jack kirby collector #39

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JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #39 is an eclectic collection of FAN FAVORITES! Behind two new Kirby covers (inked by MIKE ALLRED and P. CRAIG RUSSELL), we’re covering all the cool Kirby characters readers have been clamoring for: The Hulk (just in time for this summer’s blockbuster movie)! The Inhumans! The Silver Surfer, and more! Plus: A never-published interview with the King himself! Regular columnist MARK EVANIER answers Frequently Asked Questions about Jack! ADAM McGOVERN examines Kirby-inspired work! BARRY FORSHAW unearths Jack’s most obscure material! And wait’ll you see what we’ve dug up for the Kirby Art Gallery - the biggest one we’ve ever published (all at TABLOID SIZE)! This issue is destined to be every Kirby fan’s favorite - don’t miss it!


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The Jack Kirby Collector, Vol. 10, No. 39, Fall 2003. Published quarterly by & ©2003 TwoMorrows Publishing, 1812 Park Drive, Raleigh, NC 27605, USA. 919-833-8092. John Morrow, Editor. Pamela Morrow, Asst. Editor. Eric Nolen-Weathington, Production Assistant. Single issues: $13 postpaid ($15 Canada, $16 elsewhere). Four-issue subscriptions: $36.00 US, $60.00 Canada, $64.00elsewhere. All characters are trademarks of their respective companies. All artwork is ©2003 Jack Kirby unless otherwise noted. All editorial matter is ©2003 the respective authors. First printing. PRINTED IN CANADA.

OPENING SHOT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2(where the editor lists his favorite things)

UNDER THE COVERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3(Jerry Boyd asks nearly everyone what their fave Kirby cover is)

INNER VIEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7(Jack’s on Entertainment Tonight!)

JACK F.A.Q.s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8(who’s the better artist, Kirby or Buscema?)

RETROSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14(Ang Lee is green with envy)

KIRBY OBSCURA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21(Barry Forshaw has more rare Kirby stuff)

GALLERY (GUEST EDITED!) . . . . . . . . .22(congrats Chris Beneke!)

KIRBY AS A GENRE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42(it’s not Kirby, but it’s close)

RETROSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44(they’re creepy and they’re kooky...)

TRIBUTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55(better late than never, it’s the 2002 KirbyTribute Panel)

RETROSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68(the real Silver Surfer—Jack’s, that is)

COLLECTOR COMMENTS . . . . . . . . . . .78(some very artful letters on #37-38)

PARTING SHOT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80(we’ve got a Thing for you)

Front cover inks: MIKE ALLREDFront cover colors: LAURA ALLREDBack cover inks: P. CRAIG RUSSELLBack cover colors: TOM ZIUKO

Photocopies of Jack’s uninked pencils frompublished comics are reproduced here courtesy of the Kirby Estate, which has ourthanks for their continued support.

(below) Jack’s cover pencils from Marvel Super-Heroes #54 (Nov. 1975).

Hulk TM & ©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.

FAN FAVORITES!COPYRIGHTS: Angry Charlie, Batman, Ben Boxer,Big Barda, Darkseid, Dr. Fate, Green Lantern,Guardian, Joker, Justice League of America,Kalibak, Kamandi, Lightray, Losers, Manhunter,New Gods, Newsboy Legion, OMAC, Orion, SuperPowers, Superman, True Divorce, Wonder WomanTM & ©2003 DC Comics • 2001 characters,Ardina, Blastaar, Bucky, Captain America, Dr.Doom, Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic, HumanTorch, Thing, Invisible Girl), Frightful Four(Medusa, Wizard, Sandman, Trapster), Galactus,Gargoyle, hercules, Hulk, Ikaris, Inhumans (BlackBolt, Crystal, Lockjaw, Gorgon, Medusa, Karnak,Triton, Maximus), Iron Man, Leader, Loki, MachineMan, Nick Fury, Rawhide Kid, Rick Jones,Sentinels, Sgt. Fury, Shalla Bal, Silver Surfer, Sub-Mariner, Thor, Two-Gun Kid, Tyrannus, Watcher,Wyatt Wingfoot, X-Men (Angel, Cyclops, Beast,Iceman, Marvel Girl) TM & ©2003 MarvelCharacters, Inc. • Captain Victory, Silver Star,Galaxy Green TM & ©2003 Jack Kirby Estate •Foxhole, Fighting American, Bullseye, StuntmanTM & ©2003 Simon & Kirby • Airboy TM &©2003 Todd McFarlane Productions, Inc. • TheFly, The Shield TM & ©2003 Archie Publications,Inc. • Conan, Red Sonja TM & ©2003 Robert E.Howard, Inc. • Tarzan TM & ©2003 Edgar RiceBurroughs, Inc. • Addams Family TM & ©2003Estate of Charles Addams and Filmways TVProductions, Inc. • Batman TV show TM & ©200320th Century Fox, Inc.




C o l l e c t o r#39, FALL 2003

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amilies are remarkable things. They’re the only people you can go to and get generally universal acceptance. And even thoughJack passed away almost ten years ago, the family of friends

and relatives united by thename “Kirby” is as strong asever—a testament to howremarkable a figure Jack was.

2004 marks the tenthanniversary of this magazine,which launched TwoMorrowsPublishing. Last July, my wifePam, daughter Lily, and I tookour annual sojourn to beauti-ful San Diego, California forthe tenth time (first in 1991,

then nine in a row starting in 1995) toattend Comicon. It was Lily’s second year(she was just shy of two years old at thetime), but she probably had the most funof any of us. Friends we’ve made over thelast decade flocked to our booth, ooohingand aaahing over our little girl and givingher gifts, while we all caught up on what’sbeen going on ineach others’ livessince the last SanDiego con.But perhaps our

ultimate experiencethis year had little to do with comics, when Lilygot to spend an afternoon playing with Jeremyand Crystal Kirby’s daughter Hannah. Therewas something so right about seeing my daugh-ter walk off hand-in-hand with Jack and Roz’sgreat-granddaughter. Besides being absolutelyadorable, Hannah’s awfully advanced for atwo-year-old, and she proceeded to amaze mywife by teaching Lily all kinds of new things that day. It made usboth wonder if she inherited a little bit of Jack’s non-stop mind.

Hannah’s dad has a new website devoted to his grandfather—www.jackkingkirby.com—and Jeremy’s put together a wonderful

tribute, with more materialbeing added all thetime, so check it out.Things are alsoafoot from otherFOOJs (that’s“Friends Of Ol’Jack”) that’llimpact the King’s

presenceon the Web.Look for anexciting announce-ment in September 2004—not so coincidentally, exactly ten years to the day ofthe release of TJKC #1.

Another new addition to the Kirby “family” cameon August 13, as Kirby biographer Ray Wyman Jr.and his wife Mary welcomed their second childThomas Francis to the world. We’re sure he’ll beproperly taught the value of square fingers, toes, and

squiggly knees.Lastly, if you have listing corrections or updated addi-

tions that you wish to send to The Jack Kirby Checklist, pleasesend them to Richard Kolkman’s new post office box or e-mailaddress below. Your ongoing help and support results in thedefinitive listing of the work of The King of Comics, and thislist is always being updated and expanded to become evermore accurate.

Richard KolkmanSeriocomicsBox 501905Indianapolis, IN [email protected]

On a more personalnote, I’d like to dedicatethis issue to the memoryof the little Morrow whodidn’t make it. You’re thereason it was so late, andthough we never got toknow you, you continue

to impact our lives daily. We’ll see you again one day. ★

Opening Shot



by John Morrow, editor of TJKC

A Few Of My Favorite Things!

Must-Have Kirby Items From TwoMorrows!


(top) My daughter Lily pickingout her Halloween pumpkin!

(center) The Kirby “family” at the 2002 San Diego Con. Left to right: Grandson Jeremy Kirby, Ray Wyman Jr., granddaughter Tracy Kirby, former Kirby assistant SteveSherman, family friend MikeThibodeaux, and Jeremy’s wife Crystal (holding babyHannah as a one-year-old).

(above) Recent shot of Jeremy, Crystal, and HannahKirby, and (right) Jeremy’s new website; check it out!

Characters TM & ©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.

