Happy birthday, King.

August 28th, 2007 by | Tags: ,

It’s Jack Kirby’s birthday, and this is my meager contribution to the doubtless outpouring of appreciation we’re going to see today.

Jack Kirby opened my eyes to stories that are more than binary good vs evil. His 4th World saga is about Freedom vs Slavery. Darkseid’s interest in conquering and gaining the Anti-Life Equation isn’t about destroying the world so much as it is about making all of reality submit to perfect order.

The Anti-Life Equation gives its wielder “the outside control of all living thought.” Free-thinking beings are replaced with automatons, their will submerged, destroyed, and replaced with that of Darkseid’s.

Apokoliptians prize servitude above all. In the post immediately previous to this one, Justeen does not want to kill Desaad and move into position to take over Darkseid’s spot– she wants to kill Desaad so that she can submit to Darkseid. “Your wish is my command” taken literally and on a macro level. In Simonson’s Orion, Kalibak mentions that discipline is prized on Apokolips. However, what he really means is blind, unquestioning obedience. You don’t get to decide and you barely get to be. You exist at the whim of another, and if he’d like you to be someone else, you will.

There is no individuality on Apokolips. There is only order, obedience, and slavery. Darkseid isn’t some cartoonish, mustache-twirling villain. He wants order.

There is something about life being defined as freedom (to act, to live, to love, to create) that just really speaks to me.

I wish I had more time, but I’ve got to get out of here.

I didn’t discover you until my 20s, but thanks for pushing the limits, Jack Kirby. You made comics better.

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One comment to “Happy birthday, King.”

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