Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Darkseid Oversize Special #1 Review and **SPOILERS**

Just Your Average Day on Apokolips

Writer: Mark Evanier/Paul Levitz/Jack Kirby 
Artist: Scott Kolins/Phil Hester, Ande Parks/Jack Kirby 
Colorist: Dave McCaig/Dave Stewart 
Letterer: A Larger World’s Troy Peteri/Todd Klein 
Cover By: Chris Burnham & Nathan Fairbairn 
Cover Price: $4.99 
On Sale Date: August 30, 2017


We’re at the end of DC Comics’ month-long celebration of Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday, and they finished it up with a bang! Character-wise, that is…I can’t attest to the quality of the comic book. What am I saying, of course I can—and I did, in my review of Darkseid Oversize Special #1, right here!

Explain It!

I come from a Certain Generation of people for whom Darkseid is the most recognizable of all Jack Kirby’s Fourth World characters. Before I knew about the New Gods, heck before I knew about Jack Kirby, I was familiar with Darkseid through Kenner toys’ Super Powers line, as well as the accompanying cartoon and comic series. And you know, now that I think about it, at least Kalibak and Desaad were in the cartoon sometimes, as well…but I really remember only Darkseid, the ol’ rock-faced so-n-so that is at home commanding a planet of death and destruction as he is in your living room’s easy chair.
The main story in this issue, which opens with a wonderful cover by Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn, is written by one-time Jack Kirby assistant and esteemed comics historian Mark Evanier. It features Darkseid, and pretty much all of the applicable created properties of Apokolips (e.g. Granny Goodness, the Furies, etc.), but it’s really a story of life on the streets of this hellish world of firepits and Parademons. There was a break-out at Granny Goodness’ Orphanage of torture and mind-control, and now three kids are left, running around the Armaghetto and…writing graffiti on Darkseid statues. I have to admit, even I considered this act of rebellion impossible on Apokolips—but then, you don’t get very many stories about the day-to-day life of the oppressed on Apokolips, which Jack Kirby paid good attention to. It was a pretty good story that is probably enjoyed best by those who are in the know about the Fourth World.
The second new story is about One Man Army Corps, b/k/a OMAC, that super-enhanced fella who crushes tanks while wearing a pair of orange sweatpants and sporting a solid Mohawk. This one is more a visual feast provided by Phil Hester, who blends his own style with a strong homage to Jack Kirby for a very pleasing effect—that looks like it would work well in a cartoon! The story is pitch-perfect Jack Kirby for the time, meaning full of overblown, demonstrative dialogue and plenty of opportunity for dynamic punching and thrashing scenes. I like OMAC, so I enjoyed this quite a bit, but it’s not anything to knock yourselves out over. Again, you should come into this book already a Kirby fan, or don’t bother coming at all.
The back-ups by Jack Kirby are weird, as usual: a prequel story about Supertown first featured in Forever People #6, and a story from Tales of the Unexpected that looks to have the original design for Brother Eye in it. The sort of thing I love, but if you were looking for more Darkseid or OMAC stories, you’re out of luck. The Darkseid story was solid, and would be worth $2.99, I think. Five bucks is just too much for this, and only dedicated Kirby-philes need apply.

Bits and Pieces:

A pretty solid Darkseid story and a fairly middling OMAC story do not really make for a good five-dollar value (though the Burnham/Fairbairn cover helps.) Yet Jack Kirby fanatics might find it indispensable. Meh. What else are you gonna spend five dollars on, a Happy Meal? Maybe check this out, then, if your kid is acting like a jerk.


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