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• In February, we’re re-releasing THE COLLECTED JACK KIRBYCOLLECTOR, VOL. ONE, which reprints TJKC #1-9 plus 30 piecesof Kirby art never shown anywhere else! $29 US postpaid

• Now shipping is the debut issue of our new magazine BACKISSUE!, which features an even dozen pages of Kirby’s pencilart in the inaugural “Rough Stuff” section, plus a FULL-COLORpresentation of Jack’s hand-colored guides for the covers ofJIMMY OLSEN #133 and FOREVER PEOPLE #1. $8 US postpaid

• Initial mail-only sales of the CAPTAIN VICTORY: GRAPHITE EDITIONhaven’t done the trick, so we’re offering it through stores inMarch (all proceeds go toward scanning the Kirby Archives!). Toavoid a sell out, order yours before March! $8 US postpaid

See the ads elsewhere in this issue for ordering details!

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Our front cover thisissue is inked byMike Allred, returningfor a reader-requestedsecond outing at aTJKC cover (his firstbeing on issue #28’swraparound beauty).This Black Bolt piece(at left) first appearedin Fantastic FourAnnual #5 (1967),inked by FrankGiacoia, and we originally ran the pencils in TJKC #23(see page 54 of thisissue). Mike’s wifeLaura Allred addedher artful touch bycoloring Mike’s inksto make a truly striking cover image.

Our back cover thisissue is a Hulk fancommission inked byP. Craig Russell, oneof the true “fine”artists in comics.Craig took time out todo an interview withTwoMorrows’ EricNolen-Weathington,which we’ll featurenext issue! (Kudos toTom Ziuko for thesplendid coloring onthe back cover of thisissue!)

(right, top to bottom)2001 TreasuryEdition, Jimmy Olsen#139, Kamandi #12,Fantastic Four #1recreation, andFoxhole #1.

Under The Covers

Written and compiled by Jerry Boyd (with help from John Morrow and John Fleskes)

erily, ’tis true that ye cannot judge a book by its cover. However, you can judge a comic magazine cover on its own merits and a cover by our beloved king usually stated a mouthful. Whether Jack was capturing the

essence of his own regularly drawn books, or a dramatic moment in time forstories done by others, there was always something about a Kirby cover thatdemanded your undivided attention.

The cover pieces the king produced in his long, stellar career number inthe thousands. Nevertheless, the memories they evoke remain so tangiblethat one can probably pinpoint the place/places—whether it be big citynewsstand, comics office, home-delivered subscription issue, or that familiarspinner rack in your local drug store/convenience market—where one first lay eyes on the Fly cautiously approaching the malevolentSpider Spry (Adventures of the Fly #1), or an outmatched Captain America almost cowering before the Enchantress and Power Man(Avengers #22), or the Forever People in the evil grip of Desaad (Forever People #4), to name a few examples.

For this “fan favorites” issue, we’ve gathered an eclectic selection of writers, editors, artists, and fans and posed to them one question: “What is your favorite Jack Kirby cover and why?” For some, this was a “no-brainer” and others(understandably) needed days/weeks/months to narrow it down to a single precious choice (or two).Special thanks go out to all who happily took on this admittedly daunting task and... away we go!

MARIE SEVERIN cartoonist/colorist without peer

I kinda liked the (Kirby) splashes more thanthe covers! Jack had a way of capturing the sameexcitement on the opening page or outdoing hiscovers outright. It’s hard to pick one becausethey were all so good and had such impact... and they all bumped into each other in quality. Iwould say that the wraparound cover for 2001(the treasury-sized edition) was a particularlyexciting cover to me and also unusual for Jack. Ibelieve he colored that one himself. The scope ofit was fantastic and I wish he could’ve done morewraparound pieces. I also wish Kirby had triedsculpture. Can you imagine it if he had donemurals? We’d... have more pieces like 2001!

DANIEL CLOWESartist/writer of Eightball, Doofus, & Ghost World

I like the Don Rickles and Goody Rickelscover on Jimmy Olsen #139. It was a favorite ofmine because it was such a crazy idea!! I actuallyhad that one on my wall for five years! I should goread that book again. I haven’t read it since 1972.

Aside from being one of modern-day comics’ brightesttalents, the talented Mr. Clowes also co-wrote the screen-play for Terry Zwigoff’s excellent movie adaptation ofDan’s comic, Ghost World. If you haven’t seen it, you’re

missing out on a real treat! Dan did this drawing ofEnid, the movie’s main character, especially for TJKC! Thanks, Dan!

JOHN MORROWeditor/publisher

It’s Kamandi #12, with thegiant grasshopper leaping toward

the reader. This was my first Kirbybook, and it really threw me for a loop. I

remember looking at it, instantly hating thesquare knees and fingers that Jack drew, andthen by the time I finished reading the issue, Iwas a total Kirby fan for life.

STAN LEEwriter/art director/editor supreme

I’m sorry but it’s impossible for me to saywhich is my favorite Kirby cover. However, ifthere absolutely must be a choice, then it’s thecover for Fantastic Four #1. Not because it’sJack’s best artwork, but because it was the coverof the mag that started the Marvel Age ofComics—and once seen, it’s almost impossibleto forget.


Kirby and Ayers recreated the famous cover to FF #1 inthe early ’90s (shown below).

MARK EVANIER columnist/creator

Picking one or even ten Kirby covers is likegoing into a Baskin-Robbins that has 31,000 flavors. Never mind which one you prefer, howdo you even begin to pick? But if you were holdinga few loved ones hostage and demanding a selection, I suppose I’d opt for Foxhole #1—ahaunting image that was among the very fewtimes that Jack ever drew a cover scene as muchfrom memory as imagination. Jack told endlesstales of his days in World War II, often to theimpatience of fans who only wanted to hearabout Asgard and Apokolips. In his anecdotes,as in his drawing, he did not glamorize thekilling, but did, in life-affirming manner, glam-orize the heroism, memorialize the emotion,weighing them against one another. Most of his war-theme covers captured that ambiguitybut the first Foxhole did it as eloquently as any,and without any tricks of forced perspective orexaggerated anatomy. And if you made me picksome others, I’d probably go eenie-meenie-minie-mo and name—hmm, let’s see... FF #29,Tales of Suspense #80 or maybe Captain America#107. But ask me again in an hour and I’ll pickcompletely different ones.

VVCovering It All!



Page 5: Jack Kirby Collector #39

JERRY BOYD TwoMorrows contributor

Time has witnessed many a warrior who hasfought through his anguish as fallen comrades lienearby. In addition, many warriors have survived inbattle and claimed the victory because of the inspi-rational charge of an ally. The Kirby/Ayers team, twoWWII veterans, captured all of this in the cover ofSuspense #71 with modern warriors in mechanizedarmor in a battle televised before an entire world.“Happy” Hogan was prone, unconscious, a seemingmartyr to the Golden Avenger’s (and the free world’s)struggle against Communism. Set against a bleak,rugged terrain, the vengeful Iron Man is positionedbetween his fallen friend and the bloodthirstyTitanium Man. Jack’s design was in contrast to manyof the Marvel covers at the time which depicted theheroes either at bay, beaten (see TOS #70 beforethis one by Heck), or about to attack. This kinglymasterwork set up the fight’s denouement victory!!This intimate, tension-filled, and dramatic cover,just above a stupendous Lee/Heck/Wood effort,was a Kirby tour de force and it caught all the gloryof Iron Man’s greatest triumph. (It is too tough topick one—Evanier was right!) During the Renaissance,my second pick would’ve fit in as a statue sculptedby Michelangelo, a painting by Titian, or a drawingby DaVinci. It screams classic art, and it’s the coverof Journey into Mystery Annual #1—with the warriorgods Thor and Hercules in a locked fighting posethat defies denouncements.

DICK AYERSartist/inker extraordinaire

My favorite monster cover is “Monster at MyWindow!” (Tales to Astonish #34). That was a beaut.And my favorite story was “(I Created) Sporr, theThing That Could Not Die!!” (Tales of Suspense#11). Monster stories were my favorites of allthe stuff that Kirby penciled thatI inked. I enjoyed those the most.

