Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Top 20 of 2007: #18 Fourth World Omnibus Volume 1

When I first read Jack Kirby's The Fourth World Omnibus, Volume 1, I couldn't get it out of my brain, and I blogged about it.

Since then, two more volumes from this series have been released, but this first Volume still resonates above and beyond the remainder of Kirby's Fourth World run. Volume 3 arguably features Kirby hitting his stride with these characters artistically, but Volume 1 is so full of un-matched cosmic ideas that it easily takes its place among the great comics released in 2007.

Even though this first Volume is my favorite, I love how DC chose to reprint Kirby's Fourth World saga as a single text, with the individual issues from four different comic book series printed in order of publication, allowing the threads to weave together in a way they wouldn't have if each series was published on its own (as it had been in the past). The Fourth World works as a single text, by the way, not because the issues directly tie into one another the way any recent crossover series would, but because each issue is a thematic layer towards something larger, something that Kirby couldn't articulate directly. The Fourth World stories combine, not in the way of a mosaic, or a tapestry, but like a grand fireworks finale. Each explosive issue contributes to a larger, brighter, booming display.

Read it.

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