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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Defenders #45 - Cover

Old Greenskin and a whole lot of non-Kirby characters getting the Kirby treatment on this, Kirby's last of four DEFENDERS covers. Joe Sinnott inks, with some modifications by John Romita.

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Published 1977

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Journey Into Mystery #90 - Cover

This issue of JiM marked the first issue where Kirby didn't do the interior Thor story, missing most of the next year until taking over fulltime. The Carbon Copy Man isn't the greatest of villains, of course, but the frozen Thor is pretty cool, especially the shading effect on the legs. Thor looks kind of young on here, though. Dick Ayers inks this cover.

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Published 1963

Fantastic Four #87 - The Power and the Pride

This issue features the last chapter of Kirby's last Doctor Doom story, as the FF have escaped Doom's latest trap thanks to a rescue from Sue, but still have to get out of Latveria. Isn't that a great looking castle?

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The rest of the story involves the various battles to get to Doom, including undercover SHIELD agents, former nazi minions and Doom sacrificing his plans against the FF to save his art treasures. Definitely the off-beat ending that the cover promised. Along the way there are two great splash pages of Doom. This storyline definitely delivered some of the definitive images of the villain.

Cover and 20-page story inks by Joe Sinnott.

Published 1969

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #6 - Victory is Sacrifice

This extra-sized issue of CAPTAIN VICTORY concludes the war on Earth against the Insectons in the 25-page "Victory is Sacrifice". It's a bit of a mixed bag, with some really good images and bits, but not really living up to the full potential of the story. The epic sequence where Capain Victory sacrifices his life in the "Drainer" to defeat the Insectons would have been more effective if we didn't know he had a few lives in reserve.

Following the story is a 2-page spread introducing the Wonder Warriors, villains of the next phase of the story.

After that is the final 5-page chapter of the Goozlebobber story, which is as strange as that title makes it sound like. The Goozlebobber deals with the police, but then scares the family that befriended him with his shape-changing, so he goes off to explore, taking the form of the then-president.

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Yeah, I know....

The backcover has an image of Captain Victory's newest clone being activated by the Memory Storage Unit, ready for new adventures.

Mike Thibodeaux inks the Kirby art in this issue, all 34 pages of it.

Published 1982

Saturday, November 26, 2005

New Kirby - Jack Kirby Collector #44

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usNow in stores, JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #44, with the Demon on the cover, two full-story reprints from BLACK MAGIC, lots of other stuff. Quick notes on the issue.

Highlight, as always for the past few issues, is the section of full story reprints, this time two stories from BLACK MAGIC #4 ("Voodoo on Tenth Avenue") and #31 ("Slaughter-House"). Both great stories on their own merits, and with the added benefit of interesting connections to other future Kirby work. "Slaughter-House" is about the aftermath of an alien invasion, and how the "bugs" round up humans. Chilling stuff, and parts of it, especially the last caption (a warning to "those who expect a visitation from space to bring us dreams fulfilled by the hands of an alien culture"), bring to mind his thoughts on the creation of CAPTAIN VICTORY and other works. "Voodoo" is also good stuff, and of course the ending famously is very similar to the Puppet Master story in FF #8 a decade later. Anyway, both good stuff, and very well reconstructed from printed copies (as is a "Tales of Asgard" splash elsewhere in the issuce). I hope they do a seperate book of these when they have enough pages.

Lots of artwork of note in this issue, especially from the 1970s.

The title page is a Roman gladiator image that saw print in an inked form in a 1980s issue of BURIED TREASURE.

Several pages for the unrealized THUNDERFOOT book, which looks like it would have been a funny book in the DEVIL DINOSAUR vein.

Partial pencils for this image, which reveals it was apparently meant to be part of a Captain Victory story. Interestingly, the pencils of the last page of the last issue of THE DEMON suggest if there had been a #17 it would have featured a vampire story. Kirby seemed to like vampires...

Lots of pencils from other issues of THE DEMON, which more and more I'm thinking was among Kirby's best work of the 1970s, taken as a whole.

An unused page from the "Atlas" story in FIRST ISSUE SPECIAL adds a lot to the characters.

Lots of Thor art as well, which is always good to see, including a look at where exactly the Origin of Galactus that was squeezed into the book might have come from (some interesting speculation that the Galactus Trilogy might have had his origin, with the pages being pulled and then used in THOR years later.

