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It Was Unthinkable
March 16, 2012 5:15 PM   Subscribe

"Sure, he's noble and regal and dangerous and deadly. But sometimes Darkseid does some dumb stuff."
posted by griphus (76 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've never had Darkseid accurately explained to me but "Superpowered Richard Nixon" comes the closest.
posted by The Whelk at 5:18 PM on March 16, 2012 [10 favorites]


The man is top-heavy on account of his planet-sized cranium; give him a break.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:24 PM on March 16, 2012


Space god of evil. California Raisin.
posted by emmtee at 5:25 PM on March 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


Actually never heard about this fella before but boy does my heart go out to him. No more, Mister Comic Writer Man, no more ... x´(
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:32 PM on March 16, 2012


Darkseid is a monument to how shitty DC can be, in terms of simple writing and characterization. Let's look at some villains.

Dr. Doom ... is driven by his need to prove himself the smartest and most powerful, and blames Reed Richards for the accident that destroyed his face, for which he refuses to admit his own culpability (and the fact that Reed tried to help him avoid it).

Magneto ... is driven by racial hatred, ironically stoked by his own Holocaust experience.

Now, DC can be good ... for example, The Joker ... is a figure of pure chaos that focuses on Batman as the perfect foil, a seemingly incorruptible soul that is not-so-secretly just as damaged as himself.

Darkseid is ... what? Like, rilly bad. He wants to ... what? Kill everyone? Because why? He just kinda wants to?

And he's the big bad, the one we measure all the others against?

Blow me.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:41 PM on March 16, 2012


Actually, Darkseid (when written well) is actually one of the more frightening villains once you understand his goal: control. Total universal control. The Anti-Life Equation is perhaps better called the Anti-Will Equation, a conceptual mental virus which exists to crush free will and put entire worlds under the control of one being.

He doesn't want you dead, he wants you his mindless follower, unable to even think of things other than being an extension of his desires. He wants every being in the universe to, basically, be his hands and do what he wants. Darkseid desires universal order - his idea of it - and wants to crush every mote of chaos to bring his idea of order into being.

Unfortunately, he's very rarely written well.
posted by mephron at 5:53 PM on March 16, 2012 [15 favorites]


Darkseid IS.
posted by Artw at 5:53 PM on March 16, 2012 [12 favorites]


loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + self-worth ÷ mockery ÷ condemnation ÷ misunderstanding × guilt × shame × failure × judgment n=y where y=hope and n=folly, love=lies, life=death, self=dark side
posted by griphus at 5:54 PM on March 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


(Although I prefer this interpretation of the Anti-Life Equation a bit more.)
posted by griphus at 5:55 PM on March 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Your recommended Darkseid reading and veiwing:

Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus - all of it.
- Any appearances in the Superman cartoon.
- The Darkseid story in Grant Morrison's run on JLA.
- Any appearances in the Justice League cartoon.
- The Mister Miracle episodes of Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers.
- Grant Morrison's Final Crisis and associated titles.
posted by Artw at 5:59 PM on March 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


None of these examples were written by his creator. Just saying...
posted by wittgenstein at 6:01 PM on March 16, 2012


Oh, and that one episode of Swamp Thing during the Moore run that isn't actually by Moore.
posted by Artw at 6:01 PM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I miss Hobo Darkseid.

"GREAT NEWS: DARKSEID GAVE THE KOALAS AIDS"

"ASK YOURSELF: DOES FINDING THAT FUNNY MAKE YOU PRO-AIDS OR ANTI-KOALA? ALL IS A CONUNDRUM IN ANTILIFE."
posted by mhoye at 6:01 PM on March 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


How to use Darkseid effectively. As an opportunity for superHERO monologuing
posted by mikelieman at 6:02 PM on March 16, 2012


Darkseid is a monument to how shitty DC can be, in terms of simple writing and characterization. Let's look at some villains.

I notice you don't look at Thanos.
posted by Artw at 6:03 PM on March 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Darkseid is many things, but one thing he knows how to do better than anyone else is lounge.
posted by delfin at 6:03 PM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Ambush Bug running gag might just make the Recommended Darkseid list.
posted by Artw at 6:04 PM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I notice you don't look at Thanos.

Now, where did I leave my Infinity McGuffin again?
posted by mikelieman at 6:05 PM on March 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


anyone else is lounge.

The one where he is sitting on Swamp Thing is funny. In one issue Swamp Thing shapes himself into a chair to carry Metron into The Source. They report back to Darkseid and Darkseid just kicks back on Swamp Thing and states that he will remain unfulfilled while there is any free will in the universe.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:06 PM on March 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


and states that he will remain unfulfilled while there is any free will in the universe.

Okay now I'm imagining Darkseid going about his life, doing daily chores, getitn coffee, being cut off in traffic, and ascribing every minor annoyance to excessive, wretched free will. THE WOMAN IN THE BUS IS SPEAKING TOO LOUDLY. WHEN I RULE THIS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO HAPPEN.
posted by The Whelk at 6:11 PM on March 16, 2012 [18 favorites]


I notice you don't look at Thanos.

Thanos is in love -- literally in love -- with the personification of Death. His goal is to please this entity that he regards as a "she" that might return his love. His love for "her" has blinded him to the fact that it's Death, literally Death, that would just as soon bring an end to him as anything else.

In three sentences, I've described a character with an actual motivation -- unrequited, impossible love -- that is at once classic, relatable and a million times more interesting that Darkseid.

Thanos was introduced years after Darkseid. He's obviously a thinly veiled copy. But the character's foundations are much, much more fully conceived.

Make mine Marvel.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:15 PM on March 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Dude, Kirby created him.
posted by mediareport at 6:18 PM on March 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


THE WOMAN IN THE BUS IS SPEAKING TOO LOUDLY. WHEN I RULE THIS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO HAPPEN.

Ignatius J. Darkseid
posted by griphus at 6:19 PM on March 16, 2012 [15 favorites]


RIP Dan Turpin.
posted by Artw at 6:23 PM on March 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


In three sentences, I've described a character with an actual motivation -- unrequited, impossible love -- that is at once classic, relatable and a million times more interesting that Darkseid.

So his motivation for being a Darkseid rip-off is that he's a goth? That's so much more deep than the cruel and arbitary dynastic politics of your upbringing leading you to a desire to control absolutely EVERYTHING in adult life.
posted by Artw at 6:27 PM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I kinda think having an inscrutable goal, destroying all free will, a goal that is really incomprehensible to normal humans is kinda cool. What the hell would happen if he succeeded? Would everyone become mindless slaves? I think in some places the anti-life formula is described as "proof of the futility of life", would everyone just give up and die?. But really, if you are a superhuman who can teleport and travel back and forth through time what goals can you really have that humans can relate to. The guy is super powerful, he needs to aim high.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:29 PM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know anything about the character that I did not just read here, but the way his name is spelled always makes me twitch in exactly the same way using "Z" for plurals or abbreviating "your" by removing the "yo" do.
posted by Foosnark at 6:39 PM on March 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


You don't want to know what his home planet is called. Trust me.
posted by emmtee at 6:42 PM on March 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Armageddonopolys
posted by griphus at 6:50 PM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanos is in love -- literally in love -- with the personification of Death.

But she only has eyes for Deadpool ♥♥♥.

Darkseid really gelled for me when I read the Kirby New Gods story which goes back to his origins, which are almost Shakespearean.
posted by JHarris at 6:51 PM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Countchokolips
posted by emmtee at 6:51 PM on March 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I want to register my complete pissed-offness at the world-record levels of cheapness and stupidity that was Darkseid's comeback the "New DC" JLA just barfed out. For that turd of a story did you guys undo all the brainfuck that was Morrison's Final Crisis? You, ladies, sirs and other critters, have no shame, no taste, and no sense. Argh.
posted by Iosephus at 7:12 PM on March 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah... the Fourth World/New Gods series showed how much of Marvel's success was due to Stan Lee, as vilified as he is these days. Stan got his start in romance comics, and understood the reason people read them was to see flawed people dealing with each other as best they could. He took the insane, over-the-top ideas of Kirby, and grounded them firmly in actual people with actual motivations.

