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Reading Guide: In The New Gods Chronology, Darkseid Schemes

 

READING GUIDE

Writer(s)

Jack Kirby


Penciler(s)

Jack Kirby


Inker(s)

Vince Colletta


Cover

Jack Kirby


Publisher

DC Comics


Publication Date

March, 1971

IN READING GUIDES, LISTS, REVIEWS

THE CANCELLED NEW GODS MOVIE

Originally, Director Ava Duvernay and Mister Miracle writer Tom King co-wrote the script for the movie. In fact, the New Gods movie had begun filming. In 2021, New Gods was removed from the DC Extended Universe film slate with little explanation.

In our Reading Guide, we show why the Kirby-created franchise is space opera and can take the DC Extended Universe to the next level. Here is our New Gods chronology since their first appearance in 1970 containing the mainstream continuity titles.

DARKSEID’S FIRST APPEARANCE (1970)

*Collect Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #133-152.

Before debuting the New Gods, legendary writer and artist Jack Kirby introduced new characters to the series Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen called the Newsboys Legion. At the head was Morgan Edge, who headed Galaxy Broadcasting System, owned the Daily Planet where Jimmy Olsen and Clark Kent worked. Secretly, he operated a criminal organization called Inter-gang. In order to get rid of both Clark and Jimmy, he sent Jimmy on an assignment to uncover the secrets of the Mountain of Judgment.

Namely, Jimmy and The Newboys, filmed their journey through the Zoomway. Indeed, they discovered that the Mountain of Judgment was actually a gargatuan space vehicle. There, they discovered a scientific society called the Hairies led by a man called Jude. Fortunately, the Newsboys discovered that Morgan Edge planted alpha-bombs in their cameras to destroy the Hairies. And he was doing so in service of his alien master, Darkseid. Though the plan failed.


In reality, the Hairies were not New Gods. Instead, they were genetically modified humans by a secret government organization called the DNA Project. Indeed, it was run by the original Newsboy Legion, who were the parents of the current Newsboys. The Project had mastered the human genome and could clone humans from cells. In Post-Crisis Continnuity, The DNA Project was used under the name of the Cadmus Project.

 

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THE NEW GODS (1971-72)

*Collect New Gods #1-11.

In 1971, New Gods debuted. In the first issue, Jack Kirby introduced the New God Orion, who with his friend Lightray came from the paradise New Genesis. Together, they lived on the hovering city called Supertown where Highfather, in contact with the Source received messages on the wall.

The Source prophesied that in order for Orion to stop Darkseid’s quest for the Anti-Life Equation, he had to journey to Apokolips then to Earth. On Apokolips, Orion found four people whom Darkseid believed held a fragment of the Anti-Life Equation. He freed them, then returned them to Earth. On his travels to Earth, Darkseid used Mother Box to hide his face and adopt a civilian identity called O’Ryan.


Originally, the war between New Genesis and Apokolips started when Darkseid’s uncle, Steppenwolf, murdered Avia, Izaya’s wife. In retaliation, the ruler of New Genesis invaded Apokolips which was ruled by Queen Heggra, Darkseid’s mother. In the shadows, Darkseid gave Metron Element X so that he would assist. In return, Metron created the Boom Tube which Darkseid used to teleport to Apokolips. Desperate, Izaya pled and the Source evolved him into Highfather. Then, a truce was made where both rulers would exchange their sons, Scott Free and Orion.

LEGENDS (1986)

*Collect Legends #1-6, Superman #3, Adventures of Superman #426, Action Comics #586, Action Comics #592-593, Action Comics #600, Justice League #1–42, Superman v.2 Annual #2.

After the Crisis On Infinite Earths reboot, John Ostrander and comic legend John Byrne re-launched the New Gods. Though, the New Gods continuity was maintained. In Legends, Darkseid schemes against the heroes of Earth to undermine their credibility. To this end, the God of evil unleashes two monsters from Apokoips, Macro-Man and Brimstone. Prominently, the Justice League launched its high profile series.

