Jack "King" Kirby -- quite possibly the greatest comic book creator of a time, and inarguably one of the most important -- would have turned 100 this August, and in celebration of his centennial, comic book publishers will be delivering tributes all year long, including variant covers, homages, series like the Kamandi Challenge, and more. Kirby's 100th also means new reprints of his classic work, and this week we got news of a big one.
We already knew that DC Comics would be publishing a new Kamandi omnibus edition this year, and now it's been revealed that Kirby's Fourth World saga -- perhaps the most ambitious single storytelling effort of his entire career -- will all be collected into one massive volume hitting shelves this December.
The Fourth World is a series of interconnected stories Kirby began work on when he came to DC Comics from Marvel in 1970. Taken together, they tell an epic story of good versus evil, as the legendary warrior Orion and the gods of New Genesis battle the forces of Apokolips and the villainous Darkseid, who seeks to enslave all life. Kirby began introducing the concepts of the saga when he became writer and artist of Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, then expanded it to incude three original series: The New Gods, Mister Miracle, and The Forever People. The initial group of stories ran until 1973, but Kirby returned to DC a decade later to conclude his version of the saga with a new story in a series of New Gods reprints and an original graphic novel titled The Hunger Dogs. Kirby originally intended to kill off his two lead characters at the conclusion of his story, but DC kept them around, and the various New Gods have since been heavily incoprorated into the DC universe by creators including Grant Morrison, Walt Simonson, and Geoff Johns. Oh, and we already know that the New God Steppenwolf will be showing up in a little film called Justice League.
Back in 2006, DC launched a four-volume omnibus edition collecting all of Kirby's Fourth World work, and while they were re-collected in paperback in 2011, they're kinda hard to come by now. I have yet to find any edition of the second voume selling for less than $90, and while all of the individual issues are availabe digitally, it really would be nice to have all of those hardcovers lined up on my shelf. Now, DC's finally remedying that, with one murderously hefty edition priced at $150, which if you ask me isn't all that much to pay for a beautiful collection of 57 (yes, 57, and one of them is a graphic novel) of the best comics ever. Check out the solicitation info:
After co-creating comic book heroes such as 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, as part of the celebration of the 100th birthday of Jack Kirby, DC collects Kirby’s entire runs on these four series—THE NEW GODS, THE FOREVER PEOPLE, MISTER MIRACLE and SUPERMAN’S PAL JIMMY OLSEN—In a single volume. These comics spanned galaxies, from the streets of Metropolis to the far-flung twin worlds of New Genesis and Apokolips, as cosmic-powered heroes and villains struggle for supremacy, and the world-conquering Darkseid adventured across Earth for the deadly Anti-Life Equation.
Collects SUPERMAN’S PAL JIMMY OLSEN #133-139 and 141-148, THE NEW GODS #1-11, THE FOREVER PEOPLE #1-11, MISTER MIRACLE #1-18, plus later stories from NEW GODS #4 and DC GRAPHIC NOVEL #4.
The new Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus arrives Dec. 12.
(Via Bleeding Cool)