Cataline Recommends: Gods of Egypt

There was plenty to be disappointed about with Justice League.  The recycled MacGuffin from the last movie.  The fact that “America” had been deleted from Justice League of America.  That Batman’s costume looked like a giant foam plushy when Whedon turned up the lighting on a Zack Snyder movie.  And that Lex Luthor is still being played by Jesse Eisenberg despite the fact that he is actually displacing Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood as the worst miscasting of all time.

In my case, it was dashed hopes on a number of levels that I fully expected to be dashed.  The biggest of which is that it became obvious that despite making Steppenwolf the bad guy, they were going to do nothing with Jack Kirby’s Fourth World.

For those of you who don’t know Jack Kirby a Quick refresher.

He recently came to the attention of those who read Vox Popoli in an oddly negative way, emphasis on odd.

In SJWs Always Double Down, Vox Day recounts the somewhat bewildering experience of threatened with extreme bodily harm by a man who has been dead since 1994.  When he started his Freestartr campaign for Alt Hero.  The name Jack Kirby was bandied about repeatedly.  Vox knew almost nothing about him but he did know an SJW trigger when he saw one.  So he said something to the effect of, given the current state of comics Jack Kirby would rather work with me than Marvel.

The resulting hurricane of SJW butthurt was all that he could have hoped for and more.

 You don’t know a f——— thing about Jack Kirby, do you? If he were alive he’d beat your ass for not keeping his name out your damn mouth.


Jack Kirby would have literally beat you to death even in his later years.


Jack Kirby would beat you to death with his bare hands.


Kirby would beat the hell out of you, friend. jack kirby would of wooped your ass and then tell the story for laughs at parties for years


 If Jack Kirby were alive today he’d beat the living s—– out of you without hesitation and burn you a good one with his cigar to boot. “The only real politics I knew was that if a guy liked Hitler, I’d beat the stuffing out of him and that would be it.” —Jack Kirby


(*Day, Vox. SJWs Always Double Down: Anticipating the Thought Police (The Laws of Social Justice Book 2) (Kindle Locations 759-769). Castalia House. Kindle Edition.*)

 Being threatened with assault by a zombie graphic artist was rather amusing to Vox so he had some fun with it but there is a bit more to Kirby then that. 

In truth, Kirby could not beat up a well-built flea but he was quite capable of lying about how he used to beat up Nazis in street fights during the 1930s.  As well as numerous barroom brawls and boxing matches.  The truth was that unless he was given to beating the infirm and elderly it just wasn’t possible.  Little guy attitude is not uncommon in this world and sometimes it can make up the difference but there is a difference between a Jack Russel and a Chihuahua.  The truth is Jack Kirby could never make good on his dreams of physical power, where being in the right is all you need to give a little guy the strength of a dozen men.

Sound familiar?

These dreams of power, strength, and energy are what drove Jack Kirby’s art.  Jack  Kirby worked hand in hand with Stan Lee during Marvel’s Silver Age.  If Stan Lee gave Marvel its voice, Jack Kirby gave it vision.  His artwork was distinct.

“Kirby’s page layouts of the early 1940s… employed complex quadrilaterals to convey dynamic energy — trapezoids and rhomboids that rarely managed to contain the drama within their bounds.”… “[A] page from the Rawhide Kid catches Kirby at the apex of what we might… call his ‘middle style’… [T]he basic grid is mathematically perfect in its simplicity… [and] The decision to leave the third and sixth panels borderless… is judicious – particularly in the third panel, where the heightened sensation of openness aligns perfectly with the Kid’s sudden realization that he is vulnerable…” – Ben Saunders


“No artist has been a more inspiring model to me, or maintained my interest as long, as Jack Kirby. When I was eight, his Captain America was the most exciting comic ever, and I copied it. At fifty-six, I still puzzle over those damn black dots he draws and how exciting the shimmer of positive and negative tension is within them.” -Jack Badger


For Kirby, the human body is a manifestation or crystallization of finally inexplicable energies—a superbody. […] What Mesmer called animal magnetismReichenbach knew as the blue od, and Reich saw as a radiating blue cosmic orgone becomes in Jack Kirby a trademark energetics signaled by “burst lines” and a unique energy field of black, blobby dots that has come to be affectionately known as the “Kirby Krackle” […]. The final result was a vision of the human being as a body of frozen energy that, like an atomic bomb, could be released with stunning effects, for good or for evil. These metaphysical energies, I want to suggest constitute the secret Source of Kirby’s art.*- Infogalactic

By 1970 a lot of little things that had been bothering Kirby at Marvel came to a head and he left them for DC. At DC he was promised a title that he would have complete control over and that was the Fourth World.

