The fourth world-epic continues!
Lo, `tis the time for my 44. review!
Bit of the plot.
All the cliffhangers from the precious issues of the series (if there were any) are solved in this one, and of course, a few new ones are created. Mr. Miracle battles against the villains from Apokolips, and is reunited with a friend from his past! The Forever are trapped by Desaad, and have to suffer because of silly traps! Jimmy Olsen and rest of the gang have to find a way to get out of trouble! And Orion of the New gods fights against Intergang and minions of Apokolips with his Earth friends! Also has creatures from horror movies like you probably haven`t seen before, the infamous "Glory boat"-story, gigantic double splash pages, raw power, monsters, Kirby penciled pages, wonders and unexpected (and in some cases expected) plot twists! In this nigh 400-page block buster!
What I like.
After over ten issues, I`m becoming more interested of the story. Maybe I had read too much of Grant Morrisons Seven soldiers of victory, before I started to read the first volume (which is alot like a Kirby-story, therefore making me somewhat less enthusiastic about an actual Kirby-story, since I had already read a sort-of-Kirby-story), and therefore, couldn`t enjoy it as much.
Maybe it was because Kirby had become more reassured during this books stories, than he was at the beginning of this project. More sure of himself (even if merely subconsciously, which actually isn`t mere at all), he created great, imaginative stories that stand as his best. Since, after all, this is his magnum opus.
His art is as spectacular as it was in the previous volume, and its spectacularity increased, when Mike Royer started out as his new main-inker. You can compare how much it compliments Kirbys own style, by comparing the pencil pages by the ol` Kirbs, and the finished pages of this book.
Kirbys sillyness hasn`t faded away. He creates near-face palm worthy plots and imagery, that almost can`t be rivaled. That`s what he use to do. Even if you wouldn`t expect it, he made comics silly.
This has ALOT of great characters. Virman Vundabar, Don Rickles, Granny Goodness, Mother boxes...They all have different personalities, which is another plus.
There`s secrets in this one. Too bad I already know a few of them.
This also has normal, non-super people as the supporting cast. It`s really cool, especially `cause sometimes they are forgotten in modern DC-stories.
The colors are as vibrant as ever.
I really like the afterword, because it gives more insight to Jack, and tells a couple of funny stories. The foreword is okay, even if it`s simply telling how awesome the story in this book is (like I`m telling you now), and it tells massive spoilers to the reader. So, if you want to read the foreword by Walter Simonson (!), I suggest that you read it after the story.
By the way, if there`s any believing in pics of the pages of these books at Amazon.com, you should get the TPB instead of the hardcover. The pages are straight, the paper looks nice (For you nature fans out there, is apparently made with co-operation with Sustainable forest initiative, which is a good thing, right?).
What I like and dislike.
Giant panels. Yeah, sure they look splendid, but about 2/3 in pretty much every issue are spent for them. The good things is, that they show significant moments in the story (mostly), so they aren`t entirely wasted. But, rest of the pages have about 3-5 (sometimes 6) panels a page. If Kirby would`ve used smaller panels, he would`ve gotten more story in to one issue. Then again, he draws big and giant panels the best. So, it`s both a good and bad thing.
Mr. Miracle tells his tricks. It`s cool, but it also takes away bit (okay, alot) of the characters mystery. That`s not cool. Also, the ways that Miracle uses to escape, are too easy ways of escaping. Well, not necessarily for you and me (if you`re an escape artist, you might have a chance to achieve something similar to Miracles tricks), but for him, they are. Or maybe I simply picture him completely differently.
What I dislike.
Orion acts out horrificly at one point of the story. Fortunately, it`s explained why he does that. But frankly, I don`t know why I didn`t understand immedeatly, why he acted like that. Still, it`s a sodding terrifying few pages. At least for a wimp like me.
Classic Kirby story also has forced plotpoints. Fortunately, they`re not so bad that I simply had to stop reading.
Buy it, in the name of the Source! Or loan it from some place. Libraries are nice places for that sorta thing.