New Gods #9 (Jun.-Jul., 1972)

In its design, the cover of New Gods #9 mirrors that of Forever People #9, the other Jack Kirby comic published by DC in April, 1972.  Both covers feature a dominant image that excludes the comic’s titular stars, who are shunted off to a narrow. left-side border; both utilize a considerable amount of black in their color schemes, as well.  This striking similarity seems unlikely to have been a coincidence.

In his indispensable book Old Gods & New: A Companion to Jack Kirby’s Fourth World (TwoMorrows, 2021), author John Morrow posits that, in both cases, the intent was to boost sales by making the books look less like superhero comics and more like something in the horror-mystery genre, which was then a successful niche for DC.  Morrow suggests that this was part of a move by the company’s publisher, Carmine Infantino, to take a heavier hand in setting the course for these two titles, both ostensibly under the editorial control of Kirby.  (Another known indicator of that heavier hand was Infantino’s directing Kirby to include Deadman as a guest star in issues #9 and #10 of Forever People, regardless of Kirby’s disinterest in the character.) 

Morrow may well be right about all this; but your humble blogger finds himself less than 100% convinced, at least so far as the cover of New Gods #9 is concerned.  For one thing, the character who dominates the illustration — “The Bug!” — isn’t especially scary looking.  Rather, and in contrast to the Frankensteinian figures gracing the cover of FP #9, the Bug appears to be another brightly-costumed hero-type (which, as we’ll see, is pretty much what he actually is).  Still, I suppose it’s possible that Kirby might have wanted readers to see this new character as fitting into the monster mold, however vaguely — if only to get Infantino off his back.

My other mild objection to Morrow’s theory has less to do with NG #9’s cover image, and more to do with the story that it illustrates.  Because, while the Deadman two-parter in Forever People is clearly an interruption of Kirby’s ongoing storyline, whose events are entirely irrelevant to the the Fourth World books’ central conflict between New Genesis and Apokolips, the Bug two-parter in New Gods is anything but.  Rather, it enhances and deepens our understanding of that conflict, primarily by complicating our understanding of life and society on New Genesis, the home of the “good guys” in Kirby’s god-war.  It’s hard to see these issues as ones Kirby could have quickly cobbled together to satisfy some hypothetical demand by Carmine Infantino to make the Fourth World titles “weirder”.

On the other hand, it could well be that Kirby didn’t originally plan to introduce the startling concepts at the heart of “The Bug!” (and of its NG #10 sequel, “Earth — the Doomed Dominion”) until sometime later in the series — perhaps much later — and moved the debut of the Colony and its denizens up in the schedule in the interest of placating Infantino.  If that’s the case, then Morrow’s supposition about NG #9’s cover design is likely correct, after all.  But it also means that, from a certain perspective, we readers owe some gratitude to Infantino for his interference — since, if he hadn’t got up in the King’s business, we might not have met the Bug, Forager, and his kin prior to the cancellation of New Gods with the following issue (#11) — and both we and the Fourth World saga would be poorer for it.

On the other other hand, it was also Infantino’s decision to abruptly kill the series with the 11th issue… but that’s a discussion for a later post.  For now, let’s deal with the story before us…

The opening caption refers to “the first ‘Great Clash’ between the New Gods”, which readers first learned about in New Gods #7’s classic “The Pact!”, back in December; this is the first we’ve heard about the “bacteriological attack” aspect of that war, however.

“…High-Father’s deadly Monitors close in!”  Hang on a minute — these are servants of Highfather who are indiscriminately spraying their fellow sentient beings with a deadly pesticide?  Highfather, formerly the warrior known as Izaya the Inheritor, who since his encounter with the Source in the time of the Great Clash has been the New Gods’ great avatar of peace?  And this is happening on New Genesis?

We rejoin Orion and Lightray not long after we left them at the conclusion of the previous issue’s “The Death Wish of Terrible Turpin!”.  As you’ll doubtless recall from that story, in the midst of Orion’s battle with Kalibak of Apokolips, the warrior’s handsome, New Genesis-friendly visage fell away to reveal his more fearsome “true” face.  While Kirby and inker Mike Royer are careful to keep Orion’s countenance in shadow or otherwise obscured in the first two pages of this scene, those bushy red eyebrows are a pretty strong indication that the hero’s Apokoliptican aspect remains ascendant…

Finally, the reveal — although considering how beaten-up Orion obviously is — so much so that both his eyes appear swollen shut — one might wonder which of his two faces we’re actually seeing here.  But, again, those eyebrows give the game away.

Kirby seems to have had a fascination for insect-inspired societies.  He’d previously featured one in the “Tales of Asgard” backup series in Journey into Mystery (#124-125 [1966]), and would introduce yet another about a decade after the publication of this story, in his Captain Victory and his Galactic Rangers series for Pacific Comics.

If my memory serves, Kirby has used the term “Eternals” in reference to his New Gods once or twice before this — but it will see heavy rotation in this two-part story, due to it being the “Bugs”‘ go-to term for their supposed betters.  From our decades-later perspective, of course, it’s a constant reminder of Kirby’s later (and somewhat New Gods-“like”) series for Marvel Comics — The Eternals.

Forager’s meal is interrupted by a less-than-grateful fellow Bug, who bluntly announces that, being stronger than our red-hooded friend, he’s going to take his portion for himself.  A defiant Forager fights back fiercely (“I’ll kill you!  One of us will die for this food!”) — but then the brawl is abruptly ended by the sudden arrival of another figure…

The revelation of what Forager looks like beneath his hood, obviously intended to signify his “otherness” from the rest of Colony society, has never landed for me quite the way I think Kirby meant it to — mainly because the writer-artist has given us no real reason to think that the Prime One looks any less human than Forager under his dome-like headgear, or that any number of other Bugs aren’t wearing full-face masks that hide their similarly human-like physiognomies.

As Forager leads the resistance against his Colony’s enemies, the scene shifts back to Metropolis, where we find that Orion has unexpectedly opted to remain on Eve Donner’s terrace long enough to take a nap.  “I wonder why Orion decided to stay?” she wonders aloud.  “Perhaps I’m a challenge to him!”  But, Eve goes on to assure Lightray, she doesn’t frighten easily…

Belatedly, Eve realizes that she may have taken on more than she can handle; now, she admits, she actually is frightened.   “Just what have I been toying with?” she asks.  “That which seemed to fascinate you, lady —!” replies Lightray.  “The presence of pure and total destruction!

