I loved it and even started to write a sprawling critique on the themes and why I loved it so much. But I didn't have anywhere to post it (this was pre-talking time for me) so I was kind of bummed.

I wish I still had it. It probably wasn't as well-written as I'd like (I always feel I'm more articulate in my brain then when the words actually come out and I out myself as Basic AF) but it was certainly heartfelt. It's both Octo-Good but also has a lot to say. I really believe that. It is a book all about how Jack Kirby loves young people. Not in a gross way. Most of the books are about teens and kids (Jimmy Olsen, the Forever People) or the next generation (New Gods, Mister Miracle) battling societal ills in the form of ridiculous super-villains.

Mantis is energy and resource overconsumption. Glorious Godfrey is propaganda and fanaticism. Baron Bedlam is paranoia and throwing the masses into chaos.

I really wish I read the thing in its entirety, but I read at least the first three issues of each series, I think, and they are all awesome and crazy. I hear it never ends until the not-so-good "Hunger Dogs", which is a shame, because it looks kind of brilliant.

Though it is not Fourth World related, I do have a copy of OMAC sitting on my read pile. I'll probably getting to that soon.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:00 AM
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Itís not written by Kirby (and, indeed, was written, like, twenty years after his death), but Iíd say that Walter Simonsons Orion solo series is a fitting conclusion to the Fourth World Saga; keeps all the themes intact, uses a lot of the plot elements Jack set up, and manages to nail the whole ďthis story will never endĒ thing that Jack was shooting for pretty nicely (how do you follow up a battle against a lovecraftian Nightmare that exists as he opposite of God? By having Orion fight Gangsters!).

Itís not quite as good of a Kirby follow-up as his Thor run, but itís still a damn good chunk of comic.
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:12 PM
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First issue to kick off this whole brouhaha is, as noted, an issue of Supermans (ex)Pal Jimmy Olsen, with The Newsboy Legion. Which opens with Jimmy receiving a special assignment from the Daily Planets new Editor in Chief (and obvious secret villain) Morgan Edge, who wants him to investigate the mysterious Wild Area, a counter-culture sanctuary whose residents kill anyone over the age of 25 on sight.

Clark Kent is obviously concerned for the wellbeing of his friend on such a dangerous assignment and expresses that concern to Morgan. Morgan assures him that there's nothing to worry about, but he also calls up Intergang and has a hit put out on Clark so he doesn't interfere with Jimmys investigation. Just in case it wasn't incredibly obvious that he's actually evil.

As for the investigation, Jimmy gets help from The Newsboy Legion, made up of the sons of the original Newsboy Legion, which I infer to be a long-forgotten comic book property from the 40s; made up of Gabby Jr. (Talks a lot), Big-Words (smart guy), Scrapper Jr. (Ben Grimm, if he was a newsie), Flipper-Dipper (scuba diver) and Tommy (He's Tommy!), who have built a specialized, flying super car called The Whiz Wagon (looks, for all the world, like a cross between The Fantasticar and the Vic Viper) at Morgan Edges expense to investigate the Wild Area.

As soon as the Legion (plus Jimmy) arrive in the Wild Area, they're attacked by Mad Max-esque bikers, whom Jimmy dispatches with a punch, which makes him the new leader of the biker gang called The Outsiders, as they respect him for knocking out their leader with one punch.

Back in Metropolis, Clark Kent survives the assassination attempt (secretly, he is Superman) and is growing suspicious that Morgan Edge isn't on the up and up, so he suits up and follows Jimmys trail to the Wild Area. If anything, Supermans welcome is even worse than Jimmys, and every one of the Outsiders immediately tries to kill him with machine guns and poison gas. All of these attempts work exactly as well as you might expect, expat for a Kryptonite Laser, which manages to knock him out cold.

When Superman wakes up, Jimmy offers a sorry-not-sorry apology about shooting his best friend with a radioactive death ray, and then explains what his actual assignment is; Morgan Edge didn't give a dang about the Outsiders living in the Wild Area, he was sent to investigate what's inside the Mountain of Judgement deep within the Zoomway at the heart of the Wild Area. Nobody really understands what that sentence means, except for one of the Outsiders who immediately freaks out screaming that the Mountain of Judgement isn't a place. And then the Wild Area undergoes an earthquake because the Mountain of Judgement, whatever it is, has just woken up.