Very hippyish in an awesome comicbook way.  Fourth World was the story Kirby had clearly had in his head for some time about a grand metaphysical, mythological saga. 

Jack Kirby had noticed that a lot of European myths came with some monomyths attached. And despite the fact that these cultures didn’t have any known connection, the origin myths had strong similarities between them and that the primordial world tended to get divided up into three identifiable ages or worlds.

The First World was that of  Búri and Uranus, the Primordial gods created by the birth of the universe.  The Second World was that of the Old Gods and Titans. of Borr and Kronos the sons of the Primordials who overthrew them and ruled if it could be called that in chaos.  The Third World was that of the Aesgardi and the Olympians who overthrew, banished and imprisoned the Titans.  The world of Odin and Zeus.  This world was prophesied to be destroyed in its turn as well.

Note that Kirby sneaked Thor in here.

What came after that war was the Fourth World of the New Gods.  

The story was as big as it was weird.  Huge, dynamic and epic.  A hippy fantasy saga created by someone too old to be a hippy.  It spanned planets and dimensions.  Time and death.  It let a visual artist off a chain he had been straining against for thirty years. 

I didn’t find out about it until it had been out of publication for about ten years.  And then I was in love… I was still a kid so my love is now a little embarrassing to me but it was there.

The eternally warring worlds of Apokolipse and New Genesis and the bizarre gods that ruled over both were amazing to me.  Dark Seid, High Father, Orion, Mister Miracle, Light Ray, Steppenwolf, Granny Goodness (yes, of course, she was evil) and the Motherboxes.  I loved all of it.  I suppose that it was because I had discovered them just about the time puberty had come knocking and my life was nothing but powerless frustration and I was looking for any out for it that I could find. 

Just like Jack Kirby.  

The New Gods was just a little ahead of its time.  The audience wasn’t there just yet and as a result, it was canceled after only two years.  The pantheon was transferred to the regular DC universe where it never quite fits in.  Although Darkseid is a useful bete noire for Superman since he’s about the only peer that the Man of Steel has. 

Kirby did more or less finish his saga, in his indie title Captain Victory, where Kirby’s Kryptonite was revealed…dialog.  The man was damn near incoherent when it came to the written word. I mean if it wasn’t for the pictures you’d have no idea what the hell was going on. 

New Gods fans have pined for a New Gods movie although the more sensible of us knew that only horror would come from this. And we appear to be right. There are now two fourth world movies in production. DC’s is being directed by the woman who gouged the Christianity out of a Wrinkle in Time so she could stuff SJWism into it, so I’m less than optimistic.

This is the other one.

groan

I’ve written before about Head Canon

So what is Head-Canon? You ask.

Examples:

Now, Spiderman’s Gwen Stacy is supposed to have had an affair with Norman Osborn and at the time of her murder was carrying his baby.

Head-Canon says, no.  It didn’t happen.  Gwen Stacy would never have done that.

The latest James Bond book now has 007 being married to Pussy Galore, who henpecks him mercilessly.

Head-Canon says, no.  It didn’t happen. James Bond would not get married to some harridan who keeps his balls in her purse.  Let alone turn into some sad sack who has to sneak cigarettes in the carport.

Captain America is now a Nazi

Head-Canon says, no.  It ain’t happening.  Steve Rogers would never do that in a million years.

The Ghostbusters are now women.

Head-Canon says, no.  They aren’t.

This is Head-Canon.  You can doubtless come up with quite a few others on your own.  While a company can own the rights and intellectual property of a character.  And I freely grant that they do indeed have the rights of disposal and use thereunto pertaining.  One thing they can not do is rewrite Head-Canon.

In this case, Head Canon says, yes.  Gods of Egypt is the New Gods movie I’ve wanted to see for years.

Gods of Egypt was trashed by the SJWs for “cultural appropriation”  despite the fact that the director was Egyptian and the culture depicted has been dead for two thousand years.  Reviewers knew they couldn’t say THAT in a review but also they now had to trash it or face the wrath of the SJW Hivemind.  So they gave it low marks on the basis of nothing in particular.   

You come to places like the Dark Herald for alterante views on things and here’s one of them.  Gods of Egypt is a good movie.  Not the best of all time you understand but it is, in fact, a good movie that got trashed for stupid ass SJW reasons. 

