“Terror from Apokolips! And it can have no greater force than in the arrival of Kalibak the Cruel!”
And when the eldest son of Darkseid and half-brother of Orion comes on the scene, you can bet your Mother Box that Kalibak will be wielding his dreaded Beta-Club, with its agonizing Nerve Beam capability!
It’s a weapon we see when Orion first encounters his sibling in this adventure and, a little bit later, as the Tormentor aims it at the fierce new god. “How high is your threshold of pain, Orion!” barks the troll-like beast. “This Nerve Beam from my Beta-Club will test you!”
The next caption states: “Turned on to full power, the Nerve Beam can cause an army to writhe in agony! But quick use of the Astro-Force smothers its total effect!”
Though Orion absorbs a portion of the impact, still “My body is afire as if with a mortal wound,” thinks our hero. Needless to say, Kalibak’s half-brother survives.
As Orion and his new Earth allies depart Apokolips via Boom Tube, Kalibak hurls his Beta-Club at the retreating guests, but the weapon falls just short of connecting and the Tube dissipates.
We next see the club briefly in “Spawn” and then, in spectacular fashion, during “The Death Wish of Terrible Turpin,” from the cover and splash page inward, where Jack calls it a “Blast-Club.”
Kalibak uses his weapon to smash into Dave Lincoln’s apartment and splinter the cop’s furniture. Then the Beta-Club blasts Metropolis police officers, including Detective Sergeant Daniel Turpin, who brazenly takes on Kalibak, only to get beaten to a pulp. Orion flies in with Lightray to save “Terrible” Turpin, who is being flung about like a rag doll by Kalibak.
Then, in a great Kirby panel of elemental ferocity, Kalibak smashes his club upside Orion’s head and, in the next, square down atop his helmet. Brutal! Kalibak turns on Lightray and is about to bludgeon the young new god when Orion grasps his half-brother’s truncheon and, with “overwheming” fierceness, the foster son of Highfather twists the Beta-Club from the beast-man’s grasp.
Then, in a classic Kirby page, Orion begins to incurvate the Beta-Club with his bare hands. “Now, by what I do, you many well get a glimpse of inner fires that burn with forces unmatched by your fire-pits!”
Kalibak is dumbfounded, sputtering, “My club — I-it’s beginning to –”
“To bend! To crack!” says Orion. “To break loose from the sinister energies that bind its atoms as one unit!”
The club strains until… “KRAAK!”
“No! No!” screams Kalibak, “Impossible! It can’t be happening!”
But it is. Orion tears apart the weapon, shards flying. “It would take all the might of Darkseid himself to do that!!” Kalibak stammers. “You’re a monster, Orion!!”
Grim Orion responds, “Behold a more painful truth! — The broken fragments of your club!!”
Then, a piece of the disabled weapon in each hand, Orion jams them into the sides of Kalibak’s head, and, well, let’s just say a world-class Super-War donnybrook ensues! That unprecedented “Death of a Weapon” sequence is, of course, the last we see of Kalibak’s Beta-Club!