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

Monday, February 27, 2006

Daring Mystery Comics #8 - Cover

DARING MYSTERY COMICS #8, 1942. You gotta feel for Blue Diamond. Right there on the cover, but grouped in with "and others" in the blurb, which names the other guys, and even the gal in the inset.



Anyway, a book of the also-rans of the early Marvel line, the highlight of most of these guys careers has to be having Jack Kirby draw them on a cover just before he left Marvel the first time.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Champ Comics #18 - Cover

CHAMP COMICS #18, 1941. Another wartime cover for Harvey, this one signed with the "Jon Henri" pen-name. Don't try to think too much about how exactly the Liberty Lads got the jump on those Japanese pilots in mid-flight, much less how the Japanese pilots could attack Washington DC.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Marvel Super Action #3 - The Sleeper Strikes

This issue has an edited reprint of CAPTAIN AMERICA #102 (1968). One change made is right on the splash page, where a reference to the Lovin' Spoonful is changed to Blue Oyster Cult. How hip. Anyway, Cap still has the control key for the Fourth Sleeper from last issue, but doesn't know how to use it. He battles with the Red Skull's agents, and is rescued by Agent 13, and they go out in pursuit of the Sleeper. Lots of good fighting throughout, although the end is a bit abrupt. One of the two pages edited is just a splash of the destruction when the Sleeper attacks, but another is kind of crucial to the climax of the story, so was a pretty bad cut.

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Syd Shores inks the cover and edited-to-18-page story. There's also some of the usual meddling on the cover, moving figures slightly. I'm still not a huge fan of Shores' inks on Kirby during this time, and the linework of his that got lost the first time around suffers even more in the reprints.

Published 1977

Friday, February 24, 2006

World Around Us #31

Among Kirby's work for Gilberton published in 1961, in addition to his one full issue of CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED, were a few short bits in five issues of THE WORLD AROUND US. This issue's theme was Hunting, and Kirby contributed 12 pages, inked by Dick Ayers.

The Kirby starts on the title page, an image of some hunters getting ready to take down a bear with spears and arrows. The archer's pose in the foreground is especially nice.

Later in the issue is the 6-page "Early Hunters" chapter, which has a quick summary of a few thousand years of mankind, starting with hunting with clubs and wandering from place to place as hunter/gatherers, and then developing more complex weapons and hunting techniques. Then follows the discovery of farming, allowing for permanent villages, and domesticating animals.

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Following some non-Kirby stuff is the 5-page "An End to Slaughter", which starts with the story of Theodore Roosevelt, starting with a quick look at his buffalo hunting as a youth, bear hunting as President and his post-presidency African safari. The story then goes to Roosevelt's role in expanding the National Park system in the US and inspiring similar efforts around the world, and a look at protected lands in other countries and the importance of following hunting laws, getting proper licenses and all the rest.

This isn't a bad sample of Kirby's art, although clearly doing short vignettes, single panels on a theme, doesn't really play to his story-telling strengths. There are also a few bits every now and then in the art that just feel off, which are likely panels or parts of panels that the Gilberton folks had redrawn, either by Kirby or by another artist to meet their standards of accuracy. A few of the animals seem to suffer from this on Kirby's pages.

This issue also includes a lot of art by Sam Glanzman and a few pages by Pete Morisi, so is worth checking out for more than the Kirby.

Published 1961

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Star Spangled Comics #40 - Cover

STAR SPANGLED COMICS #40, 1945. Boy, is that a complicated flying machine for robbing a bank. If it actually works, you could sell the patent for more than a bank robbery would haul in, and not get beat up by a bunch of kids and a moonlighting cop.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

2001 - A Space Odyssey #5 - Norton of New York 2040 AD

This issue starts what is my favourite of Kirby's SPACE ODYSSEY series, with a tale of the near future. First we start with Harvey Norton, who participates in some live action super-hero roleplaying as White Zero in Comicsville. In the middle of the game he encounters the Monolith, which awakens a sense of wonder in him that makes the unreality of the game stand out in sharp contrast.

