I’m mostly concerned that I’m looking at my reading backlog and realising I won’t read this until January …2029
I didn’t take it that way, nor did I mean to imply that you specifically had a narrow band of taste. I was mostly using your post as a jumping off point for my own thoughts on why, so often, the work is maligned, misinterpreted and (in my opinion) underappreciated.
There is no ‘perfect saga’, of course – the fact that its unfinished precludes that kind of a judgement from me – but I love it all the same.
Is it widely maligned? I always thought it was fairly celebrated. Maybe that’s the bias of mostly hearing it talked about by Kirby fans.
I say that the writing gets more of a underrating, but nothing too vitriolic. More on the level displayed here where you know it’s all preference. But I’ve also heard a lot of people call Hunger Dogs crap and synonyms thereof. Which is huge maligning.
I’m no expert on the Fourth World material, but from what I gather the production of Hunger Dogs was pretty compromised and difficult. I remember thinking it wasn’t a great ending but appreciating that Kirby had at least had a chance to try and round it all off to some extent.
The work itself as generally well liked, but the writing is regularly put down in what I think is lumpen attempt at equanimity, that sort of typical “was great but had third act problems” uncritical criticism.
There is this desire to justify Stan Lee’s domination of Jack Kirby for all those years at Marvel, “you can really see what Stan Lee added” etc etc, which is to me wrong headed. What he added was certainly a prosaic appeal, which is not nothing, but that really has nothing to do with quality, complexity, character, etc.
Kirby’s approach was very different, and might have been more alienating, but it’s much more thoughtful, layered, and emotionally powerful to me.
Yeah, it was imperfect, and Kirby was forced to change things around and rearrange pages. And while the painted approach looked great, Kirby’s art had passed its prime.
It’s an imperfect ending, and while still really very good, it pales when put next to the rest of the New Gods, which was Kirby at his best, his most free, working on the best idea he ever had IMHO.
The pages meant for “On the Road to Armaghetto” were rather good and it makes the more recent pages with the weird flatness and off-model look come off way worse, yeah. It’s a stumble, and while I think at the core its better intent than what originally was planned - the time and distance means there’s never a full coalescing.
There was a bunch of other pressure to keep the characters alive, and his pages kept getting cut so he kept having to compress and cut out plot stuff.
It’s an imperfect ending for a lot of reasons. Still very solid, but not on par.
Aye. Except for poor Esak. Poor, poor, Esak.
Someone I recommended the saga earlier this year to finally finished reading it this year and liked Hunger Dogs but also noted how it felt like a string of montages and beats.
I think keeping characters alive was the good option, overall. Not for use in the DCU, though, but for the ideology.
Totally. I selfishly am glad the characters continued on. It took forever to justify itself, but Simonson’s ORION did it.
And I’m currently loving Mister Miracle, and enjoyed some of what Morrison did with the characters, though I’m not sure they really needed to be the New Gods for most of that (ditto for Mister Miracle I guess, but I still love it for what it is).
PS, yes that twist was I think one of my favorite things about Hunger Dogs.
I think that it just works since the climax of Hunger Dogs to show Orion’s peace with himself. If characters were being rubbed out - it would hinder that core conceit. And Darkseid’s increasing loneliness and isolation is probably the only thing that saved an otherwise blunt and obvious plot device to bring characters back for use.
I enjoy aspects of Morrison’s work on New Gods. It was only when he tried at parallelisms and focus that I think it really fumbled a lot for me. Re-read Seven Soldiers recently and there are some top notch revisioning potential in there…but it doesn’t gel at the end - and I still find Orion/Batman a stretch. King’s Mister Miracle…I like aspects of too. Overall, I dislike it, but there are panels I find nice…from time to time.
Simonson’s Orion though - especially the first few arcs - just a great amount of time spent building stuff up. I don’t even mind the “cap-helmet”.
Just finished the Justifiers issue of Forever People. Holy shit that was good comics. So far it’s my favorite issue, as it combines Kirby’s wild ideas and humor with moving and personal political/social commentary. Plus, it’s got that great dialogue between Darkseid and Glorious Godfrey at the end. “I am the revelation! The tiger-force at the core of all things!”
Definitely one of the best.
I’ll always put THE PACT as the number one, and GLORY BOAT and HIMON are somewhere behind. I think HAPPYLAND might be my favorite of FOREVER PEOPLE (that issue follows the one your’e talking about) but Justifiers is high on the list.
Honestly, it’s an incredibly fertile brew. I’m amazed anew every time I sit down with it.
My local shop runs a deal every christmas where if you spend £100, they give you £10 back in credit. So today I went in and along with my normal comics, I picked up From Hell, Superman American Alien, Northlanders vol 3, and Blankets. Not a bad haul at all.
From Hell is amaaaazing. I like it even better than Watchmen.
I’ve had a digital copy sitting in my Humble Library for months, I really need to get around to reading it.
I was actually looking for Watchmen when I went in! I’ve decided it’s high time I read it, I started reading comics when I was 15 and I’m pretty sure I’ve developed enough of an appreciation and understanding of the form in the intervening 10 years that I’m now ready to take on the big shot. The Wicked + The Divine is shaping up to becoming my favourite ever series , and I know enough about Watchmen to recognise that it’s one big Watchmen riff, so I think now is the time.
Yeah…that’d do it. Those are probably the best issues of the Saga all in one post. Plus the DEATH WISH OF TERRIBLE TURPIN.
I think I’d rank Happyland higher simply due to Desaad being one of the most interesting bits of the mythology for me. I mean, he’s Darkseid’s childhood best friend and technically second in command of Apokolips? It’s something that really amps him up in my view.
I bought it during a Comixology sale a few years ago. I haven’t gotten more than a few pages in.
Currently reading the Miracle Man digital trades - the ordering is very weird; I don’t quite get why it’s been sequenced like this.