Sgt. Fury takes a time-out fromstomping “Sieg-Heilers” in this con-vention portrait by Dick Ayers (shownbelow).


comics historian/publisher of ImageS magazine

Kirby’s post-WWII artworkfor Hillman was some of hismost raw and powerful as typi-fied by the May 1947 cover forAirboy Comics vol. 4, #4. Thestory the image communicates isimmediate and obvious andrequires only a single glance tocomprehend. Compare this to the text-heavyCharles Biro covers for such contemporary titles asCrime Does Not Pay.

With Black Magic and other titlesat Crestwood/Prize, Kirby reached oneof his several artistic peaks. His abilityis exemplified by the cover for issue#18 (vol. 2, #12, Nov. 1952) with itsincredible sense of place and its visuallyeasy-to-read scenario.

NEAL ADAMS artist/writer/publisher

When I was a younger kid,Kirby’s stuff put me off in many ways!His art was totally focused on actionand the villains were so ugly!! It wasthe Challengers of the Unknown withWally Wood’s inking that made Kirbypalatable to me. I really became a fanof the Challengers because the interiorKirby/Wood material was fantastic—a new style of comic art to my eyes. SoI’d pick a Challengers cover but Ibelieve someone else other than Woodinked them... like George Klein? Also, Idon’t know if this is generally knownbut when I was going to go professional

I did a sample art page of the Challengers... fromstill-strong impressions of their earlier stuff. So, thefirst coming of Jack’s importance in the field to mecame from Wood’s magical filter. Later on, I fell inlove with their Sky Masters, as well.

From a historical point of view, I’ll go forFantastic Four #1. I don’t know whether it was Jackconvincing Stan or Stan convincing Jack they oughtto concentrate on comics (and walk away from comicstrips) but their joint point of view in creating theMarvel era was momentous. FF #1 was a monstercomic—it wasn’t even a super-hero book yet! Thehuge monster clawing up out of the street played ontheir earlier successes in the monster books. Hell,the Thing’s a monster, too! Jack, in his “uglinessperiod,” teamed up with Stan and really startedsomething. There’s no charm there on that coverand like a lot of Kirby work, it’s hardly ever excitingbecause it’s beautiful—it’s the dynamic!! Thecover... marked a second beginning for Marvel.

I don’t have any strong favorites from the DCperiod because I inked as many as I could because Iwanted to save them from others! I believe someonetold me then that Al Plastino would ink them. I didn’tlike the idea of Plastino over Kirby so I stepped inand tried to save as many as I could!

Because Neal is such a great guy and because this is theKirby Collector, he sent along this bust of comicdom’sgreatest super-patriot, Captain America (shown above)!

Tales of Suspense #71 Journey Into Mystery Annual #1 Tales To Astonish #34 Airboy Comics Vol. 4, #4 Black Magic #18 (Vol. 2, #12) New Gods #1


Page 6: Jack Kirby Collector #39

(The following is a transcript of atwo-minute interview segmentwith Jack Kirby which aired onOctober 28, 1982, during the firstseason of the television programEntertainment Tonight. Theinterviewer/narrator wasKatherine Mann, and this piecewas conducted in Jack’s ThousandOaks, CA home. Thanks to StevenThompson for supplying the video,and to Glen Musial for capturingthe images you see here from theVHS tape.)

KATHERINE MANN: How many characters have you created?JACK KIRBY: It would probably come to an Army Division.

By his ownadmission,Jack Kirby’ssuper-hero creations areso numerous,even he can’tkeep track.After some 40years at thedrawingboard, and anestimated40,000 pagesof action with

such charactersas Captain America, Fantastic Four, and the Avengers, Kirby is theundisputed King of comic book super-heroes.

MANN: What do your characters represent?KIRBY:Well, the characters represent a sort of transcendentfeeling we all have inside us; that we could do better. We wantto do better. We have the time to do better. We can be the

people we lionize.

To anyone passing by his SouthernCalifornia home, Jack looks likeanything but a muscleboundsuper-hero. Butaccording tohim, it’s what’sinside the mindthat counts.

KIRBY: If youlook at mycharacters,you’ll find me.No matterwhat kind of

character you create or assume, a little of yourself must remain there.

During the afternoon we spent with him, Jack couldn’t resist includingme in one of his action-packed plots. That’s me, being thrown from ahelicopter by two vicious villains. But in the nick of time, I’m savedby a flying passer-by.

MANN: Oh, you’re endowing me nicely there, Jack! Thanks alot! (laughter) This is the Katherine Mann you’ve never seenbefore, and probably never will again!KIRBY: This is my normal masculine instincts coming out.(laughter)

As he sits each day at his board along with his characters, Jack Kirbyis far from lonely.

KIRBY: I haven’t gotthe trappings of acircus, but there inmy mind is a veryactive, and bright,and colorful place,that’s as good as anycircus that I’ve everseen. I live withthat, and I enjoy itimmensely. ★


Entertainment TonightINNER VIEW

(this page, top right) The word balloon Jack added to the drawing he did ofKatherine has the super-character saying “Neverfear, Katherine! I’m fastwhen I’m flying!”

All images ©2003 EntertainmentTonight.

Page 7: Jack Kirby Collector #39

A column answering Frequently Asked Questions about Kirbyby Mark Evanier

Let’s jump right in with this question from Tim Woolf...

I keep seeing on the Internet, people who say things like, “I can’t standthe way Kirby drew. John Buscema was so much better an artist.” Howdo you deal with such people?

think the phrase, “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion” is not a bad answer, and I wish some people wouldn’t be so insistent that their tastes are established facts with which the world

must concur. The Internet is a special haven for folks who have asevere emotional problem in coping with alternative viewpoints.

Someone doesn’t like Kirby art? Fine with me. I would thinkit was some aberration of nature if everyone agreed on somethinglike that.

But it was also fine with Jack, who certainly didn’t expecteveryone to like what he did, nor was he particularly willing orable to change to perhaps broaden his immediate popularity. Heknew what he did well and what he wanted to do... and to theextent that employers and his work situations allowed, thosewere one and the same thing.

Ever-confident he was offering his best, he was generallyuntroubled if someone decided to leave it and utterly uncompeti-tive when someone seemed to prefer anothertechnique. Except for a few

profession-als with whom he had personal or

ethical problems, Jack had enormous affection andrespect for other artists. If you asked him about Buscema (orRomita or Heck or Kane or Adams or any of his contemporaries),he would usually say, “He’s great” and genuinely mean it.

Thus,what comesto mindwhen Iencountersomeone likethe person youquoted is this: JackKirby and John Buscemawere not really competing. Jacksure didn’t seem to think so.

He felt that way for three reasons, I believe. One was that hewas a very selfless, munificent person. He liked to see everyonedo well. Secondly, he had a pretty healthy ego, well-rooted inreality.

But mainly he didn’t see himself as filling quite the role asthose other artists. To think that he was in competition with mostother artists is to miss the important things that Jack brought tohis work, which were in the concepts and storytelling. Few otherartists even attempted to do the kinds of things Jack did.

John Buscema drew beautiful pictures... and I’m just usingJohn in this discussion because the questioner invoked his name.

He was a fabulous artist, better in many ways thanthe assembly line nature of comic book productionever allowed him to demonstrate. But he wouldhave been the first to tell you that he only did aportion of the job that Jack Kirby did on a comicbook. John may have drawn a Silver Surfer orGalactus or Thor that some found more pleasingto the eye than Kirby’s, but he did not create orco-create those characters.

He also did not, by his own admission andall accounts, contribute as much to the plots andstoryline of the comics he drew as Jack did tohis. Kirby and Buscema both found a certainpride in drawing Marvel Comics but becausethey were different men with different strengthsand interests, I suspect each found his joy ina different end of the job description.

Understanding how Kirby did whathe did begins, I believe, with accepting thatJack was not “just” a comic book penciler.Not that there’s anything wrong with thatbut Kirby was a conceptualizer, a story-teller, a plotter, sometimes a dialogue-writer in whole or part, a creator anddesigner of characters... and a guy whopenciled pages of comic books.

Of those functions, the one thatinterested Jack the least—drawingpictures—is the main (often, only)contribution of most other artists.And as I’ve said before, I believe thatas Jack got older, his interest in theillustration part of the job declinedand his interest in the writing andstorytelling increased. This is whyhis later covers were not, generally,as interesting.

