Monday, August 24, 2009

"Nonsense! I'm superbly fit to rule the earth! I have the means to carry out this dream--and smash all who stand in my way!"

The source of today's Fourth World Panel, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #148, mercifully ends Kirby's tenure on the title; one suspects he was ready to move on, since this story is another one like that thing about the tiny monster planet that doesn't really have anything to do with the New Gods. But it's still pretty enjoyable though, especially in the depiction of the villainous Victor Volcanum and his crazy old-school getup:

There's also plenty of nifty Kirbytech, and some cool, smashy action. I especially like this depiction of Superman being blasted by some robots (and his verbal response):

And the way he takes them out is amusing, if kind of dumbly staged:

What, were they all standing in single file?

But this story lacks the spark of the New Gods stories, that cosmic drive and attitude of incomprehension at the scale of events. It's just a "Superman vs. mad scientist" tale, albeit one with Kirby style. He does seem to take this opportunity to offer his take on Superman's attitude though, and it's interesting, if kind of easy compared to the lame, suicidal response:

I dunno, maybe Superman just wasn't much fun for Kirby when he had his godly, space-faring playground to work with elsewhere. It's still fun to watch him blow shit up though.

Next: The Battle of the Id! Awesome!