Mention the name Jack Kirby and watch as the knees of comic book fans within an earshot begin to quiver. Rightfully named “The King,” Jack Kirby is undeniably one of the most important figures in the history of comics. Thus, when a new issue of The New Gods hits spinner racks in celebration of what would have been Kirby’s 100th birthday, fans, like myself, rejoice.
While admiring the cover of this feature length story, I grew concerned that what I had in my hands was a reboot of sorts and would ultimately lead to a new series, accompanied by a new explanation of the fall The Old Gods and the rise of The New Gods. And while I wouldn’t be surprised if this series was continued some time in the future, this issue, thankfully, is nothing more than a well-crafted tribute to Jack Kirby.
Shane Davis, tackling both the script and the illustrations, did one hell of a job on this book, and his respect for Kirby, and Kirby’s characters for that matter, is apparent.
The New Gods Special #1 gets off to a slow start but seeing Orion fly through space in his astro-harness was enough, for me at least, to keep the excitement levels high. Once the ball gets rolling and Orion comes face-to-face with Kalibak, the book takes off. Speaking of Kalibak, I especially like Davis’ rendition of the favored son of Darkseid.
Overall, Davis did a great job paying homage to one of the most important figures in the comic book industry, while also producing a work that, despite being clearly inspired by Jack Kirby, is a work that only Shane Davis could create.
I didn’t even touch on either the Jack Kirby reprint or the Walt Simonson story that are also found in this issue but trust me, this one is definitely worth picking up.