Meanwhile, back on New Genesis, Forager and his fellows have triumphed over their Colony’s invaders…

Back in April, 1972, the sudden appearance of Mantis a little more than halfway through this story took my fourteen-year-old self completely by surprise.  While certain insectile attributes — such as his name, and his propensity to recharge his energies in a cocoon-like “power-pod” — had been evident in Mantis’ only other major appearance to date (Forever People #2), his presentation in that story had given more emphasis to his vampire-like aspect (he was even referred to as “an evil power vampire” on the cover).  And though Mantis had clearly been shown to to be a devoted servant of Darkseid in that story, there had been no indication whatsoever that he was any less a creature of Apokolips than were Kalibak or the Deep Six — and certainly nothing to make readers suspect that he was in fact a native of Apokolips’ opposite number, New Genesis.

As Mantis implores the warriors of the Colony to join his host, as other colonies have done, Forager slips away, intent on taking the news of this latest development to the Prime One…

Even through his mask, Forager’s anguish in the third panel of page 18 is almost tangible, thanks to Kirby and Royer’s expressive rendering.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, the two gods of New Genesis prepare to take leave of their host — who, before seeing them off, makes a point of telling Orion, “That’s a terrible temper you’ve got!  I – I think I really feel sorry for you!”

It seems likely that Kirby would have eventually returned to Eve Donner, given enough time (and issues); but, alas, he didn’t get that chance, and thus the first panel of the next page marks her last appearance under his pen.  (Years later, however, writer Mark Evanier would bring Eve back in New Gods [1989 series] #1, wherein it was revealed that she unconsciously possessed a fragment of the Anti-Life Equation.  Which seems something of an unnecessary complication to my mind, but what do I know?)

Yeah, remember Orion’s cool astro-harness?  The last time we saw it, it was transporting Lynn Sheridan to safety on page 19 of issue #6.  (For the record, Orion never does manage to retrieve the contraption over the course of Kirby’s New Gods run.)

Meanwhile, on New Genesis, Forager is running for his life:

The brave and agile Bug attempts to reach Mantis, but he’s badly outnumbered, as well as outgunned…

We’re going to go ahead and cover New Gods #10’s conclusion of this story momentarily, because your humble blogger believes that the tale’s two halves are best discussed as a whole (and also, if I’m going to be honest, because June’s blogging schedule is currently looking pretty tight).  But first, let’s take a brief moment to acknowledge that our present comic, New Gods #9, was the last Fourth World comic to be released in DC’s 25-cent/48-page format, and thus, also the last to include a vintage Joe Simon-Jack Kirby reprint.  This one comes from Adventure Comics #78 (Sep., 1942); here’s its splash page:

And now we’ll say farewell to Paul Kirk, Manhunter… though not for all that long, really, seeing as how the character will be revived by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson in a very different form just fifteen months from now.  At which point we’ll be glad that DC reprinted these old stories, as we’ll at least have heard of the guy before he gets his upgrade — which wouldn’t have been the case otherwise (speaking just for my younger self).


And now, on to New Gods #10, and “Earth — the Doomed Dominion”:

The episode begins with a sequence showing us Mantis emerging from his power-pod, having taken a break to replenish his cosmic energies before leading his Bug army on an invasion of Earth:

Along with making for a dramatic opening, this scene also serves narrative convenience by offering a logical reason why Mantis and his host didn’t simply pursue and exterminate Forager immediately following his escape through the Boom Tube.  As it is, when we join up with Forager, he’s already had time to knock over a Metropolis bakery for some foodstuffs (it appears that, on any world, a Bug has a predilection for loaves) — though not yet time to get away…

Forager eludes the Metropolis PD’s foot pursuit by running up the side of a skyscraper (via the use of special footwear called “adheso-grips“, incidentally, rather than any inherent wall-crawling ability a la Spider-Man).  Upon the building’s roof, he grabs a quick bite while wondering how he’ll ever locate Orion in such a vast city; but then he hears a whup-whup noise coming from somewhere above him, and when he looks skyward…

Yes, it’s another logical plot development that nevertheless serves the convenience of our narrative, seeing as how “police headquarters” is precisely where Orion is presently located, and thus exactly where Forager needs to go…

Back at MPD HQ, Orion and Lightray are trying to persuade D.A. J. Mason Hartwell that they’re on his side, while Darkseid and his ilk most emphatically are not.  They’re not making much headway, however, until…

Elsewhere, the Bug army has launched their attack — and any reader who remembers how much trouble Mantis caused the Metropolis police all by his lonesome back in Forever People #2 will hardly be surprised by how quickly things go way south…

Orion and Lightray hardly cover themselves in glory with their demonstration of bigotry towards the “Bug” Forager in these scenes.  Granted, they quickly come to accept both his word and his help — but only after (and only because?) they recognize him as one of their own, an “Eternal”.  Outside of this single exception, we have no reason not to assume that they’re perfectly cool with Highfather’s murderous (if not outright genocidal) policy regarding the “lowly” Bugs of their homeworld.

You, Lincoln!” Hartwell shouts at Orion’s P.I. buddy.  “Tell me what happened!  How did your pals make their getaway?”  Dave Lincoln surmises, correctly, that the trio’s disappearance was Lightray’s doing.  “He travels at the speed of light, you know!  — Maybe even faster!”  Unimpressed, Hartwell vows that if he can’t nail the New Genesis gods, he’ll take it out on their human ally…

While Orion and Forager pour their all might into the battle, “the planner” Lightray realizes that the three New Gods will not in themselves be enough to turn the tide…

As the scientists move to take action, Orion battles on valiantly against Mantis — who, naturally, has no doubt of his own ultimate victory…

From the way this story ends — with a panel showing Orion, Lightray, and Forager all gazing outwards towards the reader, together — one would logically expect that the next issue of New Gods would pick up more or less where this one left off; i.e., with Forager still hanging around, though not necessarily the center of attention.  But such would not be the case.  Learning that DC was “suspending” New Gods with issue #11, Kirby understandably became focused on bringing his storyline to what was at least a suitable stopping point (if not anything approaching an actual conclusion); thus, Forager wouldn’t rate so much as a one-panel cameo in the series finale.  Nor would we get even a throwaway line of dialogue to account for his absence.  He was just gone, as though he’d never been there in the first place.