It’s also why he didn’t object too much to poor inking. AlWilliamson would have beaten you to a pulp if you’d given hispencil art to one or two of the guys who finished Jack’s work. Butthose lesser inkers didn’t do much damage to the part of the workthat mattered most to Kirby—the concepts and panel-to-panelstorytelling. When Jack finally decided that Vince Colletta wasinjurious to the pages, it was not because of how the art itself

Jack F.A.Q.sMark evanier

(next page) Pencilsfrom the story “TheTwin” for the never-published DC magazineTrue Divorce Cases(circa 1970). Collettabegan inking the book,but stopped partwaythrough when it wasshelved.

True Divorce Cases ©2003 DCComics.



(below) An unused panel, stillin pencil, from Journey IntoMystery #116 (May 1965).While Jack may not havebeen half the “realistic” artist guys like JohnBuscema were, he was there to co-create most ofthe characters the Johnny-come-latelies built their reputations drawing.

Thor, Loki TM & ©2003 MarvelCharacters, Inc.

Page 8: Jack Kirby Collector #39

The Strangest Man Of All Time!

hat do you do for an encore after launching “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine?” When faced with

that question back in 1962, Jack Kirby andStan Lee responded by creating a solo-starwho, if anything, pushed the envelope evenfurther than The Fantastic Four. They gavehim the power and pathos of the Thing,and the shape-shifting ability of Dr. Jekyll andMr. Hyde. They took the visage of Boris Karloff ’sFrankenstein, and the sympathy-evoking persona ofQuasimodo; the pathetic, hunted-beast with limitedintellect. To this, they the added angst-ridden char-acterization that was serving them so well in TheFantastic Four, along with some Golden Age anti-hero attitude (as personified by the 1940s Sub-Mariner). Finally,they took the nameof a wisely forgottenJourney Into Mysterymonster (right) , andfrom this wildlydiverse synthesis,came their new cre-ation. The fact thatthe Incredible Hulkbore a clear resem-blance to many ofMarvel’s pre-super-hero monsters, may indicate thatthe writers (along with Martin Goodman) werehedging their bets on a full-fledged 1960s super-hero revival. However, it was more likely a conscious

effort byLee andKirby toput asmuchstylistic distance as they could between their new star, and the cheerful, pro-social super-heroes their DistinguishedCompetitors were churning out, as epitomized by Superman.Indeed, Marvel’s Green Goliath had more in common with kryptonite than he did with the “Man of Steel.” The very image

of Superman, a smiling, utopian figure, standing on a mountain top—with his bright red cape floating in the summer breeze—was totally antithetical to Kirby’s tortured behemoth-in-rags, who savagely pounded his prison walls in The Incredible Hulk #3(left). Moreover, the idea that acquiring super-powers could bring misery (instead of fame and glory) and drive a wedgebetween man and his society, was light-years away from concepts like Krypto, the caped Super-dog. Suddenly, even to the pre-teen eye, National Comics would seem simplistic and clichéd.Jack Kirby’s creativity seemed a force as unstoppable as The Hulk himself.




He was power and pathos personified in green. He was the Silver Age heir to the Golden Age anti-heroes who epitomized destructive force propelled by uncontrollable rage. He was Jack and Stan’s first solo-star, and likewise, their first flop. Characteristically, he smashed his way back from obscurity, raging and rampaging into the hearts and minds of millions along the way. Four decades later, he shows no signs of stopping. Move over “Man of Steel”:

Kirby’s enigmatic emerald enormity, effusively examined and expounded on by Mark Alexander

Page 9: Jack Kirby Collector #39

The Strange Case of Dr. Banner and Mr. Hulk

Q: In the past, you’ve mentioned writers like Robert Louis Stevensonand Jack London as favorites. Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hydeobviously influenced The Hulk.KIRBY: Sure. Those writers were good writers. They were professionalsand men who knew the craft—and of course they could write about athing like the Hulk as well as I or anybody could, and maybe see someinsights that I couldn’t.

—from TJKC #23

Another aspect of Kirby’s beleaguered behemoth that sethim apart from the rest of comicdom, was Banner and the Hulk’sunique relationship with their alter-egos. It was a personalitydivided against itself. Banner, a bespectacled, introverted versionof Reed Richards, lived in constant fear of the Hulk’s uncontrol-lable rage, while the monster within despised Banner’s frailty andweakness. In the Hulk’s clouded mind, he viewed Banner as a dif-ferent person altogether: an enemy whom he wished to destroy,but was never able to find. Obviously, Lee and Kirby (like RobertLouis Stevenson before them) were capitalizing on the idea thateveryone has a darker entity raging within. In The Incredible Hulk

#1, Banner stated: “I despise men who think with theirfists,” while the Hulk, who was anti-intellectualismpersonified, reveled in his bestial power. The harderBanner tried to repress his capacity for rage, themore the beast within would lash out. The ultimateirony was that Banner, a scientist who developed

weapons of mass destruction for the military, was—ifanything—even more dangerous to humanity than the Hulk.Moreover, Banner’s intellect, which enabled him to create a monstrous weapon without considering the moral consequences, would prove his ultimate undoing. In an entirely fitting twist of fate, Banner’s lifewould be irrevocably altered by his own insidious invention (thegamma-bomb) and a chanceencounter with a mysterious orphan.

Rick Jones (The Teen-Enigma, Part I)

The supporting characters Kirbyand Lee introduced in the Hulk’s debut-issue were (typically) potent enough tokeep the book’s storyline rolling for decades: There was GeneralThaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross, a blustering, ill-tempered, oldfirebrand who was the 1960s military-industrial-complex person-ified. Ross loathed Banner: “The trouble with you is you’re amilksop!” He chided: “You’ve got no guts!” Ironically, Banner wasabout to unleash a weapon more powerful than anything evenThunderbolt Ross could imagine, and within the frail frame ofBruce Banner lay a rage that would make the geriatric generalseem feeble by comparison. Betty Ross, the General’s daughter,was as demure as her father was domineering. Betty was attractedto the mild-mannered scientist, despite (or possibly because of )the dark, terrible secret she sensed he was hiding. This“loved by the daughter, loathed by the father” Freudiansyndrome would (naturally) become the matrix for someclassic Marvel-style conflict. Oddly, Betty Ross had thesame name as the leading female protagonist in the original1940s Captain America series (the Simon/Kirby Betty Rosswas a blonde special-agent for the U.S. government). Tofurther compound this “coincidence,” the Hulk’s teen-side-kick, Rick Jones, was a dead-ringer for Cap’s adolescent ally,Bucky Barnes. The fact that a third Simon/Kirby CA alumnus,“The Ringmaster of Death,” was resurrected in Hulk #3,advances the possibility that this self-plagiarism was pre-meditated. The writers were presumptively reanimatingcharacters they knew would work—just as they’d done with

the Human Torch in 1961.Rick Jones, the enigmatic

orphan, was by far the mostintriguing supporting characterin The Incredible Hulk, if for noother reason than his ubiquity. He alone would break the bonds of the series toplay a larger role in the ever-expandingMarvel Universe; a role that would prove tobe both contrasting and complex. Stan Leehas stated in numerous interviews thathe abhorred the idea of the “teen-side-kick” who proliferated in the early daysof comics. In view of this, it’s odd thatMarvel’s first solo-star was immediatelygiven an adolescent associate. Perhaps itwas Kirby’s input, or perhaps the writersfelt the kids who read the magazinewould relate to Jones more than theywould a mutated freak. In any event,after Banner saved Jones from thegamma-bomb, he had Rick’s loyalty,sympathy and confidence. Throughout the original series, RickJones was along for the ride, trying in vain to keep the Banner/Hulk equation under control, and guarding Dr. Banner’s terrifyingsecret. The Hulk’s view of the indebted, ever-present youth vacil-lated from contempt, to annoyance, and (finally) to a grudgingacceptance of the situation. This uneasy alliance between monsterand mascot would change drastically with the return of CaptainAmerica (Avengers #4, March, 1964).

In the last issue of The Incredible Hulk (Jan. 1963) Rick formedthe “Teen Brigade,” a group of young ham-radio buffs, who used

their telecommunications talents to aidthe army, the police, and (mainly) theMarvel super-heroes. Ironically, Marvel’sonly Silver Age “kid gang”—the typewhich Jack Kirby was noted for—seemsto have been a Lee/Ditko concept.

