Fourth World (Jack Kirby’s…)

    (DC, 1997-1998)
™ and ©1997 DC Comics

(From the Slings & Arrows Comic Guide)

That no one at DC thought to publish a comic combining Jack Kirby’s early 1970s inter-connected titles while he was still alive is either tragic or considered according to your level of cynicism. While not matching Kirby in terms of sustainable creations, John Byrne has almost equalled his ubiquity over a 20 year career. That he maintains an imagination makes him a fine choice for handling this title, but even he’s affected by a strange malaise. Kirby created a multitude of characters, almost all of which have easily adapted to the subsequent attentions of others. So it’s curious, then, that the cast comprising what most consider his greatest work, his “Fourth World” trilogy of New Gods, Mister Miracle and Forever People, stubbonly refuse to perform successfully for succeeding creators. It may be that the central conflict, while hardly original, was so forcefully applied, that although Byrne is producing a better reprise than most, familiarity dilutes the effect. This can be considered a specious criticism, but that central conflict between Darkseid and Orion was so fundamental to the concept, and the concept so singularly one person’s vision. Byrne’s respectful of his cares, serves up a majesty rarely seen in comics today with plenty of artistic homages, and has the scope to attempt an extended scenario. On the downside, there’s a lot of blood and thunder, punctuated by unsubtle infodumps and acres of wordage. In the final analysis, though, the invidious comparisons invited by Kirby’s titular prominence—a marketing contrivance to woo older comic buyers, or genuine tribute, you decide—prove the downfall of an ambitious title. ~FP

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  NotesWriterArtist

#1

  3/1/1997
  $1.95
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11 copies available from $1.25
 John ByrneJohn Byrne

#2

  4/1/1997
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4 copies available from $1.99
Origin Darkseid; Tales of the New Gods back-up by ByrneJohn ByrneJohn Byrne

#3

  5/1/1997
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4 copies available from $2.50
Origin Darkseid; Tales of the New Gods back-up by ByrneJohn ByrneJohn Byrne

#4

  6/1/1997
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  $1.95
6 copies available from $0.75
Origin Darkseid; Tales of the New Gods back-up by ByrneJohn ByrneJohn Byrne

#5

  7/1/1997
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5 copies available from $3.50
Origin Darkseid; Tales of the New Gods back-up by ByrneJohn ByrneJohn Byrne

#6

  8/1/1997
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  $3.00
4 copies available from $2.99
Tales of the New Gods back-up by Byrne; Mister Miracle in old westJohn ByrneJohn Byrne

#7

  9/1/1997
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  $4.50
3 copies available from $4.00
Tales of the New Gods back-up by Byrne; Mister Miracle in old westJohn ByrneJohn Byrne

#8

  10/1/1997
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4 copies available from $1.50
Tales of the New Gods back-up by Byrne; Genesis tie-in; Mister Miracle in old west; Death HighfatherJohn ByrneJohn Byrne

#9

  11/1/1997
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  $3.00
3 copies available from $3.00
Origin of Kanto; Tales of the New Gods back-up by SimonsonJohn ByrneJohn Byrne, Walt Simonson

#10

  12/1/1997
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2 copies available from $3.50
Face cover; Origin Kanto; Tales of the New Gods back-up by SimonsonJohn ByrneJohn Byrne, Walt Simonson

#11

  1/1/1998
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  $3.00
3 copies available from $1.75
 John Byrne, Walt SimonsonJohn Byrne, Walt Simonson

#12

  2/1/1998
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  $3.25
2 copies available from $3.00
 John ByrneJohn Byrne

#13

  3/1/1998
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  $3.50
1 copy available for $3.25
 John Byrne, Walt SimonsonJohn Byrne, Walt Simonson

#14

  4/1/1998
  $1.95
  $4.25
2 copies available from $4.00
Origin Moebius Chair; Darkseid and Ares escape Source Wall; Tales of the New Gods back-up by Byrne & Ron WagnerJohn ByrneJohn Byrne, Ron Wagner

#15

  5/1/1998
  $1.95
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2 copies available from $3.00
Origin Moebius Chair; Tales of the New Gods back-up by Byrne & Ron WagnerJohn ByrneJohn Byrne, Ron Wagner

#16

  6/1/1998
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  $3.00
3 copies available from $3.00
Origin of Moebius Chair; Tales of the New Gods back-up by Byrne and Ron Wagner; Tales of the New Gods back-up by Byrne & Ron WagnerJohn ByrneJohn Byrne, Ron Wagner, Ray Kryssing

#17

  7/1/1998
  $1.95
  $3.25
3 copies available from $3.25
Death of Valkyra; Origin of Infinity Man; Tales of the New Gods back-up by ByrneJohn ByrneJohn Byrne

#18

  8/1/1998
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4 copies available from $3.25
Origin Infinity Man; Tales of the New Gods back-up by ByrneJohn ByrneJohn Byrne

#19

  9/1/1998
  $2.25
  $8.50
2 copies available from $8.50
Origin Infinity Man; Return of Supertown; Tales of the New Gods back-up by ByrneJohn ByrneJohn Byrne

#20

  10/1/1998
  $2.25
  $11.50
2 copies available from $7.50
Post-Crisis re-telling of Supermans first encounter with the New GodsJohn ByrneJohn Byrne