For me, Jack Kirby’s inability to continue his epic long enough to more fully explore the relationship of the New Genesis Bugs to the “Eternals” of their world stands as one of the saddest losses stemming from DC’s abrupt termination of the Fourth World project.  Half a century later, I still have so many questions.  Are there legitimate reasons for the New Gods’ animosity towards the Bugs as a species beyond the modest crimes we’re shown in issue #9 — i.e., the stealing of food to survive?  Even if there are reasons — e.g., numerous other Bugs who, like Mantis, had actively taken up the cause of Darkseid, even before the events of NG #9 and #10 — how can Highfather and his people justify such brutal, ruthless actions against their fellow sentient beings?  And regardless of how things got to this point, is there a way forward for the two societies we now know together share a world?

Unfortunately, we’ll never learn the answers to any of these questions.  Sure, the character of Forager (and to a lesser extent, his fellow Bugs) would be picked up and worked with by other creators — most recently by Lee and Michael Allred in Bug! The Adventures of Forager, a very entertaining miniseries I plugged on the blog just two weeks ago.  But as worthwhile as that and other projects have been, they’re not the work of Jack Kirby.  And in the end, that really does make all the difference.

47 comments

  1. frednotfaith2 · April 16

    Just perusing Kirby’s art in this issue brings to my mind how much it had changed over the course of the previous six years, from being pretty much the standard house style at Marvel to becoming ever so gradually more idiosyncratic as to be unlike anything any other contemporary artist was producing, even by those artists who purposely tried to ape Kirby’s style. But then, even that Manhunter splash panel from 30 years earlier had that dynamic cragginess that dominated Kirby’s art of 1972. Maybe it was that most of Kirby’s inkers at Marvel, primarily Sinnott & Colletta, smoothed out the craggier aspects of Kirby’s art which Royer and others at DC didn’t. Still, it was highly unusual for the primary costumed hero of New Gods to be shown with such a ravaged, ugly face, even more hideous than those of the Thing (well, at least aside from Kirby’s early renditions of the Thing when Ben’s transformed visage looked more like lumps of mud than a collection of smooth rocks).
    From a perspective of 50 years, Kirby’s Fourth World remains unique as for its ambition of creating an entirely new pocket world, chronicling an epic saga spread out over four titles within a long-established comics universe that was DC in 1972, and thus far only connected to the larger DC universe by the inclusion of its most prominent hero, Superman, and his popular sidekick, Jimmy Olson. But that was limited to only one of the four titles, one that had already been around well over a decade. Because Kirby expected he’d have many years to allow his epic to unfold, it was a bit shambolic, without more of the keen focus that, say, Starlin brought to his first Thanos epic or his later Magus epic. Could Kirby’s saga have been more successful if it had been initially limited to one title, only gradually expanding to more as it built up a large fan base, as, say with Gaiman’s Sandman or Willingham’s Fables? Jim Shooter’s New Universe of the ’80s seems a bit of an echo of Kirby’s Fourth World, albeit without an epic scope but even more divorced from any larger comics universe and thus fell into greater oblivion with its cancellation. On the other hand, the expansion of Marvel’s mutant-related titles in the ’80s and ’90s seems nearly equivalent of the Fourth World saga and grew out of one of Kirby’s co-creations, one which 50 years ago had the stigma of a “failed” title but which a few years later would be revived and eventually become one of Marvel’s most successful titles ever and wind up branching out into several others.
    Just some idle musings for a Saturday morning.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. DontheArtistformerlyknownasfrodo628 · April 17

    I didn’t reply to this post when I first read it yesterday because I truly wasn’t sure what there was to say. I didn’t and still don’t care for Forager, AKA “The Bug,” and aside from being yet another character Kirby introduced out of nowhere only to send back into that same nowhere at the end of the issue without having had any real impact on the story or the over-all mythology of the Fourth World and whatever it was Jack would have done with it had he not had the rug pulled out from under him very soon. Fred used a great word for Kirby’s approach to the Fourth World material in his comment above, “shambolic,” which is as perfect a descriptor of Jack’s approach to the material as any. As we’ve looked back over these stories lately, there have been some good ones and some not so good ones, but the main weakness in many of them is a lack of continuity or connective tissue that would make New Gods or Forever People or Mister Miracle seem like they were part of the same story, rather than just disparate stories by the same author/illustrator. Sure, they did connect; they all mentioned Darkseid and Apokalips and the High Father, but for all the mythological import these characters had at the time and would one day gain in the hands of other creators, in Kirby’s hands, these guys, who would go on to anchor the Fourth World in the years to come, were recurring characters in their own stories who didn’t add any over-all textual cohesion to the books.

    You know, I find myself sitting back much of the time and apologizing for Jack, saying, “Well, you know he would have pulled it all together eventually; he didn’t know he was about to be cancelled.” But didn’t he? As an editor of his own book, not to mention one of the pre-eminent comic creators of the day, surely Kirby knew what his sales figures looked like. Surely, Carmine had talked to him about the books and surely they had discussed ways to make them more compelling and attractive in the marketplace. I mean, if you look at it in the proper context, wasn’t Carmine’s insistence that Jack use Deadman last issue an attempt to make the book more recognizable and commercial and increase sales? To make it seem more like a DC book that DC fans might have been interested in? Maybe Jack saw the writing on the Source wall and decided to just start throwing stuff at it until something finally stuck.

    I remember vaguely thinking back in 72, when I saw the ads for The Demon appearing in these last couple of issues, that thank god, maybe Jack was finally gonna start telling super-hero stories again. I mean, I know, The Demon looked like a horror book, but he had a cape, dammit! Plus, I was fourteen. We all look back at the Fourth World now and marvel (no pun intended) at how far-reaching and ahead of it’s time it was, but my memory of 1972, as best as I can recollect it now from fifty years into the future, is that I didn’t really get what Jack was doing then either, and I think the fact that I have so many gaps in my Fourth World memories underlines the fact that I obviously didn’t care enough about what Jack was doing with these books to slavishly collect every issue. And apparently I was not in the minority because the Fourth World books did get cancelled and Jack came back with The Demon and Kamandi and OMAC, titles that perhaps didn’t have the breathtaking scope of the Fourth World, but were certainly more commercial and kept Jack from having to beg Stan for his old job back for a few more years at least.

