Archival Site 2004-2006 see See http://kirbymuseum.org/blogs/kirby/

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Upcoming Kirby - Collected Kirby Collector v5

TwoMorrows has just put this book up on their website, scheduled for April 2006.

Collected Jack Kirby Collector - Volume 5
224 page Trade Paperback - Edited by John Morrow

Reprints JKC #20, 21 & 22 plus 30 pieces of Kirby art never before published!

Kirby fans demanded more, so this fifth volume is a gargantuan 224-page trade paperback, reprinting the sold-out issues #20-22 of The Jack Kirby Collector, the critically-acclaimed magazine for Kirby fans! Included are the “Kirby’s Women,” “Wackiest Work,” and “Villains” issues, featuring three unseen interviews with Jack Kirby, plus new ones with Jack’s daughter LISA KIRBY, and industry pros DAVE STEVENS, GIL KANE, BRUCE TIMM STEVE RUDE, and MIKE MIGNOLA! PLUS: see a complete ten-page unpublished Kirby story still in pencil! Jack’s mind-blowing original pencils to FANTASTIC FOUR #49 (from the fabled Galactus trilogy)! An analysis comparing Kirby’s margin notes to Stan Lee’s dialogue on classic Marvel comics! And a NEW special section with over 30 pieces of Kirby art never before published, including Jack’s uninked pencils from The Demon, Forever People, Jimmy Olsen, Kamandi, Eternals, Captain America, Black Panther, and more! With page after page of rare Kirby art (much in its original pencil form), and a dynamite KIRBY/DAVE STEVENS cover, it’s a celebration of the most prolific creator in comics history: Jack “King” Kirby!

New Kirby - All-Winners Masterworks

Oops, looks like I jumped the gun on closing the book on Kirby in 2005 a few posts back. Apparently the MARVEL MASTERWORKS - ALL-WINNERS v1 came out this week, with two S&K Captain America reprints. Not really recommended just for the Kirby, the first is just average and second is kind of weak, and are available in other cheaper places. Some of the other contents might be worth having, though.

Rawhide Kid #47 - Cover

This is Kirby's final RAWHIDE KID cover, and he definitely went out with a bang, an all-out brawl on a well rendered riverboat. All sorts of stuff to love on this one. Frank Giacoia inks, and I love the effect he gets on the splashing water.

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Published 1965

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Marvel Tales #126 - Triton

The back-up story in this issue is a reprint of the Inhumans story from the back of THOR #150 (1968), a 5-page Kirby/Sinnott story that starts the three part adventure of Triton's first visit to the outside world. Triton's a great character when drawn by Kirby/Sinnott, very powerful. In his initial outing, he comes across a creature who turns out to be a costumed man in a film production. He allows himself to be taken prisoner by the humans in order to find out more about them.

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Published 1981

Monday, December 26, 2005

Giant-Size Man-Thing #1

Two Kirby reprints in this issue. "I Was the Invisible Man" is from STRANGE TALES #67 (1959), a 7-page story inked by Christopher Rule. And there's another one of those hands across the chin I mentioned a while back.

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This story involved a young scientist coming up with a device that enables him to move at incredibly fast speeds, effectively invisible to the human eye. He craves fame, and decides to operate in secret for a while, creating a national sensation about an "Invisible Man", before revealing himself. Unfortunately he doesn't count on the side-effects of his untested process, which prematurely age him. A nice story, with a lot of inventive visual effects, and a nice change from the giant monster stories that dominate these reprints.

Not that I don't loves me some giant monsters, as seen in the second Kirby reprint, the Kirby/Ayers "Goom, The Thing from Planet X", a 13-page story from TALES OF SUSPENSE #15 (1961). A scientist mocked for his theories about life on hidden nearby worlds experiments in a secluded area, getting the attention of the monstrous Goom, who plans to conquer the Earth. The scientist returns to his lab and contacts more of Goom's people, and is branded a traitor to humanity, only to be saved as it's revealed Goom is an outcast from his otherwise peaceful race. Rather odd ending speech, about how humanity has nothing to fear from alien contact, since any species advanced enough will surely be peaceful, considering how many Kirby stories and essays run counter to that, in fact are based on the opposite view.

Published 1974

Sunday, December 25, 2005

1st Issue Special #5 - Manhunter

Another debut issue without a follow-up (although parts of the story were later integrated into the greater DC Manhunter mythos by other creators). The story opens up with a bang, as the Manhunter confronts Chopper, a killer obsessed with his cave of disembodied heads and masks. Some weird images in those pages.

