Column: New Gods of the Fourth World

I’ve known about Darkseid at least since he appeared on the cover of the first issue of DC Comics’ Super Powers in 1985. Since then, I’ve read dozens of comic books featuring the dark master of Apokolips and all the associated New Gods created by Jack Kirby. When the latest reboot of Superman comics introduced Lex Luthor’s Apokoliptian armor and use of a Mother Box, I realized that I’ve never really had a particularly clear grasp of Kirby’s whole DC mythology. I know who the characters are, I know about the strange melding of mysticism and technology, but I’ve never really felt like I fully understood what all the fuss and bother with these strange figures was all about. I decided to pick up a used copy of the first volume of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus to start at the beginning and see if I could get a better understanding of the weirdness.

Column: The Dark Heart of Billy Graham

On the last day of February and the first day of March, the corpse of evangelical Christian minister Billy Graham was presented for public viewing in the rotunda of the United States Capitol Building. Graham was only the fourth private citizen whose body was honored in a ritual normally reserved for presidents, elected officials, and military officers. The only other exceptions to the rule have been civil rights icon Rosa Parks and two Capitol Police officers who died in the line of duty, Jacob Chestnut and John Gibson. Graham is the first religious leader to be awarded this honor by the government of the United States of America. The first clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Laying out a preacher’s dead body in the central building of the nation’s legislative branch does not establish his form of Christianity as an official federal religion, of course, but it is a bold break with 166 years of tradition at the Capitol, and it clearly gives an official stamp of approval to a man who made his living selling one branch of one faith.

Billy Graham Weighs In

Though the venerable Christian evangelist Billy Graham is in his twilight years and semi-retired (his famous ministry is largely run by his son now), he still has time to answer concerned letters regarding religious Witchcraft.”…if they are like other groups I’ve heard about, they probably take their beliefs very seriously. I have often asked myself why people like this turn their backs on Christianity and embrace something that is almost the exact opposite. Some, I know, do this because they’ve had a bad experience with a church, or they have become disillusioned by what they’ve seen of Christians. Others simply like to be unconventional, and this is one way of showing that they reject traditional values and ways of living. But others turn to groups like this because down inside they sense that something is missing in their lives, and they hope this will fill that empty place…”Notice the difference between his answer, and the rantings of people like Laura Mallory, who recently weighed in on the peril of religious Witchcraft in the newspapers.