    I think the best way to box up Kirby’s Fourth World material is that it was certainly ahead of it’s time by a good twenty years at least. Jack went back to Marvel and created The Eternals, which I’m sorry, is just a re-boot of the Fourth World in a new context, but The Eternals has never been a top-seller for Marvel either and I remember being quite surprised when I heard Marvel was making a movie out of it (quite disappointed when I saw the actual movie too, but that’s a different post) Jack Kirby was a man of phenomenal vision and amazing talent. It’s just a shame he didn’t live long enough for the rest of us to catch up to him.

    Hmph…I guess I did find something to say, after all, didn’t I? Happy Easter, friends, if that’s what you celebrate. TTFN

    Liked by 2 people

    • frednotfaith2 · April 17

      Happy Easter, Don! I agree that the Eternals seemed a variant of the Fourth World saga, and both were variants of his take on the Thor mythos. I got a few issues of the Eternals when they were new on the stands but they didn’t appeal to me all that much, not in the same way that, for example, reading Starlin’s Captain Marvel #27 and Strange Tales #178 got my instantly hooked and want to see what would happen next. Many years later, in the 1990s I believe, while filling a few holes in my Silver Age Thor collection, I got issue 139, featuring an “Elder God” Orikal, a robotic-appearing massive giant, very similar to one of the Celestials Kirby would create about a decade later. And both are expansions on the concept of Galactus. Kirby was great at coming up with fantastic concepts, but I think on his own, without Lee’s scripting or editorial direction, Kirby had difficulty making his characters genuinely interesting and relatable in some way to most readers, despite all their massive powers. Most came off as too seriously intense, and others too carefree. Hogun & Fandrall were respective templates, but they were supporting characters rather than the stars; Thor was himself an intense character, but humanized by his recurring problems with his temperamental father who demanded unquestioning obedience which Thor, much as he practically worshipped his daddy, just could not give when it meant abandoning his mortal love or his sense of duty to Earth, his adopted second home. Orion had some similar issues of divided loyalties and Big Daddy issues, but IMO Kirby wasn’t able to make him nearly as relatable or interesting as Thor (and as based on comments I’ve read over the decades, seems many readers found Thor rather boring and not nearly as relatable as Peter Parker or Ben Grimm).

      Liked by 2 people

      • DontheArtistformerlyknownasfrodo628 · April 17

        I agree completely, Fred, and have been circling the issue trying to put into to words the same issue with Kirby’s story-telling. For all his complaining otherwise, Jack was at his best when Stan had his back, adding in the humorous human foibles that made the characters relatable. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Matt · April 18

          Except those “humorous human foibles” are all over Kirby’s work without Stan Lee. Why is it so difficult for people to see this? Lee’s “touches” were cheap and tedious on top of that, patronizing even. Kirby had actual wit.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Alan Stewart · April 19

            I hold Lee’s writing in considerably higher regard than you, Matt — but I agree wholeheartedly with you regarding Kirby’s skill with characterization.

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          • jmhanzo · April 20

            I don’t believe Stan was the “idea man” behind the Marvel superheroes as he claims to be, but the one thing I’ll give him is wit. Stan had more style than substance, but he knew how to use that style to the maximum. I find his dialogue to be mostly charming, humorous, and full of life. His dialogue makes J. Jonah Jameson and Volstagg the two funniest characters in superhero comics in my book.

            That said, I am with you that Jack was great at the human element and was doing it far before he ever worked with Stan. Read the Golden Age Newsboy Legion or Boy Commandoes and it becomes very obvious where the banter between Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm came from. Soap opera? Jack and his buddy Joe Simon brought the genre to comics and inspired an army of imitators.

            The death of Flower in Kamandi #6 is proof enough that the man understood characterzation, drama, and the human element as well as anyone else.

            I think the thing that trips a lot of readers up is Jack’s dialogue. While I don’t find it any worse than most Bronze Age writing, it apparently has a strangeness that some find awkward and unappealing. After reading many 30s adventure strips like The Phantom, Flash Gordon, Wash Tubbs & Captain Easy, Terry & the Pirates, etc. I think it’s clear what inspired his style and that he had a hard time updating it for contemporary readers of the time. But underneath the style, there is plenty of substance to his stories and that’s what makes him worth reading.

            Liked by 1 person

    • jmhanzo · April 19

      “Jack went back to Marvel and created The Eternals, which I’m sorry, is just a re-boot of the Fourth World in a new context…”

      You need to go earlier — the concept is closer to a reworking of The Inhumans. The Celestials replaced the Kree as the cosmic scientists and the Inhumans lived in a secret mountain hideaway before the Eternals ever did. It’s all based on Chariots of the Gods, check it:

      http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-ancient-origins-of-inhumans.html

      New Gods was fundamentally different, IMO — the focus of the Eternals were the origins of mankind and whether we were worthy as a species up to that point. New Gods was something else. It looked to the future more than the past — the old gods had died.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Alan Stewart · April 19

        “…the concept is closer to a reworking of The Inhumans.”

        That’s a good point, jmhanzo, although the mythological references in Eternals do, to my mind, associate it thematically and tonally with New Gods — take, for example, the parallel of the two series’ chief protagonists, Ikaris and Orion, both being derived from heroes of Greek myth. Certainly when I originally read Eternals in the ’70s it was my favorite of Kirby’s Marvel books of that era, precisely because it “felt” the most like the Fourth World books.

        Now that I think about it, you could almost call the Eternals a conceptual “mash-up” between the Inhumans and the New Gods.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jmhanzo · April 20

          I hope my comments are taken in the spirit offered — not as being argumentative, but curious for you to expand upon your ideas.

          Other than the “Gods” angle and the fact that both were created by Jack Kirby, I just don’t really see a ton of similarities between the two properties, especially thematically.

          While Ikaris and Orion both have names from Greek mythology, I don’t see the characters as very similar. Orion is a dark, tortured soul — a monster at heart who is trying to find his place in a world of angels, who only seems to find satisfaction in being as vicious and wrathful as the villains he battles. Ikaris seems to have no such inner turmoil and feels like a relatively straightforward superhero in the mold of Thor or Prince Valiant.

          Beyond those two, the central conflict of both series is very different. The heroes of New Genesis oppose Darkseid because he wishes to destroy free will itself and make the universe into a fascist utopia in his own image. It’s good versus evil, freedom against tyranny, etc. The heroes must prevent 1984 from happening.