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Later he's at an artificial beach, opening his eyes to the fact that the whole world he lives in is just as fake as the game. "It's a comfortable Hades -- and not without beauty -- but is it enough for Harvey Norton?" is what he's driven to ask, and the answer is clearly no, as the Monolith appears again and pushes his curiosity in the direction of space, so that two years later Norton is in orbit around Neptune when an alien ship is detected, and they encounter a strange beautiful alien woman. Soon after they see her, their ship is confronted by a giant alien ship.

Wonderful story progression, echoing the original movie without mimicking any of the story beats, and a lot of thought clearly went into the "comfortable Hades" of the future that Norton was eventually driven to escape.

Mike Royer inks the cover and 17-page story.

Published 1977 AD

Boy Commandos #13 - Cover

BOY COMMANDOS #13 - 1945. Nothing like some patriotic propaganda late in the war, actually the final war-themed cover for the series. Of course, the boys would be coming home for stateside adventures soon, and had already lost one member for this cover.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Marvel Milestone Edition: X-Men #1 - X-Men

Another of Marvel's series of cover-to-cover reprints, this one of course the debut of the X-Men and their main villain, Magneto. It's a pretty compact first issue, with the characters first showing off their powers in a practice session, then introducing themselves to their newest member, Jean Grey. Soon after the first mutant menace that Professor X gathered them to defend mankind against makes his presence known.

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I always liked Magneto, I thought Kirby hit the ground running with him and Professor X, while the actual X-Men I thought took a few issues to get both their characters and body language right. Anyway, they manage to drive off Magneto, winning the admiration of the army. That wouldn't last...

Paul Reinman inks the 23-page story, and Sol Brodsky is usually credited with the inks on the cover, though that's hardly a consensus. This issue also includes two house-ads, one for a Spider-Man issue and one for SGT. FURY #3, interesting in that it promotes the book as having "the same inimitable style, by the same writer and artist" as the FF, without actually naming the writer or artist.

Published 1991

Saturday, February 18, 2006

New Kirby - Fury Masterworks

The SGT. FURY MASTERWORKS hardcover, including all of Kirby's full stories for the book (he did covers and a few interior pages in later issues) is out now. Have to say, I don't usually pick up Masterworks books, but I'm tempted by this one (if I didn't just pick up the TALES TO ASTONISH book I'd probably get it right away). If there isn't an ESSENTIAL FURY in the next year I'll probably get it.

Much more obscure, ESSENTIAL MOON KNIGHT should have a single Kirby cover among its 500+ pages. Might be worth picking up otherwise, if you like that kind of thing.

Silver Star #6 - The Angel of Death

Kirby concludes the series in this issue, where Darius Drumm first destroys his own world and his followers, and then flies off in his demonic form to scour the Earth.

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Brute force on the part of both Silver Star and the army fail to stop Drumm, but Silver Star is ultimately able to use a psychological attack.

This is a really mixed issue, with a few really good scenes but ultimately the climax is just too short, and falls right at the end so we never get to find out what happens next. The art is also kind of variable, it's almost hard to believe that Kirby drew it all around the same time, with some strong bits and other parts having all the flaws associated with Kirby's later work.

D. Bruce Berry inks the 20-page story and Mike Thibodeaux inks the cover.

Published 1984

Remember, this and more will be reprinted in the upcoming SILVER STAR GRAPHITE EDITION from TwoMorrows, with part of the proceeds going to the Kirby Museum.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Eternals #13 - Astronauts

Tode, leader of the Deviants, has decided that that big Celestial mothership out in orbit has to go, and sends up a giant bomb ship on a suicide mission. Meanwhile, NASA is also curious and sends up a shuttle to take photos of the ship. Meanwhile, the rest of the Eternals are busy in the Uni-Mind ritual, so Sprite is left to detect the danger and decides to enlist the help of the Forgotten One, a nameless Eternal exiled by Zuras for his pride and meddling in human affairs (and implied to be the source of various hero myths, I think he was made to be explicitly the source of the Gilgamesh story in later non-Kirby stories).