The Kirby ISsues(Hulk #1-5 & FF #12)

“Fan out men! We’ve got tofind that—that Hulk!! (And thus aname is given to Bruce Banner’s other

self, a name which is destined to become—immortal!)—Incredible Hulk #1.

In “The Coming of the Hulk” (Hulk #1, May 1962) Bannerrescues Rick Jones from a secret bombsite, and takes the full bruntof the “mysterious gamma rays” which cause him to become ahideously mutated beast with every sunset (a concept that wasprobably borrowed from Dracula). The story is set in New Mexico,making the Hulk the only early 1960s Lee-Kirby hero who wasn’tindigenous to New York. The acquisition of super-powers trans-muted through radiation was a reoccurring motif in the 1960sMarvel comics (see the FF, Spider-Man, and Daredevil). Kirby recalls


(above) A (re-)cast of char-acters? Some of the1940s Simon/KirbyCaptain America luminar-ies may have been recy-cled for the 1962 Hulkseries. You be the judge!

(left) A prototype for theLeader? The Gargoyle: thediminutive, evil genius(from Hulk #1) whoselarge, misshapen skullwas expanded via radia-tion. Color him green andit’s clear that Kirby almostnailed the perfect adver-sary for the Hulk right offthe bat.

(below) The Teen Enigma:Like many teenagers ofhis generation, Rick Joneswas somewhat confusedas to where his loyaltieslay.

Hulk, The Leader, Gargoyle, Rick Jones,Betty Ross, Ringmaster TM & ©2003Marvel Characters, Inc.

Page 10: Jack Kirby Collector #39

A regular column focusing on Kirby’s leastknown work, by Barry Forshaw

While JackKirby’s career

repeatedly threw upexamples of The Master

creating a brilliantly winning concept which

other hands later took over(and utilized to far less interest-

ing effect), there are, in fact, somecases where wonderful ideas were

essentially stillborn; nobody took upbaton after Kirby.

A classic case here is the pitifullysmall run (just two issues) for The Double

Life of Private Strong, a Captain America/Fighting American knock-off that Simon & Kirbyturned out for Archie comics in the Fifties. Thefirst issue of this title (which some reportsclaimed was torpedoed for its protagonist TheShield’s Superman-like associations) containssome of Kirby’s best work in the period, and is certainly the equal of its companion title, Adventures of The Fly (a title whichdid survive, executed with far less imagination by lesser talents).

But Private Strong was a gem: take the splashpanel of the first tale, as

Lancelot Strongstrips off his armyfatigues to revealthe red white andblue of his Shieldoutfit, a series oftableaux around himdemonstrate powers(hurling bolts of light-ning generated by hisown body, defyingweapons at point blankrange, adapting to temperatures at whichnothing could live, etc.).In fact, this page is actu-ally better than the actualcover, striking though thatis. While the central figure hasfeatures thatare clearlyinked by GeorgeTuska, the

battling spaceman and soldiers in the distance are clearly Kirby, as is the most distinctive feature of thecover, a series of frames of film which in just 19 panelsmanages to tell a complete Shield mini-adventure.Irresistible back then—still so today.

The first tale, detailing the creation of this assembly-line super-hero was, admittedly, off-the-shelf stuff forSimon & Kirby, but no less entertaining for that. In fact, the gargoyle-faced Communists in the first two panelscould be straight out of the sardonically satirical FightingAmerican strips, and suggest that a similar sense of fun will be found in these pages. More than The Fly, the actualdesign of the panels here is notably sophisticated, and thereare some striking touches, such as the highly futuristic mobilelab that a persecuted scientist escapes in with his son (who

will, of course, later become The Shield. But with the second tale,“Spawn of the X-World,” we are in for a treat. This is a hint-of-later-things reading experience for Kirby fans. This marveloussplash panel displays—in fact, it features—a classic destructivemonster of the kind that Kirby would make his speciality when hemoved over to Marvel with Stan Lee; and the opening panel (TheShield leaps towards a gigantic green monster throwing destruc-

tive rays from its eyes) is the kind ofthing calculated to warm every Kirbyfan’s heart. In fact, the piece makes itquite clear who was the prime creativeforce in those Lee and Kirby monstertales: every element of the later work ishere, notably a panel which became acliché in the monster fests, Kirby visual-izes a character’s vision of the monsterlaying waste to a city, when in actual factit never gets the chance to do so.

The second tale is a filling-in of moreof The Shield’s origins, but the last piece,“The Menace of the Micro Men,” is a typi-cally delirious Simon/Kirby piece of theperiod, crammed full of wacky pseudo-scientific concepts and headlong plotting(the splash panel is an eye-catcher: TheShield crashes in through a window, as amad scientist supervises his green micro-men feeding the heroine into a very typically

Kirby piece of super-scientific equipment). The use of forced perspective throughout this tale is also very characteristic of theKing—interestingly, it’s one of his artistic fingerprints that thelegion of artists inspired by him didn’t often pick up on.

Kirby fans should have no trouble tracking this issue down,and there is also an affordable alternative: in the Eighties, theentire comic was re-issued by Archie as Blue Ribbon Comics #5,with a new Kirby cover (striking, but showing the element of theslapdash that had crept into Kirby’s at about this time).

No true Kirby fan should be without House of Secrets #11,published by DC in 1958. And I make no apologies for recom-mending this one, even though Kirby’s contribution is confined toa striking cover showing a giant trying to save a city fromdestruction (needless to say, the cover is full of classic Kirbydesign elements, the buildings, the giant’s futuristic costume), butif you’re hesitating to purchase a title in which there is no Kirbyinterior art, you should be aware that the cover is not the onlyreason for buying this. The first tale, “The Guardian of the Past”contains some of the finest work that Nick Cardy ever did for DC(in fact, his pre-super-hero stories for DC’s mystery and SF titleswere actually more refined than his later work), and the story that

Kirby’s cover illustrates, “The ManWho Couldn’t Stop Growing” issomething of a find, illustrated as itis by the underrated Lou Cameron,an artist who at times matched TheMaster in terms of his imaginationand panache, even if his grasp ofanatomy was a touch wayward(but then... think later Kirby!).Take the fifth panel on page 4, in which the eponymous giantstraddles a dwarfed world, hisfootsteps leaving massiveimprints in a continent, hisshadow stretching acrossoceans... this is quite asimpressive as anything inJack Kirby, and more thanjustifies whatever the Kirbycollector may have to shellout for this rather rareissue. ★

Want inexpensivereprints of this issue’sselections?

As stated in Barry’scolumn, Double Lifeof Private Strong #1was reprinted in itsentirety in BlueRibbon Comics Vol.2,#5 (Feb. 1984), fea-turing a new Kirbycover inked by RichBuckler (pencilsshown below).Pvt. Strong/Shield © 2003Archie Publications.

House of Secrets TM &©2003 DC Comics.

Barry Forshaw Obscura


Page 11: Jack Kirby Collector #39

Gallery And the winner is...


Chris Beneke ofBrooklyn, NY! We

put all the entries wereceived from lastissue’s “Guest Editor”contest in a really bigbox and drew his out.So congratulations,Chris; you got to pickthis issue’s Kirby ArtGallery! (We’ll keep all the other entries for choosing futureGalleries.) Now, let’slet Chris take it away!

Page 22: Kamandi#22, page 18Kamandi #21 wasprobably the first Kirbycomic I bought fromthe newsstand. Iturned 11 that sum-mer, but this pagefrom the followingissue was a shocker, if not a heartbreaker.

Page 23: Kamandi#26, page 9A glimpse of themutant Canadianwilderness that isbeautifully portrayed inthe (missing) two-pagespread that follows.

Page 24: OMAC #1,page 16Probably my favoriteKirby series: Jam-packed with too manyideas, dropped sub-plots, social satire,self-conscious self-parody, funny villains,and a piss-take end-ing. OMAC wouldmake a great, possiblyfrustrating (if it wasfaithful to Kirby’s plot-ting) video game.

