Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Superman Animated and New Gods

Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, Jack Kirby's "New Gods" aren't some religious whatzit. It refers to Kirby's crazy-bizarre ideas regarding a celestial race of beings spawned from the wars of celestial beings who may or may not have been the same or precursors to mythological figures of Earth culture. It's hazy.

But what you also need to know is: The New Gods are awesome.

If I tried to explain this scene, I would never do it justice...

But this weekend, while watching an old episode of the animated Superman show from the 1990's, I was reminded of how Timm's crew recognized that the show was a great opportunity to bring in Kirby's Fourth World characters. After all, they'd first been introduced in "Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen" (no, really. I have the issue.), so a Superman cartoon was a great excuse for them to bring these characters to the small screen.

Here's the nickel tour of how The New Gods stuff works:

The traded babies? Orion and Scott "Mr. Miracle" Free. Just FYI.

Keep in mind, this was just one of Kirby's ideas. The man is responsible for:
The Fantastic Four
Dr. Doom
The X-Men
Captain America

and I could keep going... But, suffice it to say, The Fourth World/ New Gods concepts were a later-era Kirby creation, dreamed up during a period when he was coming up with whole worlds between breakfast and lunch.

I posted the clip above because it's a pretty good summation of The New Gods, and I find Orion to be an underappreciated DC character. I have to thank WB animation for giving Orion his due.

Timm's team would carry Darkseid and Co. through as a major force in their DCU cartoons until the very final episode, providing for some of the best stories in what was a phenomenal set of series.

Anyway, if WB is looking for a mythology and villain for the relaunch of the Superman movies? And they want dark?


NTT said...

While I admit that Darkseid and Apokolips would make a remarkable and epic antagonist for a Superman movie, the other elements such as Orion, Granny Goodness and the Black Racer...not so much. The New Gods concept would need to be stripped down and changed for a movie. Basically make it as Darkseid as an intergalactic Ghenghis Khan and his army of alien invaders with Kalibak as a super-powered Lt. for Superman to fight for the action scenes.

Frankly, the better movie would be the season ending for Justice League Unlimited where Braniac double-crossed Lex Luthor and wreaked epic havoc across the city.

The League said...

I can certainly agree with everything you said. And, if they DID want to go Darkseid sans 4th World, that's what Mongul is for.

I'm not sure New Gods would work too well, in its full scope, except as an animated show or mini-series.

Michael Corley said...

I would love to see Darkseid or Braniac. Both could be dark, brooding and whup ass ass whupping.

How can Hollywood not get behind that?