The Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – O
We continue our tour through the alphabet, with a different cool comic book item each day, from A to Z!
Today we look at the letter O, as in “O man is this New God awesome!”
Orion is one of the coolest characters that Jack Kirby created on his lonesome, and he is one of the linchpins that the entire Fourth World of the New Gods rests upon (I’d say Darkseid and Mister Miracle are the other two).
Naturally, he appeared on the cover of the first issue of the New Gods.
Orion is the son of the evil Darkseid. In a pact to keep the peace, Highfather Izaya of the good New Gods of New Genesis swapped sons with Darkseid of Apokolips.
So Darkseid’s son, Orion, was raised on New Genesis with the other, much happier Gods.
Basically, he was a rottweiler who was raised with a bunch of poodles, so for the whole time, Orion has to worry about a couple of things.
1. He must defend his fellow Gods, because he is so much more awesome than they are
2. He must keep himself from embracing his heritage and becoming the dark God that he could easily be.
Walt Simonson played with this beautifully in his excellent Orion ongoing series from 2000.
He totally got that Orion was a larger than life character, so Simonson used all of his most bombastic drawings to depict Orion’s triumphs and tragedies.
At the same time, Simonson knew perfectly well the scarier side of Orion, and had that be a frequent plot point in his series.
Man, that series was great – DC should collect it all in trades.
John Byrne also did some great fill-in art on that series.
More recently, Orion was left the “last God standing” in the lead-up to Final Crisis, but Darkseid killed him.
It is yet to be seen if Orion will return, but I sure hope so!