Kirby never really got that. He was in love with mythology and science and panoply, but he stuffed those outrageously elaborate outfits with cardboard characters, memorable for what they looked like rather than who they were.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:15 PM on March 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


My favorite thing about Metron is that he can't not mention his Mobius Chair. It seems like every time he enters a scene and begins speaking, he mentions it, even though it's right there and we can all clearly see that that's how he travels around. The chair is basically Metron's year studying at Oxford and totally seeing David Bowie on campus that one time.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:18 PM on March 16, 2012 [21 favorites]


MAN TEXTING DURING THE MOVIE. DO NOT WORRY, YOU TO WILL SOON REALIZE THE FUTILITY OF LIFE.
posted by The Whelk at 7:23 PM on March 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


We can all enjoy Thanoseid, though.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:26 PM on March 16, 2012


WHEN DARKSEID SMELLS YOUR FEAR IT IS WITH THREE BILLION NOSES

WHEN DARKSEID DRINKS TEA THREE BILLION PINKY FINGERS ARE UPRAISED FOR DARKSEID WAS NOT BORN IN THREE BILLION BARNS

(And away I go reading Final Crisis again ILUGRANT)
posted by emmtee at 7:32 PM on March 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dr. Doom ... is driven by his need to prove himself the smartest and most powerful, and blames Reed Richards for the accident that destroyed his face, for which he refuses to admit his own culpability (and the fact that Reed tried to help him avoid it).

You know I never thought of it before but when you put it that way Dr. Doom is a huge Eastern European ripoff of Lex Luthor.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:35 PM on March 16, 2012


Every time Doom stubs his toe he shouts RICHARDS!
posted by The Whelk at 7:38 PM on March 16, 2012 [2 favorites]




Thanos didn't even fall in love with the GOOD Death...
posted by mikelieman at 7:44 PM on March 16, 2012


Originally, Thanos was supposed to fall in love with the personification of Death as the racecar crash of an aging, millionaire playboy. That was considered a good death...

...but not good enough.
posted by griphus at 7:47 PM on March 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


I like 'em both. I can identify with anyone who wants to crush the entire cosmos under his will.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 7:57 PM on March 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Any list of greatest Darkseid stories that doesn't include the Great Darkness Saga is sadly incomplete...

Even if he really only shows up for the last issue of it. He enslaved a planet of people with Superman-class powers, made then carve their planet into an image of his head, and then turned them loose against the universe.

Thanos wishes he could do that (without an Infinity McGuffin anyway).
posted by davros42 at 8:11 PM on March 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I always thought Metron was trying to impress the ladies with the chair thing. Sort of like a New Gods bike? They do have some odd and funky means of transportation, that whole bunch, after all...
posted by Iosephus at 8:12 PM on March 16, 2012


Yeah, my alternative simile there was to compare him to the douches I knew in high school who, after getting a car, would buy a keyring with a fob that they would intentionally hang out of their jeans pockets. They would claim it was just to make pulling out their keys easier, but obviously there was a vagina-acquisition-related agenda there, sort of like a tiny pocket I HAVE A CAR billboard for their penises.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:22 PM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even if it can travel through time and to other universes a floating chair just isn't that cool. Sure, you can tractor beam a planet but it is a fucking chair. It seams like something I would make so I would never need to stand up, hardly suited for someone who isn't sitting in a cube or watching TV every moment of his life. Except I would put a conopy and a drink holder on that shit. The Mobius chair kinda sucks.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:42 PM on March 16, 2012


You know I never thought of it before but when you put it that way Dr. Doom is a huge Eastern European ripoff of Lex Luthor.

Luthor has been through a number of incarnations and motivations, so I'm not entirely sure that the self-perfecting-man-envious-of-superman version of his character predates Doom.

On the other hand, Dooms main goal in his first appearance is getting hold of Blackbeard the pirates treasure.
posted by Artw at 8:43 PM on March 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


sort of like a tiny pocket I HAVE A CAR billboard for their penises

I had a motherfucking MUSTANG in Highschool, a '71 Grande, pre-emissions. One of the cool Mustangs, just when muscle cars were getting super-awesome in the late '80s. I bought it for $600, as the owner was an idiot.

The penis, augmented with this beautiful, luxurious and powerful car, got exactly NO vaginas.

Yet I see men falling into this trap, even today... cars impress other straight dudes who are into impressive cars. That's all.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:45 PM on March 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Darkseid is also a total jerk when he crashes weddings.
posted by straight at 8:50 PM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


middleclasstool: "My favorite thing about Metron is that he can't not mention his Mobius Chair. It seems like every time he enters a scene and begins speaking, he mentions it, even though it's right there and we can all clearly see that that's how he travels around. The chair is basically Metron's year studying at Oxford and totally seeing David Bowie on campus that one time."