In the crossover event, the New Gods begin to feature prominently in Superman titles. Importantly, Darkseid transported Superman to Apokolips with his Omega Effect. There, he was transported to Armagetto where he was an amnesiac though a hero to the Lowlies. Orion and Lightray traveled to Apokolips to rescue Superman who had been indoctrinated by Granny Goodness. With the Mother Box, the sentient computer, Superman was restored. After a fight with Darkseid, Superman managed to outrace th Omega Effect, hitting Darkseid. Then, the Man of Steel was sent back to Earth.

 

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THE NEW GODS (1989-91)

*Collect New Gods v3. #1-28.

In 1989, New Gods debuted its third series. Particularly, it followed the events after the Cosmic Odyssey four-issue limited series. The new series centers on the struggle between New Genesis and the Insect Empire for Supertown’s governing power. In addition, it tells of Apokolips’ attempts to continue its war on Earth. Again, the central protagonist is Orion of NewGenesis.

THE NEW GODS (1995-97)

*Collects New Gods #1-15

Legendary artist and writer John Byrne debuts on New Gods vol. 4. The premise of the series is the end of Darkseid’s quest for the Anti-Life Equation. Now convinced that it does not exist, the ruler of Apokolips seeks to control the Source. After unleashing a wave of darkness across the universe, Darkseid’s plan is foiled by Orion. In an anticipated showdown, Orion heads into space to confront his father. In the Source, the New Gods duel until one final victor emerges: Orion.

Catastrophically, Darkseid’s death sent shockwaves through New Genesis and Apokolips. Indeed, both planets were destabilized by the imbalance between Good and Evil. In order to prevent the unleashing of the Old God S’ivaa, Highfather started a self-imprisonment in an asylum. However, S’ivaa who slumbered in the eternal sea, was free! After he began his dance of universal destruction, Highfather recruited Superman and Orion to hold it off. Successfully, S’ivaa was imprisoned on the Source Wall though Darkseid and Highfather melted in its fire.

JACK KIRBY’S FOURTH WORLD (1997)

*Collect Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #1-8, Genesis #1-4, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #9-12, Darkseid Villains #1, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #13-20, New Gods Secret Files #1.

Legendary artist and writer John Byrne created a unified origin story for the New Gods and the Old Gods. In the beginning, there was a First World seedless and ormless. Then, there was a Second World home of the Old Gods. After, the Godwave seeded the universe with divinity and the potential for super powers. Also, there was a Third World where the gods having attained adulthood warred for thousands of years. Then, it exploded into two planets, Apokolips and New Genesis called the Fourth World.

JUSTICE LEAGUE (2011)

*Collect Justice League #1-6.

In 2011, the New 52 re-launch rebooted the DC Universe with 52 parallel universes. For this reason, many characters’ origins were changed while others were removed. In the new origin of the Justice League, Darkseid invades Prime Earth in its first alien invasion with his arm of parademons.

EARTH 2 WORLD’S END (2012)

*Collect Earth 2 #1, #8, #11; World’s Finest #10-26; Earth 2 Annual #1; Earth 2 #14, #15, #15.1, #16, #23, #25, #28; Earth 2 World’s End #1-12.

In 2012, Darkseid continues his conquest of the DC Multiverse. On Earth-2, he sends Steppenwolf to conquer it. There, he finds opposition from Superman though Wonder Woman loves him. On Apokolips, Big Barda falls in love with Scot Free and the two escape. They are randed as traitors. In the battle for Earth-2, Steppenwolf impales Wonder Woman and kills Superman. After the invasion, the Earth is left cratered and Steppenwolf and his armes escape to Earth-0.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: DARKSEID WAR (2015)

In 2015, acclaimed writer Geoff Johns worked on the final storyline of the New 52. Justice League: Darkseid War is a masterful crossover that adds to the New Gods mythology. According to Amazon prophecy, the child of Darkseid and Myrina Black is going to usher a new darkness on Earth. Known as Grail, she summons the Anti-Monitor in order to conquer Earth and kill Darkseid. In his quest for the Anti-Life Equation, Darkseid invades Earth though it leads to fatality. Caught between a godly war, Wonder Woman and the Justice League must save Prime Earth or become gods!

