Oct 31, 2016
The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 614: Cosmic Odyssey #3, 1989
Darkseid connects himself to the newly reunited Jason Blood/Etrigan, and journeys to the realm of the Anti-Life equation. It does smack of Kirby when you describe it in these little soundbites, though sadly it doesn't translate to the comic. Again, I'm not sure Starlin's brand of cosmic quite fits Kirby's. Kirby's Darkseid is basically a cosmic Lex Luthor, which works in the strange and simple world of the New Gods. They're new gods, right? So they embody, through particular traits that we layer over them ourselves, aspects of how we perceive the universe. In keeping with this, later depictions cast Darkseid as a cosmic force, something we can see the effects of, but can't necessarily understand or communicate with.
Unfortunately, Starlin has him, and Highfather, to be fair, cast as rulers of science fiction empires, without any of the characterization of either Kirby silliness or cosmic otherness. I think that the New Gods work best when they're written almost as superheroic versions of Lovecraft's Old Ones. They function on a level far above that of the mortal mind.
I'm also not 100% certain why Etrigan is even here. I mean, they explain it in the book, but I'm not sure why the character ends up being needed. Surely there are New Gods who could have supplied the same power as the Demon. What it seems to serve is bringing another Kirby character back into the spotlight, or just having a mini-series about Kirby creations. I don't think he was necessary, but, then again, look at that beautiful cover up there. Maybe that's reason enough.