That's a hell of an intro to the series. Even ignoring the cliffhanger there's a lot of pieces introduced in just the first issue to start keeping track of and plenty of mysteries yet to be answered. Still getting things geared up before the Fouth World really gets cooking, but it's off to a really strong start, especially given how Jimmy Olsen comics usually go.

Only sticking point is that it's really distracting lay obvious that Jack isn't the guy drawing Superman. He looks so wildly off model compared to everyone and everything around him.
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:43 PM
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Back to the subject of the Fourth World being pro-young people, the Fourth World gets to have its cake and eat it too with made up countercultures. Portrayals of hippies in comics have... not been the been. Interestingly, Joe Simon tried also to do two "pro-youth" that are extremely Octo-Good: Brother Power, the Geek and Prez, the First Teenage President. Joe obviously didn't have a handle on the youth culture, and comes across as wonderfully silly but also out-of-touch. I think Jack knew better than to try to pretend to be "with it" and just made his own stuff up and made it a part of his crazy-ass mythos.

I love that the first taste we get off this is a noble but savage biker gang that lives in the Ewok village, only with bike paths. Which, I think, is the craziest thing ever to just be OUTSIDE OF METROPOLIS! I mean, if memory serves, that's where it is, right? Also, DC, why not just have the Wild Area again. I feel like it would add a lot to Metropolis and help make it more interesting than just "big city with Superman in it".
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:50 PM
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Since a flying car is required to reach it, and since there aren't any maps of it, I kind of assumed that the Wild Area is on an island.

How the Outsiders got there on bikes, I couldn't guess.
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:14 PM
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My understanding is, Kirby was always technically allowed to draw Superman, it's just DC always had someone like Curt Swan draw over it before it saw print, to preserve the house style.
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:30 PM
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I think it weirdly kind of works that Superman (and Jimmy Olsen!) are obviously not drawn by Kirby, because it emphasizes the weirdness of everything else. They are also in the position of being outsiders stumbling into strange new Kirby beings/inventions, so I'm okay with them being visually distinct as well. It works as a visual metaphor, even if it started as a dumb branding decision.

It's also funny that Superman is there to get jobbed in early Jimmy Olsen and then later at the start Forever People to emphasize what a big deal Kirby's new stuff is.

I do think it's weird that they also wanted someone to redraw Jimmy Olsen. Superman is iconic, I get the brand management there. But why did this brand management extend to being so protective of Jimmy Olsen? It's not like Jack Kirby was some unknown . . .
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Old 02-24-2018, 04:52 AM
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Jimmy, at least, is usually wearing a Kirby-esque jump suit and headgear, so he doesnít stand out nearly as badly as Superman does.

Also, forgot to mention but the gangleader that Jimmy knocked out is definitely Kang the Conqueror. I donít think thatís a reference to his old job, so much as there are only so many ways you can draw a guy with a metal face and coveralls.
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Old 02-24-2018, 05:22 AM
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Some Marvel designs appeared in monster books before appearing on much more iconic characters



I know there are other examples, but unfortunately, I can't think of any.
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Old 02-24-2018, 04:17 PM
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Had a big meal today and that means I had time to read two issues of Supermans (ex) Pal: Jimmy Olsen, starting with The Mountain of Judgement! Which picks up right where the last one left off; with Jimmy leading the Outsiders to the mysterious Zoomway that leads to the Mountain of Judgement ("The Howling White Whale!" declares one of the Outsiders). Superman, again, tries to talk everyone out of traveling to the Mountain because they will 100% certainly die if they attempt to reach it. And the Outsiders respond, once again, by ineffectually trying to kill him, then remembering that Kryptonite exists, and then chucks some of that at him instead. Then Jimmy and the Outsiders leave before Superman convalesces.

Along the way, one of the Outsiders explains that, as a drop-out biker gang made of Mad Max villains, they naturally didn't have the technical know-how to build all the lasers and missiles, and rocket-cars and Ewok cities that have been showing up, those all came from a group they reverently call The Hairies, who left all these mechanical wonders to the faithful and then disappeared. And before long they reach The Zoomway.