We find out that this Manhunter is aging, and fears he might be the end of a long line of Manhunters, but fate intervenes, giving public defender Mark Shaw an ancient lion medallion, so he becomes the new Manhunter and plans to take care of mob boss The Hog.

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D. Bruce Berry inks the 18-page story, and the cover is a modified version of the splash page (flipped and with a few other changes). Kirby also writes a text page for the back.

Published 1975

2005 - A Kirby Odyssey

Doesn't look like any more Kirby publications are coming out in 2005, so here's an overview of what we got, at least 49 separate print items (some quite trivial, of course, but others up to 800 pages of Kirby), up from 17 in 2004 and 8 in 2003, plus 2 major digital publications. Good year, overall, lots of fun stuff. Book of the year, not including the KIRBY COLLECTOR, is probably ESSENTIAL FF v4, but maybe KAMANDI ARCHIVES when I get around to picking it up (and, ahem, at least it pays royalties). Unfortunately we didn't get the scheduled COMPLETE KIRBY v5, which would have been a contender. Anyone heard an update on that?

And of course 2005 saw the announcement of the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center, now accepting PayPal donations for future projects and exhibitions, and already hosting a great Kirby checklist, a few stories and a short video.

Some good stuff coming up in 2006 as well. As usual, updates will be posted on the weblog as I get them, and available here, and general Kirby in-print information is kept here.

The most important and essential of the Kirby publications was this trio of issues from TwoMorrows. All the usual great stuff, amazing art finds, pencilled pages, columns and the like, plus they started reprinting some well restored full stories from the S&K days, including some romance, horror and crime in these issues. Look for more of the same in 2006, plus their publication of SILVER STAR from the pencils.

JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #42
JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #43
JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #44

DC only had one Kirby publication this year, but it was major, the first ten issues of KAMANDI in one hardcover volume.

KAMANDI ARCHIVES VOL. 1 HC

AC included a few Kirby short stories in their various reprint anthologies, one or two in each of these issue.

AMERICA'’S GREATEST COMICS #11
AMERICA'S GREATEST COMICS #12
AMERICA'S GREATEST COMICS #13
BEST OF THE WEST #52

Craig Yoe included a 1950s Kirby story, "The Fourth Dimension is a Many Splattered Thing", reprinted from the original artwork, in this collection from Fantagraphics.

MODERN ARF VOLUME 1 GN

Marvel of course went to the Kirby reprint well most often in 2005, most importantly for me with some long-awaited additions to their ESSENTIAL line, each collecting over 500 pages of 1960s Kirby, some of it for the first time in decades, in black and white.

ESSENTIAL FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 4 TPB
ESSENTIAL THOR VOL. 2 TPB

Good Kirby year for those who like Marvel's hardcover reprints as well, with two FF volumes (bringing it one volume left to the end), some good Thor work, a few previously unreprinted stories in the Golden Age Captain America, plus finishing off the TALES OF SUSPENSE run of Cap and starting his solo series for the Silver Age volume (with some great art in that run, and of course MODOK). And some Iron Man and Doc Strange covers. Add to that the latest variation on Marvel's reprints, an over 800 page OMNIBUS collecting the FF up to #30.

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 2
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 2
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: GOLDEN AGE ALL-WINNERS COMICS VOL. 1
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: GOLDEN AGE CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 1
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 8
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 9
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN VOL. 2
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THOR VOL. 4
FANTASTIC FOUR OMNIBUS Vol. 1 HC

The 1970s Kirby also got a taste of the limelight in two dedicated volumes, including the hard-to-find original tabloid Cap story, with hopefully more to follow (ETERNALS is also likely for 2006).

BLACK PANTHER BY JACK KIRBY v1 TPB
CAPTAIN AMERICA BY JACK KIRBY v2: BICENTENNIAL BATTLES TPB

Kirby also figures into a few mostly non-Kirby collections from Marvel in 2005:

AVENGERS: KANG - TIME AND TIME AGAIN TPB
- one story
BEST OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 1 HC - five stories
FANTASTIC FOUR - THE MOVIE TPB - one story
MARVEL VISIONARIES - STAN LEE - three stories
MARVEL WEDDINGS - one story
WHAT IF? CLASSIC VOL. 2 TPB - one story, one other cover

Marvel also mixed a few reprints into their regular comics during the year, either all reprint books (the MILESTONES specials) or mixing new stories with reprint backups (the rest of these). Each of these has one or more Kirby story.

