New Gods #1 Cover

Inspired by a visit a few months ago to Pete Von Sholly‘s home where he allowed me to scan his collection for the Museum’s Original Art Digital Archive, here are some pieces related to the cover to the first issue of The New Gods.

First is a piece that Pete saw for sale at Bay Con 1976, but Jack and Roz sold it to someone else (Rod Friggle?). John Morrow published this in his The Jack Kirby Collector 37.

Luckily, Roz said they had another at home that Pete could buy, and here it is.

Of course, both of these may be pieces that Jack drew on DC cover board anywhere from 1970 through the purchase date. Anyone have any thoughts?

Let’s go back to the original, as published February-March 1971, so an on the stands date might be December 1970. (Scan thanks to Grand Comics Database.)

1971 - The New Gods #1 cover

1971 – The New Gods #1 cover

DC promoted the book with a house ad, here scanned from Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen 134, published December 1970.

1970 - Kirby House Ad

1970 – Kirby House Ad

But, see the differences between what was published and the house ad? Well thanks to Greg Theakston’s gift of photostats to the Museum, we have an earlier version of the cover that looks  a little more like the house ad.


To go all the way back, however, here’s the comp for the cover of the New Gods issue of Showcase (94). Yes, DC originally wanted to introduce what came to be known as Kirby’s Fourth World in Showcase. Image thanks to Robby Reed’s Dial B For Blog!

Unused Showcase 94 cover

Unused Showcase 94 cover

DC printed this in their January 1976 Amazing World of DC Comics “prozine” (10). Scan from Rob Kelley’s Amazing Blog of DC Comics.


Of course, all of the production versions shown above are based on Kirby’s presentation piece, inked by Don Heck Frank Giacoia and colored by Kirby.

1969 - Orion presentation art

1969 – Orion presentation art

Last is the cover to 1999’s “Jack Kirby’s New Gods” trade paperback, with color by an uncredited artist.


1998 - Jack Kirby's New Gods Trade paperback cover

1998 – Jack Kirby’s New Gods Trade paperback cover

If you have any more versions of this cover, especially international versions, please let me know!

– Rand

12 thoughts on “New Gods #1 Cover

  1. John Sagness

    The inker on Jack’s original presentation drawing of Orion was Frank Giacoia, not Don Heck. The only person who thinks it was Heck is Mark Evanier — but with all due respect, I think it’s fairly obvious he’s wrong about that.

  2. Mike Gartland

    Hi Rand,
    The Heck-Giacoia confusion arises from the Sigurd, Baldur, Norse Gods etc. pieces being Heck inked and the New Gods presentation pieces being Giacoia inked. Only the Black Pharoah piece, usually considered one of the New Gods pieces, was inked by Heck!

  3. John Sagness

    Actually, there were two other Heck-inked pieces: Enchantra (as seen on the cover of Kirby Collector #38) and the unnamed black character seen on the cover of Kirby Collector #52. Two of the New Gods pictures (Metron and Darkseid) were almost certainly inked by Jack himself, while the Night Glider figure drawing (from the cover of Topps’ Night Glider #1) was probably also inked by Kirby. All the Norse Gods pictures were, as you pointed out, inked by Don Heck. All the others (Captain Glory, Bombast, Orion, Lightray, Mister Miracle, Mantis, and that cool-looking robot) were inked by Giacoia. Hope I didn’t forget any!

  4. John Sagness

    …I’d say you’re a very lucky guy! That Darkseid picture is an exceptionally nice piece of original, historic Kirby art and, alas, WAY out of the price range of financially challenged individuals like myself! Thank goodness for all the quality reproductions of Jack’s art that abound today!!

  5. Mike Gartland

    Yeah, forgot about those guys; old age….

    The Darkseid piece hangs over my desk; I owned the Metron piece at one time and when seen up close there are aspects that resemble Giacoia’s inks, but I lean towards Kirby as well!

  6. Mike Gartland

    Hi John,
    Yeah I forgot about those guys; old age…..

    The Darkseid & Metron pieces have Giacoia aspects to them, but I lean towards Jack as well; I owned them both at one time and the Darkseid hangs over my desk to this day!

  7. Shane Foley

    What a hoot, seeing that old ad with FP and New Gods!
    I still remember being shocked when Stan Lee announced Kirby was leaving Marvel,
    but in my youthful innocence, I thought he must have been retiring. Kirby at DC? Never occurred to me (and I didn’t know he’d already been there years earlier.).
    Then one day I was at a comic rack glancing through a DC Mystery book – probably because there were no new Marvel superhero books out that day – and came across that ad! It just blew me away – not only that Kirby would go to DC (gasp!) but that there was one of his most incredible hero designs ever on one of those covers. I still think Orion is one of his greatest ever creations – right up there with the Thing and the Silver Surfer!
    (And to be honest, I think the cover looks better with the stark black background. Ha!)
    Thanks also for showing where that Showcase cover came from. It turned up in Chrissie’s Kirby Quarterly once, and I didn’t know whether it was ‘real’ or mocked up to show what it might have looked like.
    Thanks for all these!

  8. Rand HOPPE

    Glad you like it, Shane. Tracking down the first publication of that Showcase cover was a bit of fun, I have to admit. The question does remain, did someone at DC mock it up for that issue of AWODCC? Doubtful…


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