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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Comic Review - Death of the New Gods 1-8

Death of the New Gods 1-8
Publish Date
Creative Team(s)
Jim Starlin

Even (new) gods can Die!

This story marks a major milestone in the annals of DC as Jack Kirby's 4th world (the New Gods and everything related to it) comes to an end!

Somebody (or something) is killing the New Gods (on both sides of the divide). We see beloved characters like Lightray, Black Racer and Big Barda bite the big one. Some, like Mr. Miracle, are more deeply impacted by this than others. Being one-time members, the JLA, of course, investigated Barda’s murder scene, Superman got roped in to help in solving the murders as Mr. Miracle returned to New Genesis to find the murderer.

I am not too sure how Mr. Miracle ended up having the Anti-Life Equation when Darkseid wasn’t able to obtain it with years of dogged pursuit. This made him super powerful, making Superman looking like second fiddle in this series in several occasions.

Well, the title says it all – the New Gods do actually die in the series! And we finally know the identity of the killer – the Source itself! What!? Yup – the very Source the New Gods of New Genesis revere and worship. Altho’ the Source had created the 4th World where the New Gods lived (and also why the Old Gods had to die), he had now realized that it had gone in direction contrary to his wishes because when he created the 4th World, he was incomplete (because his darker half was the villain we know as the Anti-Life Entity from Cosmic Odyssey mini series).

So, Orion bites it, Darkseid bites it, every New God bites it and Apokolips and New Genesis are meshed together, like, into a new world for the 5th World beings. I will miss them.

Jim Starlin (and the publishers) needs to acknowledge that his art is really way below par (even Ron Lim can do more consistent work). Yeah, he had done some really good work in the 70’s like Avengers Annual #7 and Marvel 2in1 Annual #2. His Dreadstar work was,…above average. No doubt, he can still write cosmic scale out-of-this-world yarns but his art is just >pfeh<. He’s also trying to rehash some of the designs used in Marvel from the 70’s. Cases in point, Mr. Miracle’s Anti-Life Equation look is a variation of Lords Chaos and Order The re-united Source looks like the In-Betweener.
Additional Comments
Mr. Miracle’s character & costume change has to be one of the series’cringe inducing developments. The new look (mourning Barda’s passing) was totally ugly and he was way off character (yes, we get it that the death of Barda was devastating). Additionally, Mr. Miracle’s look when he manifests the Anti-Life Equation is also another un-inspired & sorely ugly design.

The brutish portrayal of Orion was also a little distracting for New Gods fans because although Orion is usually brash but not brutish (making it look like Kalibak has a higher IQ than he does), as portrayed here - quick to blame the death of the New Gods on the Forever People.

The incorporation of major storylines from DC’s past like Crisis on Infinite Earths, 52, etc., is quite interesting.

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