Pages 25-27:OMAC #2, page 5OMAC #3, page 17OMAC #5, page 19I am quite a fan of D.Bruce Berry’s inks,perhaps for nostalgicreasons. Royer doesseem to have beenmore faithful to thespirit of Kirby’s pencils,but there’s often afragility or delicacy toBerry’s inks, even anecho of the Hergé/European clear-linestyle, that works forme, especially with(Jerry Serpe’s) colors.

Kamandi TM & ©




Page 12: Jack Kirby Collector #39

JACK OUTSIDE THE BOXf course comics are a legitimate artform; no one’s denying that. But there’s also... well,

websites about comics. And painters inspired bycomics. And works of literature that remind us ofcomics. And so much more. Come, let me expandyour horizons. We’ll start with some comics.

Magnum OpusReaders who’ve been wondering at the

whereabouts of Tom Scioli’s sleeper epic TheMyth of 8-Opus will find their wait worth it ina new graphic novel that gives an economy-size reintroduction to Scioli’s psychedelic sci-fi odyssey. With its blockbuster spectacleand movie-serial pacing, The DoomedBattalion delivers the definitive space-operapage-turner, which is why it’s good there’sa hundred of ’em to turn and let you soakin Scioli’s sensibility. By the time you readthis the book will have been out for a fewmonths (at $13.95 from A-Okay Comics,5645 Hobart St., Pittsburgh, PA 15217;www.geocities.com/sciolit); anotherhighpoint for Scioli-watchers may be ahacker collector’s item by now, so we’reproud to present some of its images: aroiling cyber-Arthurian battle-royaltitled “The Seneschal,” posted thispast spring as part of Dark HorseComics’ unfortunately-named “StripSearch” competition for emerging andindie talents (www.darkhorse.com/community/ stripsearch/index.html).More than just a Kirby clone

(though one of thebest, and justly proud of it) Scioli brings wildcompositional imagination to a field that too often favors generictechnical overkill. Scioli’s style is the kind of throwback that actuallymoves the medium forward.

Fightin’ PicturesThe newest incarnation

of Kirby crossed our desk with amailing from Mark Glidden, whodrew the second story in ACComics’ Fighting Yank #5 (right).Though this was Glidden’s firstprofessional assignment, it’s morelike his first several, with echoesof Steranko, Starlin, and at leasttwo Kirby periods (’50s-monsterand ’60s-spandex). What ends up

getting evoked is the ferment of Marvel’s post-Kirby era of the early ’70s, with a pantheon of newtalents vying to sustain his dynamism while nurturing their own unique offshoots. The intricacy,scope and ambition of Glidden’s visuals make him someone to watch, while the two issues precedinghis debut marked the fond farewell of Eric Coile (a.k.a. “Hack Koilby”) to the title. Coile’s scorched-earth policy toward comics clichés saw him laying waste to both the jungle-hero and space-cadet

O(right and below) TomScioli’s striking art fromSeneschal. Look for anupcoming interview withTom in TJKC!

(next page, bottom)Dogrion of the New Dogslovingly pokes fun atKirby’s Fourth World, withan art homage that’s asight to see.

Seneschal TM & ©2003 Tom Scioli.Fighting Yank TM & ©2003 AC Comics.You Shall Know Our Velocity ©2003Dave Eggers. Painting ©2003 Michael V.Bennett. Unstable Moledules TM &©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc. Dogrionof the New Dogs ©2003 GabrielMorissette.

Adam McGovern

Know of some Kirby-inspired workthat should be covered here? Send to:

Adam McGovernPO Box 257

Mt. Tabor, NJ 07878


As A GenreA regular feature examining Kirby-inspired work, by Adam McGovern

Page 13: Jack Kirby Collector #39


The Royal Attilans!Retrospective

It had all the makings of a Shakespeariantragedy: a reclusive royal family who hid themselves from a xenophobic world.

Young star-crossed lovers whosewarring families kept them apart.A lunatic/genius brother with

mad political ambitions.Conspiracies, coup d’etats,

subterfuge, pathos, and romanticmelodrama. Overtones of

madness, undertones of incest,and royal intrigue brewing justbelow the surface. Move overMacbeth—make way for theincomparable Inhumans!

Xenophobia (Those Who Would Destroy Them)n comic-books, alienation really mattered.The key to Marvel’s success right from the beginning, was the alienated hero;

and if the concept had become formulated by the time of the Inhuman’s debut,it still worked. Since their inception, the Royal Family has suffered the slings andarrows of a “human” race that fears and distrusts them. Like intergalactic gypsies,their fate has been to wander aimlessly; a persecuted minority, in search ofrefuge. [Note: Displacement is still a key theme in the Inhumans saga: at the time ofthis writing, Dr. Doom has recently offered the nomadic Attilans sanctuary in Latveria.]

The concept of super-powered beings as social pariahs—unimaginable in thesunny, positivistic Superman comics of the ’50s and early ’60s—was a theme thatproliferated in Marvel comics from the beginning. It started with the arrogantand anti-social Prince Namor in 1939, followed by The Human Torch, who was

originally dubbed a menace when he wreaked havoc on New York, burning out of control. Both were significant precursors to the next generation of comic bookanti-heroes.

Kirby and Lee picked up the gauntlet in the early 1960s: First with The Thing,who originally instilled terror in the general public, and later—more significantly—with The Hulk, who was the first totally alienated comic book character—nevergaining the trust or acceptance of any segment of society. The idea that a “hero”could also be perceived as a menace was, at this point, a minor theme in theMarvel Universe.

Then, two closely-timed events occurred—in the X-Men—that would have acatalytic effect on the entire comic book culture.

In X-Men #5, Magneto’s sycophantic underling “The Toad” demonstrated hissuper-human abilities in public, triggering a riot from which the X-Men had torescue him. Hank McCoy—the group’s intellectual—was soon questioning the

A look at Jack Kirby’s enigmatic Inhumans by Mark Alexander (aided and abetted by Phyllis Chappell)


Page 14: Jack Kirby Collector #39

wisdom of protecting a populace that apparently hated them.Soon after, in issue #14, Kirby—through his layouts and marginnotes—introduced The Sentinels.

Enter: Xenophobia.The Sentinels were an army of murderous robots created to

purge mutants from the face of the earth. Their creator, BolivarTrask—an alarmist intent on spreading fear and unease amongthe public—rallied his followers against homo superiors, withrabble-rousing Hitlerian propaganda.

Dark, ominous themes began to germinate in the Kirby-plottedX-Men: Disenfranchised super-beings as persona non grata, hatedby society. An all-powerful fascist police force, dedicated to exter-minating a minority group. Ill-boding themes with dark edges of

intolerance, ostracism and genocide, which—unavoidably—harkened back to Nazi Germany of the 1940s.

Hindsight illumines what a significant turning point thiswas for the comic-book genre: It brought an air of darkness andparanoia to the previously sunny world of early 1960s comics,and future creators would extrapolate these harrowing themes—quite prominently—in the Inhumans saga.

For better or worse, the medium was changed fundamentallyand forever—and Jack Kirby was just getting warmed up.

Rooting Out The Royal Family (Batman Meets The Addams Family?)

“I created the Inhumans because the competition was coming up in thefield—so I thought we would try a new concept: The family concept.So, when someone came up with one super-hero, we would slap themwith five. As simple as that.”

—Jack Kirby, 1969, first printed in The Nostalgia Journal, 1976

As the story goes, sometime in mid-1965, Stan Lee, havingprior knowledge of a forthcoming Batman TV series—and antici-pating the inevitable glut of super-hero comics it would trigger—asked Jack Kirby to come up with some new characters to staveoff the competition. [Note: There was one hitch: due to Marvel’s dismal distribution deal, Lee couldn’t launch a new book without canceling an existing title.] The end result was “The Inhumans”—an ancient race of bizarre characters from a hidden city; no twoof whom were remotely alike. These characters (according toKirby), had been developed with no input from Lee.

When asked if The Royal Family was Kirby’s response to themid-’60s “Batcraze” (and if there was a Batman/Black Bolt nexus),Mark Evanier replied: “As far as I know, no.” However, with alldue respect to the man whose contributions to this article wereinvaluable, a synchronicity of events in the comics industry circa1965 (along with Kirby’s abovementioned statement) seems tosubstantiate a Batman tie-in.

