The uncharted ether of imagination.
That’s what brings us to today.
Over the last month and a half, we’ve begun unofficially celebrating the year of comic book legend Jack Kirby’s birth here at Biff Bam Pop! The “King” as he’s affectionately called, would be 100 years young this year…and make no mistake, his many pop culture creations live long and strong.
You know many of them: Captain America, The Fantastic Four, Hulk, Silver Surfer, X-Men, etc., etc., etc.
Without Kirby, you could argue there would be no superhero comics, no Marvel Cinematic Universe, no Wednesday Run!
But beyond those characters listed, did you know about Kirby’s early 1970’s Fourth World creations: his “Cosmic Odyssey”? It was a series of interconnected titles that would tell one complete story, a publishing revelation, far ahead of its time!
Well, look no further than today release of the Kirby-inspired, late twentieth century release of, Cosmic Odyssey: The Deluxe Edition – and discover the King’s imagination run rampant across the universe!
Cosmic Odyssey Deluxe Edition
Written By: Jim Starlin
Illustrated By: Mike Mignola, Carlos Garzon
Published by: DC Comics
Released in late 1988 as four, 48-page, prestige format books, the Cosmic Odyssey miniseries was written by fan favourite Jim Starlin (The Death of Captain Marvel, Dreadstar, The Infinity Gauntlet), who was no stranger to outer space science fiction epics.
Notably, the series was illustrated by a young and up and coming Mike Mignola (Hellboy), whose blocky and highly dynamic figures were infused with the artistry prevalent in Jack Kirby’s own drawings.
It was a perfect artistic mix to take the reins of one of the King’s more underappreciated science fiction creation – the Fourth World set of characters: Darkseid, Highfather, Kalibak, Orion, Metron and all the drama of their warring houses. Cosmic Odyssey pairs those heroes and villains with Superman and Batman and set’s them up, properly, in the DC Universe.
The threat in Cosmic Odyssey is in the discovery of the actual sentience of the Anti-Life Equation, a threat against the entire universe and a discovery that the villainous Darkseid himself has always sought to control.
It was a fantastic and awe-inspiring story that initiated this particular reader/writer into some of the greatest characters – and greatest world-builds – that Jack Kirby ever created. It didn’t, however, do very much to entrench them into the DC Universe proper.
And that’s a shame. The Fourth World is a fertile ground for stories bound only by the imagination of writers and artists.
Still, the legacy of Cosmic Odyssey, and what the miniseries represented, lives on. The threat of Darkseid is omnipresent in the DC Universe both on published page and on the silver screen. He’s the shadowy threat in the Justice League series of forthcoming movies, didn’t you know?
Really, it’s a testament to Jack Kirby’s timeless brilliance that his creations can still carry such weight, so many years after their first appearance.
Today you can pick up the Cosmic Odyssey Deluxe Edition – an over-sized hardcover compilation that really showcases the expanse of the DC Universe and, more importantly, Mignola’s outstanding artwork.
Get lost in the breadth of the Fourth World! Make the run to your local comic book store today and pick up the Cosmic Odyssey Deluxe Edition.
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