Title: The New Gods Special #1
Publisher: DC Comics
Author: Shane Davis
Backup Author: Walter Simonson
Art: Michelle Delecki, Shane Davis
Backup Art: Walter Simonson
Story Rating: 10
Backup Story Rating: 9
Art Rating: 9.5
Backup Art Rating: 10
Color Rating: 10
Backup Color Rating: 10
Overall Rating: 10
In honor of Jack Kirby‘s 100th birthday coming soon, DC will be releasing six one-shots based on some of his well-known creations. The first of the one-shots to come out was the New Gods Special.
While there may be people unaware of the New Gods, many people are aware of one character to emerge out of the original series, Darkseid. Throughout the main story of the issue, Darkseid is mentioned but not seen. The story mostly focuses on Orion of New Genesis. Orion is the son of Darkseid, but was given to the Highfather of New Genesis as part of a peace treaty between New Genesis and Apokolips. Darkseid’s other son, Kalibak appears to have broken the agreement by coming to New Genesis and forcing slaves to build a mass weapon for him. Orion and Lightray go to confront Kalibak and his troops. While Lightray fights the parademons, Orion goes head to head with his brother. That fight leads to Orion losing control and almost killing Kalibak. In the end, Orion realizes that he doesn’t have to stoop down to the same level as Kalibak.
Orion sends Kalibak back to Apokolips and then accepts that he is a son of New Genesis. Overall, this story was interesting just a little short. This issue follows a classic know who you are and where you come from storyline but is able to approach it in a new way. More focus should have been put on why Kalibak was building the weapon and what his plans were with the weapon. Jack Kirby created these fascinating characters years ago, and it is nice to see them return to comics, even if for a few one shots. Though, the issue should have gone all out with at least one story.
The artwork was fantastic except for Orion’s helmet. Other depictions of the helmet have shorter horns on the side of his head. This representation of the helmet looks too much like a bad Batman rip off. The fight scene surrounded by fire was beautiful. The colors of each character genuinely stood out.
The backup story tells the tale of a young Orion training for the eventual battle between him and Darkseid. Orion is down in the ocean with Seagrin, and together they come across a Krake. Orion wants to fight it head on, but Seagrin teaches him that it is better to withdraw from a fight instead of fight and lose. The artwork for the backup story is so detailed and precise making it an amazing thing to look at. The storyline is short, but it gets its point across.
Overall, the New Gods Special was a great read and did a great job honoring Jack Kirby. All Jack Kirby fans should read the story, and all DC fans should read it in order to take in the impact Jack Kirby had on DC and how his legacy still stands today.