Review: Darkseid Oversized Special

Darkseid stories are usually epic. Why wouldn’t they be? He is the new god of anti-life and evil. With a snap of a finger, Kalibak and Desaad will gladly burn down half the universe to see who can please him more. As soon as the reader sees his shadow in a comic they know it is on.

Which is why Mark Evanier (Garfield, New Gods) and Scott Kolins’ (Blue Beetle, Marvel Team-Up) extremely personal story caught me by surprise. It is amazing and effective. It shows not only what Darkseid fears, but why. The enemies here are not New Genesis, Metron and universal forces. The enemy are three regular people who have managed to escape from Granny Goodness and show it is possible to resist evil.

The Darkseid Oversized Special, part of DC’s celebration of Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday, contains two new stories: one featuring Darkseid and one focusing on OMAC; and two Kirby reprints. The Darkseid and OMAC stories are both worthy twists on the usual version of those characters that we see.

The Resistance focuses on Makayla, Jaydon and Lukas, who have escaped Granny Goodness, but don’t have the skills, power or fame of Mister Miracle. They hide in the Armagetto from parademons and other agents of Darkseid. They resist in small ways, defacing statues of Darkseid, speaking out against him. Makayla knows that would not be able to survive against a direct confrontation with any of Darkseid’s forces and so always fights the smaller battle of inspiring hope, where hope is rarely found. It is especially inspiring in today’s political climate.

Similarly, Paul Levitz and Phil Hester upend Kirby’s OMAC, but in a way that I think Kirby would enjoy. Recently, when DC tried to integrate OMAC into its continuity they ditched all the things that made OMAC interesting and just made Brother Eye in an evil sentient AI and OMAC into his thoughtless automata. This story, which remains in the traditional OMAC universe, restores OMAC and Brother Eye’s morality. They are forced to confront the price that the world pays for the peace offered by Global Peace Authority.

This book offers a great insight into Kirby for readers who have never read one of his books. While both of the original stories subvert some of the greatest characters that Kirby created for DC, they do so in a way that truly honors his stories and what he was about. And as a comparison they are juxtaposed with two shorter stories that Kirby himself wrote on similar themes.

Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Scott Kolins
Colorist: Dave McCaig

Writer: Paul Levitz
Penciller: Phil Hester
Inks: Ande Parks
Colors: Dave Stewart

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