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Jack Kirby

Banes at 12:00AM, Aug. 31, 2017
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Just the other day was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jack Kirby (Jacob Kurtzberg, originally).

Jack “King” Kirby drew comics from the 1930's for various companies and co-created many characters for Timely Comics, notably Captain America (co-created with Joe Simon). Cap was one of the few Marvel characters to predate Marvel Comics.

My research also tells me that Kirby worked in the Western and Sci Fi genres, doing “monster movie” type science fiction comics that were very successful. He also created the Romance genre of comics.

When Timely became Marvel comics, Jack co-created The Fantastic Four, with Stan Lee, and with Fantastic Four #1, made comics history with characters who were much more human and complex than other comics characters of the time. The Marvel Universe was born!

Kirby and Lee co-created The Hulk, Iron Man, The Black Panther and The X-Men, among others, and they were the original architects of an connected comic universe (which much later would lead to the connected Marvel Cinematic Universe, of course).

Jack moved back to DC comics (he'd worked there before) and eventually came back to Marvel, as well as working on creator-owned projects and animation. Some of his lesser known characters are still bopping around the DC and Marvel Universes.

It's a bit sad that Jack Kirby passed away (in 1994) before seeing the massive success of his characters. Like Stan Lee, Jack did not have ownership of the characters he created. While Stan has stuck around long enough to find success as a result of his creations, Jack was not so fortunate.

The “Galactus Trilogy” story in the Fantastic Four #48-50 is considered the best work of Lee and Kirby. You know Galactus? That's another iconic character created by the greatest duo in comics! Hopefully we'll see that character in the movies at some point; the rights are a bit sticky. That's an article for another time.

My personal favorite work of Kirby's is the original X-Men title - I dug those yellow and black uniforms, and the humor and fun as well as more serious moments in those comics were utterly absorbing to me…and still are. They're some of the first comics I really loved. And at least half of that is because of Kirby's art.

In any case, Kirby will never be forgotten. His Marvel characters have stood the test of time, and were iconic even before the Marvel movies made them even more so.

Hail to the King!

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anonymous?

Albino Ginger at 2:14PM, Aug. 31, 2017

Try to imagine the comic book world if Jack was never born… I can’t. He shaped this industry more than anyone ells.

AmeliaP at 12:47PM, Aug. 31, 2017

Kirby reminds me a very important thing, have a lawyer (and an agent. I have both)! Protect your creation, always. They are expensive, but necessary. But, talking about Kirby, he opened a new way to see storytelling in comics. He's a Gold Age precursor (I love his Golden Age style, by the way). Pity there wasn't internet in his early days...

thunderdavid at 12:06PM, Aug. 31, 2017

He was true ink and brush master. The freakin Jedi master of ink. I might be wrong but back in 90's there was talk he would help jump start Image comics. I wish there was video documentary of Kirby

KimLuster at 10:55AM, Aug. 31, 2017

Yeah so innovative...! Kirby Dots and the Kirby Krackle... Such a simple thing, yet someone had to think it first!!

Ironscarf at 9:29AM, Aug. 31, 2017

The greatest ever. One thing that amazed me was after creating and drawing more comics than most could manage in several lifetimes, Jack suddenly transformed his work into Psychedlic Kirby in the sixties - a whole new style and the one he's now most associated with. It seemed to happen overnight as if someone had dropped acid in his coffee, but apparently it was all done with Rio-Tan Cigars.

plymayer at 2:39AM, Aug. 31, 2017

The King himself. A whole encyclopedia would barely scratch the surface talking about his work in comics.

jerrie at 12:55AM, Aug. 31, 2017

Jack Kirby was the king of drawing action sequences. LOVED his work when I was a kid

ozoneocean at 12:24AM, Aug. 31, 2017

A legend.

bravo1102 at 12:23AM, Aug. 31, 2017

Excelsior!!!! It's sad to me that the one Marvel property that most reminds me of Jack Kirby is the one that has not had any success on screen. The Fantastic Four. I discovered him reading the Losers during his return to DC in the early 1970s. I also loved seeing his vintage work in a number of the 1950s horror Marvel reprints if the time. Always loved his blocky composition and that magnificent Kirby gizmology.


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