I've never even heard of this character but I can't stop laughing at this.
posted by brundlefly at 8:52 PM on March 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yet I see men falling into this trap, even today... cars impress other straight dudes who are into impressive cars. That's all.

For some it is a car, for others an extensive knowledge of indie rock music, for others still THE VERY SECRETS OF TIME AND THE MULTIVERSE.
posted by Artw at 8:58 PM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is the sequel to my earlier treatment of Squirrel Girl vs. World War Hulk, involving Thanos:

DEADPOOL: WAIT, WAIT, WAIT. THIS IS AN IMAGINARY STORY, RIGHT? NONE OF IT REALLY HAPPENED?

WATCHER: MORE OF A WHAT-IF, BUT YES. NONE OF IT REALLY HAPPENED… BUT IT COULD HAVE.

DEADPOOL: THIS DOESN'T TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT HOW SQUIRREL GIRL BEAT THANOS.

WATCHER: YOU DON'T NEED TO KNOW THAT.

DEADPOOL: UMM, YES I DO? IT'S WHY I'M HERE. EATING POPCORN ON THE MOON WATCHING MOON TELEVISION.

WATCHER: SO YOU SAY. OBSERVE, WADE WILSON, AND THEN DECIDE.

SQUIRREL GIRL (repeat of the prior scene on the Moon Television): Well, it's a compromise, Tippy-Toe, and not a good one, but he's too tough to take down straight to the ground! I just hope all those heroes in the city can pick up where we left off!

DEADPOOL: OK, FOR ONE, YOU DIDN'T SHOW IT. JUST ONE MOMENT HE'S ALL HULK SMASH AND THEN HE'S ALL I GIVE UP. THIS IS THE THANOS THING ALL OVER AGAIN.

DEADPOOL: AND FOR ANOTHER, HOW DID SHE GET THANOS AND DOCTOR DOOM TO WORK FOR HER ANYWAY?

(segue)

DOOM: Squirrel Girl! You alone would dare call Castle DOOM on the very mobile phone your furry minions purloined! Your deviousness is unmatched!

SG: Thanks, Doc, you're sweet for saying so! Say, I need a favor. I know we don't see eye-to-eye, and this may be too big a job for you, so I have a few other folks in mind I've tussled with if you can't make it…

DOOM: ARE YOU SAYING THAT YOU BELIEVE DOOM HAS RIVALS? THAT DOOM KNOWS FEAR? I'LL SHOW YOU RICHARDS I MEAN SQUIRREL GIRL! DOOM ALONE IS YOUR GREATEST CONQUEST! I, DOOM, WILL CRUSH YOUR ENEMIES AND LAUGH!

(end segue)

DEADPOOL: THAT EXPLAINS DOCTOR DOOM…

(segue)

THANOS: Death spurned me… turned her back and dissolved into nothingness rather than be near me after my failure.

THANOS: Squirrel Girl let me take her to Movie Night on Sanctuary III, and let me buy her ice-cream, and then said we could still be friends even though she wasn't my kind of girl.

THANOS: I am forever her slave!

THANOS: One day, I will reave the universe of its galaxies for her, and give the weeping souls of all who lived in them to her in a bouquet. Then I will be worthy of her love.

THANOS: Oh, look! A call from Squirrel Girl!

THANOS: I was just thinking of you!

(end segue)

DEADPOOL: OK, THAT WAS MORE THAN A LITTLE CREEPY. I DON'T KNOW IF I REALLY WANT TO SEE THIS…

WATCHER: TOO LATE.

THANOS: Now, insects, you will behold my terrible strategy unfolded, as the Gem of Space will now disperse you, where I can pick you off at my leisure, with the Gems of Time and Power!

THANOS: Ummm...

THANOS: I see that I no longer have the Gems of Power or of Space. Now THAT'S familiar! Tippy-Toe "borrowed" them again, I presume.

THANOS: So cruel, so uncaring, so callous, to steal from her minion and ally in the midst of battle! I love you Squirrel Girl…

HULK: Did you just stick an infinity gem on my forehead?

SG: Yes! It's fixed there, with a bond as strong as you are! The only way it will come loose is with calm concentration.

HULK: I suppose I'm stuck with it a while, then.

SG: Did you know you can affix the gem to almost any part of the body, and it will adhere the same way?

HULK: No, and I don't much care. Which gem and why?

SG: The Gem of Power… I split it into two using the Space Gem. When I say "Gems Unite", they will come together, warping the cosmos between them with unstoppable force to reform into one gem.

HULK: Huh, OK. Before I pop your head off, tell me, where is the other Power Gem… HELLO! WHY IS YOUR SQUIRREL DIGGING INTO MY BUTT?

SG: I'm sorry, Hulk. Gems, Unite!

Sound Effect: PFFFWOOMP!

DEADPOOL: AAAAAAAAH!

DEADPOOL: AAAAAAAA-AAAAAAAA-AAAAAAAGH!

DEADPOOL: I'VE CLOSED MY EYES, AND I CAN STILL SEE IT! MAKE IT STOP, MAKE IT STOP IN MY HEAD!!!!

DEADPOOL (peeks)

DEADPOOL: AAAAAAAAAAGH! IT'S MOVING! IT'S STILL ALIVE! HOW? HOW? HOW? AHHHHHHH!

WATCHER: THE HULK HEALS QUICKLY AND IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO KILL… MUCH TO HIS REGRET.

WATCHER: THREE MINUTES LATER, SHE USED THE SPACE GEM TO REMOVE THE REUNITED POWER GEM. SO CRUEL, TO LET HIM LIVE AFTER THAT.

WATCHER: YOU CAN LOOK, NOW. SHE'S ABOUT TO FIGHT THE REST OF THEM.

SG, lit from behind by towering flames, the beady eyes of her fuzzy little minions boring into the reader: NOW! WHO'S NEXT?

DEADPOOL: YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

WATCHER: AND WHAT SHE DID TO THANOS IN OUR REALITY WAS MUCH, MUCH, MUCH, MUCH WORSE. INFINITELY MORE PAINFUL. INFINITELY MORE HUMILIATING.

WATCHER: STILL WANT TO SEE?

DEADPOOL: NNNNNNOPE!
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:12 PM on March 16, 2012 [10 favorites]


Someone needs to be collecting these.
posted by JHarris at 9:50 PM on March 16, 2012


Thanos was introduced years after Darkseid. He's obviously a thinly veiled copy. But the character's foundations are much, much more fully conceived.

Piffle. Thanos is more popular because he's more relatable to his teenaged audience. That doesn't make him better. It makes him more familiar.

Marc Singer's essay on Darkseid, six years later, still sets the bar:

Darkseid is one of the great archetypal characters, and one of the last to arrive in comics. Most of them were created back in the thirties or forties; the next wave came with Marvel in the sixties; most of today's young turks are still middle-aged grouches from the seventies like Frank Castle or Wolverine. But just before the creativity ended Kirby gave us Darkseid, the stone-faced tyrant from outer space who inspired one highly successful copy (Jim Starlin's Thanos) and a less successful copy of a copy (Jim Starlin's Mongul, now routinely used as a punching bag to show how tough some johnny-come-lately is) as well as any number of more fleeting and forgettable imitators. The best of these characters aren't just antagonists in any particular plot, they are fascism personified, its means and desires incarnated in humanoid form. Thanos lays bare its psychosexual death drive, and brilliantly, but Darkseid is a more mature, more psychologically stable, and therefore far more threatening figure: imagine a Hitler who's both physically intimidating and not the slightest bit insane. Darkseid is what Hitler wanted to be, the visions he sold to himself in his sleep made real. A walking dream, or nightmare, of total control.
posted by mightygodking at 9:56 PM on March 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


So, does anyone else have Squirrel Girl sound like Amy Adams in thier head?
posted by The Whelk at 9:57 PM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


WATCHER: Do do you want to see what happened in the other reality when you fought her?

DEADPOOL: HELL NO!

WATCHER: A wise choice. I've spoken with some other Watchers, and between your biological immortality, healing factor, and the fact that Death isn't returning your calls, your hypothetical fight with this Squirrel Girl results in you suffering more pain than has ever been suffered by any other sentient being in the entire infinity of the multiverse. It's kind of amazing actually. The persistence, the rage, the inventive use of squirrels, the...

DEADPOOL: STOP!!!!
posted by Grimgrin at 10:01 PM on March 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Stan got his start in romance comics, and understood the reason people read them was to see flawed people dealing with each other as best they could. He took the insane, over-the-top ideas of Kirby, and grounded them firmly in actual people with actual motivations.

