Forever People
The Forever People from Jack Kirby's Fourth World #17 (July 1998), art by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding; from left to right: Vykin, Beautiful Dreamer, Big Bear, Serifan, Mark Moonrider, Infinity-Man.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceForever People #1 (February-March 1971)
Created byJack Kirby (writer/artist)
In-story information
Member(s)Beautiful Dreamer
Big Bear
Infinity-Man
Mark Moonrider
Serifan
Vykin

Forever People are a group of extraterrestrial superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. They first appeared in Forever People #1 (cover-dated February-March 1971), and were created by Jack Kirby as part of his "Fourth World" epic.[1]

Publication history

The protagonists of the series are a group of young New Gods from New Genesis who were on a mission to oppose Darkseid on Earth, and talked, dressed, and acted much like the flower children of the 1960s.[2] In addition to the individual abilities and equipment of the members, the group can join together using the technology of a Mother Box to summon the powerful hero known as the Infinity-Man.[3] The group travels by use of their Super-Cycle.[4] The first issue of their title also introduced the Boom Tube.[5]

Their own title, The Forever People, debuted in 1971[6] and lasted 11 issues.[7] They mainly fought Darkseid's forces, such as Glorious Godfrey in issue #3.[8] Issues #9 and 10 guest-starred Deadman; according to writer/artist Jack Kirby's assistant Mark Evanier: "We were ordered to put Deadman into New Gods, but we slipped him into Forever People instead, where he was a little less obtrusive. Jack didn't like the character and didn't want to do it. He didn't feel he should be doing someone else's character. ... He doesn't want to trample on someone else's vision. Carmine [Infantino, DC Comics publisher and Deadman's co-creator] said the character hadn't sold and he wanted the Kirby touch on it."[9] The series ended on a cliffhanger, with the Forever People stranded on Adon.[10]

In a 1986 interview Kirby recalled that "the Forever People were the wonderful people of the '60s, who I loved. If you'll watch the actions of the Forever People, you'll see the reflection of the '60s in their attitudes, in the backgrounds, in their clothes. You'll see the '60s. I felt I would leave a record of the '60s in their adventures."[11]

In 1988, a six-issue Forever People limited series by writer J. M. DeMatteis and artist Paris Cullins was published,[12] showing what happens to the Forever People on Adon. This series reveals that the Forever People were originally humans who were saved from death and brought to New Genesis. They returned to Earth to oppose "the Darkness", a sentient but disembodied force of hopelessness. They were aided by a mysterious being, Maya, who is ultimately revealed to be the consciousness of their Mother Box.

During the events of Death of the New Gods, one of the miniseries that attempted to lead into Final Crisis, the human origin of the Forever People was retconned, and it was hinted that the five were to have been the first of the next evolution of the New Gods — godlings becoming more than the sum of their parts. In the Death of the New Gods, Superman and Mister Miracle discover that the Forever People were murdered several months prior to the discovery of their bodies, and it is later revealed that an impostor posing as Himon has been murdering the New Gods as an agent for the Source, but the murderer turns out to be Infinity-Man.

In the Final Crisis Sketchbook, the Forever People (along with other members of the New Gods) are shown to be given updated looks, which Grant Morrison calls "more gothic art school student than flower power". In the event itself, Japan's pop culture team, the Super Young Team, are revealed to be the Fifth World incarnation of the Forever People.[13]

In The New 52, the series Infinity Man and the Forever People makes some changes,[14] where Serifan is now Serafina, Vykin's sister, and Beautiful Dreamer has been renamed Dreamer Beautiful.[15] This series was cancelled with issue #9 (May 2015).[16][17]

Original members

Members of the Forever People, on the cover of issue #9 (June-July 1972). From top to bottom: Big Bear, Vykin the Black, Mark Moonrider, Beautiful Dreamer, Serifan.
Artists: Jack Kirby and Mike Royer

Beautiful Dreamer

During the original Kirby run, Beautiful Dreamer had been linked romantically to Mark Moonrider, although outside of hand-holding, the exact nature of their relationship was never directly specified. In the 1988 miniseries, it was established that Dreamer had been married to Big Bear, and together they had a child, named Maya after the spirit of their old Mother Box. Since then, their marriage and daughter has been voided by a retcon during John Byrne's Jack Kirby's Fourth World series. When last shown, Dreamer was romantically involved with Takion, the new Highfather of New Genesis.

In Superman & Batman: Generations 3, she marries Superman, and has his children, Lar-El and Vara. All three are killed by Darkseid.

Powers and abilities

Like all the children of New Genesis, Beautiful Dreamer possesses the advanced physiology of a New God; she is extremely long-lived, has a limited degree of superhuman strength, resistance and reflexes. She is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant. She has psionic powers that allow her to create illusions and to scan people's minds to produce familiar images. These illusions are powerful enough to, for example, make someone believe they are leading a prisoner when they are only carrying empty chains. In addition, she has been able to feel the fluctuations within the Source.