There's a BLACK PANTHER cover (with Abner Little) where it's also interesting to note that at least as far as when Kirby did #6 the plan was still to continue JUNGLE ACTION rather than launch the Panther's own book.

An interesting interview with Kirby from The Journal of Popular Culture. It's one of those odd interviews where the interviewer is obviously much more familiar with Kirby's work than Kirby is, and discussing the details of his themes and writing influences rather than the usual focus of Kirby interviews. So you get weird long questions (sample part of a question " impersonal technological deity with the Orwellian name of Brother Eye. This machine was designed by Myron Forest, deceased, whose name sounds like 'My run Forest,' which suggests 'My run in the Forest,' which in turn suggests..."), but Kirby's reactions to some of them do reveal some interesting things you don't get in the usual interviews.

Mark Evanier's column this time concentrates on Syd Shores and why his inking looked the way it did, using his history with Marvel to tell a lot of Marvel history, including their attempts to expand in the late 1960s and some of the resulting artistic shifts.

In the editorial, it's mentioned that the FF DVD will include a one hour documentary about Kirby, including interviews with his kids and various notables from the comic industry. So that'll probably be worth renting or borrowing. Still no money or proper credit, but it's something.

UPDATE: It was later announced that the documentary was pulled from the first release of the DVD, might be on a future "special edition". So not worth renting or borrowing.

Lots of other articles that I'll be reading later. One has an interesting find on a possible source for the design of Etrigan, a 1922 movie HAXAN, which was re-released in 1968. Although as I recall either Evanier or Sherman telling the story, Kirby did go back and actually look at the Foster original from Prince Valiant before drawing the character, not draw it from memory, which should be mentioned in the article if that's the case.

Front cover is inked by Matt Wagner, based on an image from HEROES AND VILLAINS. He has two other tries at the image inside. I kind of prefer the first one, dismissed for being "too Royer", but the one they used has an interesting ink-wash effect. The backcover is a painting by Georgio Comolo, based on a Galactus splash page from THOR #160, which doesn't quite work for me. I kind of like the same artist's version of the double page spread from THE DEMON #7 shown inside.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Who's Who #13 - Lightray

Kirby just did one entry in this issue, Lightray of the New Gods. I like the main pose a lot, it really shows the sunny optimism that Lightray brought to the original comics in general, contrasting with Orion.

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Greg Theakston inks.

Published 1986

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Upcoming Kirby - Visionaries v2

Amazon is now listing a second MARVEL VISIONARIES: JACK KIRBY volume coming out in April of 2006. Contents are:

Captain America Comics #1; Marvel Mystery Comics #23; Yellow Claw #4; Strange Tales #89, 114; Two-Gun Kid #60; Love Romances #103; X-Men #9; Tales of Suspense #59; Sgt. Fury #13; Fantastic Four #57-60; Not Brand Echh #1; Thor #154-157; Devil Dinosaur #1.

Lots of choices from CAP #1. I'm guessing the Red Skull story. MMC #23 is a Vision story I don't think has been reprinted before. Neither has that YELLOW CLAW issue (hopefully they'll have the full book, not just one story, although running the page counts quickly they're not going to manage all the Kirby content of all of these issues). STRANGE TALES #89 is the oft-reprinted "Fin Fang Foom", but it deserves it. #114 is the Torch against the fake Captain America, which hasn't been printed in colour in a long while. TWO-GUN KID #60 is the first issue of the new version of the Kid, hopefully they'll have both stories. LOVE ROMANCES #103 had two Kirby shorts, hopefully both will be in here. I've heard good things about "The Dream World of Doris Wilson". X-MEN #9 is the Avengers guest bit, so gets a sampling of both teams into the book. ToS #59 is the first of the Cap solo run, not really the best choice from that run. FURY #13 is of course the Captain America guest issue. That run of FF is the great Doom/Surfer storyline, which is fittingly enough parodied in NOT BRAND ECHH #1 ("I own one hundred pairs of stretch socks"), and that run of THOR is the Mangog story, also great stuff. DEVIL DINOSAUR #1, excellent.