FANTASTIC FOUR: THE WEDDING SPECIAL
GIANT-SIZE INVADERS #2
GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #3
MARVEL MILESTONES: DR STRANGE, SILVER SURFER, SUB-MARINER & THE HULK
MARVEL MILESTONES: DR. DOOM, SUB-MARINER & THE RED SKULL
MARVEL MILESTONES: IRON MAN, ANT-MAN & CAPTAIN AMERICA
MARVEL MILESTONES: VENOM & HERCULES
MARVEL MILESTONES: WOLVERINE, X-MEN & TUK THE CAVE BOY
MARVEL MONSTERS: DEVIL DINOSAUR #1
MARVEL MONSTERS: FIN FANG FOUR #1
MARVEL MONSTERS: MONSTERS ON THE PROWL
MARVEL MONSTERS: WHERE MONSTERS DWELL #1

There was apparently some never followed up on "Dollar Digest" experiment that reprinted some Kirby stuff in small black and white volumes. I never did see them.

AVENGERS: ASSEMBLE DOLLAR DIGEST
FANTASTIC FOUR: FIRST FAMILY DOLLAR DIGEST
HULK: HULK SMASH DOLLAR DIGEST
SPIDER-MAN: AMAZING FANTASY DOLLAR DIGEST
X-MEN: CHILDREN OF THE ATOM DOLLAR DIGEST

And a few trivial bits from Marvel:

ESSENTIAL MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE VOL. 1 TPB - five covers
MARVEL VISIONARIES: STEVE DITKO - one cover (SPIDEY #1)
SPIDER-MAN / FANTASTIC FOUR CLASSIC - one cover (SPIDEY #1)

Plus there was MAXIMUM FANTASTIC FOUR, which I don't know what to make of, except that I'm sure the Evanier introduction was interesting.

On the digital front, for those into that, there was a DVD-ROM volume of every issue of FF, so lots of Kirby there, some not yet ever reprinted, and Greg Theakston released the first two volumes of his COMPLETE KIRBY on CD-ROM, apparently including some comic strip and interview material not found in the print versions. Expect a few more Marvel volumes like that in 2006 and beyond.

There was also a documentary produced about Kirby, related to a film featuring characters he created, but it won't be released until later. Bootlegs will be discretely accepted, hint hint.

Kirby Christmas

Just thought in the spirit of the day I'd link to two earlier posts about Kirby stories with Christmas themes:

Best of DC #22 - The Seal-Men's War on Santa Claus

A DC Universe Christmas - Santa Fronts For The Mob

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Strange Tales #130 - Cover

This is one of my favourite of Kirby's attempts to draw Doctor Strange. Still very Kirby, without question, but also using Ditko's designs well. I love that look on Baron Mordo's face. And of course the added bonus of the funnier half of the FF in Beatle wigs, well, there's a book worth 12 cents just for the cover. Some fine Chic Stone inking on this one.

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Published 1965

Battle For a Three Dimensional World

This was, of course, the first, and presumably last, 3-D Cosmic Book.

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An interesting curiousity is probably the most generous description of this comic. The story (by Ray Zone) involves an attempt by the evil Circe of planet 2D attempting to alter history so that humanity never discovers depth perception or something, and our hero Stereon being sent to stop her. Along the way we learn about the history of 3-D technology, including several movie stills and the like. Like I said, odd, but I did like the the concept of a Cyclops as the natural enemy of a 3-D hero.

Mike Thibodeaux inks the Kirby art in this issue, a 15 page uncoloured 3-D story, front cover (colour, non-3-D), backcover (colour, 3-D) and inside front cover pin-up of Vedeora (black and white, non 3-D). Apparently it came with a set of 3-D glasses that (infamously) mentioned Kirby as "King of the Comics" and had some art, but every copy I've ever seen with glasses had a generic pair (I used to see it in quarter bins all the time, and must have bought and given away six or seven copies).

Published 1982

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Forever People #7 - I'll Find You In Yesterday

The Forever People have been scattered through time by Darkseid's Omega Effect, and their friends of New Genesis, including Esak, ask Highfather to help them.

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I just can't read Esak's few pages in the original Fourth World books and not wonder exactly what Kirby had in mind for him that place him where he was for "The Hunger Dogs".

