#742 “Crisis on Infinite Earths”

Crisis on Infinite Earths

Crisis on Infinite Earths was an attempt by Marv Wolfman and George Perez to clean up DC Comics continuity and make the publisher’s line more reader-friendly. The story showed the Anti-Monitor trying to eliminate all of the many versions of Earth that had appeared in DC stories, and the few surviving Earths ended up merged into one. Numerous characters didn’t make it through the story alive; characters whose original, defunct publishers had been absorbed by DC now found themselves to be native to Earth-1. Tim, on a drive to understand more about the DC Comics he passed by in his youth, is joined by longtime DC reader Professor Alan to look at why this event happened, why it still matters, and what it reveals about the difference between DC and Marvel.

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#739 Kirby’s Fourth World: “The Hunger Dogs”

The Hunger DogsJack Kirby’s final Fourth World story is the 1984 graphic novel The Hunger Dogs, which continues some of the themes we saw in Even Gods Must Die, such as the encroachment of technology. Tim and Emmet complete their reading of the Fourth World and ponder how aware George Lucas may have been of the New Gods.

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#737 Kirby’s Fourth World: “Even Gods Must Die”

Even Gods Must Die

In 1984, ten years after the last of Jack Kirby‘s Fourth World books was canceled, Kirby was brought back to do a brand new New Gods story in the final issue of a series that had been reprinting the original series. The story, Even Gods Must Die, is typical Kirby Fourth World: alternately horrifying and goofy, with sly commentary on the encroachment of computerized automation of life, and also, perhaps, on the very fact that DC was having him back. Tim and Emmet discuss the penultimate chapter in Kirby’s Fourth World.

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#736 “Batman and the Outsiders” vol. 1

BATOv1

One of DC’s most fondly remembered ’80s series is Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo‘s Batman and the Outsiders. Tim, always a Marvel true believer, is just now reading it for the first time, but he’s recruited a lifelong fan of the Distinguished Competition, writer and podcaster John Trumbull, to join him in a look at the first volume of this beloved series. What was all the fuss about?

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#735 Kirby’s Fourth World: “Mister Miracle” #13-18

MM and Barda

Jack Kirby‘s Mister Miracle continued on for a year or so after his other Fourth World books had been canceled. This may be why much of issues 13-18 seem disconnected from the typical Fourth World narrative of Apokolips, New Genesis, and the like, and arguably Kirby doesn’t have as strong a message in these issues, but they’re fun. Tim and Emmet discuss.

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#733 Kirby’s Fourth World: “Mister Miracle” #7-12

Mister Miracle

Tim and Emmet continue their read through Jack Kirby’s Fourth World comics with Mister Miracle issues 7 through 12. Is there as much meaning in these books as there was in the first six, or is it becoming a formula? What is it about Kirby’s work here that’s reminding Tim of R. Crumb? What’s a Mystivac? What does the character of The Lump represent? And more.

Kickstarter for The BeBop #2: Bao

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#730 Kirby’s Fourth World: “Forever People” and “New Gods” end

New Gods

Jack Kirby‘s big plans for his four Fourth World books were cut short when DC abruptly cancelled all but one of them. The Forever People and New Gods both ended with their 11th issues, dated April 1972. Along the way, the Forever People had an unplanned meetup with Deadman, and the New Gods got all their fighting in while they could, and still left us hanging at the end. Tim and Emmet discuss The Forever People 9-11 and New Gods 7-11.

Kirby’s Jewishness on display in “Fourth World” (Forward.com)

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#728 Kirby’s Fourth World: “Mister Miracle” #1-#6

Mister Miracle

Our journey through Jack Kirby’s “Fourth World” books now takes us to the first six issues of Mister Miracle, a change of pace from the other three books, giving us a more straightforward narrative. How will Tim and Emmet react to it?

Kirby’s Jewishness on display in “Fourth World” (Forward.com)

Jack & Roz Kirby

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#727 Kirby’s Fourth World: “New Gods” #1-#6

Black Rider

While the Forever People are (mistakenly, in our view) seen by many as “cheesy,” Jack Kirby’s New Gods has been a relatively well-regarded member of the Fourth World stable — if only for its focus on Darkseid and similarities to Star Wars. This time, Tim and Emmet dig into the first six issues, laden with more symbolism (or attempts at it) than you can shake a ski pole at, great art, interesting ideas, and really clunky dialogue.

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#722 Kirby’s Fourth World: “Jimmy Olsen” pt 2

Transylvane

The second half of Jack Kirby‘s run on Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen continues to throw out idea after mind-blowing idea. These comics are crazy, and somewhat exhausting. But how do they stand up as stories? Tim and Emmet continue their walk through the Fourth World with visits to Transylvane, Scotland, and a volcano!

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