So mostly really good choices. As usual I'd have liked a bit less super-hero, more other genre, but I can't complain about most of what was picked. Good sampling of inkers, with some Sinnott, Royer, Ayers, Giacoia, Stone, Severin, Simon. I'd gladly lose the Cap story from ToS for a pair of early Tales of Asgard shorts, especially since Cap is already in a golden age story, the Torch story, the X-Men story and the Fury story, and Ayers inking is well represented even without it. And much as I love him, I'd gladly drop Devil D. for some more 1950s stuff. Except that the 1970s should be represented somewhere, and Devil is the least likely to ever have a dedicated volume (Cap and the Panther already do, the Eternals will soon, 2001 is probably off-limits and Machine Man is much more likely than Devil). Tough call. Maybe trade Devil for two 1950s shorts (lots of good 5-pagers there) and a 1970s cover gallery, including one DD cover? Tough call with those FF and Thor epics eating up half the page count. If it were up to me I'd replace them with shorter bits (maybe a single issue and two-issue bit each, from different points in the run. Or keep the FF and replace the Thor epic with two single issues, one from the Stone inked run, one from the Everett inked run), reclaiming about 40 pages for some more short stories. Oh well, that's what volumes 3 to 10 will be for...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Marvel Double Feature #17 - Into the Jaws of... AIM

A reprint from TALES OF SUSPENSE #93 (1967), showcasing some of the great Kirby/Sinnott artwork of the era. Beautiful splash page of Cap swimming with a SHIELD-issue long distance mini-cruiser, the type of beautiful mechanical devices Kirby would casually throw in his work. Anyway, Cap goes off to rescue the still-nameless female SHIELD agent (oh, let's just call her Sharon) from AIM, who have been reborn under the leadership of the mysterious MODOK.

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Much action ensues, leading to Cap being captured and Sharon being taken before MODOK.

As usual, love the AIM losers, and the various gadgets, all of which really some alive under Sinnott's brush.

Various bits of action are cut to make the original 10-page story fit in 9 pages (that page in the scan was actually bits of two pages in the original). The cover is a bit of an oddity, as it's based on the cover for what was originally the next issue, ToS #94. Same layout, but clearly redrawn with some major changes (most notably removing MODOK from the background). The updated Kirby checklist lists the cover as a Kirby/Giacoia piece, but I don't know about that. I doubt Kirby had anything to do with the re-drawing, and the inking doesn't seem much like the other Giacoia of the era (including some other MDF covers not traced from older versions).

Published 1976

Mister Miracle #1 - Murder Missile Trap

The debut issue of MISTER MIRACLE, this story has young Scott Free come across Thaddeus Brown, the original Mister Miracle, a retired escape artist on the comeback trail, and his assistant Oberon. Scott gets drawn into their world, and shows he has a few tricks up his sleeves as well, thanks to his mysterious orphanage past and inexhaustible supply of gadgets. Unfortunately, Brown isn't long for the world, as he gets killed by mobster Steel Hand, leaving Scott to take his place.

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I'm not terribly fond of this story (which, as it happened, was the last issue of the series I read, some years after finding the rest), although it does have many good features, especially in the art, and it would have been nice to find out more about Thaddeus. I thought the series didn't really pick up until the Apokolips elements were introduced (including and especially Barda).

Colletta inks the 22 page story and cover. Marv Wolfman writes the text page (used in all the Fourth World first issues), about a visit he and Len Wein had with Kirby some years earlier, where among other things they heard of some ideas that would eventually evolve into Kirby's then-current work.

Published 1971

Upcoming Kirby - February 2006

[updated to include the AC reprint book]

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usA couple of big things from in February. TwoMorrows has a new KIRBY COLLECTOR (#44 should be out soon). AC has some unspecified Kirby in a big book of old sci-fi reprints. Marvel gives SGT. FURY a hardcover, running all the way to #13, so it has all of Kirby's full stories for the series. Should be worth a look. Also, the MARVEL ROMANCE TPB should be about one third Kirby, the first time any of those have seen print in a long while (there's also a comic coming out where they re-script some old romance stories, including a Kirby one, but the less said about that the better). The recent MARVEL MONSTERS one shots get an oversized hardcover for some reason, including the reprint backups by Kirby. And in the trivial, ESSENTIAL MOON KNIGHT will have one cover by Kirby. DC's SHOWCASE PRESENTS HOUSE OF MYSTERY volume should have one Kirby reprint, "The Negative Man" (originally from #84, as reprinted in #194).