Big Bear

Big Bear had been married to Beautiful Dreamer, and she had been pregnant with their daughter. A shift in time resulted in the marriage never happening and the child never having existed. This traumatized Beautiful Dreamer for a time. In Forever People #7, he was shown to have been responsible for the historical event that led to the legend of King Arthur.[18]

Powers and abilities

A skilled hand-to-hand combatant, Big Bear is among the strongest of the children of New Genesis, making him superstrong by human standards, capable of bending steel and hurling giant redwood trees almost effortlessly. Big Bear's atomic structure is reinforced by a constant flow of so-called high-density atoms, and he is able to store an excess of free-flowing atoms which he can direct at will to reinforce the power of his already awesome punch. He is also the pilot of the Super-Cycle and an avid Earth history buff.

Mark Moonrider

During the original Kirby run, Beautiful Dreamer had been linked romantically to Mark Moonrider, although outside of hand-holding, the exact nature of their relationship was never directly specified. In the 1988 miniseries set on Adon, Mark was shown to have fallen in love with, and later married, one of the natives, Mina. They had three children (Merry, Wendy and Starbright), but when the shift in time caused by the Darkness' actions undid the events which 'evolved' the natives, this marriage now never had occurred, leaving Mark with only his friends.

Powers and abilities

In addition to being extremely long-lived, Mark has superhuman strength and reflexes and is resistant to conventional injury. Also, he has a keen mind with good leadership skills and he is well-trained in hand-to-hand combat. He possesses a Megaton Touch. With it, he can cause a tremendous explosion, and no doubt could easily kill with it if he and his companions were not sworn never to take a life. Used at low intensity, it can cause a severe shock. On one occasion he used his megaton touch to turn solid rock into molten lava.

Serifan

Serifan is the youngest member of the group, as well as the most vulnerable. The Dark saw this and possessed Serifan, using him to conquer Forevertown and plague the Forever People. After the Dark was defeated he returned to his normal self.

Powers and abilities

Serifan possesses limited telepathic powers, and wields "cosmic cartridges" that serve various purposes when wielded. For example, the cartridges can be used to create protective force fields, drain energy from people, manipulate gravity, modify atomic density, generate intense heat, power vehicles, and stun opponents. Also, the cartridges tune the wielder into the "cosmic Harmony" that is linked to the Source. His "Blue Cartridge"can manipulate life force and was used to help Deadman merge with a "Follower", an organic machine designed to act as his physical body.

Vykin

Throughout the Kirby run, Vykin was referred to as "Vykin the Black". He was the second black superhero to appear in a DC comic book, preceding Kirby's Black Racer by approximately seven months. When the Forever People were stranded on Adon, Mark Moonrider thought it would be advantageous to civilize the people of the planet. When Vykin used their Mother Box to do so, it overloaded and was destroyed, killing Vykin in the process, but managing to create Forevertown. When the Dark overtook and reversed the effects of the Mother Box, Vykin was brought back to life. Recently he was reunited on New Genesis with his mother, Valkyra the Commander, who rode a winged robotic horse. Later on, she sacrificed her life to save her lover Orion.

Powers and abilities

Like all New Gods, Vykin is functionally immortal and all his physical attributes are superhuman. Also, Vykin The Black possesses "Magno-Power", which enables him to project magnetic energy. He can mentally trace atomic patterns, and is therefore good at tracking. He has an intuitive grasp of the workings of complicated machinery. Vykin has a keen mind and he's a skilled hand-to-hand combatant. It is Vykin who carries the Forever People's Mother Box, a kind of sentient computer, and is attuned to her frequencies. He is also a language major.

Infinity-Man

Infinity-Man is Drax, the older brother of Uxas, who would later become Darkseid of Apokolips, and became the Infinity-Man after treachery at the hands of Uxas while attempting to harness the Omega Force for himself. No explanation was given as to why he was involved with the Forever People other than Big Bear's offhanded comment that they have an arrangement with him. The Infinity-Man's powers were never fully cataloged other than having some direct link to the Source, and the suggestion that since he originated from outside our universe, he was not bound by its physical laws. He was shown capable of flight, super-strength, enhanced vision powers, infini-beams, the ability to negate gravity and convert it into a repulsive force, restructuring atoms to pass through solid matter, and redirecting the flight path of bullets.

Fifth World

Main article: Super Young Team

The Super Young Team are the contemporary Fifth World incarnations of the Forever People.[13] Created by writer Grant Morrison in the early "52" stages of their DC Universe Final Crisis storyline, they are influenced by American super-heroes and Japanese pop culture, and were first mentioned in 52 #6. This group recruits Sunny Sumo, a powerful fighter who assisted the original Forever People in the first series.[19]

Other versions

Amalgam Comics

The Un-People are a superhero group in the Amalgam Comics universe, who are a combination of the Forever People and Marvel Comics' Inhumans.[20]

In other media

Television

Film

An alternate universe incarnation of Mark Moonrider makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in a flashback in Justice League: Gods and Monsters.[citation needed]

Video games

The Forever People appear as character summons in Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure.[25]

Miscellaneous

Alternate universe incarnations of the Forever People appear in the Justice League: Gods and Monsters tie-in comic as experiments created by Doctor Psycho.[26]

Collected editions

See also

References

  1. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  2. ^ Daniels, Les (1995). "The Fourth World New Gods on Newsprint". DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. New York, New York: Bulfinch Press. p. 164. ISBN 0821220764. Immigrants from New Genesis to Earth, these heroes were Kirby's version of hippies.
  3. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008), "Forever People", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley, p. 130, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  4. ^ Markstein, Don (2008). "The Forever People". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on May 27, 2024.
  5. ^ Sacks, Jason; Dallas, Keith (2014). American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1970s. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 38. ISBN 978-1605490564.
  6. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 145. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. As the writer, artist, and editor of the Fourth World family of interlocking titles, each of which possessed its own distinct tone and theme, Jack Kirby cemented his legacy as a pioneer of grand-scale storytelling. ((cite book)): |first2= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Forever People at the Grand Comics Database
  8. ^ Kirby, Jack (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "Life vs. Anti-Life!" The Forever People, no. 3 (June-July 1971).
  9. ^ Kraft, David Anthony; Slifer, Roger (April 1983). "Mark Evanier". Comics Interview. No. 2. Fictioneer Books. pp. 23–34.
  10. ^ Kirby, Jack (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Royer, Mike (i). "Devilance the Pursuer" The Forever People, no. 11 (August-September 1972).
  11. ^ "1986/7 Jack Kirby Interview". 6 August 2012.
  12. ^ Forever People vol. 2 at the Grand Comics Database
  13. ^ a b Schedeen, Jesse (March 11, 2014). "DC's Forever People Make Their New 52 Debut". IGN. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. The concept was most recently explored by Grant Morrison in Final Crisis, who created the colorful Japanese group The Super Young Team to serve as the Forever People of the new Fifth World.
  14. ^ Khouri, Andy (March 11, 2014). "O.M.A.C. Team of Keith Giffen and Dan DiDio Reunite for Infinity Man and the Forever People". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on March 12, 2014.
  15. ^ "Keith Giffen Talks Forever People, DiDio Reunion, Tries to Break the Internet". Newsarama. April 2, 2014. Archived from the original on June 29, 2014.
  16. ^ Infinity Man and the Forever People at the Grand Comics Database
  17. ^ Kamen, Matt (December 16, 2014). "DC Comics cancels half its line from March 2015". Wired UK. Archived from the original on September 8, 2015.
  18. ^ Kirby, Jack (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Royer, Mike (i). "I'll Find You in Yesterday!!" The Forever People, no. 7 (February–March 1972).
  19. ^ Kirby, Jack (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "Sonny Sumo" The Forever People, no. 5 (October-November 1971).
  20. ^ Kesel, Karl (w), Grummett, Tom (p), Vey, Al (i). "Challengers of the Fantastic" Challengers of the Fantastic, no. 1 (June 1997).
  21. ^ "Vykin Voice - Young Justice (TV Show)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved May 18, 2024. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  22. ^ "Bear Voice - Young Justice (TV Show)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved May 18, 2024. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  23. ^ "Dreamer Voice - Young Justice (TV Show)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved May 18, 2024. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  24. ^ "Serifan Voice - Young Justice (TV Show)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved May 18, 2024. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  25. ^ Eisen, Andrew (October 4, 2013). "DC Characters and Objects - Scribblenauts Unmasked Guide". IGN. Retrieved May 18, 2024.
  26. ^ "Justice League: Gods and Monsters #1 - Genesis Part One (Issue)". Comic Vine. Retrieved May 18, 2024.
  27. ^ "Jack Kirby's The Forever People". DC Comics. September 1, 1999. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012.
  28. ^ "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 1". DC Comics. June 13, 2007. Archived from the original on July 24, 2014.
  29. ^ "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 1 tpb". DC Comics. December 7, 2011. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
  30. ^ "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 2". DC Comics. September 5, 2007. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014.
  31. ^ "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 2 tpb". DC Comics. April 4, 2012. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012.
  32. ^ "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 3". DC Comics. November 21, 2007. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
  33. ^ "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 3 tpb". DC Comics. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
  34. ^ "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 4". DC Comics. March 26, 2008. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
  35. ^ "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 4 tpb". DC Comics. December 4, 2012. Archived from the original on December 7, 2012.