|First appearance||Forever People #1,
|Created by||Jack Kirby|
The Forever People are a fictional group of extraterrestrial superheroes published by DC Comics. They first appeared in Forever People #1 (February–March 1971), and were created by Jack Kirby as part of his "Fourth World" epic.
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. 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. The group travels by use of their Super-Cycle.
Their own title, The Forever People, debuted in 1971 and lasted eleven issues. They mainly fought Darkseid's forces such as Glorious Godfrey in issue #3. 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." The series ended on a cliffhanger, with the Forever People stranded on Adon.
In 1988, a six-issue Forever People limited series by writer J. M. DeMatteis and artist Paris Cullins was published, showing what happens to the Forever People on Adon. This series reveals that the Forever People were Earth-born humans — infants doomed to die but brought to New Genesis instead, gathered to protect the human race. 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 mini-series 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.
In the New 52 series Infinity Man and the Forever People, Serifan is now Serafina, Vykin's sister, and Beautiful Dreamer has been renamed Dreamer Beautiful. This series was cancelled as of issue #9 (May 2015).
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.
Beautiful Dreamer is far stronger that any earth woman and skilled hand-to-hand combatant as are all children of New Genesis. She has psionic powers, with which she can create illusions. There appears to be no limit as to the size or duration of these images. In addition, she has been able to sense fluctuations within The Source.
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. 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. In Forever People #7, he was shown to have been responsible for the historical event that led to the legend of King Arthur.
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.
In addition to being extremely long-lived, Mark has enhanced strength, resistance and reflexes, with a keen mind, has good leadership skills and is well-trained in hand-to-hand combat. He possesses a Megaton Touch. With it, he can cause a tremendous explosion, and no doubt he 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 is the youngest member of the group. He is usually 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.
Serifan is a sensitive possessing limited telepathic powers. In his hatband Serifan carries "cosmic cartridges" that serve various purposes. For example, the cartridges can be used to create a protective shock-repelli-field, to create an anti-gravity effect, to generate high gravitational force, to generate intense heat, to power a vehicle, or to stun an opponent. Although all of the cartridges have never been catalogued, those seen in action have uses such as being able to generate an anti-gravitational force, create force fields, tune the wielder into the "cosmic Harmony" that is linked to the Source, and, in the case of the "Blue Cartridge," allow Deadman to merge with a "Follower" and have a body of his own once again.
Throughout the Kirby run, Vykin was referred to as "Vykin the Black". He was the first 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.
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. Like all New Gods, his physical strength, endurance and reflexes, is several times higher that of the humans, also has a keen mind and is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant. It is Vykin who carries the Forever People's Mother Box, a kind of sentient computer.
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 to Superman in the first issue of "we've got an arrangement with the Infinity Man". The Infinity-Man's powers were never fully cataloged other than having some direct link to the Source. He was shown capable of flight, super-strength, enhanced vision powers, and the ability to negate gravity and convert it into a repulsive force.
The Super Young Team are the contemporary Fifth World incarnations of the Forever People. Created by writer Grant Morrison in the early "52" stages of his 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.
In other media
- The Forever People appear in the Justice League episode "Twilight" Pt. 2.
- The Forever People appear in the Young Justice episode "Disordered" with Vykin voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, Big Bear voiced by Bill Fagerbakke, Beautiful Dreamer voiced by Grey DeLisle, and Serifan voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. They arrived on Earth in order to reclaim the "New Genisphere" (the same sphere that the Bialyans found) where they run into Superboy and Wolf. They learn that Superboy had saved the New Genisphere. Superboy and the Forever People end up arriving at a nearby construction site where they stumble upon Intergang in the middle of a gold theft. The group witness Intergang using technology from Apokolips. Upon bringing their fight to the surface, the Forever People summon Infinity-Man who repels Intergang. When Superboy and the Forever People find a warehouse containing the weapons from Apokolips, they are ambushed by Desaad of Apokolips. During the Forever People's formation of Infinity-Man, Desaad throws a Father Box into the formation in order to control him. Desaad then has Infinity-Man attack Superboy and Wolf. With help from the New Genisphere, Superboy reclaims control of Infinity-Man. After Desaad retreats, the Forever People place the Mother Box in the New Genisphere to heal it and tell Superboy that they must take the New Genisphere to New Genesis. After an outburst from Superboy, and positive feedback from the Sphere itself, the Forever People let the New Genisphere stay with him.
