Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus vol. 1 will be released in May, marking the first salvo in DC’s plan to reprint the entire Fourth World saga in order of publication. Readers today will be able to read the stories in the order that readers in the early 70s were able to read them. Vol. 1 collects stories from Jimmy Olsen #133-139 and the first three issues each of Forever People, Mister Miracle and New Gods.The important part of this, really, is the ordering. Kirby was, without any question, a real stream of consciounce writer, one whom ideas and concepts would cascade into the forefront of his mind and spill out onto the page.
Mark Evanier has certainly written about how Kirby created the Black Racer and agreed that maybe he would hold off on using him so that the readers could get used to the lay of the land with Lightray, Orion and Darkseid, and then the very next issue #3 of New Gods had, you guessed it, the Black Racer!
This will be a great pickup, and an entertaining read for those who have never read the original source material that DC has been using and sometimes abusing for over 30 years. Even for us old timers, I know that I have gaps int he original issues that I read, thus missing some of the narrative thread, and that this will give a fresh approach to the material. I'll be very curious to see others make a fresh evaluation of the material. My guess: the ordering of the comics will point out that the series was even better than people remember, but that its flaws, because its certainly not perfect, will also be magnified by the printing here. Just my guess. Soon we'll see