Yow. No offense, but the above is a seriously over-simplified version of what happened at Marvel in the 1960s. There are many folks - including Jordan Raphael and Tom Spurgeon, co-authors of Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book, which I just got down off the shelf - who suggest that Stan's story ideas were often perfunctory and his dialogue and captions added only after the art, pacing and specific plot of the book had been drawn by Jack. Here, for instance, is their take on Spider-Man, which is almost diametrically opposed to the one Slap*Happy posited above:

With Lee's input, Kirby began to craft an introductory tale, rejecting some of the more fantastic Lee story elements, grounding the character in a domestic situation featuring a kindly aunt and uncle, and giving the superhero a secret origin revolving around a neighbor who happened to be a scientist. [p.93]

Who's the humanizing influence again? Look, we all know it's almost impossible to sort out which aspects - flawed or otherwise - of each character came from Kirby and which came from Lee, but what we *do* know is that simplistic divisions of labor like the one Slap*Happy makes above are almost always bullshit. Another example, Fantastic Four #1:

But what also becomes clear on comparing Lee's contribution and the final product are the significant differences between the two....An entire opening sequence crafted by Kirby from an offhand suggestion of Lee's...sets the issue apart from the sunnier stories of the good citizens in DC's Justice League. Kirby's realization of the synopsis also includes a direct conflict between the protagonists that is barely hinted at in Lee's typewritten missive. Stan Lee may have created a Fantastic Four on paper, but the book as it sprung to life on the comic-book page was clearly the result of Lee and Kirby together. [p.92]

This quote about Ditko's contribution is a good counter to Slap*Happy as well:

Ditko was nearly as sharp as Kirby when it came to shaping characters in ways that would make them effective on the page. The Spider-Man millions of readers came to know and love got his youth and voice from Stan Lee and his human frailty from Steve Ditko...

Anyway, I'm just St. Pattied enough to care, but that's draining off so I'll leave it at this: the idea that Lee was the humanizer and Kirby the crazed idea man just doesn't match what folks who've looked seriously at the history have said about it.
posted by mediareport at 10:53 PM on March 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Been too long since I bumped into New Gods. Man, Kirby was awesome.

Too funny, too, how lame it comes across: trying to do something "innovative" with such a brilliant character. I've always found it hard to take Shakespeare adaptations seriously too. Almost no one does something interesting enough to warrant messing with the original.

Great to see that wedding scene again. I think I may have to go reread all those.
posted by emmet at 11:00 PM on March 16, 2012


One of the things I love about hilobrow is their love of Kirby. For example, Kirb Your Enthusiasm, 25 of Kirby's panels analyzed by 25 different authors. Just awesome.
posted by emmet at 11:06 PM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your recommended Darkseid reading and veiwing: Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus - all of it.
***
None of these examples were written by his creator. Just saying...


Wait, what?
posted by The Hamms Bear at 12:35 AM on March 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


WATCHER: A wise choice. I've spoken with some other Watchers, and between your biological immortality, healing factor, and the fact that Death isn't returning your calls, your hypothetical fight with this Squirrel Girl results in you suffering more pain than has ever been suffered by any other sentient being in the entire infinity of the multiverse. It's kind of amazing actually. The persistence, the rage, the inventive use of squirrels, the...

Ok, Since I'm sort-of-the-opposite-of-a-Deadpool-fan ( all I can think of is Liefeld and that makes me think of feet, and then I start looking at the feet, THEN I get all mad about Liefeld having any success despite the whole feet issue.. ) I wasn't paying all that much attention. ( Despite being a bit of a SG fan... )

So, now we're starting to get interesting...
posted by mikelieman at 5:39 AM on March 17, 2012


No- I meant none of the examples on the linked page were written by Kirby.
posted by wittgenstein at 6:01 AM on March 17, 2012


MAN TEXTING DURING THE MOVIE. DO NOT WORRY, YOU TO WILL SOON REALIZE THE FUTILITY OF LIFE.

So Darkseid is Werner Herzog?
posted by gerryblog at 6:33 AM on March 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


No- I meant none of the examples on the linked page were written by Kirby.

I would have gone for the weird scene where he gives the Tomorrow People a parade ground inspection - of course it turns out he's secretly dicking them over with Omega beams while he's doing it.
posted by Artw at 7:10 AM on March 17, 2012


So Darkseid is Werner Herzog?