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Sprite creates a space-suit and ship for the Forgotten One and then the representatives of the three races of Earth converge on the ship of the One Above All, who acts quickly and efficiently by switching the crews of the three ships, letting them each fulfill their missions after a fashion.

I think these side-stories in this series are often better than the main action with Ikaris and the others. Kirby clearly had a vast mythology that he only started to explore, and this issue has a nice sense of wonder and discovery.

Mike Royer inks the cover and 17-page story.

Published 1977

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Marvel's Greatest Comics #50 - When Opens the Cocoon

This issue reprints FANTASTIC FOUR #67 (1967), the second half of the storyline that introduces Him. It was mentioned in the KIRBY COLLECTOR a while back that this was a bit of a turning point on Kirby's silver age run at Marvel, as his concept for this story was turned on its head when the first half was scripted, and after this point he created very few memorable new characters for Marvel in the next three years (while of course doing the concept art that would form the basis of the Fourth World).

Despite being a bit of a mid-course correction it's still an entertaining story, as the FF work on how to follow the mysterious scientists who have kidnapped Alicia in order to use her blindness and artistic ability to study the mysterious creation in the "cocoon".

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That's a great four-panel zoom on Alicia there. And of course Reed with his "working hard" beard growth.

Reed's able to duplicate the wristband of the scientists (interestingly using technology that is pretty clearly nanotechnology, I believe several years before the expression existed) and the boys journey to the Citadel of Science and manage to rescue Alicia just as the cocoon opens and a golden figure who departs from a world not ready for him, destroying the Citadel in the process.

Joe Sinnott inks the cover and 20-page story.

Published 1974

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Upcoming Kirby - Marvel in May 2006

Big item this month is the tenth FF volume of MARVEL MASTERWORKS, including the last issues of Kirby's continuous run, with a few post-Kirby issues and some other special stuff included. Also, far more minor, the second ESSENTIAL volume of the original X-Men series has a handful of covers that Kirby did the pencils or layouts for.




Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usMARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 10
Written by STAN LEE
Penciled by JACK KIRBY & JOHN ROMITA
Cover by JACK KIRBY
Certifiably the World's Greatest Comic Collaboration, the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Fantastic Four run stands as one of the high-water marks in the history of the medium. The ten titanic years on the title laid the very foundation of the Marvel Universe, and birthed more amazing concepts and creative characters than perhaps any series before or since. In this tenth Masterworks volume, we celebrate the entire Lee/Kirby run with essays by critics, creators and luminaries in the field of comics.
But it just ain't waxing nostalgic, True Believer! This is a Marvel comic, after all! Expect plenty of explosive action and family drama a-go-go as the FF build up to their 100th issue featuring everyone from Doc Doom to Dragon Man! They'll also help mankind take one giant leap when the Kree's robot Sentry tries to stop the Apollo 11 moon landing! Just for good measure, we'll throw in the uncanny Inhumans and Attilan, and the whole shebang comes to a head when the mutant menace, Magneto, teams up with Namor in a bid to conquer the world and Nixon is not pleased!
Collecting FANTASTIC FOUR #94-104.
272 PGS./All Ages ...$49.99
ISBN: 0-7851-2061-0


ESSENTIAL CLASSIC X-MEN VOL. 2
Written by ROY THOMAS, GARY FRIEDRICH & ARNOLD DRAKE
Penciled by WERNER ROTH, JACK SPARLING, DAN ADKINS, ROSS ANDRU, DON HECK, GEORGE TUSKA, JIM STERANKO, BARRY SMITH
& JOHN BUSCEMA
Cover by GIL KANE
Enemies both infamous and obscure abound in another archive of the X-Men's early adventures! Mainstay malefactors like Magneto and the Juggernaut are joined by the thunderous threat of Factor Three! Plus: the first appearances of Banshee and Polaris! Mimic vs. the Super-Adaptoid! Subterranean civil war! The X-Men's first individualistic uniforms! The return of a Golden Age great...and the death of Professor X!? Guest-starring Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and the Avengers! Featuring Ogre of Thunderbolts fame! Collects X-MEN #25-53 and AVENGERS #53.
632 PGS./All Ages ...$16.99
ISBN: 0-7851-2116-1

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Original Young Romance Group

A few of the non-photo covers from the early S&K romance books at Prize, YOUNG ROMANCE #2, #5, #7 and YOUNG LOVE #13, #17 and #21.