Anyway, Moonrider and Dreamer wind up at the scene of Lincoln's assassination, Vykin among Spanish explorers looking for gold in Florida and Big Bear in old England, where he's on hand for the events that give rise to the legend of King Arthur. Meanwhile, Serifan and the Super-Cycle are attacked by Glorious Godfrey and his Justifiers. Fortunately, Highfather acts with his Alpha-Bullets power to counter Darkseid's Omega Effect, bringing back the time-lost members and saving Serifan by transporting him to Japan, where he's reunited with Mother Box, left in a temple there by Sonny Sumo, who lived out his life in the past, outside of Darkseid's reach.

Bit of an odd story, I'm not sure how it actually fits in what the series was trying to say, but with some great visuals and really nice Highfather scenes (although "Alpha-Bullets" lacks the oomph of "Omega Effect". But then, Darkseid clearly has better PR people working for him).

Also in this issue, a 2-page "Lonar" story, where he shows off his newly found battle-horse to Orion, and a reprint of the cover and 10-page Sandman story from ADVENTURE #80 (1942), "The Man Who Couldn't Sleep", one of my favourite Sandman stories, involving a millionaire driven crazy and to crime by his inability to sleep.

Mike Royer inks the cover, 24-page lead story and 2-page backup.

Published 1972

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Rawhide Kid #40 - Cover

I'm not sure how effectively Rawhide could have been hiding in that tree, but otherwise a very nice cover extending the Marvel Age of crossovers to the western line. Inks are by Sol Brodsky, according to the GCD.

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Published 1964

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Mighty Marvel Western #34 - The Little Man Laughs Last

A 6-page Kirby/Ayers reprint from RAWHIDE KID #29 (1962) in this issue (mislabeled as being from RK #25). Starts with one of my favourite RK splash pages, of the Kid jumping from a horse to a stagecoach. On the stage he finds two larger men who mock his general shortness, and a girl who defends him.

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After the stage is stopped by bandits, the larger men men are quick to turn coward, leaving it to the Kid to save the day, earning a kiss from the girl, which sends him riding for the hills. Fun ending to a pretty good story, with lots of action and some really good inking by Ayers.

Published 1974

Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #145 - Brigadoom

Jimmy and the Newsboys continue their investigation of strange beings in Scotland, including a great two-page spread of various beasts, and the introduction of one of my favourites, Angry Charlie.

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Their investigation eventually leads them to the Evil Factory, and battles with sea beasts and dinosaurs, and where Jimmy is experimented on and reverted to a powerful pre-historic form. Meanwhile, back in Metropolis, Superman pursues the San Diego Five String Mob, only to see them escape in a Boom Tube. We never do find out what all that was about. The Superman scene this time seems like an afterthought, kind of a "have to have Superman in here somewhere" scene.

Colletta inks the 24-page story, with Murphy Anderson doing the usual touch-ups. Anderson inks the full cover. An alternate cover for this issue was inked by Steve Rude for the cover of the first of the current JIMMY OLSEN reprint tradepaperbacks.

Back-up this issue is the cover and lead story from STAR-SPANGLED COMICS #11, the fifth Newsboy Legion story from 1942, "Paradise Prison", a 13-page adventure which sees the kids, after hearing claims of brutal treatment at a reform school (where they themselves could have been sent if not for the good word put in for them by Jim Harper), have themselves sent up. The warden, Mr. Goodley, puts up a fake front of running a comfortable reform school so the kids don't inform the Guardian, but they're able to see through his ruse.

Also of note, this issue has a full page ad to order the first issues of IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB and SPIRIT WORLD, which mentions Kirby prominently. It claims the books sold out quickly and they've "gone back to press with a special run", but I suspect that's not true and these were copies returned or maybe never even distributed.

Published 1972

Monday, December 19, 2005

Sandman #6 - The Plot To Destroy Washington D.C.

This is the final issue of the 1970s SANDMAN series (with one unused story seeing print later). It's noteworthy for providing the final chance for Wally Wood to ink Kirby's pencils in the 18-page story, which otherwise makes as little sense as most Sandman stories. Doctor Spider manages to capture the Sandman and Glob, and plans to use the Sandman's magic whistle to force President Ford to turn power over to him.

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Unfortunately for him, no one takes Doctor Spider threatening the President with the Sandman's magic whistle very seriously (which is a pretty funny scene, I'll grant you), and Brute and Jed are able to mount an attack and rescue the prisoners.

