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Kirby: Genesis Volume 1 Paperback – September 11, 2012
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I still recommend this book. For me, it's worth it because the ideas are there and Jack's characters are there. Busiek and Ross have done enough superior work that they long ago earned my trust. I'll watch for more from them. I even got a kick out of how one character bears a resemblance to Jay Baruchel. But I can't give my highest recommendation to this effort.
Kirby Freeman is a geeky college student. His lifelong friend Bobbi turns into The Midnight Swan after a bunch of hottie aliens from the Green Galaxy Apprehension Squad come to Earth in pursuit of some alien bad guys. At the same time, archeologists and explorers are making amazing discoveries all over the planet, and the government reveals the existence of a "genetic super agent" named Silver Star. Oh, and let's not forget the appearance of Sasquatch. This all happens because Pioneer 10, carrying a plaque depicting superheroes, was sucked into an alien contraption. Mayhem ensues.
This volume compiles the first eight issues of Kirby Genesis. You might need to catch your breath between issues because so much is going on -- too much to process easily. I mean you've got Sigurd the Dragon Slayer living in the Mythlands, and you've got Darius Drumm and the Silver Star and the Green Galaxy babes and the Midnight Swan and Lady Lightning and Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers and Life-Eater Cultists and the Progenitors and the Primals and it just goes on and on. Action-packed, yes, but there's something to be said for slowing the action enough to let a story develop. There is a story here -- a decent story, actually -- but it's swallowed by all the characters and battle scenes. Characterization is lacking and dialog is sometimes stilted, but there are nuggets of good writing buried in the story's few quiet moments.
I love the art. I actually love it more than Jack Kirby's art, which for my taste was always a little too supersized. I like the way the art becomes cartoony when characters are remembering their childhood, how it's more realistic when it depicts characters in real-world situations. If the writing were a little sharper and the characters were winnowed a bit, this could be an outstanding series. For now, it's worth having just to gaze at the artistic interpretations of Kirby's creations.
Top international reviews
Absolutely fantastic!! This comic packs a whole bang for your buck! It includes the first 9 issues of this new series, which is in itself a complete story with a satisfying ending, though it leaves a thread hanging for the continuation of a new story arc. The depth and breadth of the plot and characters here is so deep and wide that it is impossible for me go into details. There are numerous superhero and villain teams working against other and they are all introduced rather quickly in the first few issues. This does mean that it takes several issues to fully sort out who is who and exactly what is going on, but that is part of the whole fun of this book and the action and humour are so stimulating that one becomes more and more intrigued when in lesser hands than Busiek, this massive cast could have easily caused confusion. But gradually, as the story progresses, the reader begins to separate out the various teams and certain pivotal characters.
While all this organized chaos is going on there are three main human characters to keep the story grounded. First there are Jack Kirby and Bobbi Cortez, 17yos who have known each other since early childhood, and Bobbi's father retired police Sergeant Cortez. Bobbi and Jack are the main heroes of the story and a mild romance is included for good measure. The tile use of Genesis has a double entendre as the book explores beginnings; the beginnings of the world, its creation, nurture and growth; it's possible demise and a new beginning, a regrowth and a similarity to Biblical beginnings and meanings with a creator who guided humanity, a saviour who sacrifices his life for humanity's sake and ultimately a brief image in the heavens that may be God himself.
I read an egalley of this through Netgalley but am so impressed with the story and the absolutely gorgeous art that I have bought a real copy and intend on continuing with the series. There are already three spin-offs on the go featuring specific superheroes introduced here. One of the best GNs I've read this year.