- Jack Kirby's The Forever People collects The Forever People #1-11, 288 pages, October 1999, ISBN 978-1563895104
- Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus
- Volume 1 collects Forever People #1-3, Mister Miracle #1-3, The New Gods #1-3, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #133-139, 396 pages, May 2007, ISBN 978-1401213442 (hardcover); December 2011, ISBN 978-1401232412 (paperback)
- Volume 2 collects Forever People #4-6, Mister Miracle #4-6, The New Gods #4-6, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #141-145, 396 pages, August 2007, ISBN 978-1401213572 (hardcover); April 2012, ISBN 978-1401234409 (paperback)
- Volume 3 collects Forever People #7-10, Mister Miracle #7-9, The New Gods #7-10, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #146-148, 396 pages, November 2007, ISBN 978-1401214852 (hardcover); August 2012, ISBN 978-1401235352 (paperback)
- Volume 4 collects Forever People #11; Mister Miracle #10-18; The New Gods #11; "Even Gods Must Die" from The New Gods vol. 2, #6; DC Graphic Novel #4: "The Hunger Dogs"; "On the Road to Armagetto!" (previously unpublished), 424 pages, March 2008, ISBN 978-1401215835 (hardcover); December 2012, ISBN 978-1401237462 (paperback)
- Daniels, Les (1995). "The Fourth World New Gods on Newsprint". DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. Bulfinch Press. p. 164. ISBN 0821220764.
Immigrants from New Genesis to Earth, these heroes were Kirby's version of hippies.
- Greenberger, Robert (2008), "Forever People", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, Dorling Kindersley, p. 130, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
- Markstein, Don (2008). "The Forever People". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on July 4, 2014.
- McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. 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.
- Forever People at the Grand Comics Database
- Kirby, Jack (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "Life vs. Anti-Life!" The Forever People 3 (June–July 1971)
- Kraft, David Anthony; Slifer, Roger (April 1983). "Mark Evanier". Comics Interview (2) (Fictioneer Books). pp. 23–34.
- Kirby, Jack (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Royer, Mike (i). "Devilance the Pursuer" The Forever People 11 (August–September 1972)
- Forever People vol. 2 at the Grand Comics Database
- 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.
- Khouri, Andy (March 11, 2014). "O.M.A.C. Team Of Keith Giffen & Dan DiDio Reunite For Infinity Man And The Forever People". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on March 12, 2014.
- "Keith Giffen Talks Forever People, DiDio Reunion, Tries to Break the Internet". Newsarama. April 2, 2014. Archived from the original on June 28, 2014.
- Infinity Man and the Forever People at the Grand Comics Database
- Kamen, Matt (December 16, 2014). "DC Comics cancels half its line from March 2015". Wired UK. Archived from the original on September 8, 2015.
- Kirby, Jack (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Royer, Mike (i). "I'll Find You in Yesterday!!" The Forever People 7 (February–March 1972)
- Kirby, Jack (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "Sonny Sumo" The Forever People 5 (October–November 1971)
- Kesel, Karl (w), Grummett, Tom (p), Vey, Al (i). "Challengers of the Fantastic" Challengers of the Fantastic 1 (June 1997)
- "Jack Kirby's The Forever People". DC Comics. September 1, 1999. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012.
- "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 1". DC Comics. June 13, 2007. Archived from the original on July 24, 2014.
- "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 1 tpb". DC Comics. December 7, 2011. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
- "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 2". DC Comics. September 5, 2007. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014.
- "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 2 tpb". DC Comics. April 4, 2012. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012.
- "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 3". DC Comics. November 21, 2007. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
- "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 3 tpb". DC Comics. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
- "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 4". DC Comics. March 26, 2008. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
- "Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Volume 4 tpb". DC Comics. December 4, 2012. Archived from the original on December 7, 2012.
- DCU Guide: Old Gods
- Forever People at Mike's Amazing World of Comics
- Index to the Earth-1 Fourth World stories