Wood's inks on Kirby are always interesting. He's not quite as heavy with his own style as he was on some of their 1950s work together, but still a lot more than the usual Kirby inkers of the mid-1970s. While I prefer the style of Royer in general, it was nice to get one example of this kind of inking from the period.

Published 1976

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Captain America #196 - Kill-Derby

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Oh, Cap, if only you knew the degrading spectacles you and your shield would be part of in the 1990s...

In this issue, Cap and the Falcon, on the hunt for the Madbomb, are held in the hidden HQ of the New Society and forced to participate in the violent Kill-Derby in order to recover Cap's shield. Man oh man, wild combat on turbo-charged skateboards, does it get more Kirby than that? Some nice scripting, as Kirby plays off the contrast of the idealistic Cap and Falcon with the greed based thoughts and actions of the New Society. I like this bit from the last page:

SOMEHOW, THE NAZI GHOST NEVER SEEMS TO DIE WITHIN MAN. IT MARCHES WITH INSANE PRIDE... RESPECTING NOTHING... TAKING EVERYTHING AND IGNORING THE PAIN OF OTHERS. CAP SIGHS IN RESIGNATION. HE WILL HAVE TO FIGHT FOR HIS SHIELD.


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D. Bruce Berry inks Kirby on the 17-page story while Frank Giacoia inks the cover.

New Kirby - WHAT IF tpb and CD

The second volume of WHAT IF CLASSIC, including Kirby's cover to #9 as the front cover, and featuring Kirby's full issue from #11 (most recently also reprinted in VISIONARIES v1).

Apparently the Pure Imagination CD-Rom of the first two volumes of THE COMPLETE JACK KIRBY also came out. Anyone pick it up, feel free to comment.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Iron Man #94 - Cover

This cover from the 1970s is a bit too busy with the multiple bits of squiggles and crackle, and probably needs some more differentiated colouring and inking to make it clear that the bottom half is supposed to be underwater. I do like the tech in the background, though.

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Al Milgrom inks on this one.

Published 1976

Thursday, December 15, 2005

--Link-- Kirby Museum Update

There have just been some updates on the Kirby Museum and Research Center site, including adding an online payment option for donations through PayPal, and some pencil pages from this story, including transcripts of Kirby's margin notes.

http://kirbymuseum.org/index.html

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Our Fighting Forces #159 - Mile-a-Minute Jones

This issue features the Losers on a mission in Italy, sent to capture a Nazi general. They encounter Henry Jones, a black American soldier who was in the 1936 Olympics, and his competitor in that race, the German soldier Bruno Borman. The story ends with a great foot race through a mine-field. A lot of fun stuff in here, especially the art which is full of great Kirby action poses, especially anything with Jones in action.

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Mike Royer inks the 18-page story and D. Bruce Berry inks the cover.

Check the Kirby Museum site for a video of Kirby recounting a personal war experience that he used in this story, plus a few pages of pencils from this issue.

Published 1975

Upcoming Kirby - March 2006

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usBig month, the SILVER STAR book, reprinting the entire series from Kirby's pencils, should be interesting, more on that later. My thoughts on the VISIONARIES v2 selection are here . The hardcover for Gi/Ant-Man is surprising. It'll be about half Kirby, including every story he drew for the feature. ESSENTIAL NOVA will have three Kirby covers.




SILVER STAR - GRAPHITE EDITION
160 page 8x11 Trade Paperback - by Jack Kirby
Legendary artist Jack Kirby first conceptualized Silver Star in the mid-1970s as a movie screenplay, complete with illustrations to sell the idea to Hollywood. Too far ahead of its time for Tinseltown, Jack instead adapted his “Visual Novel” as a six- issue mini-series for Pacific Comics in the early 1980s, making it the last original creation of his career. Now, in SILVER STAR: GRAPHITE EDITION, “King” Kirby’s final, great series is collected at last, this time reproduced from his powerful, uninked pencil art! Read the complete story of Homo-Geneticus, the New Breed of humanity that spawns both hero (Silver Star) and villain (the nefarious Darius Drumm), leading to one of the most action- packed narratives and spellbinding climaxes ever conceived on a comics page! And as a special bonus, read Kirby’s provocative screenplay, reproduced in its entirety, including illustrations and never-published character sketches! Plus there’s pin-ups and other rare Kirby art, and an historical overview to put it all in perspective. A percentage of profits from this book go to the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center, so don’t ask, just buy it! $20.00 cover price.





Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usMARVEL VISIONARIES: JACK KIRBY VOL. 2 HC
Written by JACK KIRBY, JOE SIMON & STAN LEE
Pencils & Cover by JACK KIRBY
Humor, horror, westerns, war, romance, espionage and, of course, super-heroic adventure...many domains, but only one King. From the Two-Gun Kid, Sgt. Fury and Agent Jimmy Woo to the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and beyond, the talent of Jack Kirby underlies the history and future of Marvel! See Captain America’s first appearance... all three of them! Witness the first Avengers/X-Men battle, and learn the origin of Professor X! Cower before Doctor Doom, wielding the power of the Silver Surfer! The Yellow Claw! Mangog! Fin Fang Foom! Otherworldly dinosaurs, mutant seagulls and more await as comicdom’s commemoration of Kirby continues!
Collects CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1, MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #23, YELLOW CLAW #4, STRANGE TALES #89 and #114, TWO-GUN KID #60, LOVE ROMANCES #103, X-MEN #9, TALES OF SUSPENSE #59, SGT FURY #13, FANTASTIC FOUR #57-60, NOT BRAND ECCH #1, THOR #154-157, and DEVIL DINOSAUR #1.
344 PGS. $34.99
ISBN: 0-7851-2094-7
Trim size: Oversized



MARVEL MASTERWORKS: ANT-MAN/GIANT-MAN VOL. 1
Written by STAN LEE, LARRY LIEBER & ERNIE HART
Penciled by JACK KIRBY, DON HECK, LARRY LIEBER & DICK AYERS
Cover by JACK KIRBY
Burned under the magnifying glass of overwhelming demand, Mighty Marvel has given in to give you our smallest hero in his big Masterworks debut! Lee and Kirby’s second hero creation, scientist Hank Pym, invented an amazing growth serum and a cybernetic helmet making him the Astonishing Ant-Man! Teamed up with the winsome Wasp, the tiny twosome battle a sensational array of mini- and maxi-sized menaces from the Scarlet Beetle to the Black Knight! And if that’s not enough to occupy a man of science, he’s also defending the good ol’ U.S. of A’s secrets from the commie hordes! But we’ve got more than just miniature mayhem for you, True Believer. You can look forward to the birth of the biggest Avenger there ever was—Giant-Man—so run, don’t walk, and reserve your copy today!
Collecting TALES TO ASTONISH #27, 35-52
288 PGS. $49.99
ISBN: 0-7851-2049-1




ESSENTIAL NOVA VOL. 1 TPB
Written by MARV WOLFMAN & LEN WEIN
Penciled by JOHN BUSCEMA, SAL BUSCEMA, CARMINE INFANTINO, GENE COLAN & ROSS ANDRU
Cover by JOHN BUSCEMA
Before NEW WARRIORS, Nova was one of the seventies’ most scintillating stars and it shows! Be it murder mystery or cosmic clash, the Human Rocket rises to the occasion! Historic heroes! Futuristic fiends! War with the Skrulls! Special guest-appearances by Spider-Man, the Thing and... Moses!? Collects NOVA #1-25, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #171 and MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE ANNUAL #3.
512 PGS. $16.99
ISBN: 0-7851-2093-9

Monday, December 12, 2005

Avengers #152 - Cover

Some nice skeleton action on this cover, very moody. I'm not sure what's going on with the villain, though, with some sort of bird motif on the mask, lionish hands. Dan Adkins provides the inking on this one.

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Published 1976

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sgt. Fury #17 - Cover

A very deatiled cover of the Howlers in a tight jam. Lots of really nice texture work on various parts of the composition and small details, and I'm going to have to give props to Colletta for doing it justice.

These SGT. FURY covers that Kirby did while not drawing the book are really quite a treat, he was clearly having some fun with them.

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Published 1965

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Star Spangled Comics #36 - Cover

From the middle of the wartime run of S&K covers-only for the Newsboy Legion, the Legion figures in the background are a bit bland, but more than made up for by the foreground scene and crazy gun-toting short cowboy action.

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Published 1944

Thor #138 - The Flames of Battle

Of course I love the Kirby leaps, strides and punches, but one of my favourite Kirby visual cues (and one far less copied than the big ones) is the quieter hand across the chin when a character is thinking or planning. Not sure why, but it always makes me smile when I see that pose, very well constructed and telling, especially when you've got some good crazy eye-action to go along with it.

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This issue continues the great Troll War, as Thor goes down to Earth to rescue Sif, imprisoned by Ulik, while in Asgard the forces of King Geirrodur, guided by the powers of the captive Orikal, launch an all out attack on Asgard, where even Odin armours up for combat. This is just a gorgeous story, full of big battles and big concepts.

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In the Tales of Asgard back-up, Thor and his compatriots are in the middle of "The Quest for the Mystic Mountain", which brings them in battle with the monstrous one-eyed guardian of Wizar the Prophet. Always good to see Thor against a monster, and a good Volstagg joke to end the story.

Colletta inks the cover, 16-page lead and 5-page backup.

Published 1967

Friday, December 09, 2005

Black Panther #1 - King Solomon's Frog

Kirby takes back control of one of his creations from a decade earlier with this issue, jumping right into a wild ride as T'Challa has been led on a mission by collector Abner Little, an acquaintance of his grandfather. The find King Solomon's brass frog, which turns out to be a time machine, responsible for all sorts of strange historical happenings, including Ali Baba's Genie (?) and the Loch Ness Monster.

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The beings the frog summons have the unfortunate tendency to kill their summoners without the control codes found in Solomon's tomb. Unfortunately after finding the frog, they're confronted by Princess Zanda, another collector, and in the ensuing battle Mister Little is apparently killed and the frog is activated, bringing forth the futuristic Hatch-22.

Kirby's run on Panther had a few problems, but it more than makes up for them with some of the inspired goofiness, epitomized by Abner Little and the search for a time machine in a brass frog being the opening gambit.

Mike Royer inks the cover and 17-page story. Kirby also writes a text page about his plans for the series.

Published 1977

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

X-Men - The Early Years #10 - The Coming of Ka-Zar

A reprint from X-MEN #10 (1965) in this issue, as the X-Men hear about a mysterious being down in the Antarctic, and suspecting it may be a mutant (and craving some adventure) they go down and find a hidden land of long-extinct beasts and of course Ka-Zar (pronounced Kay-Sar, but since I didn't see that helpful hint until a few years after I first saw the character I still pronounce it the other way. Of course, I also still say "Mag-net-o"). In a not-then-quite-as-cliche turn of events, they fight...

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...and then they team up to rescue captured members Marvel Girl and the Angel. Along the way are a few dinosaurs, mastodons and other assorted creatures.

Chic Stone inks the 20-page story and the original cover reprinted inside. Not my favourite of Stone's ink jobs, really. While I've grown to appreciate his work a lot more over the past few years, this one has a few more of the clunky bits that detractors of Stone's work tend to mention. Still, there are some good bits, especially a few of the shots of Zabu.

Published 1995

Tales of Suspense #49 - Cover

Boy, thank goodness the people at "X-Men" magazine were willing to work with those people at "Tales of Suspense" magazine to allow this crossover. I wonder what that special arrangement entailed?

Sol Brodsky inks (uncertain, see the comments) on this attractive cover. I love anything that gives a different kind of view of those great Kirby cityscapes, and Iron Man's then-new armour looks great on here.

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Published 1964

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Admin - FF DVD note

Just a quick note that the just-released DVD of the FF movie (featuring characters created by Jack Kirby) does not have the previously mentioned one hour documentary about Kirby that was mentioned in the most recent KIRBY COLLECTOR. It might show up on some as-yet-unscheduled "special edition".

Marvel Premiere #26 - Cover

Kirby contributed a cover to this issue spotlighting one of the most fun supporting character from his classic THOR run. I like this one a lot, even with the Colletta inks, it captures a lot of the look of the mid-1960s work. I think Kirby could have had a lot of fun with a Hercules solo series.

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Published 1975

Boy Commandos #14 - Cover

I love the look of the inking on the ship on this cover, and the overall look of the pirates. This is probably my favourite of the non-war themed BC covers.

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Published 1946

Monday, December 05, 2005

Avengers #17 - Cover

After introducing the new line-up, Kirby was back on just covers for AVENGERS with this issue (although there are some minor touch-ups on the interior art of this issue that some people think Kirby had a hand in). This cover is nicely inked by Frank Giacoia, and I love the look of the bad-guy on here, as well as one of those great Scarlet Witch poses.

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Published 1965

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Fantastic Four #189 - The Torch That Was

Probably thanks to some deadline issues, a couple of 1977 issues of FANTASTIC FOUR wound up carrying Kirby reprints, like this one from FF ANNUAL #4 (1966). This is the story that briefly returns the original Human Torch to life, thanks to the work of the Thinker, as Johnny and Wyatt briefly return from their quest for the Inhumans, thanks to Lockjaw. Love the Lockjaw.

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The original Torch is a reluctant tool of the Thinker, trying to defeat the Johnny in the desert, until the rest of the FF find them and take the battle to the Thinker. Also of interest in this issue is the Thinker's other ally, the intelligent machine known as Quasimodo, which is one of those great throwaway Kirby creations who I assume returned at some point after his two brief FF ANNUAL bits, since the new (non-Kirby) cover makes a point of mentioning this was his introduction.

Joe Sinnott inks the 19-page story.

Published 1977

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Devil Dinosaur #9 - The Witch and the Warp

Devil Dinosaur makes a brief trip to modern day Nevada in this final issue of the series, as he falls into a mysterious time-warp in the forbidden pits of the Valley.

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Fortunately, with the help of the Hag and her son, Moonboy is able to bring Devil back where he belongs, and they depart for greener places. As did Kirby, with this issue marking the end of his 1970s tenure at Marvel, moving to animation full time for the next few years. "...and thus endeth the Chronicle..."

Seeing Devil rampaging through modern America is pretty cool, although I thought that less was done with this story than I'd have hoped for. Another victim of the tiny page counts of the era, I guess.

Mike Royer inks the 17-page story and John Byrne inks the cover.

Published 1978

Friday, December 02, 2005

Challengers of the Unknown #78

This was the first issue of CHALLENGERS in two years when it came out, and reprints two stories from 1959, although changing the Challs jumpsuits from the original purple to a red/yellow combination.

First up, "The Isle of No Return", a 12-page Kirby/Wood story from CotU #7. Investigating a thief using advanced scientific devices. They follow him to an island (with June along as a stowaway), and find out that the thief has even more devices, stolen from a now dead reclusive scientist, including a device which shrinks the Challs.

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Fortunately June is able to find them, and with some help from a pet parrot and the late scientist's own safeguards they manage to defeat him.

Next is "The Sorceress of Forbidden Valley", also Kirby/Wood, a 10-pager from CotU #6. This time June is flying through a storm and is forced to make a crash-landing on a mysterious island. The Challs go looking for her, and find her with magical powers and under the control of a criminal who had found a hidden city. Fortunately they're able to escape.

I don't think the half-issue stories for the Challengers are as good as the full issue stories, they all seem to end kind of abruptly, but they do give Kirby a good chance to draw various scenes, like a hidden city and a lab packed with scientific wonders.

The cover is also reprinted from CotU #7, with a few minor modifications, and the splash page is a reprint of the Kirby/Stein introduction to the team that appeared in CotU #1 (1958).

Published 1973

Thursday, December 01, 2005

New Kirby - Giant-Size Invaders #2

Apparently out now, GIANT-SIZE INVADERS #2 is a $5 special with a short new story and several reprints, including the first ever reprint of the S&K Captain America story from ALL-WINNERS COMICS #2 (1941) (the second ever reprint, along with the S&K story from #1 will be in a few months in a Masterworks hardcover).

Kamandi #10 - Killer Germ

My own commentary on posts is going to be a bit briefer than normal for the next little while.

This issue of KAMANDI concludes the trip down to South America and the Tracking Site where Ben Boxer and his companions come from. Down there they find giant savage bats, mutant germs and a mental freak. Kamandi also gets to see a tape of Ben Boxer's father, explaining some of their experiments and how it led to the powers Ben, Steve and Renzi share.

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This is one of my favourite issues of KAMANDI, with lots of crazy sci-fi and horror concepts, non-stop action and lots of great artwork.

Mike Royer inks the cover and 20-page story.

Published 1973

--Link-- DC Stamps (one with Kirby art)

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe US Post Office is releasing some stamps next year featuring DC super-heroes. Among the 20 stamp set is one featuring Green Arrow by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer (taken from the cover of GREEN ARROW BY JACK KIRBY, which was actually a Bulls-Eye image modified to look like GA in the inks).

Apparently 2007 will feature a similar set for Marvel, which should have significantly more Kirby.

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