Sunday, February 12, 2006

Black Panther #11 - Kiber the Cruel

Kirby begins another story in this issue, although one he wouldn't be around to finish. T'Challa has been having dreams of an impending menace, as he seems to have new ESP powers following his exposure to the vibranium mound the previous issue, from which he's still recovering.

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Another of the royal family, Khanata, is captured by the mysterious Kiber, forcing T'Challa to go against medical advice and again don the costume of the Panther to rescue him.

This last bit of the Panther's saga at Kirby's hand isn't my favourite, mostly because I know we never got Kirby's ending to it. Kirby does still show a lot of enthusiasm in parts, though, so the art is nice.

Mike Royer inks the 17-page story and Joe Sinnott inks the cover.

Published 1978

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Kamandi #4 - The Devil's Arena

Kamandi and company stock up on supplies in the ruins of Las Vegas this issue, where among other things Kamandi finds a copy of THE DEMON #1. Before they can leave they find themselves in the middle of a war between the gorillas and the tigers, and Kamandi is taken prisoner by the gorillas. Thrown in with some of those less intelligent humans, Kamandi leads them in an escape and then finds his way to the cell of a tiger prisoner, Prince Tuftan.

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Kamandi finds out that Tuftan allowed himself to be taken prisoner so he could be on the inside during a full tiger attack and steal an ancient human warplane that would make the tigers dominant his father Caesar's quest for world domination. Kamandi realizes that such an act would doom what's left of humanity and destroys the plane in order to ensure mankind gets a second chance.

A nice action-packed look at some of the battles going on in Kirby's post-disaster Earth, I especially liked Kamandi leading the escape from the gorillas. Tuftan is also a lot of fun, it's a shame he was never more than a semi-regular in the series, vanishing for long stretches.

Mike Royer inks the cover and 22-page story.

Published 1973

This issue is available in the recent KAMANDI ARCHIVES v1

Foxhole #4 - Cover

FOXHOLE #4. The war title in S&K's Mainline universe had a lot of intense covers like this one. I feel like I should make an Apokolips Now joke every time I see it, though. That's some really nice colouring, too.

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Published 1955

Friday, February 10, 2006

Marvel Tales #124 - ...And Finally: Black Bolt

Reprints of the Inhumans backup get to the tale of Black Bolt in this story from THOR #148 (1968). First it's established that he's a beloved ruler who keeps his people safe. Then we look back in time on the Historikon and find out that when he was an infant his ability to manipulate energy and matter was even greater than it is now, but he had a scream outside the sonic range that brings the house down.

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Of course his own powers protect him, but obviously something is going to have to be done to protect everyone else from him.

I always thought the ideas behind the origin of Black Bolt were intriguing, but we really didn't get more than a hint of them in these little 5-page snippits. A shame, as he's a great character.

Joe Sinnott inks the 5-page story.

Published 1981

Sgt. Fury #25 - Cover

SGT. FURY #25. Last cover Kirby did for the book, though by this time he was drawing an older Nick over in STRANGE TALES. Nicely ominous layout with the shadows. The inker for this is uncertain, regular commenter Nick suggests John Tartaglione as a possibility in the GCD entry.

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Published 1965

New Kirby - House of Mystery / Marvel Monsters

Two new Kirby reprints apparently out this week.

One Kirby reprint of a reprint should be in SHOWCASE PRESENTS: HOUSE OF MYSTERY VOL. 1, "The Negative Man" from HoM #84 in 1959, as reprinted in HoM #194. Lots of other good black and white stuff from the first two years of the Joe Orlando edited book.

Can anyone confirm that the MARVEL MONSTERS hardcover reprints the same four monster stories that were in the one-shots published last October?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Forever People #2 - Super War


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That Big Bear just cracks me up sometimes.