The creator of the 1966 Batman series—Bill Dozier—claimshe pitched the idea for the show to ABC in March, 1965 (ABCtelevision network had already secured rights to the character).Two months later—when Kirby was creating the Inhumans storyarc—news of the forthcoming Batman series (which premiered1/12/66) would’ve been common knowledge in the comics trade.

“Batmania” was coming, and theindustry would have a ton ofproduct ready toexploit it.

The rush was on.

It was hardlycoincidence thatjust as the Inhumanssaga began (FF #44,cover date Nov. 1965),an industry-widefloodgate of newheroes opened up. Archie Comics’ Mighty Crusaders alsopremiered cover-dated Nov. 1965, as did Harvey Comics’Pirana. Dell Comics got the jump on them all, with the premiere of their new super-hero Nukla, cover dated Oct. 1965.Archie came back with Mighty Comics, and (later) Super Heroes vs. Super-Villians, featuring a whole horde of heroes. [Note: EvenArchie Andrews contracted “bat fever,” transforming into a super-herosend-up called “Pureheart the Powerful.”]

Harvey Comics soon developed Jigsaw, Bee-Man, and Spyman(whom they bought from a young ad-artist named Jim Steranko).Gold Key added The Owl and Tiger Girl; Charlton began a newsuper-hero push, Tower Comics expanded its line, and someonenamed Milton Fass published a poorly-revised Captain Marvel.

Holy escalation!In regard to the claim that Black Bolt was designed to look

“Batman-esque,” it seems unlikely that Jack Kirby (comicdom’sinveterate originator) would consciously purloin such a wellknown rival creation. And yet—on the cover of FF #46—BlackBolt’s “gliding membranes” certainly resemble bat-wings!

It’s also been reported that The Addams Family (the hit TVseries that ran from 9/64 until 4/66) was Kirby’s primary inspi-ration for the Royal Family! [Note: Accordingly, The Munsters mayhave heen a secondary thematic-progenitor.] The Addams (like theAttilans) were a bizarre family unit with supernatural abilities. Theonly “normal” looking Inhuman—Crystal—emulated the black-sheep of the Munster family, Marilyn; i.e., a beautiful young girlwith an ordinary name, who dressed normally compared to herbizarre brethren. (Remember, Crystal was depictedin a simple white dress for over a year before Kirbygave her a costume.)

This creepy, kooky (mysterious and spooky) scenario, sounds just bizarre enough to be true.Considering Kirby’s infinitely convoluted thoughtprocess, it’s easy to imagine that “Gomez” and“Morticia”—after going through Kirby’s head—could have surfaced on paper as Black Bolt and Medusa!

Medusa Revisited(A Minority Opinion)

“Who is she Reed? Where did she come from?She’s the most menacing female I’ve ever seen!”

—Sue Storm (FF #36,1965)

The licentious lady of the living locks—who exploded out of FF #36—was proofpositive Jack Kirby could create genuinely potent femmesfatale. She was also the precursor of an entire race of genetically-engineered super-humans. The general (perhaps apocryphal)opinion is that Kirby didn’t have his “Inhuman race” conceptualizedat the time of Medusa’s debut.

Or did he?Consider this: In the first 36 issues of The World’s Greatest

Comic Magazine, 18 new antagonists were introduced. All weregiven a detailed origin, and/or a plausible explanation for theirunique powers.

All but one.The malicious madam with the mentally-manipulated mane


(above) Holy Batspoitation!Black Bolt (and possiblythe Black Panther) mighthave been Marvel’sanswer to the mid-’60sBatman craze that wassparked by the campy hitTV series starring AdamWest. Black Bolt’s “glidingmembranes,” certainlyseem to resemble bat-wings.

(left) The Kirby-createdSentinels, with theirfascistic implications,brought harrowing themes of xenophobia and genocide to the hitherto sunny world ofcomics. The ripples theycreated in the X-Menwould spill over into theInhumans saga as well.

Inhumans, Sentinels TM & ©2003Marvel Characters, Inc.

Match-ups, anyone?Gomez = Black BoltMorticia = MedusaLurch = GorgonThing = Karnak (both weregood with their hands)Uncle Fester = Triton (nohair on either)Wednesday = CrystalPugsley = LockjawAddams Family TM & ©2003 Estate ofCharles Addams and Filmways TVProductions, Inc.

Batman TM show TM & ©200320th Century Fox, Inc.

Page 15: Jack Kirby Collector #39

Held August 4, 2002 at Comicon International: SanDiego, featuring (shown at right, top to bottom): Dick Ayers, Todd McFarlane, Mike Royer, PaulLevitz, John Romita, and Herb Trimpe. Moderatedby Mark Evanier, transcribed by Steven Tice.

MARK EVANIER:We’re going to get started.We’ve got lots to say about this man and we’regoing to try to say it. I am purportedly MarkEvanier. Merely as a means of getting cheapapplause, this is my twelfth panel of the conven-tion, [laughter and applause] and in many waysthe most important. We started doing JackKirby tribute panels right after Jack passedaway, because it didn’t feel like a ComiconInternational without Jack Kirby in some way,shape or form. We found if we didn’t have thispanel, we were talking about him on every otherpanel and people were talking about him every-where. There’s been a certain presence—youwere all probably stunned by how large this

convention is. This convention has officially runout of badge holders. [laughter] They do nothave badge holders anymore. They are recyclingthem, and as you leave, they ask you to pleaseturn your badge holder back in so you can giveit to someone else who’s in a line that wrapsaround the city to get in here. I think the firstone, we had five hundred people and we thoughtthat was the size of it. There was only one personwho envisioned what this convention was goingto become, and it was Jack Kirby. Jack alwaysknew what was going to happen—his ability tosee the future and perceive it. He didn’t alwayshave the ability to capitalize on those visions,and did not make big money off of them, but hesure knew what was going to happen, and it wasamazing all the time. We’ve got a bunch of peoplehere who have interesting things to say aboutJack, and we’ll ask them for their remembrancesof Jack. A little later, we’re going to break outsome time to talk about a man named JohnBuscema, who was on this panel last year atthis convention. [applause]

Let me start now and introducethese people, and I’m gonna talk a littlemore about each of them than youmight ordinarily expect, becauseI’ve got a few things I think shouldbe said here. On the far end is agentlemen who, you probably

know him—the phrase “Jack Kirby’sinker” comes to mind. I happen tothink this man should have done lessinking of other people and more stories

of his own, because I’ve never thoughtthe work looked—I’m phrasing this badly,

forgive me, it’s my twelfth panel of this con-vention. [laughs] I’m going to come in tomorrowand just do panels for myself here at the con-vention. [laughter] But I just always loved whenthis man penciled and inked everything onhis own. A terrific artist, and a gentleman

who Jack really respected his work and lovedwhat he did with his pencils. Mr. Dick Ayers,everyone. [applause]

Jack admired artists who brought somethingnew to the table. If you went to Jack with samplesof your artwork that looked exactly like his, orpurported to look as close to his as you couldmanage to do them, he would be polite, but hewouldn’t be that impressed, because doing workthat looked like Kirby was not work in the Kirbytradition. Work in the Kirby tradition meantmaking something new. And he very muchrespected and admired this gentleman’s work,and also respected and admired his courage and

ability to take over command of one’sown career. Jack was jealous of him,

because for too much of hiscareer, he was not the masterof his own destiny, he didn’town his own properties, hedidn’t really control whathappened to him, and he verymuch—he lived long enoughto see the Image Comics


(below) Catch! A 1977 Kirby convention drawing of ol’ Greenskin!

Hulk TM & ©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.


2002 Kirby Tribute Panel

Page 16: Jack Kirby Collector #39

organization begin to flourish andto show Marvel “we don’t need you to do it,” and Ithink Jack very much respected and loved the workof Mr. Todd McFarlane, ladies and gentlemen.[applause]

I’ve known Mike Royer for 33 years, I believe...

