New Gods Special #1
Written By: Shane Davis
Pencilled By: Shane Davis
Inked By: Michaelle Delecki
Colored By: Alex Sinclair
Jack Kirby left Marvel for DC and created a pantheon of New Gods, the inhabitants of Fourth World, adding another vibrant to world to the long list of creations that make him deserving of the title The King of Comics.
The first of a series of special issues celebrating the 100th birthday of Jack Kirby starts off by introducing the core concepts of the Fourth World, this world that the Gods live in. Orion explains that he was the son of a Darkseid and the lynch pin of a peace treaty between worlds. He meets up with Highfather, the ruler of Supertown and a fellow New God named Lightray. They are with a frightened Forager, who is one of the bug-like people who inhabit the planet of New Genesis that Supertown hovers above. Forager explains that Kalibak, Darkseid’s other son, has attacked New Genesis, breaking the long lasting treaty between Apokolips and New Genesis. Forager explains his daring escape, and Orion swears that he will go to New Genesis and stop his brother.
On New Genesis, Kalibak discusses his plan to destroy New Genesis and Supertown with it with Desaad, the evil torturer of Darkseid’s court. Orion and Lightray arrive on New Genesis and the battle for freedom begins in earnest. Orion fights Kalibak as Lightray fends of the hordes of Parademons. The two young Gods serve as a distraction while Forager sneakily sabotages the conversion efforts of Kalibak. The doomsday scheme may be over, but neither Orion nor Kalibak are done, as they tear into each other in an impressive display of violent determination. Orion finally bests his brother, deciding to spare him to preserve his own sense of right and wrong.
After the main story, there is a brief backup story featuring a young Orion. His mentor Seagrim takes him to the Unholy See, a hidden and polluted ocean. While training him to fight out of his element, Seagrim lures out the Deep Six, a group of god-like sea monsters that give Orion a sense of perspective concerning his own strength. The backups don’t end there as readers are treated to the classic “Kirby’s Grabbers” page, drawn by and featuring The King himself, before running a reprint of two classic issues of Forever People featuring Lonar, written and drawn by Jack Kirby in 1971, and an old pinup page of Kalibak.
Thoughts on the issue:
This issue was classic Kirby, a lot of fun,even if it was a little basic. The main story is basically just Orion fighting Kalibak with a little bit of a doomsday scheme thrown in there. Get a few familiar faces, some obligatory interactions, and tie up in a nice little bow. If you’ve never read the New Gods before, or have only seen them briefly, you’ll still have very little problem following what’s going on in the issue. It’s a story to please anyone, which means that it can’t go too far in depth with Kirby’s creations, and there’s a lot of depth to explore. The issue makes up for that problem with its backups. The Unholy See and the Deep Six are some Kirby deep cut, no pun intended. And the pages drawn by Kirby himself in the back will satisfy that proper Kirby urge.
One Last Thing:
The old Lonar pages at the end are a lot of old Kirby fun. The second page alone has 11 sentences and 23 exclamation points.
Final Score: 8/10