I love when you get the chance to discover new "classic" stories, and such is the case of reading the Jimmy Olson Kirby Issues that are reprinted here, in the Kirby Omnibus.
The package is great, the stories reproduced in order of appearance on the stands, which works well as Jack was a stream of words and pictures that couldn't be dammed up, and the whole Fourth World Saga spilled out of him as he worked on all the books. DC, however, is charging us $50 for a hardcover with a cheaper paperstock, something that my retailer Sam at Blue Moon Comics commented on. Oddly enough, I think that the cheaper paper takes the "classic" color better, and I don't mind that we're clearly getting a little taken on the paper stock. I do think that you'd get more people jumping on the bandwagon and buying the book at a lower price tag. Perhaps it wasn't feasible economically.
The work is great, and if there is anything that makes my day its that the title of the work has Jack's name first. It's not DC's Fourth World, its Jack's. Jack's Labor of Love, Jack's final great creative burst that went into these books. I just hate that Vince Colletta's name has be featured so much in the credits box.
Much has been made of the redrawn faces on the Jimmy Olsen stories in this collection, I'm not sure that I can add anything to the discussion, other than agreeing that it is one of the most jarring parts of the book. DC didn't know then that their great property was artist proof. Indeed, he benefits from different interpretations.
The early Jimmy Olsen stuff, by the way, reads as as extension of Tales of Suspense, with Superman playing the Captain America role. I was completely taken aback by the breakneck pace of those early issues. It seems so out of place compared to the standard DC book of that era. Its been a while since I've sat down and read through number of Kirby issues in one shot - its almost exhausting.
The dust jacket functions as a Mother Box - take it off and the book reveals its true face: A merciless look into Orion eyes, into the eyes of the implaccable warrior. Its disturbing and powerful, the visage of the handsome red haired Orion already betraying his heritage as Darkseid's son.
Put this on your bookshelf and enjoy, for all its flaws, what became the bible for DC Comics' Universe. They have never recovered from the introduction of the New Gods and Darkseid into their world: finally, in the '80's, the fully accepted it, both in the present and in the future (with the Great Darkness Saga in Legion).