          In the Eternals, the battle is much different as the Celestials are beyond good and evil. They have more in common with abstract existential concepts like the Source than a classic villain like Darkseid. They are making a dispassionate judgement on the worthiness of mankind — and the Eternals and Deviants — to continue their existance. The Eternals and mankind have no hope of stopping the Celestials through physical force and must instead of demonstrate their worthiness in an end-is-nigh pressure cooker. The biggest challenge for the Eternals is stopping the Deviants’ futile efforts to conquer the Celestials (perhaps a metaphor for the inevitablility of nature and death, two things mankind have always wished to conquer) and making the Earth look unworthy to continue.

          While the superficial elements are similar — super powerful beings called “gods,” cosmic battles, morality plays, etc. — I do see each series as exploring different ideas, both narratively and philosophically.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Alan Stewart · April 20

            I don’t disagree with you, jmhanzo, except perhaps regarding how “superficial” the similarities are. In any event, your last comment could be printed up on leaflets to be handed out to anyone who says that “Eternals” is just “New Gods” with new names and costumes. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Brian Morrison · April 18

    I had been planning to save these thoughts until after the (hopefully!) future posts on the final issues of New Gods and Forever People but I think they compliment the preceding discussion.
    When I first found your blog about a year ago Alan I thought “finally after 50 years, I’m now going to br able to understand all about Kirby’s Fourth World”. As I’ve mentioned before I read these comics all in the wrong order and missed a significant number of issues. I just didn’t get it and was not upset when the comics were cancelled, in fact it felt like a bit of a relief. I continued buying Mister Miracle for the remainder of its initial run (I’m a completist !) but never bought a single issue of The Demon, Kamandi or OMAC. I had been so put off by not understanding what was going on in the Fourth World that I didn’t want to repeat that experience with the new titles that Kirby was bringing out. I don’t think I was alone in having these feelings and for me it goes a long way to explaining why the comics failed. They just weren’t accessible enough, downright confusing to the casual reader and didn’t entice readers to buy further issues. If I was short of cash and I had to a choice between a regular DC superhero title and a Fourth World one, then the former would win out. Yes DC made the decision to cancel the titles but Jack has to take his share of the responsibility for that too.
    Having now read all your post chronologically I find myself with only slightly more understanding. As others have commented before, there were a lot of plot lines and characters that were set up and then we’re either abandoned or went nowhere. Did Kirby have an overarching vision of how everything fitted together? Now, I guess we will never know.
    I think Don hit the nail on the head in his last comment, the books were pretty humourless and often downbeat.
    50 years on, I’ve managed to find most of the issues that I had missed ( I just bought a copy of New Gods 9 last week!) and I appreciate them with all their flaws. Thanks Alan for taking me on our shared journey through the whole saga, your work is very much appreciated.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Alan Stewart · April 18

      You’re welcome, Brian. I’m glad that you’ve found it all worth the time, even if I haven’t been able to help you fully “get” the Fourth World in the way you’d hoped. But hey, there’s still a few more posts on the subject yet to come. Maybe one of them will do it! 😉

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    • jmhanzo · April 19

      What specifically didn’t you understand?

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      • Brian Morrison · April 20

        Thanks for the question and I have been pondering it for the last 18 hours. When I think back 50 years to my 13 year old self I think I believed that there must be a coherence between the four books and that there was an overarching structure that was meant to drive the narrative forward. Because I had missed issues and read them out of order I thought it must be there, but that somehow I just couldn’t see it. When I subsequently bought the issues that I had missed and read them, they didn’t clarify things any further. I had never gone back and read all of the comics again in order to see if I could get that overarching vision and when I found Alan’s blog I thought that this would explain to me what I had missed. On reading the posts on individual issues my feeling is that there the overarching structure that I thought must be there actually isn’t. I’m happy to be proved wrong if someone can explain it to me and as Alan says, there are still a few more posts to come. Regardless of all this, I will eagerly read them when they are posted.

        Liked by 2 people

        • jmhanzo · April 20

          I don’t think the structure was very tight — while interconnected, the demands of the newsstand meant that each book would have to stand on its own to some extent. The interconnected elements were a little more subtle, as pointed out by Alan — stuff like Mantis appearing in Forever People #2 and then New Gods #9, Tigra appearing in New Gods first and then a brief cameo in Mister Miracle, Superman first seeing Super Town in Forever People #1 and then finally getting there in an issue of Jimmy Olsen, etc.

          I was thinking maybe there were certain characters and plot points you didn’t understand? Is there a story that doesn’t make sense? If so, I could attempt to address them in some fashion or another (or a more knowledgeable Kirby fan could jump in for me).

          Liked by 1 person

  4. FredKey · April 18

    The more I read (and enjoy!) these entries on the Fourth World saga, the more I think that in an ideal world they would have been unconnected to the mainstream DC line. The invasion by Mantis and the bugs is terrifying, but normally that would have been a case for the Justice League of America. But the main reason is that Kirby does a wonderful job of putting a normal human perspective in all the stories. We’ve never seen so much of the Metropolis PD in the Superman books as we do here. Every story has some random person who is changed by and who may change the fate of the worlds. The fights are unbelievably violent, mighty forces groaning against one another — definitely not the standard superhero fights. It is almost weird that Lightray finds a non-violent means of repelling the invasion, since that’s the kind of thing we’d expect from a JLA or Fantastic Four story, not the Fourth World.
    If Kirby could have had an outfit that let him do his books in a separate world, I can only imagine how great the saga could have been. As it is, by the time he had that complete freedom with Captain Victory, it was all too little, too late.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Alan Stewart · April 18

      FredKey, I have to say I’m pretty attached to the idea of the Fourth World being part of the DCU — I always have been — but I can see where you’re coming from.

      Like

      • jmhanzo · April 19

        I think the idea of a separate continuity is strong because then you can have human beings really react to the coming of the New Gods in an existential way that would more closely mirror “real life” reactions to these cosmic beings coming to Earth.

        In real life, the arrival of the New Gods would have us questioning everything — not just scientifically, but spiritually as well.

        In the DCU, what reaction could people have to the arrival of the New Gods except, “Hey, more aliens. Like Superman… the Green Lanterns… the Martian Manhunter… Hawkman… Starfire…”?