Tabloid Format

There’s no time like the present in JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #45, as we take a trip in the KIRBY TIME MACHINE for Jack’s views of the past and future! There’s a never-published interview with KING KIRBY! A heartfelt new interview with Jack’s son NEAL KIRBY! MARK EVANIER’s regular column, plus our other regular columnists! Two Kirby pencil art galleries—THE PAST and THE FUTURE (both at whopping TABLOID SIZE)! Two rare, complete 1950s Kirby stories! An interview with Kirby Award winner and family friend MARK MILLER! Kirby’s first script, from the 1930s! Looks at Jack’s 3-D work, the Eternals, Devil Dinosaur, Justice Inc., war and gangster stories, and the 2005 Kirby Tribute Panel (with Evanier, nephew Robert Katz, Scott Shaw!, and Steve Sherman)! All behind a new Kirby/Royer montage cover, plus the unpublished Kirby cover to CAPTAIN 3-D #2, inked by BILL BLACK and converted into actual 3-D by RAY ZONE!

AC Comics
by Various
The biggest reprint volume EVER focusing on classic science-fiction comics of the '40s & '50s, featuring stories originally appearing in Planet Comics, Strange Worlds, Space Detective, Space Adventures, Science Comics, and others! Super artists—Wally Wood, Al Williamson, George Evans, Jack Kirby, Reed Crandall, Steve Ditko, and Joe Orlando, working their sweet science (fiction) on such characters as Mysta, Mars, Gale Allen, Captain Science, Hunt Bowman, Auro, Star Pirate, and more!
SC, 216pgs, B&W SRP: $29.95

Written by STAN LEE
WHA-HOOO! It’s time for Marvel’s first-ever war Masterworks with tales of Sgt. Nick Fury and his Howlin’ Commandos in thick of ol’ WWII! And for the icing on the cake, it’s a titanic team-up of the mighty talents of Sgt. Stan Lee and Infantryman Jack Kirby! That’s a pair storytellers so explosive you better make sure you keep your lid on when you read this one, soldier! Prepare yourself for drama, intrigue, humor and action galore as Fury, Dum Dum Dugan and the rest of the Howlers as they battle more Nazis than you can shake a bayonet at, team-up with Captain America and Bucky, battle the nefarious Baron Strucker and Zemo, and set out to capture Adolf Hitler himself! With a pedigree like that, get off your duff and reserve your copy today, goldbrick! That’s an order! Collecting SGT. FURY #1-13
320 PGS $49.99
ISBN: 0-7851-2039-4

MY LOVE. TEEN-AGE ROMANCE. LOVE ROMANCE. Picking up a theme? The romance genre spanned nearly half a century, and now Marvel’s picked some of its best from the sixties and seventies! “It Happened at Woodstock!” “My Heart Broke in Hollywood!” “Love on the Rebound!” Featuring Smart Styles and Heavenly Hairdos with Patsy Walker in a pre-Hellcat tale! Collects LOVE ROMANCE #89 and #101-104; MY LOVE #2, #14, #16 and #18-20; TEEN-AGE ROMANCE #77 and #84; OUR LOVE STORY #5; and PATSY WALKER #119.
176 PGS. $19.99
ISBN: 0-7851-2089-0

Marvel’s monsters unleashed in four timeless tales by today’s hottest creators! In MONSTERS ON THE PROWL, it’s the Hulk, the Thing, Giant-Man and the Beast vs. a tidal wave of classic creatures when the Collector inadvertently lets loose Droom, Grogg, Goom, Rombuu, Grattu and more on New York City! In DEVIL DINOSAUR, two young Celestials debate prehistoric Earth’s superior life form. But when the ferocity of Devil Dinosaur proves no match for the opposition, a savage from the future is brought back for a battle you thought you’d never see: Hulk vs. Devil Dino! In FIN FANG FOUR, four giant monsters — incarcerated for years for their crimes against humanity — now find themselves shrunk to human size and working at the home of the very people who captured them: the Fantastic Four! Meet Googam, Son of Goom; Elektro; Gorgilla; and Fin Fang Foom! But when Goom’s mad plan to rescue his father goes awry, the quartet must put aside their differences and become — the Fin Fang Four! And in WHERE MONSTERS DWELL, witness the terror of Monstrollo, the horror of Manoo and the fright of Bombu! Also collects classic stories from TALES TO ASTONISH #1, JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #62, STRANGE TALES #89 and TALES TO ASTONISH #10 – and the MARVEL MONSTERS: FROM THE FILES OF ULYSSES BLOODSTONE(AND THE MONSTER HUNTERS) handbook!
216 PGS. $20.99
ISBN: 0-7851-1893-4
Trim size: Oversized

