Don Markstein's Toonopedia: The Forever People
L-r: Mark Moonrider, Beautiful Dreamer, Big Bear, Vykin the Black, Serifan. Artist: Jack Kirby.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: DC Comics
First Appeared: 1971
Creator: Jack Kirby
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Jack Kirby's early 1970s work for DC Comics, taken as a whole, added up to something resembling a grand epic. But the grandest of epics have little byways, where …

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… smaller stories are taking place. In Kirby's Fourth World, as the scenario encompassing the series Mister Miracle, New Gods, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen (while Kirby was handling it) and The Forever People was collectively known, the latter told a smaller story, taking place within the larger one. Their series began with a cover date of March, 1971.

The Forever People were five young folks from the planet New Genesis, where much of the Fourth World action was focused. They represented contemporary stereotypes of hippies. Mark Moonrider (ordinary young man, rebellious but basically a good guy), Beautiful Dreamer ("Earth Mother" type), Big Bear (tough biker with a heart of gold), Vykin the Black (the inevitable token), and Serifan (innocent flower child) tooled around Earth on their Super-Cycle (one of those incredibly versatile fantasy vehicles you find in comics and cartoons, this one capable of flying, passing through solid objects, and even teleporting), resembling nothing more than one of those "finding America" travelogues that were popular in movies of the time. (Well, almost nothing. They also bore more than a passing resemblance to a rather odd team of superheroes, and weren't entirely dissimilar from Scooby Doo.) They originally came to our planet when the villain Darkseid abducted Beautiful Dreamer and hid her here, and the others followed to rescue her. They stayed so they could have a good time looking around.

Each had a super power or two, but the main thing that set them apart from the average mundane adventurer was their Mother Box. This "living computer" could dispense advice, absorb (or project) shock waves, locate enemies, and even rearrange molecules to make ugly people look good (which is one thing Orion, star of the New Gods series, used his for). Theirs, in fact, had an even more wonderful attribute. When all five touched it and simultaneously uttered the word "Taaruu", they would be replaced by Infinity Man just like Billy Batson's use of the word "Shazam" caused him to be replaced by Captain Marvel. And like Captain Marvel, Infinity Man would deal with whoever threatened them without raising a sweat, before returning to wherever he came from.

Shortly after launching the "Fourth World" titles, DC enlarged its comics, adding reprints without taking story pages away from the main attractions. During the brief time this situation lasted, Forever People reprinted The Sandman, from 1940s issues of Adventure Comics, which were written and drawn by Kirby with his partner of the time, Joe Simon.

The Forever People were still finding America when their series ended. The last issue was #11, dated November, 1972. They were revived for a six-issue run in 1988, written by J.M. DeMatteis (Moonshadow) and drawn by Paris Cullins (Blue Devil), but from all indications, still haven't found America.


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Text ©2004-08 Donald D. Markstein. Art © DC Comics.