#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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#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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#726 Kirby’s Fourth World: “The Forever People” #2-#8

After reading Jack Kirby‘s wacky Jimmy Olsen run, Tim and Emmet weren’t sure what to expect from the first six issues of his Forever People series. What we found was, yes, ideas and concepts by the bushel, but also some insightful social commentary that has us wondering: Why isn’t this book more highly regarded? We consider why it isn’t and explain why it should be.

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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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#721 Kirby’s Fourth World: “Jimmy Olsen” pt 1


By the end of the 1960s, Jack Kirby had had enough of Marvel. He felt that the company had not treated him well enough for him to justify introducing the new characters and concepts he’d been toying with. When he got the chance to try out the concepts at DC Comics instead, he jumped at the chance.

Thus, we have the Fourth World saga. After reviewing the Tom Scioli bio of Kirby, Tim and Emmet decided to read the Fourth World for the first time. So this episode, we begin with the early issues of Kirby’s run on Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen: issues 133-139 and 141. The issues show us how Kirby was digesting what was going on around him in the late “hippie” era. But wait a minute — what’s Don Rickles doing here???

Mark Evanier on the Rickles appearance

Vulture.com article on Fourth World, by Abraham Riesman

The reading order we’re following

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