Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Return Of The New Gods!

Dick Giordano
Since the premature demise of Jack Kirby's Fourth World books in 1972, DC has been trying to bring back the concept in some way or other. The earliest of these revivals began inauspiciously in the thirteenth and  final issue of DC's try-out comic 1st Issue Special in 1976. Under a sleek Dick Giordano cover, Gerry Conway and Denny O'Neil write a story which revisits the classic Kirby concepts but with a trendy Bronze Age DC wash. Mike Vosburg deftly handles the artwork on this revival. But it's not Vosburg's name most associate with this particular revival.

Al Milgrom
Nor is it Al Milgrom who does most of the covers for this series dubbed Return of the New Gods, in his highly energetic Kirbyesque style.

Don Newton and Dan Adkins
The artist who most remember is the late Don Newton who took over with the series return to its original numbering at twelve.

Don Newton and Dan Adkins
Save for one fill-in issue by the reliable artistic pinch-hitter Rich Buckler Don Newton produces all the issues in this run ably inked by the late Dan Adkins. These two were particularly well suited to one another and these issues are magnificently drawn.

Al Milgrom
Rich Buckler & Al Milgrom
I'm currently trying to pick up these issues where I can. For whatever reason, DC has never reprinted them. You'd think whatever the qualms about the story there might be for Kirby purists, the attractive artwork of Newton would be sufficient to warrant a reprint package of some kind. Lord knows they've reprinted less worthy stuff, a few times over.

Rich Buckler & Joe Rubinstein
Al Milgrom & Joe Rubinstein
Jim Starlin
Al Milgrom
Joe Staton & Bob Layton
The series alas proved no more successful than its predecessor by the "King" himself.  After nine issues the storyline headed over to the dollar comic Adventure Comics to find its ultimate conclusion.

The New Gods would not return for over a decade after the Crisis had utterly transformed the DC Universe entirely.

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