27 January 2016

Faster than a DC Bullet: Project Crisis!, Part XL: The Death of the New Gods

Comic trade paperback, 246 pages
Published 2008 (contents: 2007-08) 

Borrowed from the library
Read May 2015
The Death of the New Gods

Writer and penciller: Jim Starlin 
Inkers: Matt Banning, Art Thibert, Mark McKenna
Colorist: Jeromy Cox
Letterers: Jared K. Fletcher, Travis Lanham, Randy Gentile, Steve Wands

Whether this book should even exist is pretty debatable: it's supposed to tie into Final Crisis, but like most Final Crisis tie-ins, it would ultimately do so in a way not very consistent with that book. To wit: all the New Gods die here, in front of Superman, but no one seems to know about this when Final Crisis rolls around.

The book has bigger crimes, though, and those are that it takes Jack Kirby's amazing cosmic epic and crams it into a procedural. The Death of the New Gods should be an operatic tragedy... instead it's a murder mystery? It's a weird misjudging of genre that transforms something mythic into something ordinary. These characters don't feel like gods, but squabbling aliens from any number of mid-range science fiction television shows. Plus, it's not even a good mystery; ten minutes after reading it, and I couldn't have explained to you what had happened exactly, and the revelation of the "villain" is beyond silly. Jack Kirby knew characters had to be reinvented to keep them vital, but this was not the way to reinvent the New Gods-- and I'm surprised that after his runs on cosmic titles for both Marvel and DC, Jim Starlin couldn't do better than this.

Next Week: We reach zero, both issue-wise and quality-wise, in the final volume of Countdown to Final Crisis!

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