The Jack Katz Podcast Conversation Part 2: The Replication of our Downfall and Our Steps into Wonder

Replication & Where we left off…

When we left off our conversation with Jack, a time traveler had arrived from the future, only to find he was not far enough in the past. The computers had taken over. The machines created by the computers attend to everything people needed and it made humans weak. Things sounded grim.


A recurring theme in The First Kingdom is the rise and fall of civilizations and the events that eventually bring about their destruction. A desire for immortality is among the motivations that are often driving the creators and innovators. 

One solution created is a memory serum that retains the entire scope of a culture’s knowledge. The serum can be used to share this knowledge with the replicants called Humanoids.

The Humanoids were made by a man who had a near-death experience as a child and wanted to stave off death for everyone. At one point, he takes the memory serum to prevent his own inevitable death.


“Art is the glorification of the human body.” 

         Jack Katz

The Fiction We Know is Replicated 

Tarzan is not an original story. According to Jack, there are no original stories. Jack in the Jungle and Jack the Lion Tamer were both written by PT Barnum and are the basis for the Tarzan stories written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Philip Wiley wrote the Gladiator which Jack believes was the inspiration for Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel’s seminal Superman.  Jack even shares a personal story about these two co-creators in the first part of our conversation.

People are Steeped in Ambivalence 

Jack is exacerbated by people steeped in the same ambivalence. He believes people are terrified and need to hold on to something. Jack has found the god of Einstein and it has allowed him to focus on completing the Beyond the Beyond.

When Jack met Charles Clarence (C.C). Beck, who was the first artist assigned to draw the character of Captain Marvel, originally dubbed Captain Thunder by writer Bill Parker, “He knew I was supposed to do Captain Marvel Jr.” 


“He already knew about me from Bulletman and Bulletdog.”

Jack Kaz

Jack remembers Beck enjoyed designing swords and hilts, and that he was a “Wonderful little gentleman.” Maybe it has to do with his belief that Captain Marvel was better than Superman.

When Jack wrote his own story of a character with immense power he named it The Last Immortal. He then introduced a girl who was dying of cancer and asked, “What can superpowers do against cancer?”


Matt Baker and Mankind

Jack claims that Baker was the best example of an artist making it in the business. Jack made the mistake of pointing this out to Baker, and when it was overheard — “I lost my job when I said he was too good for this… I said he should be working at Playboy.”

“I loved Matt Baker – admired his ability to draw women. He had a bad heart, and he was a beautiful person.”

Jack Katz

He is one of the many artists who inspired Jack to pursue his independent opus The First Kingdom.

“The Kingdom is like a silent mention,” he told me. “One day the world will be ready for substance.”

Jack Katz and his opus

This includes a trial of the fantasy that we create. As Jack points out, “Mankind can’t handle the situation he is born into — it’s the vicissitude. during the trial the judge is Consciousness. Upon the suggestion that they are all fabrications, Consciousness learns she does not have the authority she thought she had

Our conversation is interrupted by sirens, and then Jack responds that he is unlike the fabricators because “I glorify the human body. It’s our temple. The registry of our identity.”


Cycles – Skywald – dick Giordano

The First Kingdom is 1070 pages. It tells the story of many advanced societies who are brought down by the problems they create. 

“When I worked at Skywald,” Jack begins, he developed a jungle character raised by lions, not apes. Jack wanted to give credit to PT Barnum who he admires. Sadly, Barnum was a gifted writer who “took his intelligence to the worst possible places”

So, Jack honored him with the character Zangar.


It was Dick Giordano who visited Jack to make an offer from DC on a new project. Giordano had created the Charlton Comics characters known as the “Action Heroes. He later became the executive editor of DC Comics.

“The only thing interested in was The Imaginator,” Jack said. “(He) Loved the idea, but it never came off and then he died.”

“We are afraid to be original.”

Jack Katz


“Society creates its downfall.,” says Jack. “Built-in from the first breath and the pain and carried through trace memories. You cannot get rid of memory. My desire must be rewarded with punishment. It all leads to our own self-destruction.”


“There’s a kind of evil or disassociation,” he continues. “Some people are born without a conscious.”

Hear the rest of the story in the podcast at the top of this post.