KIRBY SPECIALS (2017)

*Collect The Newsboy Legion and Boy Commandos Special #1, Manhunter Special #1, The Sandman Special #1, The New Gods Special #1, Darkseid Special #1, The Black Racer and Shilo Norman Special #1.

The Kirby Specials are six one-shots released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Jack Kirby.

Mister Miracle (1971–74)

Return of the New Gods • 1977 Revival (Earth-17)

Mister Miracle, 1977 Revival (Earth-17)

The New Gods v.2 (reprint series, 1984) +
The Hunger Dogs Graphic Novel (1985)

The Forever People v.2 (limited series, 1988)

Cosmic Odyssey (1988)

Mister Miracle v.2 (1989–91) + Justice League International (1986–90)

Mister Miracle v.3 (1996)

Takion (1996)

Orion (2000–02) + JLA (1998–2000)

Seven Soldiers + Death of the New Gods + Final Crisis (2005–08)

Mister Miracle v.5 (2017)

VISIT THE COMIC BOOK DAY PAGE

A FaN OF DARKSEID? TO #COLLECTDIGITALLY, CLICK ON BUY ON AMAZON TO COLLECT JACK KIRBY’S THE NEW GODS (1971-1978) #1.

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LINKS

History of the New Gods in Cosmic Teams.
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Reviews: Copper Age He-Man And Masters Of The Universe Storylines Ranked From Best To Good

In 'DC Comics Presents' (1982) #47, He-Man battles Superman.
 

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REVIEWS

In 'DC Comics Presents' (1982) #47, He-Man battles Superman.
In ‘DC Comics Presents’ (1982) #47, He-Man battles Superman. AP Photo/DC Comics.

IN Reading Guides, Lists, Reviews

’80s HE-MAN STORYLINES RANKED BEST TO GOOD

STAR RATINGS:

Best: 5 to 4.5 stars.

Good: 4 to 3 stars.

Bad: 2.5 to 2 stars.

Worst: 1.5 to 0 stars.

April 28th is Masters of the Universe Day. To celebrate Masters of The Universe Day, you can read our reviews or buy the comics.

BEST: ‘DC COMICS PRESENTS’ (1982) #47.


























Rating: 5 out of 5.

‘DC Comics Presents’ was a series that featured Superman teaming-up with a different hero each issue. And oh boy, did they hit the ball in the park with this one! This issue is a kind of “What If” first team-up between Superman and He-Man.

We get our answers to what would happen if He-Man ever fought Superman. In their first encounter in DC history, Superman is brought from Earth to Eternia through a dimensional portal created by cosmic storm clouds. Skeletor is at one of his attacks at Castle Greyskull as he possesses half of the Power Sword! He-Man gets summoned by the Goddess and Superman travels to the strange world of Eternia.

This is a classic ’80s story with colors and pencils by Curt Swan. A more vintage art that favors bigger upper bodies and smaller legs. If you are a fan of the artist, this is classic Curt Swan. The fun, the action and the adventure belong in your ’80s He-Man collection.

This story is very reverent of both characters showing what makes each character work in the ’80s: He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Teela and the colorful cast of characters; the Superman/Clark Kent alter ego reminiscent of Christopher Reeve’s comedic tones. Both characters are true to themselves and form a formidable duo. Definitely a favorite story.

A FAN OF THE COMIC? CLICK ON “DC Comics Presents (1978-1986) #47” TO PURCHASE ON AMAZON.

A FAN OF AN ACTION FIGURE? CLICK ON “Mattel DC Comics Multiverse Super Friends! Superman Action Figure, 6” BELOW TO PURCHASE ON AMAZON.

