The Great Disaster” is an epic tale spanning many titles and manu years in the DC Universe. The stories in this volume are presented in chronological order within the DCU’s timeline rather than in the order of the issues’ original release dates. In addition, the stories are organized in five sections:

PRE-DISASTER WARNINGS
THE DAY AFTER DOOMSDAY
TALES OF THE ATOMIC KNIGHTS
THE GODS RETURN
MORE TALES OF THE POST-APOCALYPTIC WORLD
ALTERNATE ENDINGS

Happily for me, the collection includes “Costume, Costume, Who’s got the Costume” from Superman #295, a tie-in to Kamandi #29, often mentioned on this board but which I have never read. The collection highlights the Atomic Knights, but I’m not so hip about that because DC released a hardcover “DC Classics” edition of that material in color a couple of years ago, but I am pleased to see DC entire Hercules series under a single cover and presented in this context. Oddly (I thought), Jack Kirby’s Atlas was included in the “God’s Return” section, but I always imagined that to have taken place in an imaginary past (like Conan), rather than an imaginary future.

Obviously I haven’t read this yet since it shipped only yesterday, but I thought a detailed description of the contents might sway someone on the fence. This will be my weekend project, at least the “Pre-Disaster Warnings” section.

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Nice! I'll be following along with your posts. I remember reading some articles in one of the Twomorrows publications that piqued my interest about these stories.

I picked this up myself last week because I had a very light week. I haven't even cracked it open yet, nor am I sure when I will. When I do though, I will definitely come back to this thread.  photo tongue.gif

I've actually read the Hercules material before, ages ago. My brother won them in an auction, and it was part of the parcel of comics he gave to me to on one summer vacation.

I bought a nice hardcover of the Atomic Knights stories from DCBS a couple weeks ago because it was at a very steep discount. I haven't opened that one up yet either. I've heard the stories (by John Broome and Murphy Anderson) are of...mixed quality. But it seemed worth it to get a well-presented hardcover of DC's history for nine bucks. I just looked back at the site and it is now only 42% off (at $23), so it's a good thing I grabbed it when I did.

Did this book really come out at last after being promised for so long (indeed when this book was first announced, DC was a completely different entity with a different headquarters, publisher, logo and everything)?

I'll have to see it to believe it. I still think it's a pooka.

Yes, Jimmm, it really and truly came out. (It actually shipped last week, but due to a Diamond SNAFU my LCS was shorted.) The previous solicitation was cancelled and it was re-solicited a few months ago.

John, I’m not promising to lead a discussion. I might make more posts to this thread, but Travis, if you get to it first, go for it. Don’t stand on protocol.

I have the later Hercules stuff in a Walt Simonson tpb, but other than those issues, I have only the first.

I’ve read the Atomic Knights stuff, Jeff. I would describe it as “quaint” (and I don’t mean that derogatorily at all). The artwork is certainly top notch, even if the stories are… quaint.



Jeff of Earth-J said:

John, I’m not promising to lead a discussion. I might make more posts to this thread, but Travis, if you get to it first, go for it. Don’t stand on protocol.


I'd love to hear what everyone has to say. General impressions, detailed reviews, etc...

I won't get it for a couple weeks but I do have the Atomic Knights HC. Looking forward to reading the "Day After Disaster" stories.

Worse case scenario: I dig out Hercules Unbound.

I've read all of this material before, when it all came out originally -- but, originally, there was no connection between most of them in-story, nor in my mind. So reading them all together will be an interesting experience!

I read most of this stuff when it came out (or in the case of the Atomic Knights when it was reprinted). But I think Cap is mistaken--this stuff was connected at the time, thanks to Paul Levitz and his article in AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS--which I believe is reprinted in the SHOWCASE (those who have it can confirm if I'm right). The Levitz article is the basic organizing principle that allows all this stuff to connect. Although, Gerry Conway and others were already figuring that out and making those connections in their stories, too.

Personally, when I read the Levitz article and when those other stories came out, I felt like I was sold a bill of goods. Kirby gave hints during his KAMANDI run what the Great Disaster was and what it wasn't. What the guys after Kirby created wasn't what Jack really intended--I don't think.

That's one of the things I've always resented. Kirby left before he revealed the full story behind his Great Disaster. Who I should be angry with about that I'm not sure. I don't like when creators drag out stories--so I feel partly that Kirby abused my trust by never giving a lot of good answers, even though KAMANDI had a long run to get all that out. Previously, Kirby's Fourth World had ended before he got the chance to fully reveal a lot of his plans. You would think, having another swing of the cat, he would have been quicker about getting his big ideas into print. But it feels like he played his cards even closer to the vest.

But even if Kirby didn't reveal a whole lot to the readers--you would think the people who worked with Kirby would have known what his plans were. Either Conway, Levitz et al knew those plans and ignored them or they never knew and made up something that didn't conform with the King's intentions.

Well, the Atomic Knights weren't connected to anything when they first came out, and still weren't when Kamandi came out. I believe Hercules was written originally to connect with other stuff, but up until that came out these were all discrete future scenarios. Levity and later writers may have pulled them together, but when I first read most of this stuff, it didn't connect, nor was it supposed to. That was my experience, anyway, but others may have read them in different order or with different assumptions.

Captain Comics said:

Well, the Atomic Knights weren't connected to anything when they first came out, and still weren't when Kamandi came out. I believe Hercules was written originally to connect with other stuff, but up until that came out these were all discrete future scenarios. Levity and later writers may have pulled them together, but when I first read most of this stuff, it didn't connect, nor was it supposed to. That was my experience, anyway, but others may have read them in different order or with different assumptions.

And it was perfectly fine that they weren't connected! I had no concern whether the future as represented by the Atomic Knights squared with the futures in the Legion of Super-Heroes, Space Ranger, Tommy Tomorrow, Kamandi, Batman issue #300 (look it up), Dawn and Don Allen, DC 1,000,000, Hex! or any of the others.

After all, the future is unknown and unknowable, and subject to change, so why not have several? I saw that as a strength of DC, not a problem.

Well said! Kind of like Schrodinger's Cat...until the future actually happens, they are all possible.

ClarkKent_DC said:

After all, the future is unknown and unknowable, and subject to change, so why not have several? I saw that as a strength of DC, not a problem.

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