Jack Kirby's Fourth World

This week on the show: Jack Kirby created a unique experience in his Fourth World. The crew takes a look at the first omnibus volume, as well as discussions of new comics, Star Wars on Blu-ray, and more.


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Show Notes after the Jump!

New Phyrexia Leaks Source Discovered LINK

RASL #10
(W/A) Jeff Smith
Rasl makes his way back to Annie and has a cruel surprise waiting for him, and just when Rasl least expects it, Agent Sal, The Lizard-Faced Man, returns and starts shooting up a crowded bar! Rasl battles to save the patrons and the Multiverse itself!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Zeopatra:Pheonix (darkbrain.com)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Walking Dead #84
By: Robert Kirkman, Adlard, Cliff Rathburn
NO WAY OUT concludes. Could this be the end?

Rating: ★★★★½

May 4th is considered the official International Star Wars Holiday, and with the recent news that has been announced regarding the Star Wars Blu-ray edition (arriving in September 2011), we wonder how many of you will rush out to buy The Complete Saga ($139.99) for your collection… again…

[poll id=”181″]


Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus Volume 1
After co-creating comic book heroes including The Fantastic Four and The Hulk, legendary writer/artist Jack Kirby came to DC Comics in 1970 to write and illustrate four interlocking series known collectively as “The Fourth World.”
Now, for the first time, DC collects these four series — THE NEW GODS, THE FOREVER PEOPLE, MISTER MIRACLE and SUPERMAN’S PAL JIMMY OLSEN — in chronological order as they originally appeared. These comics spanned galaxies, from the streets of Metropolis to the far-flung worlds of New Genesis and Apokolips, as cosmic-powered heroes and villains struggled for supremacy.
Volume 1 features the debuts of Orion of the New Gods, the evil Darkseid, super-escape artist Mister Miracle and many others. It also features numerous appearances by Superman.

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  1. Frantz Niemans on

    CONGRATS FOR YOUR 300th EPISODE!!! I LOVED IT, SPECIALLY WHEN MATTHEW STRANGLED RODRI… oh right, Episode 300 never was put on the web!!! What happened guys?

  2. So you guys going to just keep skipping milestone episodes? Actually, I’m pretty much fine with that.

  3. brainypirate on

    I keep hearing that Kirby’s Fourth World books are amazing, but man, aren’t those some of the ugliest costume designs in all the DCU? I’ll grant that his artwork is exciting, but his designs–not just for costumes, but for weapons, buildings, etc.–sure aren’t attractive.

  4. Good episode. While I would love to read the fourth world stuff, couldn’t dc release a softback omnibus to cut down on costs?

  5. Very well done guys. The Fourth World discussion was, for my money, the best trade discussion you guys have ever done. Stephen did a great job of putting the series into historical perspective and presenting the contents of the first volume in a fairly straightforward manner. Matthew gave us the passionate viewpoint of what makes the Fourth World so awesome. And Rodrigo gave us the newbie take, calling a spade a spade, yet still being highly respectful and thoughful in his analysis.

    I’ve got to think a lot of podcasts would have devolved into 30 minutes of “how stupid is this dialouge???” and “what kind of drugs was he on???”, but you guys side stepped that trap nicely, while not glossing over those aspects of the work.

  6. Oldcomicfan on

    I’ve been reading comics since before Kennedy was in the White House, and I have to say, of all the Marvel artists from the late 60s and early seventies, there were two I didn’t like. One was Steve Ditko, with his weird art style that resembled Disney art from the twenties with the rubber limbed style and the second artist I was never able to appreciate was Jack Kirby. In my opinion the only character Kirby ever drew that really worked was Galacticus. I’ve never been able to put my finger on what it was that bothered me about Kirby’s style. Maybe it was his over-muscled and overly dramatic poses. I always get the feeling that if Kirby were to draw a picture of somebody taking a leak, the leakee would have one fist thrust out before him, larger than his head, one leg jutting out of the frame, bulging muscles, and a mouth opened in the same square bracket shape, laying sideways with the prongs down. And he’d probably also have an oversized hat looking like the hind end of a 50s rocket ship, with big fins sticking out of it. Did Jack Kirby ever actually draw a character relaxing, or smiling?
    Art appreciation (or lack thereof) aside, when I first encountered Kirby art in “Superman’s Best Friend Jimmy Olsen” I thought “This is just plain wrong.” It was sort of like how it might be if Frank Miller started drawing “Archie” comics without changing his style. And I wasn’t ever able to get into his Fourth World stuff. Maybe I needed to eat some sandwiches first? It was just so far out there – even more twisted and whacky there than the old BatMite stories!
    You guys made some very interesting points, especially how “Jimmy Olsen” was considered a failure by DC back in the day because it only sold 300,000 copies! Today 300,000 copies would be a fantastic press run! Back in the sixties, you could buy your comics polybagged in a special three-comic bundle. The two outer comics were turned with the covers facing outward and were usually a Superman or Batman title. The center comic, which couldn’t be seen from the outside, was usually a second string title, like a “Superman Family” or “Batman Family” issue, or more often, a “Jimmy Olsen” or “Lois Lane” comic. These bundled comics cost 25¢ (cover price of each issue was 10¢) but you could always count on the middle issue being a waste of money. Every so often you got an AquaMan or Legion book in the middle, or a Green Arrow or Green Lantern. Our parents usually bought half a dozen of these comic bundles for us just before going on long car trips. That, and one or two of the oversized “Summer Fun” issues. Ah the memories!

    • brainypirate on

      I agree about Ditko and Kirby, although with Kirby, my problem is more his design style than his actual drawing. His costumes are overly-busy–like modern tech meets baroque ornamentation. I much prefer the DC stable from the same period — Cockrum’s designs for the LSH are much more appealing (and not just for the skin factor).

      Who are the other great costume designers from Marvel and DC?

    • “Did Jack Kirby ever actually draw a character relaxing, or smiling?” This makes me question how much Kirby you’ve actually read. Normally I don’t mind people voicing their opinion but every once and a while I hear one like this and I gotta say I feel sorry for you. By the way it’s “Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen”.

  7. Thanks. I love the Fourth World books more than any human being should love anything that isn’t another human being. Great, great episode. I think Rodrigo’s summing up at the end was just about perfect. What an intelligent and eloquent man he is. Give him a pay rise.

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