I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got five new comics plus a hard cover collection:

  • O.M.A.C. – 2
  • Stormwatch – 2
  • The Walking Dead – 89
  • Fear Agent – 31
  • Mystic – 3
  • ”Locke & Key Volume 2 – Head Games”
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

    “Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus: Volume 4” By Jack Kirby

    Here it is. The final volume of this series. These volumes have been presenting issues of “The Fourth World” story in the order that they originally were published back in the 1970s. Hence we get alternating comic series. An issue of “The Forever People” then an issue of “The New Gods” followed by an issue of “Mister Miracle”. I must say I’ve like the format.

    Since “The Forever People” and “The New Gods” only lasted eleven issues a piece and “Mister Miracle” lasted until issue 18 this volume has only one issue of the first two series and seven issues of “Mister Miracle”. Then it concludes with the graphic novel “The Hunger Dogs” that was done by Kirby ten years after the original “Fourth World” comics were published.

    I had never read “The Hunger Dogs” before. It came out in 1985 and since I hadn’t read but a few issues of the original series it was beneath my radar. I remember hearing the name but it meant nothing to me. Of course I was away at college back then too. Over the years I’ve met a bunch of “Fourth World” fans and most of them expressed disappointment with “The Hunger Dogs”. Though I can see why I still liked it.

    I imagine that it’s real hard to write the ending to a story ten years after it was abandoned/cancelled. How do you capture what you were thinking ten years ago? I think that Kirby came up with a new answer rather than trying to find the old one. I found that interesting.

    What I also realized with “The Hunger Dogs” was that Darkseid was really a post-victory villain. Even in the original series. He had won. He ruled his planet and even though he still dreamed of more conquest he had plenty to keep him busy running his planet Apocalypse. All the New Gods, Forever People, and Mister Miracle were never a real threat to him. Sure they occasionally spoiled his plans but that just kept his dreams alive.

    In “The Hunger Dogs” Darkseid has even made his own once powerful subordinates obsolete. He automated and robotized so much of his war machine that warriors were less important. Darkseid was in more control than ever. There was no chance of toppling him and it wasn’t really even tried. Yet still the story was interesting.

    The art in “The Hunger Dogs” wasn’t nearly as strong as in the rest of “The Fourth World” saga. Kirby was in his mid sixties and had some health problems so that is understandable but also really noticeable. It’s like seeing a Hall of Fame athlete play past their prime. They’re still good but they’re no longer awesome.

    This volume was mostly about “The Hunger Dogs” for me. Kirby wrapped up “The Forever People” and “The New Gods” pretty quickly with their last issues and the “Mister Miracle” stuff became more straight superhero stories so this volume didn’t become “Fourth World” for me until “The Hunger Dogs” started.

    “The Hunger Dogs” may not have been how Kirby would have ended the story ten years before, it doesn’t have the same rollicking energy, but I think it was a good ending nonetheless. There was a lot of fighting and violence to the ending yet somehow it was more pensive than the original series. I liked it. Good stuff.