Jack Kirby’s Fourth World – Review of volume 2 of the classic

As we told you not long ago, 2017 will commemorate 100 years since the birth of jack kirby, one of the most important cartoonists and screenwriters of the 20th century and without whom many of the superheroes and villains we know would not even exist. On the occasion of this anniversary, ECC editions (publisher of DC Comics in Spain) launched a reissue of Kirby’s magnum opus a few months ago the fourth world. Now, we are ready to review Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Volume 2the second part of the series.


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the fourth world It is not, strictly speaking, a single collection but a series of collections that converged with each other in the 70s and that Kirby himself drew and scripted at the same time, with the help (of course, of a team made up of pens like those of Mark Evanier , Stever Sherman or Vince Colleta). These four series were The Eternal Young (the Forever People), a group of cosmic hippies who opposed Darkseid and his minions on Earth; the new gods (The New Gods), centered essentially on Orion, the son of Darkseid raised in New Genesis, who without knowing his origin opposed his father; and finally Mr Miracle (mister miracle), the ultimate escapist, whose birth would be linked to that of Orion.

Each one played a role in a war between gods born after a cosmic Ragnarok. Orion and his people were the soldiers in the trenches; the Eternal Youth, the innocent youth who did not know the weight of the facts that surrounded them; Mr. Miracle, the pacifist who tried to flee from the conflict, but who was dragged into it by a greater cause. And meanwhile, Jimmy Olsen and Superman were the representatives of Earth, the main stage of the conflict.

At this second volume we can almost give you some more clues about this work, which our readers who already comb gray hair will surely adore.

Without Kirby there would be no superheroes today

Perhaps it is an exaggeration to say so, but there is some truth in the statement. When we read Kirby, we realize the weight of this author and his work in current production in the comic industry. the fourth worldif we pay attention, it reveals the primitive skeleton of crossovers, that cursed constant practice in superhero collections, called to serve as bait to retain the reading public.

However, when Kirby embarked on the fourth worldwe can see the immense genius of the author, carrying out the enormous work of these bimonthly series that also linked each other, making the portrait of a complicated and convoluted conflict, which was settled over several scenarios, starring such disparate characters.

Using an ornate and epic language, the fourth world served as a metaphor for Kirby to express the social concerns of North America at the beginning of the 70s. The defeatism of Vietnam and the American left, the peace movements, etc… And he did it, moreover, by contacting the target audience of the comics, youth, although with a style inherited from the 40s (which was when he started working), which had been maturing, while retaining its own identity.

Do you want to know more about The Fourth World? This is the review of volume 1

Furthermore, far from taking his audience for granted, Kirby masked his stories with really elaborate metaphors, but easy to grasp. Many of them served precisely to denounce the deadly sins of Western society and its rulers, but also the connivance of citizens. And, despite this, he had time to make the occasional joke of a popular nature, allowing the cameo of celebrities such as the comedian Don Rickles (a kind of Fernando Esteso yankee of the time), who appears in the pages of this volume. .

As for drawing, although Kirby had acquired vices in terms of anatomy and perspective, his vignettes and compositions were simply poetry. But in addition, he polished his particular style with a very agile narrative. His stories were easily readable and understandable and did not require excessive attention or effort to keep up with. Unfortunately, over time, his narrative style has become denser. Current readers, who are not used to reading old comics, will find some other difficulty when it comes to following him. And let’s not talk about digesting his artistic style.

With everything, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Volume 2 It should be taken as a continuous reading, since at this point and after having read the previous volume, we are seeing how the pieces fit together and how Kirby elaborates a story that would leave his followers speechless at the end. Of course, approach these volumes with caution, a lot of patience and understanding that they were published more than four decades ago.

Jack Kirby's Fourth World - Review of volume 2 of the classic

Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Volume 2 It is already available in supermarkets and specialized stores. Its price is 35 euros.

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Jack Kirby’s Fourth World – Review of volume 2 of the classic

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