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To hear the first part of our conversation click here.

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Podcast – DC Comics – New Age of DC Heroes – Review: The Immortal Men #2


By Seth Singleton

This review originally posted on

The Immortal Men #2

Writers: James Tynion IV

Artists: Ryan Benjamin


Caden Park ran out of the horrors of a subway nightmare and onto the streets of a deserted New York City. Why does the cab driver who picks him up call himself the Immortal Man and disappear? Why is there a PI sent by his parents rescuing him? The questions keep coming while a patient Infinite Woman prepares a tactical strike to capture Caden and eliminate the remaining Immortal Men. Is this really “The End of Forever?”

To read the full version of this review visit:

To contact Seth about writing review click here.


Facing a Hard Decision? This is Your Moment to be a Hero

By Seth Singleton

Are heroes chosen?

Or, do the choices made by ordinary people define a hero?

There is a recurring argument in storytelling.

One side claims that something or someone decides who becomes a hero.

The other side claims that a hero is an ordinary person who takes action, and chooses to be heroic.

Two writers are using a comic book character, and his universe, to further the argument that heroes are not chosen.

Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman are writing a new version of the Green Lantern for the DC Comics Earth One series. It is appropriately titled, “Green Lantern: Earth One”.Heroes make choices and those choices have consequences and often demand sacrifices.

I think the corollary to that is, in fiction, in sci-fi, someone will be special by birth. There are a lot of people I know in real life who chose the path — they’re not special for any other reason than they chose a path. They made a choice,” said Bechko.Graphic-Novel-Cover

The Earth One label from DC retells the origins of class comic book characters. Its an invitation for new readers to try them out. DC has used the technique with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and The Teen Titans.

I like the choice to join the argument.

Heroes make hard choices. It is why their path can be lonely.

It is easy to accept the idea that some people are chosen to be heroes.

It’s easy to leave the result to fate or say that such things are out of your hands.

But, nowhere does it say that the life of a hero is easy.

Being chosen is part of the original concept of Green Lantern. The signature trait of the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians who created them is fearlessness.

Hal Jordan was a test pilot for experimental aircraft. This made him the natural choice when his dying predecessor Abin Sur, sent his ring to find a successor.

When Hal joined the Corps it was his fearlessness that made him a star. Time and again Jordan relied on the ability to overcome fear and doubt when all seemed lost.

That didn’t mean that this made things any easier. Even chosen heroes have to make hard choices.

When a hero is not The Chosen One (TCO), the choices involve different risks. Things change when the hero is not destined to succeed.

Star Wars director Rian Johnson demonstrated this in the latest Star Wars installment.

By Tobias Cornille on Unsplash

Johnson said that Rey’s ability to use the force in The Last Jedi breaks from George Lucas’ tradition. The Force is destiny.

Luke and Leia were strong in the force because their father, Anakin, Darth Vader, was a powerful Jedi.

Dominant traits pass from parents to children. This is fact. These traits include gifts that are not common.

But, this does not produce a hero.

The decision to act, to do something hard, is the hero’s choice.

Photo by Oliver Roos on Unsplash

“They made sacrifices,” said Hardman. “Heroes make sacrifices, and that’s something that gets lost in long-form superhero stories.”

Joseph Campbell claimed that heroes received a call to action.

Campbell created his Hero’s Journey by researching the myths of the world. He traveled to their origins to read books and speak with elders.

The reasons for the hero to act outnumber the stars.

So, are the reasons to not act.

Answering the call is not always the first response of a hero.

Like Luke denying Obi-Wan’s offer to join the rebellion, many, as Campbell terms it, “refuse the call.”

“The usual person is more than content, he is even proud, to remain within the indicated bounds. And popular belief gives him every reason to fear so much as the first step into the unexplored.”
“The adventure is always and everywhere a passage beyond the veil of the known into the unknown; the powers that watch at the boundary are dangerous; to deal with them is risky, yet for anyone with competence and courage the danger fades.”  — Joseph Campbell

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

In some cases, the choice to act is one of survival.

Instant or imminent, it is this choice to answer that begins the hero’s journey.


It is the choices that the hero makes on that journey, which will define their identity.


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