No, Granpa! I’m The REAL Thing!

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I’ve been really enjoying the new JACK KIRBY FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS volumes. The original series, which I followed avidly back in the day, was anchored by the greatest villain in all of comics, DARKSEID. What was distinctive about this guy was how Jack often drew him in quiet repose; sitting in a chair, or with his hands resting easily. Here was a bad guy plotting to usurp all free will who was so powerful he didn’t have to posture or look threatening. He was the REAL thing.

By the time I started writing for DC Comics, Jack’s unfinished FOURTH WORLD masterpiece had been fifteen years canceled and DARKSEID was anchoring a toy line. Worse, he had been turned into a two dimensional cartoon of himself who routinely engaged in slugfests with SUPERMAN and the like. So the very first opportunity I had, which was as writer/penciler of SWAMP THING, I decided to bring DARKSEID’s original, deeply menacing self back as best I could. I also brought in METRON, who in his quest to penetrate the SOURCE had previously made a demon’s bargain with DARKSEID.

I think I caught him pretty good here in Swamp Thing #62, July 1987 with inks by Alfredo Alcala, color by Tatjana Wood and lettering by John Costanza.

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