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BEST: ‘MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE’ (1982).

Collects ‘Masters Of The Universe’ #1-3.


























Rating: 5 out of 5.

Paul Kupperberg and George Tuska’s three-issue series ‘Masters of The Universe’ may exemplify He-Man in the ’80s. At its best, He-Man deals with science fiction and fantasy themes comparable to Star Wars and Conan in the decade.

The world of ‘Masters of The Universe’ blends magic and science and figures the fantasy characters heading on a quest in order to save the Goddess. As matter of fact, ‘Masters of The Universe’ stands out because of the straight-forward natures of the quest. In some sense, what makes the comic work for the time period is the cartoony nature of the characters, which seem very well like one-dimensional characters: He-Man, Teela, Stratos and Man-At-Arms fight for good; whereas, Skeletor fights for Evil. The characters do not change.

The foci of the story are action and adventure. The adventure spans Eternia and the universe, from land, to sea, to space, to parallel dimensions. He-Man and co. fight snakes, dragons, demons, Beastmen, extra-dimensional creatures and even Skeletor. The action and the adventure are a thrill and are the parts that work the best in the comic. This is what He-Man is best at.

This is certainly a worthy addition to your He-Man and Masters of The Universe ’80s collection, with a blend of adventure, action, magic, and suspense.

A FAN OF AN ACTION FIGURE? CLICK ON THE ACTION FIGURE BELOW TO PURCHASE ON AMAZON.


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CHECK OUT THE REVIEW: 00s THOR STORYLINES RANKED FROM BEST TO WORST.

GOOD: ‘HE-MAN AND THE POWER SWORD’ (1982).


























Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

“He-Man and The Power Sword” (1982) is the first of four Masters of The Universe miniature storybooks that accompanied the Mattel toyline. The storybook is clearly promotional material and serves as an introduction to He-Man and MoTU.

The storybook reads like a fairy tale. The water color art and the hyper-muscular lines of the characters creates the idea of legend and immortality. He-Man appears as a barbaric warrior who does not fear overwhelming foes and keeps fighting no matter the odds. The pacing is quick and focuses on the action, not the characterization. The plot is simple and straight-forward reminiscent of classic legends.

The storybook is aimed at children’s stories and works as a first introduction to the character.

A FAN OF AN ACTION FIGURE? CLICK ON ‘He-man Masters of the Universe Teela Action Figure‘ BELOW TO PURCHASE ON AMAZON.

VISIT MOTU READING ORDER:

DC Reading Orders: The DC Masters Of The Universe Reading Order


SOURCES

DC Comics Presents Vol 1 in DC Database.
The Surprisingly Awesome Comics History Of ‘Masters Of The Universe’ in Comics Alliance.
He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe in Vaults of Grayskull.


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DC Day: We Co-Sign ‘DC Universe: Rebirth’ #1 As The Bright Revamp That Injects Hope Into The DC Universe

In 'DC Universe: Rebirth,' Barry Allen recognizes Wally West.
 

DC DAY

‘DC Universe: Rebirth’ (2016) #1. AP Photo/DC Comics.

IN READING GUIDES, LISTS, REVIEWS

THE NEW 52 WAS UNPOPULAR

In 2011, the DC Universe was rebooted with the events of Flashpoint. In an attempt to save his mother from death, Flash ended creating an alternate timeline changing from New Earth to Prime Earth. The multiverse became an important aspect with Prime Earth at its center.

The new DC Universe resulted in the rebooting of the many popular series in DC such as ‘Action Comics,’ the end of the Superman-Lois marriage and the budding relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman, the loss of the traditional families and legacy in DC since Wally West was absent, the shake-up in the founding of the Justice League and in general the loss of heart and hope in story-telling.

