For those of us too young to experience what Jack Kirby did after leaving Marvel Comics “ where he created The Fantastic Four, among others “ for rival DC, the hardcover “Fourth World Omnibus” fills in the blanks with mind-boggling style. Put simply, this is one of the craziest mainstream comics you’ll ever read. What he got away with “ in concept, not content “ is amazing.
For instance, there’s Jimmy Olsen turning into a Hulk-like figure. A four-armed rock beast. A hip black teen named Flippa Dippy. An evil grandmother. A guest appearance by insult comedian Don Rickles. It’s enough to make any Internet-savvy reader ask, “WTF?”
This “Omnibus” “ the first in a series “ chronologically culls issues from Kirby’s rather ambitious, if not always successful run on such titles as “Mr. Miracle,” “Orion of the New Gods,” “Forever People” and “Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen.” Written and drawn by Kirby himself, these stories are informed by Sixties lingo and counterculture themes, with dialogue that sometimes requires a decoder ring and hallucinatory images right out of an acid trip.
At $49.99, it’s pricey, but packs in plenty of pages. Kirby fans will be astounded at the wealth within.