The fourth season of FX’s anthology series Fargo will feature a couple of new things. Chris Rock will headline the season, which will switch locations from Minnesota to Kansas City, Missouri for a tale of organized crime in the 1950s.
But one detail, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, struck our eye. According to their descriptions of the series, Rock’s character “has surrendered his oldest boy to his enemy, and who must in turn raise his son’s enemy as his own.” Any reader of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World comics will immediately recognize this as the pact between Highfather of New Genesis and Darkseid of Apokolips. In order to strike an uneasy peace, Darkseid’s son Orion grew up in Highfather’s household while Highfather’s son Scott Free grew up under the cruel tutelage of Darkseid’s chief instructor, Granny Goodness.
And while one might think Kirby and Fargo executive producer Noah Hawley might be reaching into some older literary tradition, no work of classical literature immediately springs to mind — or Google searches — employing the concept of sons being exchanged to maintain a fragile peace between warring societies. Hawley is, of course, familiar with comic books as he also produces FX’s Legion and familiar with Kirby as he is developing a film centered on Doctor Doom. It is not a great leap to think Hawley picked up on a Fourth World concept which translates easily to a less fantastical setting and brought it to 1950s Kansas City.
But just as the detente between the New Gods crumbles in Kirby’s original comic books, so to does the status quo in the fourth season of Fargo as “the head of the Kansas City mafia goes into the hospital for routine surgery and dies. And everything changes.” The story is described as one of immigration and assimilation and “of basically decent people who are probably in over their heads.”
The exchange of sons will appear in a Fourth World context eventually as Warner Bros. Pictures is developing a New Gods feature. Ava DuVernay is set to direct the film, based on Kirby’s wild cosmology.
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