One of the biggest issues fans had with the reboot was that it seemingly erased classic characters from the picture. Undoubtedly the most high profile absence was Wally West, who had taken on the role of the Flash for over a decade, and was arguably the version of the character audiences were most familiar with, owing to his presence on the long-loved Justice League animated series.

And yet, the character went completely missing during the reboot, along with other heroes, like the Question (no, the version we got most definitely isn’t Vic Sage), Cassandra Cain, and a whole host of other classic characters – all wiped in the name of keeping things simple. Which is awful, if we’re being honest.

-“10 Reasons Why The New 52 Was Doomed To Fail,” WhatCulture

In order from left to right: Aquaman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Flash and Cyborg.
In order from left to right: Aquaman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Flash and Cyborg. AP Photo/Marvel Comics.

THE PREMISE OF ‘DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH’ #1

The premise of ‘DC Universe: Rebirth’ #1, is the dramatic re-appearance of hope, under the form of Wally West. The one-shot argues that the characters are not themselves and it is up to Flash to help them remember who they are. The plot of the comic is Wally West, the Flash, trapped into the Speed Force and attempting to contact someone in order to return Prime Earth otherwise he will vanish forever.

Flash first attempts to contact Batman but Batman fails to recognize him. Then, Flash attempts to contact John Thunder and asks him to contact the Justice Society. Wally West tries to contact Linda Park and return to the DC Universe. However, his attempt fails and he vanishes further. Finally, Wally reaches out to Barry Allen to say goodbye. However, Barry remembers him and pulls him out of the Speed Force before he vanishes forever. Hope has returned to the DC Universe!

 

In 'DC Universe: Rebirth,' Barry Allen recognizes Wally West as he is about to vanish from the Speed Force.
In ‘DC Universe: Rebirth’ (2016) #1, Barry Allen recognizes Wally West as he is about to vanish from the Speed Force. AP Photo/DC Comics.

WE CO-SIGN ‘DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH’ #1, AS THE RE-EMERGENCE OF HOPE IN THE DC UNIVERSE

Wally West serves as the character that corrects the Post-Flashpoint DC Universe. Barry and Wally exchange a hug and Barry laments the fact he had forgotten Wally. Then Barry remembers Wally’s life and becoming the Flash. Wally tells Barry about Flashpoint. He tells Barry Flashpoint was not Barry’s fault.

Wally mentions a mysterious force that took ten years of their lives, changing families, legacies. The new battle is between “hope and despair” with a force even more powerful than Darkseid. The storyline thread continues in the “Watchmen” sequel called ‘Doomsday Clock’. The sequel reveals Doctor Manhattan as its villain.

In 'DC Universe: Rebirth,' Barry Allen recognizes Wally West.
In ‘DC Universe: Rebirth (2016) #1, Barry Allen recognizes Wally West. AP Photo/DC Comics

CHECK OUT THE STORY: IN “HUSH,” BATMAN HAS TO FREE SUPERMAN FROM POISON IVY’S MIND CONTROL AND RECOVER LAMONT’S RANSOM.

DC REBIRTH READING GUIDE

DC REBIRTH OMNIBUS

PLEASE CLICK ON “DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH OMNIBUS” BELOW TO PURCHASE THE COMIC ON AMAZON.

IN THE COLLECTION

DC Universe: Rebirth #1

Batman: Rebirth #1

Superman: Rebirth #1

Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1

The Flash: Rebirth #1

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1

Aquaman: Rebirth #1

Green Arrow: Rebirth #1

Cyborg: Rebirth #1

Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1

Justice League: Rebirth #1

Nightwing: Rebirth #1

Titans: Rebirth #1

Batgirl And the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1

The Hellblazer: Rebirth #1

Red Hood and the Outlaws: Rebirth #1

Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1

Deathstroke: Rebirth #1

Supergirl: Rebirth #1

Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1

Teen Titans: Rebirth #1

Batman Beyond: Rebirth #1


SOURCES

10 Reasons Why The New 52 Was Doomed To Fail in WhatCulture.
DCU: Rebirth in DC Database.