And learn that Superman was right to be cautious because the Zoomway is absurdly deadly. It's a combination of race track and obstacle course (think; the Turbo Tunnel from Battletoads, if the obstacles were much more varied than mere walls). And while Jimmy and the Newsboys were able to get through the track thanks to the Whiz Wagon, the Outsiders weren't nearly so lucky and most wrecked and/or died in transit.

Superman recovers, around then, and hastily flies to the Zoomway just in time to save the Whiz Wagon who have gotten past all the obstacles and faced the Mountain of Judgement itself; which it turns out is an absurdly huge mobile science lab, customized to look like a giant snarling demon. Luckily, the people piloting the Mountain (the aforementioned Hairies) knew Superman, and had no particular desire to run him or his friends over.

Furthermore, it turns out that the Whiz Wagon secretly had an Alpha Bomb hidden inside it designed to blow the Mountain of Judgement apart. Superman defuses the bomb (by... err... holding it tightly while it explodes) and together with the leader of the Hairies and Jimmy, they realize that Morgan Edge is an evil mastermind who is attempting some sinister plot!

Except that we then see Morgan in his office, sheepishly calling his superior to apologize for his grave failure, and then being reprimanded... in the first appearance of Darkseid! And even the narration box stops to say "Okay, seriously... Pay attention to this Darkseid guy, he's going places."

And that was a fun issue. Light in plot, but heavy in action, lots of Kirbys stylistic touches for handling big impressive setpiece sections (including one of those pop-art dioramas he uses to depict something inconceivable that I love) and the debut of one of, if not the, biggest comic villains ever. Not bad for a second issue.

And The Evil Factory is where things become BUGNUTS!

It begins in the titular Evil Factory (one of the best concepts Kirby came up with, and I am legitimately surprised it never came up again), where two masked scientists are handling fist-fulls of tiny, tiny clones of Superman, Jimmy Olsen and the Newsboy Legion, and expositing that their mastery over DNA molecules allow them to create bespoke creatures for any task they need to, then remove their masks to reveal that they are mad scientists from Apokalips, Dr. Simyan and Mokkari (so called as they resemble an ape, and created mockeries of nature, respectively). Furthermore, they are enaring the completion of their ultimate creation, designed to oppose and destroy Superman. They also ring up Darkseid to brag of their success and hope that he rewards them for their tireless efforts in creating monsters.

Darkseid responds by offering up a little speech about how much respect he has for evil ("And what of the power of the opposite? A horrible death eclipses a life. A great lie can destroy the truth. And the response to Superman is what you have created; an organic murder machine") and then criticizes Mokkari and Simyan because a mindless killer as powerful as the thing they've created is impossible to control and thus worthless. Darkseid only cares about control.

Meanwhile, back at the Mountain of Judgement, Superman receives word that something terrible has happened, and wrangles up Jimmy and the Newsboys as it involves them too. Turns out that the Mountain was actually just another line of defense for the mysterious PROJECT (later called Cadmus. If you've seen/read anything from the DCU made in the past 15 years, you've heard that name), and PROJECT has had a a series of break-ins lately that has resulted in the loss of quite a bit of material.

This is a problem as the PROJECTs main goal is to perfect the study and manipulation of human DNA. And they've got a pretty darn good handle on that as, as it turns out, all the security staff in the Project is made up of clones of Jimmy Olsen! And there are also hundreds of microscopics clones of Jimmy Olsen wearing microscopic short pants, who are all dead, and which Superman keeps in a little drawer.

Oh, also the original Newsboy Legion from the 40s is also present in the base, working as the bases administration and support staff, and they've also cloned a golden age superhero The Manhattan Guardian back to life to act as head of security. But, frankly, that is way less shocking than the fact that Superman stole Jimmys DNA and cloned hundreds of tiny underpants-clad copies of his friend, whose corpses he keeps in a file cabinet.

THAT IS SO MUCH WORSE THAN FORCING JIMMY TO MARRY A GORILLA, CLARK! WHAT THE HELL?!?!?

Anyway, back at the Evil Factory, Darkseids worries wound up being justified, as the Organic Murder Machine wound up waking up prematurely and broke out of its holding pen, and began wrecking the place, forcing Mokkari and Simyan to use a matter teleporter to send it to the PROJECT base instead, unintentionally revealing themselves as the culprits in the thefts that brought Superman over.

