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New Gods Special #1

by Olivier Roth on August 02, 2017

Story and Art by: Shane Davis
Colourist: Alex Sinclair
Published by: DC Comics

 

In celebration of Jack Kirby’s birthday, DC has produced this month a series of specials celebrating his impact on their line. Our first instalment this week is his venerable contribution to the DC line: the New Gods!

 

Tasked with bringing to us a new story set in the realm of the New Gods this time around is Shane Davis, of Superman Earth One fame, in what I believe is his first writing assignment at DC Comics. If this is indeed his first shot at writing for DC, I say he does do a pretty good job at it. The tale he presents to us is one that is as old as time if you are a fan of the New Gods, a battle between the sons of Darkseid: Orion and Kalibak.

 

Since this is a one-shot, Davis does keep it quite simple when it comes to the plot: Bug the Forager escapes from the clutches of Kalibak to inform the New Gods, Lightray and Orion, that Kalibak is plotting to turn New Genesis into another version of Apokolips. A large-scale battle ensues where we are treated to some nice very nice visuals and a surprising amount of character growth on the part of Orion. I say surprisingly since you don’t often get character growth in one-shots.  

 

As with a lot one-shots, it is sometimes hard to increase the tension within the plot since you know that the story more than likely will resolve itself in the end. Davis does a good job of circumventing this lack of tension by giving us sweeping action scenes in his trademark style. His art remains excellent throughout the issue and explodes during the aforementioned action scenes. I would also like to commend him as well for the brilliant facial features he gave to Orion throughout the issue. As I mentioned, Orion goes through a nice little bit of character growth and Davis expresses this beautifully in his many depictions of Orion.

 

I would also like to give a shout out to the letterers in this issue: A Larger World’s Dave & Troy. One staple of the Kirby style if my recollection holds, is the bombastic use of lettering within the actual speech bubbles. Dave & Troy takes that style and perfectly utilize it within this issue. Having Kalibak’s name imposes itself within the first bubble that his name is spoken in just adds that perfect level of gravitas to the sentence. Also, great use of sound effects throughout as well. I always enjoy a good “Krakashooomm!!!”.   

 

We are also lucky enough to be treated to a short story written and drawn by Walt Simonson with colouring by Larua Martin. This back up short deals with a young Orion with his teacher Seagrin fighting giant underwater monsters in the Unholy See of Apokolips. Though a very quick tale, Simonson’s work is still so nice to see and is always welcome.

 

Finally, this special adds two short reprinted Kirby stories written for the early New Gods issues dealing with Lonar and his mighty steed Thunderer. These are two great examples of what made Kirby the King.

Our Score:

8/10

A Look Inside