We’ll start with the basics. It has one of the oldest stories of all time. The murder of a righteous and just king by his ignoble and usurping brother. And the brother in his turn being thrown down by the king’s son. The rightful heir, the vindicator, and redeemer.

The movie started with the premise that the gods of Egypt lived among the people of Egypt and were easily identifiable due to their giant stature. Also, they could turn into half-animal things when they were using their full powers.

Horace is portrayed as a drunken wastrel of a prince by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (AKA; Jaime Lannister). While he has some noble characteristics they are overshadowed by his faults. No one can fault his courage but he is impetuous and does not value mortal men the way his father Osiris does.

On Horace’s birthday, his uncle Set, ruler of the deserts, murders his brother Osiris the king and then after defeating Horus (by trickery and deceit of course) blinds him by tearing his eyes out of his head. The eyes themselves can’t be destroyed. The gold-colored blood was a nice touch.

Set then takes over Egypt and declares that from now on, if you want to get into the afterlife you have to pay through the nose to get there. Blind Horus is driven out.

Set was actually a more interesting character than he first appeared to be and Gerard Butler made a great villain out of him. I liked the inner conflict that he had.  Set did love his sibling gods and striking them down caused him pain but pain and the stoic endurance of pain was pretty much all Set knew anyway. He was the ruler of the deserts after all.  Pain was the price of doing business for him and he needed to do business. His last words to Osiris were a whispered, “I love you too.” He had a story arc.

Amazingly, all the characters in this film had story arcs.

While the gods were the highest in the land, the fate of the land was decided by the lowest. Our second protagonist is Bek the Thief. At the insistence of his (slave) girlfriend, he sets out to steal the Horus’ eyes from Set’s vault. He is successful but his girlfriend is killed in the attempt. Bek goes to Horus and demands a bargain. Horus gets his eye back in exchange for getting Bek’s lover back the Land of the Dead. They are under a bit of gun here because since Zaya died a slave she will have no treasure and thus be torn apart by the Devourer of Souls. There are nine days before she passes through the gate and her death becomes permanent. Horus must defeat Set and be king before then.

Horus isn’t too cool about the blackmail, but he agrees to it. An antagonistic relationship between Bek and Horus is established here and it’s obvious that by the end of their adventure they will be close friends.

The call back to the Kirby’s Fourth World came when Horus went to see his grandfather, Ra on his sun-barge. The interplay between the two was intriguing and it set you up for the twists that were to come.

If you have any acquaintance with Egyptian mythology you’ll love this movie. A lot of the dialog for this part was clearly inspired by the Book of Going Forth By Day. And the set design is completely over the top.

This film has the look and feel of a Cecil B. DeMille movie. Everything is big and colorful and loud but for all of that, the characters came first at all times. All of the characters had an arc and honestly, you just don’t see that anymore.

It angers me that a film this good trashed by SJW Cancel Culture because some purple haired three hundred pound hippo decided that this was what she needed to be offended about this week.

Now, mind you, I only said, it was a good film. Not great. It was ultimately a popcorn burner and it will never compete with Amadeus. This was not one of the all-time greats. With that said it was an excellent popcorn burner and was certainly better than most of the other films that were released that year.

So if you are in the mood for a light adventure movie with decent enough characters and gorgeous visuals or you still wish that Jaime Lannister had been allowed to finish his redemption story, this one is for you.

Cataline Recommends with Confidence.

*Whatever the hell that means

4 thoughts on “Cataline Recommends: Gods of Egypt

  1. Fourth World was outstanding when it came out, and holds up well today on re-reads. Well worth collecting, and not just for Kirby fans.

    The most amusing thing to me at the time it was publishing was that DC didn’t trust Kirby to draw Superman’s face. Superman’s appearances in Jimmy Olsen always had his face rendered by Curt Swan. Betting neither Swan nor Kirby were happy about having to wrangle that one.

    Like

  2. You come to places like the Dark Herald for alterante views on things

    i lurv this turn of phrase SO MUCH.

    Jew613
    Kirby did serve in WWII.

    Cataline never said he didn’t.

    Kirby also lied about his service, claiming to have landed at Omaha 10 days after the invasion when he actually didn’t go ashore until 2 months after the coast had been secured.

    he was exposed to enemy fire, but he would have been actively encouraged to NOT ENGAGE when possible:
    “made him a scout who would advance into towns and draw reconnaissance maps and pictures

    he wasn’t a REMF due to his forward positioning. he WAS a REMF by duty.

    Like

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