Unfortunately, the Organic Murder Machine is extremely good at the job he was created to do, and he winds up nearly killing Superman immediately as, besides being freakishly strong, every cell in its body exudes Kryptonite radiation. Additionally, it, too, is a clone of Jimmy Olsen in short pants. Only the freshly cloned Manhattan Guardian stands against the monster.

Which is a match-up we're going to have to wait to see the end of because the next couple issues are for other, non-Jimmy Olsen books.
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:58 PM
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I totally forgot about the Jimmy army. BTW, now I really wish I still had the Fourth World Omnibus to provide you with some great picks from each issue.
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:35 AM
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Considering how a big part of the story so far has been about how Jimmy is growing resentful to a superman for barging into his life and not trusting him with important information, you'd kind of think he'd react more strongly to finding out Superman helped steal his DNA to make an army of clones without Jimmys knowledge or consent.

Then again, as soon as he found out he was understandably shocked, and then attacked by a Hulk-like clone made by space monsters suddenly appearing in the room. I'd have a hard time focusing on things too.
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:43 AM
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I neglected to find an image of it, but the cover to The Evil Factory is sublime, incidentally.

It is a deeply Jimmy Olsen comic cover.
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:14 PM
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Kicking off The Forever People with In Search of a Dream. Forever People is also the one big gap in my Fourth World knowledge. My only exposure to them was in the one episode of Young Justice they showed up in, and all I know about the book is that it's generally regarded as the lesser of the Fourth World series, though it has extremely good villains (including my favorite New God, Glorious Godfrey).

But none of that now, this is all about bringing in the Forever People themselves; who appear in Metropolis via a Boom Tube (which, for its first appearance, warrants two solid pages worth of onomatopoeia and Kirby Grandeur), and riding a futuristic vehicle; The Super Cycle. And we're also introduced to the Forever People themselves, though they don;'t get much characterization in their debut issue; Big Bear is loud and excitable, Serephen is a telepathic cowboy, Vykin the Black is... black, and Moonracer is also a member of the team. And after they appear and nearly drive a pair of teenagers off the road in fright (saving them with the power of the living computer called The Mother Box), they announce that they traveled to earth from Supertown in pursuit of the fifth member of their band Beautiful Dreamer, who is being held captive by Darkseid somewhere near Metropolis.

Meanwhile, back at the Daily Planet, Clark Kent is feeling glum after conducting an interview with Rocky Balboa (!?!?) when he realizes (all of a sudden) that as he is a man with super powers, he simply can't relate to an average man, like Rocky Balboa and is all alone with no one he can really consider a peer. Superman apparently forgot about, like, any of the people he hangs out with at his other job. And also forgot about the reason he has a mild-mannered reporter as an alternate identity.

Just then Jimmy Olsen (this story must take place just before the whole Wild Area thing) and reveals he just got a scoop about these wild space teens from a place called Supertown, and Superman decides, then and there, that there's nothing in the world more important to him than moving to a town that sounds like it's full of super powered people, and he flies off in pursuit of the FOrever People, unfortunately grabbing the attention of Intergang, and their (currently nameless) leader Bruno "Ugly" Manheim, who answer to Darkseid directly, and who has gifted them with weapons of otherworldly power.

The Forever People decide to trust Superman immediately once they see that Intergang is trying to kill him and that Superman is strong enough to withstand Apokoliptic weapons, and agree to take him to Supertown once they finish saving Beautiful Dreamer. Luckily, between the technology of the Mother Box, and Supermans abilities, they're able to find the bunker where Dreamer is being held captive. Unluckily, the bunker is protected by lethal Radion Gas (a poison potent enough to kill a God) and also Graviguards; alien monsters adapted to life in gravity fields thousands of times stronger than Earths.

Things look dire until the Forever People use the power of the Mother Box to combine into one; Infinity Man (or possibly Infinity Man is a another guy who appears in exchange for the Forever People, it's kind of vague) and Infinity Mans vague, but enormous power is enough to beat all the Graviguards, and also call Darkseid out of hiding, and admonish him for kidnapping Beautiful Dreamer and trying to use her unique brain chemistry to unravel something called The Anti-Life Equation.

