Any Color You Want, As Long as It's Brown

To celebrate Jack Kirby's 100th birthday in october, DC put out a series of oversized one-shots featuring various Kirby creations, like the Manhunter, Sandman, and the Fourth World. They were... just okay, if we're being honest. The ones with decent art had lackluster stories, the ones with good stories had mediocre art. You wouldn't regret reading any of these comics, but you wouldn't be missing anything if you didn't.

One of the things that frustrated me about the Fourth World entries was that they were colored almost as if they were mid-'90s Vertigo books. Lots of predominantly brown colors and earthy hues, and not a ton of variety in tone, hue, or saturation. It was at least thematically appropriate in the Darkseid Special, which was set in the hopeless depths of the Armaghetto, but even there it just made it hard to pick details out of the artwork.

Then again, sometimes a page filled with brown and green is exactly what you need to get the message across...

He has always been the herald of death.The Black Racer and Shilo Norman Special #1 (October 2017), page 7
Pencils by Denys Cowan and Ryan Benjamin; inks by Bill Sienkiewicz & Richard Friend; colors by Jeromy Cox.

Yeah, that'll do nicely.

It's hard to convey what a breath of fresh air this page is after four pages of mud. That yellow sunset really pops off the page because it's the lightest, brightest thing out there. At the same time the yellow and orange of the sunset form an analagos group with the muddy greens and browns of the corpse-filled rice paddy, unifying the whole composition. It's just a lovely page, and nothing else in the comic even comes close to having its impact.

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