FW Presents – First Issue Special: Dingbats of Danger Street/New Gods

It's a FIRST ISSUE SPECIAL DOUBLE FEATURE! First up Rob and Max discuss Jack Kirby's "Dingbats of Danger Street" from FIRST ISSUE SPECIAL #6, followed by Rob and Shag on "Return of the New Gods" by Gerry Conway and Mike Vosburg, from FIRST ISSUE SPECIAL #13!

Join the conversation and find more great content:

Subscribe to the FW PRESENTS:

This episode brought to you by InStockTrades. This week’s selections:

This podcast is a proud member of the FIRE AND WATER PODCAST NETWORK:

Thanks for listening!

10 responses to “FW Presents – First Issue Special: Dingbats of Danger Street/New Gods

  1. I have no memory of Dingbats – I’m sure I saw it on the stands, but I”m afraid I passed on it.

    Not so for “Return of the New Gods” – mostly because I only knew the concept from seeing It on the stands when as a callow youngster, I wasn’t picking or buying my own comics. All I really knew of it was Mister Miracle from the Brave & Bold team-ups. Therefore, without any context, I plunged into this, and later into The Return of the New Gods series that picked up from this in 1977. Some don’t like it, or Orion’s newer look, but it did give me a glimpse of the sort of things that Kirby was doing to infuse some new blood into the DC universe in that great Bronze Age way.

    By the way – the Pasko-Estrada-Staton Mr Miracle series mentioned in the text page never happened. But something better did come along in ’77 – with a series by Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers – a precursor to their legendary run on Detective Comics.

    The mention he makes of Secret Society of Super-Villains DID occur not long after this appeared, and in the first 5 issues, Darkseid and Apokolips appeared – which to my mind really landed the New Gods into the greater DC Universe.

    Great Show.

  2. Great show, gents.

    Two Morrows recently released a hardcover called Dingbat Love, which contains the complete second and third stories of “Dingbats of Danger Street” — fully inked, lettered, and colored (and I think they also reveal the original, intended skin tone for Low Fat).

    I also think the planned “First Issue Special” story featuring the Secret Society of Super-Villains was likely the unused story that was eventually printed in the Amazing World of DC Comics #11. But that’s really just a guess.

  3. Man, it would have been somewhat surreal to have heard the words “Dingbats of Danger Street” spoken in the dignified voice of Xum (May he forever Rest In Peace).
    I read this story in the Jack Kirby Omnibus vol 2. It felt like a story out of a 70s issue of Mad Magazine. Especially with the opening page of the characters breaking the fourth wall and introducing himself to the reader. I think Jack was parodying himself and all his “boy teams” while paying homage to the Dead End Kids and the like.
    Another purely enjoyable piece of comic book art.

  4. Another great show!

    I have never read Dingbats. It sounds completely bonkers.

    I have picked up this New Gods story. I stumbled on it well after it was released and found it to be a sort of weird version of these characters. Cover band is a good analogy. I looked at it like a plagiarized story. Enough was different to make it seem original. But it wasn’t as good as the original.

    Butt here is what I do need to say. I am a huge huge fan of the Starfire series. And if you guys are covering it, I want in. Nay … I demand to be in! Come on now!

  5. I have heard and read of Dingbats for years, so it was nice to hear about the story, and see some of the actual pages. I could see this working as an animated series, ala Fat Albert. And wouldn’t it have been nice if they had done that, because now we have to look back at Fat Albert and shake our heads, due to the Cosby connection.

    I first met Orion and the New Gods in that JLA crossover, so when I started to see Orion in his “bucket head” look, I didn’t like it. Now I see how generic this super hero look is, (especially the big “O” on his chest), but hey, I was a dumb kid looking for super heroes back then! The artwork here is intriguing. Vosburg has a loose, raw style that I usually find appealing, but there’s an occasional “ugh” bit here and there. My one real comment though is, why do comic artists heavily shade yellow material with heavy blacks, like Orion’s mask in many panels? Have you ever seen something black with yellow highlights, or yellow with deep black shadows? It’s not just Vosburg, lots of folks (including Nick Cardy) did it with Speedy’s boots. And of course, there’s the classic Hourman costume. It’s always driven me nuts!

    Kalibak has perhaps the loosest design in comic history. Even Kirby couldn’t decide if he was just a big hairy human, or some giant ape-like creature with two toes on each foot. He had the two toes (and a huge monstrous noggin) on STAS and Justice League as well. The Super Powers figure has normal, apparently five-toed boots (just like his Who’s Who entry), but his DC Universe Classics figure has the two toes. Go figure!

    Fun show, and if you want someone to tag along for Manhunter, I’m you man. I dug the Mark Shaw Manhunter series that very belatedly spun out of that First Issue Special!


  6. Coincidentally Gail Simone did a Twitter thread today about which obscure comic people would like to write and Erik Larsen listed Dingbats of Danger Street. I would enjoy that one.

  7. Never read Dingbats, but I read Return of the New Gods, both this introduction in First Issue Special and the ongoing series. Even though I don’t necessarily agree with your view that only Kirby could do New Gods right, I wasn’t too impressed with short-lived revival. I found the stories unmemorable, so the only thing they have going for them is the art by Don Newton.

  8. Perfect timing! I just finished reading Kirby’s original New Gods series as well as The Hunger Dogs. I loved the epic feel of the work, which reminded me of reading an old saga like Beowulf in comic book form. Now, I’m interested to learn more about Return of the New Gods, and its different take on the characters.

    I’ve heard of the Dingbats before, but had no idea what they were about. Now I do. Thanks. I’m curious to know what Kirby’s long term vision for this series would have been.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *