Late in Kirby’s five year 1970s stint at DC they launched 1st ISSUE SPECIAL as a sort of SHOWCASE concept. One of Kirby’s concepts ran in the first issue.
Set in an ancient world of legends and wonders when man rose from barbarism, this issue opens as Atlas is exhibiting his strength while his companion Chagra looks for a challenger.
Atlas easily wins the combat set up for him, and is soon enbroiled in another mess which brings the attention of a familiar voice. Atlas has a flashback to his village being destroyed by a slaver when he was a boy, and his adventures growing up while seeking the slaver. His quest is at an end as the voice he just heard is the King of Hyssa, the slaver who killed his family.
All set-up in this issue, which is a shame, as there’s some promise in here and in the concept pages that have been published in TJKC #23 and #26 (plus an unused cover on TJKC #4).
D. Bruce Berry does the inks on the cover and 20-page story. The text page isn’t written by Kirby, but does feature a small version of what appears to be an alternate cover illustration for this issue, fully inked and coloured.