Darkseid is happy to relinquish Dreamer as, while her brain is capable of understanding the Anti-Life Equation, it's also impossible for him to use any of his machinery to extract that information from her, and there's no point to using her as a captive any more, and departs for Apokolips. Darkseid also boasts a pretty different design than usual in this book. Honestly, I'm a bit disappointed it didn't stick around longer; dude looks good in a cape and long pants.

Anyway, true to their word, the Forever People open a Boomtube to Supertown for Superman to visit, which he almost does. But he reconsiders when he realizes that this Darkseid fellow has designs to attack the Earth and he can't bring himself to leave it undefended from a menace like that for even an instant.

And, on the whole, I can kind of see how Forever People got its weaker reputation if this is the inaugural effort. It introduced a lot of pretty important bits of the Fourth World mythos, but none of the heroes made any particular impact and Superman acted kind of like a giant dingus the whole time through. Also; Infinity Man looked kind of stupid considering what a Big Deal he's treated as.
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:33 PM
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The story I heard is that DC told Kirby he could work on any title he wanted, but he chose Jimmy Olsen so as not to displace someone who was already working. I also heard that he vowed to take their worst-selling book and turn it into their best-selling one.
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bongo Bill View Post
The story I heard is that DC told Kirby he could work on any title he wanted, but he chose Jimmy Olsen so as not to displace someone who was already working. I also heard that he vowed to take their worst-selling book and turn it into their best-selling one.
Kirby biographer and former apprentice Mark Evanier's introduction to the collection says that the first part of that is true, but the second part is of dubious provenance but probably true in spirit. (He was known to say a lot of stuff like that. He may or may not have said it about this book.)
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:39 PM
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Jack Kirby is not known for underselling.
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Old 02-26-2018, 03:29 PM
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Oh... wow

So next is the first issue of The New Gods, Orion Fights For Earth. And at first I was going to make some kind of goof about it sounding like a Little Golden Book title. And then I turned the page and saw this;



That's Page One

And what followed was 23 pages of Kirby, at his Kirbiest, Kirbying harder than he's ever Kirbied before.

This is the Superstar Ultra of Kirby, played on a pink DS. That's how Kirby this thing is.

It's also the best introduction we've had yet to the whole concept of the Fourth World, an introduction to almost all of the most important characters in the saga, and heaps of Orion just wrecking dudes. Also, reading this with Kirbys run on Thor still fresh in my mind, it is blatantly clear how much of it inspired this.

Short version of the BOMBAST illustrated above is that the Old Gods who represented Good and Evil had one final, apocalyptic battle that broke their world in half; the good side eventually reforming as the peaceful planet of New Genesis (very obviously Asgard. Like, straight up, "I think Kirby just reused some sketches of the place he already had), and the dismal perpetually on fire Apokolips (Hell... it's just Hell)

Anyway, one day in space, Orion (God of War, and wielder of The Astro-Force) received a summons to his home world of New Genesis by his buddy Lightray (God of... just being everybodys pal?), as the leader of the Gods of Genesis, High Father (Odin, if he calmed down a lot) has found a prophecy written by a Giant Flaming Hand connected to The Source; the force that created the universe itself that is kind of implied to be capital G-God.

Remember what I said before about the Fourth World being a Space Opera that is also a Biblical Epic?

Anyway, Orion is pretty curious/enthusiastic about the prophecy (Which simply says "Orion will go to Apokolips. Then to Earth. Then to War") but is also greeted by the laziest New God Metron (God of Being a Smarty Pants. And also slouching in a space-chair). Metron and Orion plainly don't get along well, at all, but the reason for their animosity is left unexplained; save that Metron teases Orion about his heritage and his pursuit of knowledge unleashed some great threat.)

So Orion flies off to Apokolips, and then spends the next dozen-ish pages just beating the ever-loving hell out of armies of Parademons, and Darkseids dimwitted, but horrifically powerful son, Kalibak the Cruel. And he also finds that Darkseid and the worst of his generals have already left Apokolips for Earth.

Metron shows up again and explains that Darkseid has the knowledge that vestiges of the Anti-Life Equation, capable of eradicating free-will, can be found in the minds of human beings, and he'd been secretly abducting humans for years trying to find it, before deciding to expedite the process by conquering the Earth first. Orion frees the captive humans and helps them escape back to Earth via a Boomtube, but winds up trapped on the planet along with them, secure in the knowledge that Darkseid is somewhere on the planet and vows to find and kill him.