        Liked by 2 people

        • crustymud · April 20

          Fwiw, I’m fairly certain that Kirby agreed– or would at least come to agree– with this viewpoint, because when he went back to Marvel and created The Eternals, he *definitely* did not want them connected to the regular Marvel continuity.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Alan Stewart · April 20

            And unfortunately, they didn’t listen.

            While I was fine with the Fourth World being part of the DC Universe, having the Eternals be part of the Marvel Universe never made any sense. Kirby was offering an explanation for where the myths of Zeus, Athena, etc., came from. But the MU already had existing versions of those gods.

            That said, some creators — Neil Gaiman, for one example, and the current series’ team of Kieron Gillen and Esad Ribic, for another — *have* managed to make the Eternals work within Marvel continuity. (Gillen and Ribac have even accomplished the almost-impossible feat of reconciling me to the long-ago retcon that made Thanos an Eternal.)

            Liked by 1 person

  5. jmhanzo · April 19

    Gil Kane’s impression of Jack’s New Gods project…

    “One of the things that make Kirby virtually the supreme comic artist is that he is hardly ever compromised by some commonplace notion of draftsmanship. The people who make a fetish of literal form have the smallest grip on the whole idea of drama. They live and die by the external, the cosmetic effect. Thus someone in the Spanish School is elevated to a kind of deity level, while their work is anti-life. It is stillborn, while Kirby is absolutely raging with life.

    What Kirby does is to generate incredible vitality on each page. There are four or five high points in the last decade—the first year of The New Gods especially — where he had so much to give that he needed someone to channel it for him. It came out faster than it could be digested. There were four different storylines at once, all those fascinating characters he was not able to follow up on… Jack does his drawing on the basis of the very strong impressions he is continually registering; and what he draws communicates the impression better than a literal interpretation.

    His drawings don’t depend on academic draftsmanship; they have a life of their own. He’s the one who started this whole business of distortion, the big hands and fists. And with him, they all work, they all have a dramatic quality that makes them believable, creating enormous power in his material. And his distortion is never questioned. I do more representational figures, but the same editor will accept Jack’s figures and constantly question mine.

    Correct is not right; what Jack does is project his qualities, and his expressionism is better than the literal drawing of almost anyone in the business.”

    Liked by 4 people

  6. jmhanzo · April 19

    Since people are talking about the line as a whole, here are my two cents from a message board a few years back:

    I think the core theme of The Fourth World is war, particularly WW2 (which Kirby experienced as a combat veteran, suffering with PTSD for the rest of his life) and the Vietnam War, which was ongoing at the time. New Genesis is the USA, Apokolips is Nazi Germany / USSR, and Earth represents the smaller countries where the actual fighting happens, such as Vietnam. We’re caught in a larger war between vastly more powerful entities that don’t really care about us in particular.

    The NEW GODS represented the front line of combat, with Orion as the beautiful and valiant protector of all that is good and just, beloved hero to all within the golden city of New Genesis — but all the while hiding the vicious, sadistic, and ugly animal he is inside, the very thing that makes him the great war hero to his people (represented by changing from his Greek God face to his ugly, bestial face). I feel Kirby was commenting on the duality and inner struggle of a combat soldier — to be seen as heroic, to fight for a high-minded cause, but also having to kill other human beings and maybe having difficult thoughts and emotions from those traumatic acts of violence.

    The FOREVER PEOPLE represent the young people who must fight these wars that they didn’t start, but suffer the consequences of them. The Forever People go to Earth to fight in a war they didn’t start with origns that began well before they were born, much like young people who are drafted in fight in Vietnam or the Middle East.

    MISTER MIRACLE represents people who have escaped from war — he essentially is raised in a Holocaust Camp. I’ve read that this is the character Kirby himself most identified with, with him as Scott Free and his wife as the protective Big Barda.

    I think an overarching theme is that no matter what these people do, the war effects them in some way and they’re forced to react to it — but it is in these reactions that they reveal their true humanity and strength. Someone pointed out in a column that the outcome of The Pact / Himon was that facism ultimately fails — the war-like Orion is raised on New Genesis and becomes a hero, while Scott Free is raised in inhuman circumstances on Apokolips… and also becomes a hero.

    Liked by 3 people

    • jmhanzo · April 19

      I strongly recommend this analysis of the subtext and symbolism of his Fourth World series. For me, it’s satisfying to see some of the vague thoughts I had affirmed and expanded upon — New Genesis is Western style democracy, Apokolips represents the various “isms” — facism, communism, Nazism, etc. — and Earth is where the battle takes place, like Korea or Vietnam.

      I thought this was a particularly interesting though —

      “But Darkseid in my opinion wasn’t a Hitler. Steppenwolf was the standin for Hitler, and like Hitler died at the end of the middle war. Drakseid was much more philosophical and Machiavellian than Hitlers’ straightforward boorishness. Steppenwolf was the fist in the face, while Darkeid was the shiv in the back. He reminds me more of Joseph Stalin, and the network of Soviet duplicity, and it seems that Kirby’s references are more Soviet style despotism than Hitler’s nationalistic fervor. Hitler was trying to raise Germany, while Stalin’s evil was much more personal and ideological.

      Nowhere do we get the feeling that Darkseid cared one whit for Apokolips and its people, they were simply cattle for the slaughter in the service of Darkseid himself. He didn’t want land, or wealth, he wants control of the very thought process of his subjects, this strikes me as more in line with the way Kirby would view Communism. When Khrushchev said “we will bury you” he wasn’t talking militarily, he was talking from a rot emanating from our insides; the destruction not of our homes but our way of life and philosophy of freedom and independence. This is a big difference between Darkseid and Kirby’s other great megalomaniac Dr. Doom. Even Dr. Doom had a soft spot for his beloved Latveria.

      ‘Darkseid is what we mean when we say “the powers that be”; not satanic, not merely the devil. He is what we mean when we say “them” but what we really mean is “us”. Darkseid is what happens when everybody is asleep. Darkseid catches you off guard; he isn’t reckless he is far from being a raving lunatic with his finger on the trigger. In fact, he is just the opposite. He is the perfect rational man that we put into power because we are either too lazy to pay attention or we’re too occupied to worry about such details.’

      Though Jack did pepper his tales with Nazi allusions, such as comparing DeSaad’s Happyland camp to the Nazi concentration camps, the actual methods used were more similar to the mind breaking techniques used in Korea or the Soviet gulag system. The idea was to break the will and spirit more than the body.”

      https://kirbymuseum.org/blogs/effect/2019/10/23/looking-for-the-awesome-22/

      Liked by 2 people

    • Alan Stewart · April 19

      Thanks for sharing the Stan Taylor piece from the Kirby Museum web site, jmhanzo, as well as your own thoughtful analysis.