Debuting as both enemy and ally of the Werewolf by Night, Moon Knight’s three personalities equaled one eerie adventure after another by Moench, Miller and more! Earning enemies like the brutal Bushman and the macabre Morpheus early in his career, Moon Knight also teamed up with Spider-Man, the Thing, and others against well-known and forgotten villains alike! Spun by Cyclone! Caught by Crossfire! Plus: an early fight with the Purple Man alongside Luke Cage! Featuring Topaz from WITCHES and the original White Tiger! Includes black-and-white stories not reprinted in more than two decades! Collects WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #32-33, MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #28-29, PETER PARKER, SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #22-23, MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #52, HULK MAGAZINE #11-15, 17-18 & 20, MARVEL PREVIEW #21, MOON KNIGHT #1-12 and MARVEL TEAM-UP ANNUAL #4.
528 PGS. $16.99
ISBN: 0-7851-2092-0

Written by Len Wein, Robert Kanigher, Gerry Conway and others, art by Bernie Wrightson, Neal Adams, Gil Kane, Alex Toth and others, cover by Joe Orlando.
Do you dare to enterŠthe House of Mystery? Everyone who does will find a full 22 issues of this classic DC series. Beginning with editor Joe Orlando's first issue (#174), this 552-page black-and-white trade paperback features a wealth of art from macabre masters.
552 pages, black and white, $16.99, in stores on Feb. 8.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Marvel Premiere #31 - Cover

Probably the most obscure of the characters Kirby was tapped to draw a cover for in the 1970s. I have no idea what "Woodgod" is, either. Not a great cover, but I do like the villains and their ships.

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Frank Giacoia inks.

Published 1976

Marvel's Greatest Comics #37 - The Startling Saga of the Silver Surfer

A reprint of FF #50 (1966) here, the conclusion of the Galactus trilogy. Lots of fun and grand cosmic adventure in the first half, as the Torch returns with the Ultimate Nullifier, allowing the FF to get Galactus to leave.

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The second half of the issue sets up some of the future stories and effects of the events of this story, including Ben's melancholy and the Torch starting college.

Joe Sinnott inked the 20-page story. The cover is a non-Kirby new cover.

Published 1972

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Marvel Spectacular #5 - The People-Breeders

The lead story in this issue is reprinted from THOR #134 (1966), leading off with the wrap-up of the Ego/Rigel storyline, as Thor has fulfilled his mission and sends Tana Nile packing (and narrowly missing a meeting with Galactus, making a pulse-pounding cameo a few months after his first story in FF). Thor then goes to find Jane Foster, which leads him to the High Evolutionary and his New-Men.

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Lots of neat stuff in here. The New-Men obviously kind of remind you of the later creatures of Kamandi's world, and frequent other uses of accelerated evolution in Kirby's work.

One page is edited out of here, mostly the page with Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, between stories in AVENGERS, so it's a 15-page story here.

Meanwhile, from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #120 (1965) comes "Set Sail", the departure of the heroes of Asgard on their grand quest in the 5-page "Tales of Asgard" story. As usual, lots of grandeur in the form of Odin's send-off and intrigue in the form of Loki's plots (foiled by Hogun), with some comic relief provided by Volstagg (including a cameo by the rarely seen but often mentioned bride of Volstagg).

Colletta inks throughout, including the cover reprint from THOR #134.

Published 1974

Eternals #12 - Uni-Mind

Big time cosmic goings-on up in Olympia, home of the Eternals, as Thena returns with the Deviants Karkas and the Reject. The Reject attracts the attention of some of the female Eternals, but that's interrupted when Zuras summons his people for the Uni-Mind ritual.

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After a brief catch-up with Ajax in the Andes, we return to Olympia and the Eternals joining to form the Uni-Mind, a massive group-mind, to study the return of the Celestials to Earth. Very weird, in a trippy cosmic way, not something that makes a lot of sense, but certainly pretty to look at and think about.

Mike Royer inked the cover and 17-page story.

Published 1977

Friday, November 11, 2005

New Kirby updated

Just updated the Kirby release list over on the sidebar. The four "Marvel Monsters" one-shots with Kirby reprint backups came out, as did the FF wedding special, a couple of AC books, an ESSENTIAL TWO-IN-ONE with some Kirby covers and the coffeetable book MAXIMUM FANTASTIC FOUR (see this thread on the Masterworks message board for some scans and comments on it).