So.... yeah...

That's a dang good bit of comic booking right there.
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Old 02-26-2018, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
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Short version of the BOMBAST illustrated above is that the Old Gods who represented Good and Evil had one final, apocalyptic battle that broke their world in half
It was Ragnarok.
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Old 02-26-2018, 05:26 PM
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Yeah, that ainít subtle.

You can even see Lokiís helmet in that page I posted.
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Old 02-26-2018, 05:30 PM
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Vykin the Black is... black
My reading was that Vykin was the member who had the closest connection to their Mother Box, or at the least the one who's the most demonstrative about it. About 4-5 issues later than you, that's still more or less my reading . . . and this characteristic makes him one of the more distinct members of the group. Individual Forever People don't seem to get a ton of characterization.

For me, the character I have no read on at all is Tommy from the Newsboy legion. I'm about halfway through, which means I only have a few more Jimmy Olsens left, but I still have no idea what is his personality supposed to be? Scrapper, Gabby, Big Words, and (lol) Flippa-Dippa are all pretty much what their names suggest. What is Tommy???

Also, Big Words is I guess supposed to be a verbose Hank McCoy type, and characters keep talking to him like he is that . . . but he barely ever actually uses any big words??? Big Words will be like, "Hey, let's go eat a cheeseburger," and someone else will quip back, "Wow, there you go again, Big Words! You're practically a walking talking dictionary!" It's an odd case of telling and not showing the characterization.

I think a lot of this is just a side effect of constantly introducing a ton of new stuff every single issue. There's so many ideas on display that not all of them get fully developed.
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Old 02-26-2018, 05:57 PM
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Tommyís father is medic of the original Newsboy Legion so I guess heís supposed to have some kind of similar skill for the current Legion, not that heís had any chance to show that.

Honestly I keep forgetting heís there until someone mentions his name...
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Old 02-26-2018, 06:42 PM
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Octo, this is your first reading, yes?
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Old 02-26-2018, 06:44 PM
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Read through a chunk of the Jimmy Olsen books, up until about the point that the character find of the century first appears, but that's all.

Seen scattered panels and read a few synopses otherwise.
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Old 02-26-2018, 06:49 PM
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It just... it gets even better T_T
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Old 02-26-2018, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
Honestly I keep forgetting heís there until someone mentions his name...
Oh, me too. For a long string of issues, I thought there was only one tall Newsboy Legionnaire, named Big Words. Then I saw a panel where there were suddenly two of them, and I thought that maybe it was maybe just a Big Words clone. (Not an unreasonable assumption, given the basic premise of this run!) But then someone called it Tommy.

Last edited by estragon; 02-26-2018 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 02-27-2018, 05:03 PM
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The debut issue of Mister Miracle, The Murder Missile Trap (amazing) is... A weird one. If I weren't already familiar with MMs whole thing, I'd wonder what it was doing as part of the Fourth World, based on the first story. This one is one of those Golden Age style first-issue, no origin type of debuts that Gone & Forgotten covers.

One day, a passing orphan, Scott Free is walking down the road when he sees the worlds greatest escape artist, Mister Miracle (and his assistant, Oberon) preparing for their next big show. He also misreads the situation and thinks that Mister Miracle has just been murdered by a flamethrower-wielding dwarf. No sooner does he realize his mistake than the pair of them are attacked by thugs sent by Intergang!

After Scott helps fight off the criminals, Mister Miracle (real name, Thadeus) gives his backstory (professional escape artist, dead son, planning a comeback tour, owes money to Intergang) and we also are introduced to the guy who put the hit out on Thadeus (Steelhand, so called because he has a hand that is made of steel. Seems to think this is a better super power than it is), after placing a bet about a deathtrap that even MM wouldn't be able escape from.

After Scott Free shows off his own skill at escaping from traps (with explanations that nobody quite believes, but admit are only implausible, not impossible), he helps Thadeus set up the deathtrap to practice on. Steelhand, however, decides to hedge his bet and just shoots Thadeus from afar rather than risking losing the bet. Then he retires to his hideout where he wiles away the afternoon arm-wrestling robots.

