Apr 27, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project: Day 62 - 2001: A Space Odyssey #4, March 1977


Okay, so I know it's verging on sacrilege to say this, but....meh.

I guess this is why the series didn't last particularly long. After a 2-part tale of early humans (including, of course, the Monolith's inauguration of the Bronze Age), with a tiny little 6-page leap into the year 2001, the same story is told, but this time doesn't work for some reason. The descendant of Marek (named Herb Marik) doesn't evolve into a New Seed, even though he fulfills all the requirements that previous characters have.

I'm also not quite following Kirby's timelines here, unless he's setting each of these stories in a different universe. Marik's discovery of the Monolith in 2001 is hailed as the first contact with alien life, even though every story before this one has involved contact with alien life, both monolithic and otherwise.

I'm trying to be open-minded about this title, and I can absolutely see where Kirby wants to go with it. The Monolith is a useful metaphor for thinking about the force of evolution, of destiny. But exploration of a metaphor requires more than simply reiterating the metaphor over and over again. We need to understand why it's a good metaphor, what particular things it's wrapping up in itself, or that we're wrapping up in it.

But his art, still, is great. Moving on to something else tomorrow, I think. I'll put 2001 on hold for a little while.

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