Review | Jack Kirby New Gods Artist’s Edition

Finally Jack “King” Kirby is represented sumptuously in IDW’s Artist’s Edition series by way of his later DC work, New Gods.

Jack Kirby's New Gods Artist's Edition coverThe Jack Kirby New Gods: Artist’s Edition will collect Issues 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of NEW GODS—the most important Fourth World book. Written and drawn by Jack Kirby, with inks by Mike Royer on all but the first two issues, this classic collection was originally published by DC Comics and is the very first Artist’s Edition to feature the legendary artistic prowess of “King Kirby!” Nearly every page of this Artist’s Edition has been scanned from the original art, and is presented in the multi award-winning format that was conceived and first presented by IDW Publishing! Jack Kirby has correctly been called the King of Comics. In a career that began in the Golden Age of Comics, Kirby virtually kick-started the medium. He created (or co-created): Captain America, Manhunter, The Newsboy Legion, The Fantastic Four, Challengers of the Unknown, The X-Men, The Incredible Hulk… the list goes on and on.

Now, for the first time ever, you can see Jack Kirby’s stunning originals in all their full-sized glory—You think you’ve seen Jack Kirby’s art before? You ain’t seen nothing yet!

As with all original artist’s gallery editions this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index.

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For many fans this was the Artist’s Edition most requested and anticipated. Jack Kirby did so much work in his life, but it’s scattered. His run at DC with the New Gods line was later and it seems possible to collected, as evidenced by six of the first eight issues of New Gods. With the pace of the books missing issues three and four has little detriment to the readability of this volume: it flows well.

The pages are very clear, with varying degrees of yellowing. Only three pages in this volume are not original scans, and one page a recreation by Mike Royer. Like all Artist’s Editions only fans are buying these, and I am a Kirby fan. I kept stopping and marveling at individual panels, drinking in all the detail and sheer “Kirbyness” of the characters. The inking is clean, and looking at the pencils in the gallery you can see Kirby indicated his shading effectively. Not much whiteout on these pages. Royer’s inks stand out much better than Colletta’s, comparing the first two issues with the final four.

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Packaging and presentation are top-notch. Another successful design by Randy Dahlk, using images from the pages with a unique two colour scheme; very sharp and attention grabbing. Production is solid as always: thick paper stock, sewn binding, book lays flat so you can get to every nook and cranny. IDW has hit upon a successful formula and is sticking with it.

As with all Artist’s Editions the book is divided into the comic pages and a gallery section. After the 150 pages of pages we’re treated to 17 pages of covers, illustrations and more. Oddly there are four Jimmy Olsen covers and two pages from a Don Rickles Jimmy Olsen appearance. The highlights are two colour foldout illustrations: Lightray is stunning. Finally an afterword by Mike Royer and a Jack Kirby biography on the last page.

IDW announced a Jack Kirby Mr. Miracle Artist’s Edition last month, another look into his DC run. Let’s hope there’s more to come.

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Jack Kirby New Gods Artists Ed HC – $120.00

Retail Price: $150.00
You Save: $30.00

Scott VanderPloeg Written by:

Editor-In-Chief. Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans. Joe Shuster Awards Harry Kremer coordinator.

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2 Comments

  1. Dennis De Pues
    August 6, 2014
    Reply

    I can’t wait to see this baby!!Looking forward to the “sheer Kirbyness!”

  2. January 3, 2015
    Reply

    Abandoned on my hard drive is a nearly complete book of essays on Kirby’s DC run in the 1970s. Actually, it’s only volume one of a two volume set. Unfortunately, no one is interested (least of all Two Morrows) and my name currently has no marketability. Be that as it may, I have always maintained (and lectured) that the three greatest consecutive issues produced for the NA comics market are New Gods 6, 7, and 8. Low and behold, here they are in all their power and glory as original art reproductions. They are as good a read now as they were in the 70s, man. With the advent of a Mister Miracle AE you will have in your greedy hands the two single-most greatest DC comics of all time in NG #7 and MM #9. I would give the slight edge to MM #9 for its pathos, but NG #7 has those philosophical musings on man, war and technology that lift it to the stratosphere. “We are worse than the old gods! They destroyed themselves. We destroy everything!” Sound familiar? Kirby saw the world with eyes open, and at the height of his power he recorded it unflinchingly. As Kirby might say: Find it! Buy it! Read it!

Make It Good.