After Scott eases Thadeus' passing with the help of a strange machine he has strapped to his shoulder (a Mother Box), he puts on Thadeus' costume and decides to scare Steelhand into confessing to murder. I guess... This part of the plan seems kind of ill-conceived. Steelhand instead captures Scott and straps him to the warhead of an ICBM that Intergang just happens to have lying around and shoots him straight into space in order to get rid of him once and for all (!!!).

Scott somehow manages to escape (again offering non-explanations for how he can pull off seemingly impossible escapes) and then proceeds to beat up Steelhand, since, again, having one metal hand is not a very good power, ultimately capturing m and throwing him off to the police, vowing to take up the mantle of Mister Miracle, and also the friendship of Oberon, in the fight against injustice.

Except for the presence of Intergang and a Motherbox, there's little to connect the issue to the Fourth World. On the other hand, nothing else has done so good of a job of establishing why I love Intergang as an antagonist so much; they couldn't possibly think any smaller. Intergang has an ICBM LAUNCH SITE and uses it to fix a bet.
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Old 02-28-2018, 02:13 PM
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Back to Supermans Ex-Pal Jimmy Olsen (they're friends again) with The Saga of the D.N.ALIENS, which picks up right where the last issue left off; with a Hulk-like Jimmy Olsen clone fighting a Captain America-like Manhattan Guardian in the depths of The PROJECT, with the Newsboy Legion, Jimmy and an enervated Superman watching.

The Newsboys are transfixed, and Scrapper Jr. says "Take it from Scrapper, this is a Scrappers Scrap!" and I can't really tell if I love or hate that line of dialogue.

Guardian and JIMMY HULK THE MURDER MACHINE are too evenly matched (one's fast, one's strong), but luckily the fight is resolved when a platoon of ant-sized Scrapper clones parachute in and drop bombs full of sleeping gas on HULK JIMMYs face, and then blasting him with enough liquid nitrogen to freeze him with ice as strong as steel. Regular Jimmy apologizes to Superman for being a jerk after Superman risks his life to protect him from the Kryptonite-powered HULK JIMMY.

Back at the Evil Factory, Simyan and Mokkari are getting chewed out by Darkseid, because every part of the Hulk Jimmy plan totally failed, and we're also shown a whirlwind tour of the Evil Factory, and learn its purpose is to create specialized monsters and spies for Darkseids conquest of Earth (how "a factory that cranks out monsters every month" isn't the driving force behind every superhero comic I'll never know. Power Rangers does it!) and that it's an Sinister Counterpart to the DNA Project. And I mean "Sinister Counterpart" as literally as possible. They took every inch of the place and mirrored it. Complete with it's own Mountain of Judgement and Zoomway and Wild Area inhabited by a Biker Cult.

Unfortunately for Mokkari and Simyan, they're not nearly as good at cloning as PROJECT is; as HULK JIMMY was as intelligent and useful a minion as they'd been able to create, so instead, in the tradition of all good and proper monster factories, they took a basic human template and set all the creation sliders to maximum and hoped that the resultant mutant would be enough to demolish PROJECT.

Meanwhile, at PROJECT (I'mma just call it Cadmus from now on. The all-caps is starting to wear on me), Superman gives Jimmy a tour, explaining that they've not only been able to create perfect human clones (in regular and fun-size. The Guardian is a clone of the original Guardian who died only recently), they're mastery over DNA also allows them to create improved humans, such as the super-genius Hairies (so called because they have hair-trigger brains, not because of their pelts) and even edit it further to create creatures not recognizable as human; such as the head technician Dubbilex;



Despite looking like that, Dubbilex is, in fact, a good guy.

Back at the Evil Factory, the egg that Mokkari was bombarding with strange radioactive mists has hatched giving birth to The Four Armed Terror!

Which may be the least imaginative name Kirby ever came up with. And since this is a series with people named Scrapper Jr., Darkseid and DeSaad, that's saying something.
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Old 02-28-2018, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post

The Newsboys are transfixed, and Scrapper Jr. says "Take it from Scrapper, this is a Scrappers Scrap!" and I can't really tell if I love or hate that line of dialogue.
I love it.
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