Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!

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I am currently re-reading My Hero Academia: Smash!!

The Baron said:

I am currently re-reading My Hero Academia: Vigilantes

The Baron said:

I am currently re-reading My Hero Academia.

This past weekend I read an entire month’s worth of new comics.

“If there's some contradiction that I haven't seen, please tell me, so I will quit lying to people!”

CLARIFICATION: I was referring to the comic book series (also titled Countdown, also considered “canon”) which led into the 2009 Star Trek reboot movie. If you haven’t read it, it tells the story of the 24th century events which led to Spock and the Romulan ship being shunted back in time to an alternate universe. It was quite good, but it does depict Data as captain of the Enterprise-E, which, although designated “canon” at the time, now must be considered apocryphal.

TALES OF THE NEW GODS: After finishing Kirby’s “Fourth World” and before moving on to, perhaps, John Byrne’s Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, I decided to read the “Tales of the New Gods” back-ups collected in Walt Simonson’s Orion collection. Unfortunately, the only ones collected were those written and/or drawn by Simonson, and the ones I was interested were the ones written and drawn by Byrne, so I resorted to backissues. Specifically, I was interested in his take on the origins of Darkseid and Infinity Man, the Forever People and the early days of Scott Free after his escape from Apokolips.

DARKSEID/INFINITY MAN: I’m ambivalent about this one. It seems to be heading in a particular direction, then, after a hiatus of several issues, returns and reveals what “really” happened. The problem is, most people remember the set-up and forget the reveal.

FOREVER PEOPLE: It’s as good of an origin as anyone who is not Kirby could come up with.

MISTER MIRACLE: I know time passes differently for “gods” than it does for us mere mortals, but I simply do not buy the conceit that “The Great Scott Free Bust-Out” occurred in 1802 rather than 1970.

The LEGENDS limited series.

Re-read all the introductions in my All-Star Comics archives.

I frequently refer to introductions from various achives and masterworks. The ones written by Roy Thomas are particularly informing and interesting.

Last night I read "CROSSOVER LEGENDS" Chapters 17-19. That's the three-part story which ran through Superman, Adventures of Superman and Action Comics between Legends #5 and #6.

Superman: Heroes

Superman #20

Batman: Ra’s al Ghul #4

Green Lantern: Season Two #1

Immortal Hulk #31

Star Trek: Year Five – Valentine’s Day Special

Archie 1955 #5

Dragonfly & Dragonflyman #4

SUPER POWERS (1985 series): I once identified this series as a “guilty pleasure.” I’d like to take this opportunity to remover the guilt. I would really like to edit Hunger Dogs, Super Powers and “In the Final Analysis, Even Gods Must Die” into a single, cohesive story, following Kirby’s original plot/page order, inserting “In the final Analysis…” at its proper spot, and using only the Darkseid sequences from Super Powers, culminating with his death at the hands of Desaad.

NEW GODS (1995 series) #12-15: This is where Byrne took over prior to spinning the story off into Jack Kirby’s Fourth World. For all intents and purposes, #12 picks up from where the original 1971 New Gods #11 left off, pretty much ignoring everything else that had come after, even the first eleven issues of its own series. (I have never read any of those issues, nor do I intend to.) When he reintroduced the Forever People, Byrne rescued them from the pocket dimension in which they had been stranded since #11 of their original series.

Batman: Damned - There was much hoopla after the first issue came out and we got the first appearance of Bruce Wang. I never heard anything about the actual story. Well I finally got around to reading my issues. It was okay, I guess. I did think the art by Lee Bermejo was gorgeous. Here Gotham's long nightmare is over, and The Joker is dead. Did the Batman kill him? Who knows. Too much supernatural stuff for me in a Batman comic. Constantine, Deadman, Swamp Thing, and Zatanna all make an appearance. Also, someone who I assumed was a version of the Spectre (I could be wrong of course).  Easily skippable.

”FIFTH WORLD”: If Kirby’s “Fourth World” refers to the tiles he produced after he first returned to DC in 1970, I like to use the term “Fifth World” to refer to the ones he did later (The Demon, Kamandi, OMAC, Sandman, Manhunter, etc.). That would make the titles he produced after his 1975 return to Marvel his “Sixth World.” There is some debate as to what, exactly, Kirby meant by “Fourth World.” Even Mark Evanier doesn’t know for certain. One theory is that, because the label first appeared on the fourth numbers of the three respective titles, it was a reference to fourth issues. The fifth issues would be “fifth worlds,” the sixth issues would be “sixth worlds,” and so on. I don’t buy that particular explanation, but I’ll tell you what I do think.

The term “third world countries” was coming into popular usage around the time of Kirby’s move to DC, so that’s where he came up with the idea to refer to his titles as his “fourth world.” But he didn’t intend it to refer to just New Gods, Forever People, Mister Miracle and Jimmy Olsen. Although those were the titles he was doing at the time he coined the term, I think he thought of all of his titles as his “fourth world.”

Yesterday I read JACK KIRBY PENCILS & INKS, an IDW “artisan edition” which presents the un-inked pencils of each page of the first issues of The Demon, Kamandi and OMAC side-by side with the inked pages. Kirby’s penciled covers of both The Demon #1 and Kamandi #1 refer to both as “fourth world” titles (although those blurbs did not make it onto the final covers). That perception holds true for the titles he produced for Marvel after his return in 1975. In The Eternals in particular, a debate raged in the letters pages concerning whether or not the title took place in the Marvel Universe proper. Even the inclusion of a “cosmic powered Hulk” (a robot) did not clear the matter up. The Eternals weren’t fully integrated into the MU until Roy Thomas did so some time later in Thor.

One other thing about the Pencils & Inks artisan edition: two pages were dropped from issue #1 so DC could include more ads. One of the pages was dropped outright; one two-page sequence was cobbled together into a single page. IDW not only reprinted the missing page (newly inked by Mike Royer), but also reconstructed the two pages combined into one. If you read the Jack Kirby’s Demon<>/i omnibus, that volume restored the page which was cut outright, but did not reconstruct the missing panels of the other two. I plan to move on to The Demon next.

I think you're right about the origins of "Fourth World". That he applied the term to Kamandi and The Demon is news to me.

Kamandi was advertised in the last panel of New Gods #11, and The Demon in the last panel of Forever People #11. When the new titles started Mister Miracle still had a year and a half to run. At some point DC considered doing a title about Barda and the Female Furies. I take it that's why Kirby had them come to Earth with Mister Miracle and Barda in Mister Miracle #10, the first "new style" issue.

According to Mike's Amazing World The Demon #1 went on sale the same month as New Gods #10, and Kamandi #1 a couple of weeks after New Gods #11, but that need not have been the order in which he did them.

NEW:

Legion of Super-Heroes #4
Machine Man 2020 #1
Atlantis Attacks #2
Five Years #8
Flash Forward #5
Star Trek: Year Five #10
Jimmy Olsen #8
Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror: Season Two #5
American Jesus #3

OLD:

DC COMICS PRESENTS #27-29: This is the first “Mongul” story, by Len Wein and Jim Starlin. Inspired by watching the Mongul Justice League cartoon recently, I read this three-parter for the first time in the DC Universe by Len Wein hardcover. It was fairly lackluster and somewhat disappointing. Even the artwork was sub-par for Starlin, which I attribute to mismatched inkers.

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