Christopher Rush's Reviews > Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus, Vol. 1

Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus, Vol. 1 by Jack Kirby
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M 50x66
's review
Aug 20, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: graphic-novels
Read from July 31 to August 20, 2012

Wowzers. It takes Kirby a little while to get going, until we realize it is all part of the plan and remember Kirby is the King for good reasons. Mark Evanier gives us some interesting insight into "the plan," though, in the afterward: Kirby was planning on giving these new series away shortly after getting them started, ever desiring to create anew. That doesn't initially sound like a great plan for a new universe with a structured major story arc, but Kirby had a way of making things work, even if no one else around him could understand what he was doing. It is somewhat discouraging to learn this "Fourth World Omnibus" does not have the great finale Kirby planned, once he was committed to telling the story himself (at least Babylon 5 got to tell its tale, Lost as well). What is it about editors, owners, decision makers, and their near-total inability to make the right decision, to use wisely the great talent under them? Pope Julius II tells Michelangelo "paint that ceiling." DC tells Kirby: "No, you can't finish your mighty epic." Sci-Fi channel tells Farscape: "Sorry, you can't have one more season to finish your story." Honestly. I suppose it makes sense, though, that the really creative people have the basic sense not to go into top business executive levels and stay down at the creative people level. This is a great place to start, since Kirby makes it all new from issue 1 - you don't really need a familiarity with the DC universe to know who is who or what is what: Kirby makes it all up as he goes. Despite the lack of a specific plan, the King tells some interesting tales. Sure, there's the Kirbyesque over-the-top dialogue (but, for a story about a world coming and taking over the world, and New Gods usurping the Old Gods, some over-the-top dialogue is necessary), and there's the seemingly requisite '70s racism (meet Flippa Dippa, the African-American Newsboy who always wears scuba gear, and Vykin the Black, the Black New God), but they don't spoil the entire enterprise. It's quite a ride, and it's only beginning.

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