Today we finalize a cycle of reviews. the series of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World comes to an end, with the publication of this review dedicated to its volume 4. With it, we finish the cycle started in the review of The Fourth World of Jack Kirby Volume 1, which marked the beginning of the saga that the cartoonist and screenwriter jack kirby (co-creator of fantastic four Y Black Pantheramong others, for the Marvel publishing house) dedicated to DC Comics.
Curiosities DC Comics MUTE
the tome of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World vol 4 collects the conclusion of the original work signed by Kirby until 1974, which are the bulk of the four collections that together form the fourth world. That is, Jimmy Olsen, Superman’s friend, The Eternal Young (the Forever People), the new gods (The New Gods) Y Mr Miracle (mister miracle). In the volume that occupies us only numbers of the last three are counted.
In addition, as a climax, this fourth volume compiles the graphic novel the hungry dogs (Hunger Dogs), the end of the saga that was published in 1984, along with excerpts from the collection Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe, referring to the Fourth World. All this serves as a link for a series that we recommend to pro comicophiles.
The end of the beginning?
Jack Kirby’s Fourth World vol 4 eIt went to conclude a stage, but at the same time it opened the way for a later development of the characters presented in said work, whose latest versions we had in The New DC Universe and in the crossover of Darkseid’s War. But let’s not go so close to our time, let’s return to the comic that concerns us this time.
Do you want to know more about Jack Kirby? In this blog we talk about the creator nicknamed “The King”
If volume 3 of the fourth worldeither revealed hidden plots, discovered uncomfortable truths of the mythology proposed by Kirby and set the stage for the final duel, the fourth volume that we are reviewing today is the conclusion of the titanomachian-tinged cosmogony that Kirby had in mind. That is, he decides the end of the war between the forces of evil (embodied by Darkseid and his minions) and the forces of good (the New Gods New Genesis, led by Highfather).
Like any self-respecting mythological story, the climax of our story is based on a duel, which uses a common trope of mythologies around the globe: the confrontation between father and son. This episode is the axis of the entire plot, which has been built up over more than fifty issues, counting the different collections of The Fourth World. And Kirby narrates it true to his style, grandiloquent and typical of the bards of ancient times.
The Fourth World Vol. 4 (4 images)
However, along with this epic nature, the story drags behind it a certain anachronism that already in 1984, the date of publication of the conclusion of the work, evidenced. when published the hungry dogsJack Kirby was already a dinosaur of the industry. He was still a respected author and a reference, but his narrative codes, his aesthetics and even his assumptions were somewhat archaic. And that, despite his continual attempts to stay cool! Even with his good intentions, he falls into certain little peccadilloes that other authors would be voraciously criticized for, calling them misogynistic or retrograde. Nothing further, in truth, from the progressive mentality of the cartoonist/screenwriter!
This specification translates into an enormous barrier that separates a current new audience from the context of the work, since it requires a certain filter, critical eye and contextualization, so as not to fall into easy criticism. The arrogant and pretentious reader, who has just arrived in the world of comics and already thinks he knows everything about it, will find that the absence of a hyper-realistic aesthetic and a transgressive discourse are flaws. Hence, he mistakenly believes that the comic we are reviewing today is an unworthy antiquity, and not the key work of its time that it is.
Let us remember that Kirby was an author who was forged in the 40s of the last century, and therefore obeyed the rules of a certain school. His pencil did not need to draw “realistic”, because his drawing was full of strength and clear intentionality. In the same way, he did not need to be transgressive or controversial, since through an intelligent metaphor he denounced the inequities of the system, making himself heard by the young people he used to surround himself with, to find out what were the issues that concerned them. That is, through a mythological story, cooked up by himself, he performed a modern fable about good and evil, and the struggle of ideologies.
For all these reasons, we can conclude that although sometimes we forget, Jack Kirby earned with honors, blood, sweat and tears, the stripes and the crown that still mark him as the true King of Comics.
Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Vol 4 It can already be found in specialized bookstores, department stores and online stores at a price of 37 euros.
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Review of The Fourth World of Jack Kirby vol 4, end of the saga
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