Greetings from the desert fellow CBSI members. As always in the speculation of comics, there is a cycle of “what’s hot” regarding characters, issues and storylines. In recent news, the New Gods world has been prominent in the headlines and seems to be on a course to hit the silver screen in the near future. With this, let’s take a look at key books, and 1st appearances that potentially serve us all well
After leaving Marvel Comics toward the start of 1970, Jack Kirby made his way to rival DC Comics to take over one ongoing title (Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen) and launch three new series and a brand-new mythos. With The Forever People, The New Gods, and Mister Miracle, Kirby effectively created an entirely new cosmic legacy for the DC Universe, The New Gods introduces the sprawling cast from the twin worlds of New Genesis and Apokolips, including Darkseid, Orion, Highfather, and Lightray.
So just what are the New Gods? They are a race of highly powerful beings who live in the Fourth World, a realm far removed from the rest of the DC Universe. Once this realm consisted of a single, primeval world called Urgrund. However, that world was split in two after a war, and now the Fourth World consists of two planets – New Genesis and Apokolips. The former is ruled by the Highfather, while the latter is a realm populated by slaves, all dominated by the baddie known as Darkseid.
These two worlds have been locked in perpetual war for thousands of years, with that war often spilling out to affect the larger DC Universe. New Genesis has the finest warriors and technology the universe has to offer, while Apokolips has endless hordes of winged Parademons and a small but deadly group of assassins called the Female Furies. A temporary peace was achieved when Highfather and Darkseid traded their sons Scott Free (Mister Miracle) and Orion, but that truce has evaporated now that both men are grown and united in their hatred of Darkseid.
Most New Gods possess enhanced strength and greatly extended lifespans. Some are as strong as or stronger than heroes like Superman. Many possess other unique abilities. Mister Miracle is capable of escaping any trap, no matter how impossible. Glorious Godfrey has a superhuman ability to influence others through the power of his voice. Metron sits on the Mobius chair, which grants him access to all knowledge in the universe. Darkseid wields Omega Beams, energy blasts that can change direction at will and obliterate any enemy they touch.
Interestingly, the New Gods were derived from stories Kirby had originally planned for Marvel's Thor comics. In New Gods lore, the Fourth World was born when Ragnarok destroyed the old gods of the Third World and a new generation of gods took their place.
Ok, so with a brief history of this Fourth World, let’s look at the issues that are key to the storylines and the why’s behind some of them.
The following is in chronological order as meant to be read in order to capture the whole story.
- Jack Kirby 1st DC work
- Intro to Fourth World
- 1st appearance of Morgan Edge
- 1st cameo Darkseid (I know debatable)
- 1st S.A Guardian appearance
- 1st full appearance Darkseid
- 1st appearance of the Forever People: Beautiful Dreamer, Mark Moonrider, Serifan, Big Bear and Vykin the Black
- 1st appearance of Infinity-Man
- 1st appearance of Orion (Darkseid Son)
- 1st appearance of Highfather (Leader of New Genesis)
- 1st appearance of Kalibak (Orion's half-brother)
- 1st appearance of Lightray
- 1st appearance of New Genesis and Apokolips
- 1st appearance of Mister Miracle (son of Highfather)
- 1st appearance of Oberon (Mister Miracle's stage manager)
- 1st appearance of Desaad (chief counselor to Darkseid)
- 1st appearance of Mantis
- 1st cover appearance of Darkseid
- 1st cameo appearance of Slig
- 1st appearance of Granny Goodness
- 1st appearance of Glorious Godfrey
- 1st team appearance of the Justifiers
- 1st appearance of Black Racer
- 1st appearance of Doctor Bedlam
- 1st appearance of Esak
- 1st appearance of Big Barda
- 1st appearance of Lonar
- 1st full appearance of Slig
- 1st appearance of Virman Vundabar
- 1st team appearance of the Female Furies: Bernadeth, Lashina, Mad Harriet and Stompa
- Origin of Orion
- Origin of Mister Miracle
- 1st appearance of Steppenwolf
- 1st appearance of Kanto
- 1st appearance of Suli
- 1st appearance of All-Widow
- 1st appearance of Himon
- 1st appearance of Devilance
- Marriage of Big Barda and Mister Miracle
Well there you have it. The chronological issue by issue look at the New Gods / Fourth World Saga including key issues. As this spans over four separate comic book properties, there are Omnibus’ available in 4 volumes for those who strictly want to read beyond collecting or flipping.
With all this being said, I highly recommend digging into this lore and learning about all it has to offer. With this being written for the big screen, There is no doubt some of the books above beyond the obvious ones will gain in value provide, a nice profit for those who are early in the game. Cough, cough Mister Miracle # 2 and # 6. Don’t say we didn’t tell you so!
My memory always takes me back to pre GOTG movies. Including how many of those books were in bins waiting to be had, and the ROI turned was addicting. You have any questions on that, or anything else related, please reach out to some of the vets, or anyone on the CBSI writing group. Between all of the resources, there is no question that can’t be answered.
As always, thanks for reading!