Jack Kirby still messing around with his covers in ways that make them really stand out from the pack. But no, you’re not mistaken: that character really IS a guy in armor on skis, holding ski poles. Jack “The King” Kirby, creator of the Silver Surfer, has DONE IT AGAIN!
I’m sure if he’d had the opportunity, he’d have created in short order: the Crimson Bobsledder, the Chartreuse Curler, and the Particolored Cornholer.
But this is no time for levity! We join the action IN MEDIA RES! Lightray is being chased for his life by the Black Racer, who we understand is Death. I guess in Kiry’s mind, death comes so swiftly, he must arrive on skis. That’s how fast… yeah.
It should be noted here that Kirby gets away with drawing lines that don’t necessarily make good rendering sense but look friggin’ awesome anyway.
I’d like to point out here just how SOLID Orion looks in this panel. Again, Kirby’s linework is strictly his own. Nobody can match or copy it, and I’m at a loss to describe how it works so well.
It’s been intimated before — hell, stated OUTRIGHT by Highfather himself — that Orion is not born of New Genesis. If you’re wondering if Orion has questions about his own origin, let these next panels illuminate the answer.
The Mother Box is a really interesting Jack Kirby invention. It’s not entirely clear what a Mother Box is, or the extent of its powers. Here we see it changing Orion’s face from the one we know to…
A more grim and foreboding visage. Orion himself questions how he could be of New Genesis, where everything and everyone are beautiful. And there’s a subtlety at play in his wording here: no one else on New Genesis is strong or tough enough to wield the “Astro-Force”. Is he implying that none of the native New Genesisians are a match for the native Apokolippians?
Meanwhile, in his stumbling haste to get away from the Black Racer, Lightray has just smashed face-first into an asteroid. And now he’s doomed! DOOMED, I TELL YOU
But no! At the last moment, a Boom Tube teleports the BC away to parts unknown, thanks to Metron. Metron’s a weird dude, guys, as you’ll see in future episodes.
To answer Lightray’s question, the Black Racer has been shunted to Earth! And he’s a great believer of the hand of Fate, guiding his actions. But we know it was Metron’s doing. So… what’s the deal?
The Black Racer’s hand coming in from off-panel to grab this guy’s gun is unintentionally hilarious to me. The director Edgar Wright uses moments like this to great comedic effect.
At any rate, the BC ends up saving Willie’s life, leading to: