My latest comic review got me thinking about comics history:  When Jack Kirby left the halls of Marvel Comics at the dawn of the 70s, the King was welcomed soundly at what his partner Stan used to call ‘The Distinguished Competition’.  His first foray into the DCU burst out of that pages of ‘Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen’ of all places, but quickly set itself apart from anything seen on the comics page before.  Though there were forays by Darkseid into the greater DCU (a JLA/JSA summer crossover, the original Crisis On Infinite Earths and others), the Fourth World stayed relatively separate from the likes of Superman and his ilk until Cosmic Odyssey in 1988.  Since that time, though, Darkseid, his friends, enemies and various sons have been front and center throughout the DCU, ending the world in the Final Crisis and, most recently, helping to launch a new world as the center of the beginnings of the new 52.  With so much Darkseid in the last fifteen years, there has naturally been some backlash among fans that the Lord of Apokalips is overexposed, leading to diminishing returns, which begs today’s Kirbylicious query.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) loves Mister Miracle as much (or more) than my own siblings, asking: Does DC editorial need to let the Fourth World characters rest for a bit?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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3 Comments

  1. Doctor Dinosaur
    June 12, 2014 at 1:02 pm — Reply

    In a word, Yes.

    At the very least until they’ve got some good writers again. And they get the right artists on it.
    The things Jim Lee did to Darkseid.. That design was a crime after the amazingly, horrifyingly, biblical version we saw in Final Crisis.

  2. Starks Scraps
    June 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm — Reply

    I love the Fourth World. However, I don’t think that DC has what it takes to produce those books anymore. The Fourth World (in my opinion) is supposed to somehow wrap itself around this utter insanity that was falling out of a (nearly) unleashed Kirby. If you pick up an issue of a Fourth World book and at some point you don’t say “what in the holy heck am I looking at” then it is written wrong.

    To be fair, I don’t have a lot of faith in DC right now. I watch my pull list continuously shrink as the keep ramping up their parade of trying way too hard and I am trying to figure out what they would actually have to do in order to get me pumped about a title again. I know there still people that love DC and I think that’s awesome. I would never begrudge someone for liking what they like but fo rme it’s past time for DC to just cool it a little.

  3. Luis Dantas
    June 12, 2014 at 9:26 pm — Reply

    It goes back to Crisis at least, IMO. It had a lot of Darkseid for no very good reason. Then we had Legends where Darkseid and Glorious Godfrey were the movers and pushers (for no very good reason, either), complete with a fairly inconsequential three-issue storyline involving Superman.

    The Fourth World was overexposed back then already. Then we had JLI, JL Morrison, Byrne, Simonson, and far more guest appearances than they truly could use.

    That said, no one is more overexposed than Batman, but we are not seeing a lot of demand for giving him rest – or even simply less books – so I guess it matters little as long as we can find sufficiently good writers and artists to create sufficiently good stories.

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