DC Saves the Best for Last in Darkseid Special #1
Stories by Mark Evanier, Paul Levitz, Phil Hester, and Jack Kirby.
Art by Scott Kolins, Ande Parks, and Jack Kirby.
Published by DC Comics.
Only Evanier Can Go to Apokolips
For the Month of August, DC Comics published a series of one-shots based on some of the most iconic Jack Kirby DC creations. It was all done to celebrate what would have been the King’s 100th birthday. The New Gods, Etrigan the Demon, and the Black Racer were among some of the properties highlighted in the Kirby tributes. But DC saved the best for last in the Darkseid ‘Over-sized’ Special.
The main story was written by former Kirby apprentice and biographer Mark Evanier. I think it was the perfect choice. Like the Vulcans say in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, ‘Only Nixon can go to China.’ Ideally, if you’re going to focus on the most important character that the King introduced to the DC Universe, you would have Kirby write it. But since his greatness cannot be with us, Evanier is the next best thing, since he had access to Kirby’s notes and plans for the character.
(Interesting Note: Speaking of Nixon, Jack Kirby hated the 37th President of the United States. Seeing his abuse of power in the White House, Kirby designed Darkseid after Richard Nixon all the way down to his insecurities as a despotic leader.)
Now back to the review…
In the main story, Evanier writes of a band of resistance fighters. Their leader Makayla was an orphan at Granny Goodness’ Orphan and escaped. In respond to the horrors she was subjected to, Makayla and he pair of companions deface statues and monuments erected to impose the fear of Darkseid over the populace of the Armaghetto. After three years of failures, Darkseid enlists the Female Furies to end this budding revolution. So when Makayla ups and surrenders to the Furies, has she finally given up or is there a secret plan behind her concession?
The all-new character of Makayla was one of the best new characters added to the DC Universe in a very long time. I need to know more of her story. I want a six-issue miniseries where Makayla continues her revolution against Darkseid and I want Mark Evanier to write it! I also want Scott Kolins to draw it.
Kolins’ style is very dank and gritty. It’s perfect for the slums of Apokolips. Plus, Kolins’ has got this quality similar to personal favorite Frank Quitely that shows the characters warts and all.
A Fitting End For a One Man Army
The back-up feature is by Paul Levitz and Phil Hester. It showcases OMAC, just after he topples the general of the NPA (National Protection Agency) in the pages of the original OMAC comic from 1975. I loved the ending given to the One Man Army Corps. I think it would have been a fitting ending to the character right then and there. With art by Ande Parks this story was a powerful tribute to Kirby’s skills as both a creator and artist.
There’s a couple of classic Kirby stories here too. I’ve read the Forever People story before. But the All-Seeing Eye from Tales of the Unexpected #12 was something I’ve read about in books and magazines but never gotten to read until now. Nobody is quite sure who wrote the tale of a talisman that can see anywhere in the world. But this is definitely a Kirby-illustrated story filled with his then experimental panels and angles. It was awesome to finally get to read a story I’ve heard nothing but praise for for decades.
As I said earlier, DC saved the best for last in their Kirby 100th Birthday specials. Everything was perfect from the stories to the art and even the reprints. Well, almost everything was perfect… Sadly, the King wasn’t here to enjoy it with us fans.