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Black Magic (DC) #8 - The Girl in the Grave

Two Simon&Kirby reprints in this issue, both from STRANGE WORLD OF YOUR DREAMS #2 (1952). "The Girl in the Grave" is a 5-page story, starting with dream analyst Richard Temple encountering a nervous woman who it turns out was going to see him about a series of nightmares she's been having that threaten her performance in her upcoming new job. She's been having dreams about seeing her own grave, leading to an underground office where she's overwhelmed by work and then facing rising water.

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Of course Temple easily figures this out as symbolic of her doubts and fear of failure. Which even I could have figured out, but it seems to ease her mind.

Some great moody bits of artwork in the dream sequences, especially the graveyard on the opening page.

The other story is a 2-pager from the regular "Send Us Your Dreams" series from the book, with a man describing a dream of trying to race through a storm to a peaceful garden, being blocked by a fence, a horde of dwarves and a highway of futuristic cars. Temple explains that these kinds of dreams are common, and a reaction to tensions raised by the uncertain new world of atom bombs. I'm really not sure how Temple ever actually helps anyone, but man, a Kirby-drawn attack of misshapen dwarves is always fun.

Published 1975

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Super Powers #4 - Earth's Last Stand

As usual, Jack Kirby does the cover for this issue, inked by Greg Theakston. Nice overall, but a bit of weird anatomy around Superman's legs.

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Kirby also plots the issue, which has an attack on Brainiac's ship, finally bringing the heroes to Apokolips and face to face with Darkseid, who has been using the time the heroes have been distracted by the villains to prepare an invasion of Earth, setting up the Kirby written and drawn final issue.

Published 1984

Monday, November 07, 2005

Destroyer Duck #5 - Shatterer of Worlds

This is Kirby's last issue of DESTROYER DUCK, as usual inked by Alfredo Alcala on the 20-page story and cover. Steve Gerber was joined on the writing by Buzz Dixon, who would take solo writing chores on the next two post-Kirby issues.

This story finishes up the main story with GodCorp's plans in the oil-rich nation of Hoqoom. Some very weird stuff, including possibly the only time cannibalism was so explicit in a Kirby story. Also, a nice battle with the Destroyer Lawyer against the Cogburn:

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(I have to mention the Cogburn, as I still get one or two searches a week for Cogburn leading people to this weblog)

This was a fun series, a bit uneven and a few dated references but a lot of good qualities. It would be nice to see it reprinted some day in a nice permanent format.

Published 1983

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Nick Fury and His Agents of SHIELD #1 - When the Unliving Strike

This reprint comic has the SHIELD stories from STRANGE TALES #146 and #147 (1966), "When the Unliving Strike" and "The Enemy Within", knocking out parts of two pages in the former and the first two full pages of the latter story bringing it down to 21 pages. Both stories have layouts by Kirby, pencils by Don Heck and inks by Mike Esposito (whose name the reprint editor actually took the time to fix from the "Mickey Demeo" pen-name of the original).

It's the men of SHIELD against the forces of Them this time, continuing their pursuit from the previous issues. But of course you know those yellow bee-suit costumes better as...

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AIM, Advanced Idea Mechanics. It turns out the Them are affiliated with AIM, a private group of geniuses bent on world domination, who at this point are still considered a reputable organization, as one of their members tries to undermine Fury's role as director of SHIELD. Fury foils their immediate plans, an attack on the famous barber shop which serves as a SHIELD front, but AIM's Count Royale has other schemes.

Some fun stuff in here. A few hints of Kirby, though the Heck/Esposito combination overpowers most of it, but is good in its own right.

Published 1973

Friday, November 04, 2005

New Gods #3 - Death Is the Black Racer

No, I'm not entirely sure what the deal with the Black Racer is either. I'm sure Kirby had something unrealized planned for the character/concept, but we'll never know. Anyway, in this story the Racer, an envoy of death, pursues Lightray, but is redirected to Earth by Metron, where he's drawn to paralyzed Vietnam vet Willie Walker, who takes his role as an aspect of the Black Racer.

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I may not understand it, but that's some pretty art. Elsewhere on Earth, Orion and Dave Lincoln pursue the local gangs that have been recruited into the plots of Apokolips.

Colletta inks the 23-page story and cover (which features a photo background of a cityscape).

Published 1971

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sgt. Fury #12 - Cover

Another early FURY cover, this one inked by Chic Stone. I'm not a huge fan of generic floating head covers, but that's a really nice action pose of Fury, and the headshots here capture each of the Howlers nicely.

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Published 1964