So will we see some children's books reinterpreted or read by Darkseid at some point in the near future?
posted by lucien_reeve at 7:18 AM on March 17, 2012


I want to register my complete pissed-offness at the world-record levels of cheapness and stupidity that was Darkseid's comeback the "New DC" JLA just barfed out. For that turd of a story did you guys undo all the brainfuck that was Morrison's Final Crisis? You, ladies, sirs and other critters, have no shame, no taste, and no sense. Argh.

Well, that's the way they work, sadly: they need to keep their intellectual property in play, which means continually reinventing it, sometimes badly, sometimes well.

If you approach art that way then, inevitably, no matter how good the origin, what you'll end up with is an extended soap opera - EASTENDERS or DAYS OF OUR LIVES with more spandex, bombast and punch-ups.
posted by lucien_reeve at 7:23 AM on March 17, 2012


Of the many things I'd find fault with in Justice League 1, it becoming aparrent they were going straight to a Darkseid story wiuld be one of them. Dude deserves a build up.
posted by Artw at 8:21 AM on March 17, 2012


That would be the same nu-Darkseid that's taken down by Aquaman (in yet another shamelessly bare-faced attempt to retcon him into awesomeness) stabbing him in the eye with a spear. I refuse to believe that it's the real Darkseid.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:10 AM on March 17, 2012


I only know Darkseid from Final Crisis, so my ignorance is through the roof. What I took from the character there was that Darkseid is sort of like the Antichrist as envisioned by William S. Burroughs, minus any slimy/sexy/druggy stuff. He uses language as a virus to imprison people on a mass scale. I found it altogether real groovy.

Writing that out makes me wish that there was a comic book villain in the mold of Dr. Benway.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:15 AM on March 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think Stan has gotten something of a bad rap (creatively) in recent times, but to me the real question w/r/t who created Marvel comes down to how important you think the dialogue was, because that's about the only thing we can definitively say was pretty much Stan Lee's work. I think it's important, even fundamental -- imagine a Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series if it had been created by someone with a less distinctive voice than Joss Whedon's -- but it seems that the storylines, characters and certainly the character designs were Kirby's. I don't know...I have a hard time imagining a Marvel Universe where Stan's primary co-author was Vince Colletta being all that big of a deal.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:39 AM on March 17, 2012


Arts-it's the Forever People, my favorite of the fourth world books. Tomorrow People was the BBC series.

Turn in your badge.
posted by wittgenstein at 1:16 PM on March 17, 2012


That should be Artw - curse you, Autocorrect!
posted by wittgenstein at 1:17 PM on March 17, 2012


Heh.
posted by Artw at 1:19 PM on March 17, 2012


'Justice League' Is Everything Wrong With Comics

And then there's the villain. It's a completely unrecognizable version of Darkseid, and not just because Lee's put him in another one of his awful, overly busy costumes, complete with football shoulderpads and knee cutouts. As an antagonist, he's terrible. He has no motivation, no characterization and worst of all, he's forgettable. He does nothing but show up, say his name, and then trade punches until this stupid story runs out of pages. He adds nothing. He is nothing. He's worse than Doomsday, a character that was created to just punch one character over and over, because at least Doomsday won.

Lee's art is the best thing about this comic, but that's damning with faint praise to the extreme. I've talked about his costume designs before, but the short version is all the armor and seams he's stitched heroes into to define the new look of the DC Universe already feels as dated as mullets and shoulderpads. We're going to look back on it and wince.

He handles the action pretty well, except when he gets to the climax of the story and draws Cyborg in a half crouch, gritting his teeth like he's trying to make it to a bathroom while he somehow defeats the bad guys with the power of believing in computers. There's no sense of urgency, time, or place, and as near as I can figure, the entire conflict takes place in Building City, which has Wet Ocean on one side (where Aquaman shows up) and Sandy Desert on the other (where Batman finds the doorway to what I guess is Apokolips). There's something to be said for using a generic location so that the readers can imagine themselves in the story, but here, it's yet another element that makes it hard to care.

So why would you? If this is your introduction to Darkseid, what's in there to make you feel like he's a villain that you want to see defeated? If this is your introduction to the Justice League, what is there that makes you want to see them win, other than just being told that they're the heroes? What makes this worth your time?

Nothing.

posted by Artw at 1:27 PM on March 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


CHRIS SIMS JUSTIFIES OUR HATE!
posted by Artw at 1:27 PM on March 17, 2012


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