      Just wondering — do you have any thoughts about how the New Genesis Bug society fits into this allegorical scheme?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bill B · April 19

        I’d like to know what jmhanzo thinks about that, as well. I didn’t read NG 9 50 years ago, more like 10, but I glossed over the genocide spray, as it were, scene. I wonder if Jack thought any more of it than just another insect analogy, but it’s a monsterous act. Certainly gassing a race of sentient beings would be synonymous with Hitler, and Jack would have been particularly sensitive to that, being Jewish and fighting in WWII. But he never paints Highfather as a Hitler figure.

        The All Widow is quick to side with Mantis and the hordes invade, so we don’t have any sympathy for them, but there’s no justification for trying to wipe them out, and we know that at least some of them can be good after meeting Prime One. It might have worked better if the Bugs were spawned on Apokolips and Parademons were spraying pesticide on them. On the other hand, many of us would then assume Jack had Darkseid-as-Hitler in mind when he probably was just thinking of bug things. More analogy than allegory, I suspect.

        Forager, the Bug who is not a Bug, climbs walls (albeit with tech gear), has a vaguely spiderish symbol on his blue shield that he wears on the back of his red costume, wears a full cover mask with opaque eye lenses (from the outside only, one hopes) and is a teenager. I would expect some cynical undercurrent on Spider-Man here, but no. Maybe a rare homage to Marvel, rather than parody?

        Forager is also in an unusual position of believing he’s of an oppressed race and finding out he’s of the priviledged race. His initial reaction is to deny it, especially coming at the time of Prime One’s weird, ritualistic execution. There’s a lot to think about there, but it makes my head hurt because I don’t know what the hell Jack Kirby is ever really saying.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jmhanzo · April 20

        Obviously, I couldn’t know what Jack had in mind for sure. But carrying the “New Genesis is America” analogy further, perhaps it’s to reflect that while the US were the good guys compared to the Nazis and Stalin, our country isn’t a pure snow white country. The bugs could reflect the Native Americans, exterminated for being an “inconvenience” to our nation’s expansion and who only wanted enough land and resources to survive.

        The other thing that comes to mind when seeing the gas is Agent Orange, a herbicidal mixture the US used to destroy the Viet Cong’s food supplies that ended up having devastating effects on humans as well.

        Again, only Kirby knows for sure, but I find it fun to try to look behind the curtain. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • That’s certainly a valid interpretation. Looking ahead a few years to the Captain America’s Bicentennial Battles treasury special, Jack Kirby was certainly aware of the failings of America, of how the reality all too often fell very far short of the dream. Kirby was exactly the sort of person who would refuse to sweep the ugly sides of history under the rug, recognizing the importance of confronting them so that the United States could actually grow & improve as a country.

          As I’ve said before, it was such a terribly shortsighted decision for Carmine Infantino to pull the plug on the Fourth World. It has so much potential, so many characters and plotlines and themes that could have been explored for many years to come. DC really did not recognize what they had. It seems like they didn’t start to get any sort of inkling until Jenette Kahn became DC’s new publisher in 1976 and decided to revive the New Gods… but unfortunately by then Kirby was already back at Marvel, and the Fourth World without Kirby just was not the same.

          Liked by 2 people

  7. Chris A. · April 19

    I just couldn’t get into Kirby’s DC output, try as I did in the ’70s. Jimmy Olsen actually was an exception at first, because characters like Jimmy and Superman were already established, and quite human and accessible. These New Gods characters seem so remote (to me), and so numerous that I can’t keep track of who’s who.

    Ironically, when Jack Kirby teamed up with Stan Lee in 1978 for a one-shot retelling of the Silver Surfer’s origin as a graphic novel I bought it immediately. It was as if the Silver Age had returned (despite Earl Norem’s late bronze age painted cover). They really were the perfect amalgam together, as evidenced by their work on the Fantastic Four. Stan and Jack’s respective strengths covered their respective weaknesses.

    Perhaps that opinion is in the minority.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Alan Stewart · April 19

      “Perhaps that opinion is in the minority.”

      It’s hard to say, Chris A. I think a lot of people agree with you — but a lot of people disagree you as well, so who knows? 🙂

      I will say that, *outside* the Fourth World, I prefer the material Kirby produced in collaboration with Stan Lee (in whatever form that collaboration took) in the Sixties to anything he produced before or since, solo or with others. But I will always consider the Fourth World to be his masterpiece, flawed and unfinished as it is.

      Liked by 2 people

    • jmhanzo · April 20

      I think the majority of fandom prefers Kirby’s work with Stan Lee in the 1960s over anything else he did during his career — or at least the characters created. My favorite Kirby material is the 70s DC stuff, but I know that it’s more of a niche among comic book fans.

      I think Stan’s contribution to the 60s material might have been more in his role as editor than his dialogue. At the bottom of my post are some of Stan’s comments on the Fourth World from a convention in 1975; while I am very happy with the material as it is, I can’t help but wonder if Jack might have enjoyed a little more commercial success with the characters at Marvel.

      But that said, it’s clear Jack was tired of doing the action / soap opera formula that made Marvel so successful. He clearly wasn’t looking to do books about superheroes and their girlfriends secretly pining for each other. He clearly wanted to take his cosmic ideas — Galactus, Ego, High Evolutionary, the Negative Zone — to the next level and make it the focus of his work from that point on. And while it didn’t become to smash hit he wanted, I’m glad he was able to do it — I’m just sorry DC wouldn’t wait a little longer to see if Jack could have built the readership up.

      “AUDIENCE: Could you tell me why he did his ‘Fourth World’ books for National? Wouldn’t he have been able to do them for Marvel?

      STAN: […] I must admit that he has had so many books at National that have failed, whereas if they’d been for Marvel, I think they would still be being published — especially New Gods. The thing about Jack is that though he’s a good story man, and good artist, I feel he needs some control, some editing. He tends to get too wrapped up in what he wants to do that he forgets what the readers might want. I think his material was a little better with us because we exercised some control.