MIKE ROYER: I’m only 23. [laughter]

EVANIER: Oh, well, I knew Mike in his prenatalperiod [laughter], and when I first went to work forGold Key Comics, they used to say Mike Royer wasthe most reliable artist in the history of mankind.They were right, and you all saw over the years thevery, very fine work he did on those pages, inkingJack’s work, lettering it, for hundreds of wonderfulpages. What you may never have perceived is thatMike had the impossible task, he not only had toink Jack Kirby and letter Jack, but he had to do it as

fast as Jack Kirby did. [laughter]There are few human beings in our business whocould have physically done it, period, let alone doneit so well. He was very diligent at it all, and we owehim a great debt of gratitude. Mr. Mike Royer,ladies and gentlemen. [applause]

If you have followed me writing about comicsfor thirty years, you know that I generally look atthe people who run comic book companies and editors as, for the most part incompetent, and inmany cases, unethical. I believe this is true, I believemany of the people who have made fortunes in thisindustry have done so in spite of their abilities, notbecause of their abilities. I don’t have a very highopinion of publishers or editors or presidents ofcompanies, and I think I am right most of the time.There are exceptions to this. There are one or twopeople who have been in those capacities for whomI have enormous respect and admiration, and I’mgoing to take a minute here and tell you two very

fast stories, because I think they should be said,they should be out in the public arena. About twoweeks before he passed away, I spent an eveningwith Jerry Siegel at his place in Marina Del Rey, andwe spent an evening talking about—I got a feelingJerry kind of knew the end was near, because he wasin that philosophical bent and such, and at onepoint he turned to me. He had this lovely little—they did a stamp of Superman in Canada. JoeShuster was of Canadian origin, and they’d done astamp of Superman in Canada, and in this miserable,bad picture frame that you buy at the drug store,next to a little, badly framed letter that had comefrom President Clinton, congratulating Jerry Siegelon his most recent birthday or some anniversary.And Jerry was so happy. And he turned to me andhe said, “You know, Paul [Levitz] has been so goodto us.” Now, I remember meeting Jerry Siegel in1968, when if you said “DC Comics” to him, heturned red in the face and started sputtering. Youhad to not ask him questions about this because itupset him so much. And to be able to—nobodycould have undone all the damage that was doneto Siegel and Shuster over the years, and to beable to do as much as they could, I just wanted tocall Paul in tears and thank him for all he did forJerry and Joe over the years. But it isn’t just Jerryand Joe. There’s an awful lot of people over theyears in the comic business who’ve been wrongedor have been mistreated. Some of them morethan others, some of them maybe their ownfault, whatever. But to see a certain amount ofdecency in this business, to go out and quietly,not for show, to put things right, I think is justa wonderful thing. It’s probably good business,but it’s also a wonderful thing. And I’m goingto come and ask Paul to tell a little bit aboutthe fact that Jack Kirby got from DC a royaltydeal, some sort of profit participation, on theNew Gods, that they were not legally obligatedto do. And I think, and we have to be honest,it was good business for DC to do that, theyshowed up Marvel and they showed upother publishers. They told the industrythat as new management that took over DCthat time, “This is a new company. Lookhow we’re treating Jack Kirby. We’re givinghim more money for the Steppenwolf dollthan Marvel ever gave him for every pieceof merchandise with the Hulk and theFantastic Four and the Silver Surfer and

all those.” And that’s probably good one-upsman-ship business-wise, but it was also a very decent thingto do, and I want him to talk about what happened.Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Paul Levitz. [applause]This week he’s president and publisher, next weekhe’ll be publisher but not president, the week afterhe’ll be president, publisher, and... you never knowwhat’s up with Paul.

I asked this next gentlemen to be here againthis year—he was here last year—because I thoughthe was the best possible person to talk about Mr.Buscema, but he also was an artist who Jack admiredgreatly. He’s referred to always as “the guy who savedSpider-Man.” We had an interesting discussion onthe Gene Colan mailing list (and Gene’s very sorryhe’s not here this year) about the fact that whenSteve Ditko left Spider-Man—forgive me for gettingoff subject for a second—it wasn’t just that JohnRomita was the best choice. He was the only choice.If you look at the list of people who worked forMarvel at that time, the talent pool was about eight


Page 17: Jack Kirby Collector #39

A Closer Look at the Silver Surfer Graphic Novelby Rex Ferrell

Introductionwasn’t always a Silver Surfer fan. My first encounter with the character was in a mid-’70s issue of the Fantastic Four, and a pretty lackluster one at that. After years of “indoctrination” by

well-meaning, albeit slightly misguided parents, I rememberedbeing terrified by the appearance of “the devil” (Mephisto) on thelast page; but other than this, nothing, and I do mean nothing,impressed me about the comic—certainly not some goofball on aflying surfboard.

My opinion elevated slightly when a friend loaned me a cover-tattered copy of Origins of Marvel Comics. I thoroughly enjoyedthe witty comments by Stan Lee and thought the stories weren’tbad. However, one tale in particular really stood out, the story I

reread constantly: “When Strikes the Silver Surfer.” The storywas mindless, nothing more than an excuse for the Thing to dukeit out with the Surfer, but to a 12-year-old, it was mind-blowing! Iwas very impressed with the art of Jack Kirby, who I was slowlybecoming a fan of via the powerful conclusion of the “Madbomb”storyline (would Cap really shoot this Taurey guy?). Kirby’s ren-dition of the Surfer and the explosive nature of the battle sequenceswere like nothing I had ever seen in comics up to that point; not

in Captain America nor even in The Avengers,which was the numberone crowd pleaser on the playground (sorry, Mr. Pérez!). This“goofball on the surfboard” wasn’t so bad after all!

I eagerly sought out every story that featured the “Sky Riderof the Spaceways” but unfortunately, in those days, they couldonly be found in Lee’s self-aggrandizing Origins series, whereinonly the best ones were chosen and spoon-fed to naïve souls suchas myself. Surely, I thought, the Silver Surfer was one of the greatestcharacters ever created! Okay, he was no Batman, but hey, we can’thave everything! Adolescence, encroaching adulthood and anincreasingly critical and discerning eye would change everything.

Over the years, in-between art school and world literature, Iwould still read the adventures of the former Norrin Radd, andsince many of his appearances in other magazines had mixedresults, I concluded that only Stan Lee really knew how to writeSurfer stories. (After purchasing The Essential Silver Surfer a few

years back, I even revised that assessment!) What the heckwas wrong? What was missing? Why didn’t I feel that samefeeling of wonderment I had encountered in the reprintsof the Fantastic Four? Where was the Norrin Radd whoblew my mind away in the Silver Surfer graphic novel?What was missing? Two words: Jack Kirby! A few articlesin The Jack Kirby Collectormade me come to the realizationthat over the years, I had been reading the adventures oftwo different characters who shared the same name!

The first version, who I shall refer to as “The ClassicVersion,” was from the far-off planet Zenn La, transformedby Galactus and served for a time as his herald; he defiedhis master, was imprisoned on Earth for about ten years(I’m using Franklin Richards’ age as a reference point) andrecently was set free to pursue some cosmic adventureswith Alicia Masters (?!). The other Surfer, whom I shallrefer to as the “Kirby Version,” was a creation of Galactus;

nearly as old as the Planet Devourer himself and whose name wouldcause shivers in all those who heard it, for he was literally a heraldof destruction. He came to Earth, was shown the meaning ofcompassion by the aforementioned Ms. Masters and was thenpersuaded to turn against Galactus in defense of those who hadpreviously been inconsequential to him. For his defiance, he wasimprisoned on Earth to live among those same human beings.

(throughout this article)Kirby’s uninked pencilpages and panels fromthe Silver Surfer GraphicNovel.

(next page, top right)Besides his fill-in onSilver Surfer #18, Jack’sone other shot at a solo-Surfer story was thisback-up that ran in FFAnnual #5 (Nov. 1967).

Silver Surfer, Galactus, Ardina TM &©2003 Marvel Characters, Inc.


Retrospective Only Truth Is Constant...


Page 18: Jack Kirby Collector #39

Hulk TM &

©2003 M

arvel Characters, Inc.

KIRBY COLLECTOR #39FAN FAVORITES! Covering Kirby’s work on HULK, INHUMANS,and SILVER SURFER, TOP PROS pick favorite Kirby covers,Kirby ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT interview, MARK EVANIER,2002 Kirby Tribute Panel (DICK AYERS, TODD McFARLANE,PAUL LEVITZ, HERB TRIMPE), pencil art gallery, and more!Kirby covers inked by MIKE ALLRED and P. CRAIG RUSSELL!

(84-page tabloid magazine) $9.95 (Digital edition) $3.95