Comic Review: New Gods by Jack Kirby

Published: September 4th, 2018
Written by: Jack Kirby
Art by: Vince Colletta, Jack Kirby, Mike Royer

DC Comics, 424 Pages

Review:

I had never read New Gods even though I’m a big Jack Kirby fan and especially of his Mister Miracle stuff at DC and The Eternals series he created late into his Marvel career. New Gods ties to Mister Miracle and the cosmic side of DC, much of which Kirby created, and it also resembles Marvel’s Eternals. But for some odd reason, it never really appealed to me enough to read Kirby’s original run.

Now that I have, I’m somewhat underwhelmed by it.

Comparing it to Mister MiracleNew Gods lacks its spirit and jovial, optimistic nature. Comparing it to The Eternals, it seems like a proto version of what that other series would become. Frankly, I think that The Eternals did everything better and felt more fine-tuned and focused. New Gods starts off well but each issue feels kind of random.

The only things that I really enjoyed with it story-wise, was the stuff that dealt with Darkseid, Kirby’s greatest DC creation, and the first appearance of Steppenwolf, who was very different than what moviegoing DC fans know from the Justice League movie.

As with all things Jack Kirby, however, I really enjoyed the art. Granted, he didn’t do all of it but everything within this thick omnibus was done in his great, old school style.

Rating: 6.75/10

Vids I Dig 241: Comic Tropes: Vince Colletta: The Inker Who Ruined Jack Kirby’s Art

From Comic Tropes’ YouTube description: Vince Colletta was an inker who worked on many comics for one of the most popular artists in comics ever, Jack Kirby. He worked with him on Thor, Fantastic Four, the New Gods and more. Colletta was well liked but was notorious for taking shortcuts in his work, including erasing work so he had less to do. This episode looks at Colletta’s history, techniques, and makes comparisons with other inkers.

Comic Review: Mister Miracle by Jack Kirby

Published: September 26th, 2017 (this collected edition)
Written by: Jack Kirby
Art by: Jack Kirby, Vince Colletta, Mike Royer

DC Comics, 442 Pages

Review:

I used to pick up issues of Mister Miracle during his run in the late ’80s/early ’90s. I never read the original Jack Kirby stuff though but I always wanted to check them out. Now that they have all been collected into this awesome, thick volume, I had to pick it up and give it a read. Also, I enjoyed the first issue of Tom King’s current run on Mister Miracle and wanted to finally read the original stories to have better context and more understanding of the character and his universe.

One thing that stands out the most on the classic run is the story. Yes, every comic book fan should know that Jack Kirby is a bonafide legend for a reason. But this here is some of the best Kirby stuff I have read during his DC Comics run. Man, I just love these stories and it actually took a lot of time for me to get through this, as I didn’t want to rush through these great tales. I sort of just read this slowly, soaking in the great art along with the magnificent story, letting this series marinate in my mind.

In the end, I love Mister Miracle as a character and the whole mythos he brings to the table for the entirety of DC Comics. Without Kirby’s work here and on similar titles around the same time, New Gods and Fourth World especially, the DC universe would have evolved much differently. Without these creations, Superman and Justice League stories would have been drastically different. There would have been no Darkseid or Apokolips, DC’s biggest villain and his treacherous homeworld that has been the focal point of many major stories (and now movies).

Mister Miracle along with Kirby’s other early ’70s titles are what made the DC universe what it is today and out of these multiple titles, this one is my favorite. There is something magical and wholesome about Mister Miracle. And even though he was born on Apokolips, the character taps into old school Americana and is a throwback to yesteryear icons like Harry Houdini and P.T. Barnum.

Adding to the magic of this series is the use of colors. Kirby’s art was as magnificent as his characters but the use of vibrant and vivid colors, especially in the character designs, made this comic visually enchanting and it still maintains its allure today, even when modern comic book art has evolved into the digital realm where anything is possible.

This collection is truly a must own. That is, unless you don’t like superhero comics, Jack Kirby, imagination, creativity and beautiful art. If you don’t like those things then why did you even read this far?

This is a masterpiece and this collection is beautiful.

Rating: 10/10
Pairs well with: Other Jack Kirby works while he was at DC Comics, as well as other runs of Mister Mircale, excluding the terrible run Tom King had from 2017-2018.