      I remember on the very first issue of the Fantastic Four, I’d suggested in the synopsis a monster, and Jack drew a hundred red monsters. I said, “Jack, it’s more dramatic to have one monster that the reader worries about, than a hundred monsters.” The trouble with Jack is that he’s so imaginative he tries to put every idea he can think of on every page. He tries to make every page a whole new original thought and action. That isn’t good story. You have to build up a mood. You’ve got to take one idea and stretch it over a few pages and milk the utmost drama out of it. It’s a matter of pacing, Jack goes too fast, you don’t have a chance to catch your breath reading his stories.”

      http://forbushman.blogspot.com/2017/06/a-serious-interview-with-stan-lee-april.html

      Liked by 3 people

      • crustymud · April 20

        While I wince at the shots Stan takes at Jack’s commercial struggles at DC, his criticisms still strike me as quite sound, with this issue being a good example. Was it really necessary to introduce yet another new character (Forager) here? New Gods needed a tighter focus on just Orion and Lightray, as opposed to introducing new characters every other issue that would quickly come and go. (The Black Racer also leaps to mind.) Too many ideas flying around way too fast and interrupting the main narrative, imo.

        Liked by 1 person

        • DontheArtistformerlyknownasfrodo628 · April 20

          I’ve been busy all day and only lurking at the edges of this conversation, but I agree wholeheartedly. It’s almost as if Jack knew his time with the Fourth World at DC was limited and he wanted to get as much of it out as he possible could in the time he had. I agree that he should have spent more time with his principal cast…I mean, is there anybody who can actually name Orion’s human friends off the top of their heads (that’s a rhetorical question, guys)? Too many characters, too many storylines that don’t go anywhere and an overall lack of focus on the characters that should be out front. Look, I love KIrby’s Fourth World. The art is amazing and it’s obviously a concept that was huge and cosmic and WAAAY ahead of it’s time, but perhaps Stan was right…maybe Jack needed some outside editorial control to keep him in check. I dunno, but frustrations aside, I still wish he’d had a chance to finish. That would’ve been something to read.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. crustymud · April 21

    I’m writing this comment independently because the reply feature is making the columns a bit too narrow for my liking, lol.

    First off, I just want to clarify that it was not my intention to trash Kirby here. New Gods was/is one of the best concepts in comics history and produced some of the best work in the history of the medium. It is certainly the greatest work of Kirby’s solo career and one of the best works of his entire career overall.

    But it wasn’t perfect. As I said, I think he was presenting new ideas and adding to the cast of characters too much and too frequently. Artistically considered, this was a minor flaw; commercially considered, it was likely a fatal flaw (particularly when one considers the nature of the comics market in 1972). For comparison, take a look at one of Kirby’s other DC books from this timeframe, Kamandi.

    Kamandi was always the star of every story in every issue. While Kirby introduced new ideas, concepts, and characters frequently, Kamandi always remained the focus. Kirby’s new stuff only took up space for one or a few issues and then Kamandi moved on. He’d fight rat-men in one issue, then gorilla-men the next couple issues, then a giant grasshopper and so on.

    Was Kamandi as groundbreaking and medium shaking as New Gods? Hell no. Was it still solid entertainment? Yep. Was it easier for a comics-reading kid of that time to follow? Again, yep. If said kid dropped the title for a few issues and picked it back up again, would he or she be lost? No. This, in my opinion, is why Kamandi was a commercial success, going on for years, even after Kirby left, while New Gods was not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alan Stewart · April 21

      I bought the first issue of Kamandi when it came out, but dropped the series immediately after that. I’ve come to realize that that was probably my loss, and that I need to go back and read the entire run start to finish. I haven’t yet, but one of these days…

      Like

      • DontheArtistformerlyknownasfrodo628 · April 21

        So…what you’re saying is, we won’t be covering Kamandi in any great detail on this blog, is that right? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Alan Stewart · April 21

          That’s right, Don. At this point, I’m not even sure I’ll devote a whole post to Kamandi #1, as there are seven other comics I’m already planning to post about in August. Granted, there’ve been months I’ve posted more than seven times, but I have to be really motivated to do so. 🙂

          Like

      • jmhanzo · April 21

        Honestly, I can’t recommend it enough. Right up there with Thor and New Gods for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Alan Stewart · April 21

          Thanks for the recommendation, jmhanzo!

          Like

        • crustymud · April 21

          I can see why Alan cut bait early on Kamandi, as it’s really a formula post-apocalyptic world scenario, with a first-issue cover ripped off directly from Planet of the Apes. And while it can be fun and very entertaining at times, it doesn’t even begin to approach the artistic aspirations (and accomplishments) of New Gods. But as I said, its simplicity is likely the very reason why it was a commercial success while New Gods was not.

          Liked by 1 person

          • jmhanzo · April 22

            It starts out as formula, but as with anything Jack does, it quickly becomes uniquely Kirby. (It should also be noted Jack did a post-apocalyptic world with animal-people in one of his 50s sci-fi comics.) It’s as wildly creative as anything else Jack did.

            I think the biggest reason it did better than any of Jack’s other 70s projects is that the character was very relatable and the premise was easily understandable. But make no mistake, this is a Kirby book first and foremost. I mean, if this map doesn’t say it all…

            And flip through this gallery of Kamandi splash pages and tell me this ain’t primo Kirby:

            https://marswillsendnomore.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/gallery-of-kamandi-splash-pages-by-jack-kirby/

            Liked by 4 people

          • crustymud · April 22

            Anything by Kirby is going to always have some interesting and entertaining stuff in it; plus the art will always be worth a look. I didn’t mean to slag Kamandi, either– just pointing out that it was a simpler concept and far more digestible, particularly for younger readers. I enjoyed it.

            Liked by 2 people

  9. DontheArtistformerlyknownasfrodo628 · April 22

    Apropos of absolutely nothing, did anyone else notice that Forager is appearing as a character in the current season of Young Justice on HBOMax? I haven’t seen it, so I don’t know how faithful it is, but it’s an interesting coincidence, given our discussion.

    Liked by 3 people

    • crustymud · April 22

      Yes, I saw that, though they radically altered his design to be more like a true insect creature now– which is kinda the opposite of the direction Kirby originally appeared to be going.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Alan Stewart · April 22

        It’s almost like they really wanted to use Marvel’s Bug character (originally from the Micronauts comic) but they’re making a DC series, so…

        Liked by 3 people

  10. Pingback: New Gods #11 (Oct.-Nov., 1972) | Attack of the 50 Year Old Comic Books

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