Anyway, as their second issue opens, the Forever People find themselves attracting attention as the Super-Cycle is blocking traffic. They phase-out to another area where they meet a young boy and his uncle, who Beautiful Dreamer pacifies by making them seem like clean-cut kids, and set up with them for a while. However, an attack from Apokolips in the form of the power vampire Mantis, who Darkseid hopes will generate enough fear to bring out the Anti-Life Equation (and thus introducing the very creepy DeSaad), forces the kids to bring in the Infinity Man to defeat Mantis.

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It's a good story, although once the Infinity Man stuff starts it's like a whole different thing, and you want to see more of the Forever People and their story, so I guess it's not surprising that Kirby wrote him out after a few issues.

Colletta inks the 22-page story and the cover, which has a photo collage background.

Published 1971

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Challengers of the Unknown #80 - The Day the Earth Blew Up

This issue concludes the brief 3-issue run CotU had as a reprint book in 1973 with the story from SHOWCASE #11 (1957), though re-coloured to feature the groups later red and yellow jumpsuits instead of the classic purple. The aliens were also changed from orange to green.

In this story the Challs are sent down to find some missing scientists in Antarctica. While there they find the scientists in the clutches of an alien invasion force, the Tyrans, who plan some major explosions to reduce the gravity of the planet more to their liking, as well as destroy human civilization making us ripe for conquest. Some great artwork in the underground alien lair, and later on there's a great huge alien machine which comes out of the ocean.

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Bruno Premiani, best known as the co-creator of the Doom Patrol and his long stint on Tomahawk, inks the 24-page story. This might be his only time inking Kirby, unless he did some while working for S&K at Crestwood (the Kirby Checklist lists him on SHOWCASE #12 as well, but it looks quite different and I think DC's recent George Klein credit seems more likely). I really like his work on this, reminding me a lot of the texture that Wally Wood brought to later stories but not nearly as overwhelming. This might be my favourite inking in a Challengers story, which had a lot of good inking. It's also interesting that this seems to be Premiani's only DC credit in a several year period when he apparently wasn't even living in the United States. Was this done well before it was published? Or was it just a job Premiani picked up while visiting from Argentina?

Published 1973

This story is available in CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN ARCHIVES v1.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Admin - Welcome to newcomers

Gotten a lot of new hits today (already four times my previous high) thanks to a link on Boingboing, by way of Irregular Orbit, via Video Watchblog, who found the place from Bubblegumfink's sidebar (it was pretty funny tracing that back, was wondering how many steps it would take). Welcome all, hope you enjoy looking around, check the links on the sidebar for previous posts, Kirby work in print (in particular check out the Jack Kirby Collector) and be sure to visit the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center.

In Love #5 - Cover

IN LOVE #5, 1955, published by Charlton. One of the titles taken over from Mainline and featuring left-over work from the ill-fated Simon&Kirby publishing venture, with just a cover with S&K art on this one. It's kind of interesting that this is promising 10 complete (presumably very short) stories, since the tagline for the Mainline IN LOVE was "Book Length Love Novel", with the covers made out to look like prose romance novels. I wonder if there was a long story meant for this cover (whether by S&K or not) that was unused or appeared in another Charlton book.

(by the way, if anyone has the Mainline IN LOVE #4, it's among the few Kirby-cover-only books that I still need a scan of, so it would be appreciated)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Amazing Adventures #1 - The Inhumans

Hm, the Inhumans and the Black Widow "In one mag together - Because You Demanded It"? I wonder how many letters they got actually demanding a split-book with those characters?

Anyway, after years of saying it was coming, the Inhumans finally got their own feature, written and drawn by Kirby, just before he left the company. In this issue, after a brief intro with the FF reviewing some film of the Inhumans, we see the royal family repel an attempt by some soldiers trying to find the Great Refuge, and then seeing their home attacked by a pair of missiles, sent by the exiled Maximus but designed to look like it came from the FF, sending those oh-so-paranoid Inhumans on the attack.

Not a bad start, although this brief run did get a bit weaker through the run, as I'm sure Kirby was ready to work on the next thing by this time.

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Chic Stone inks the 10-page story, which is a bit better than his work on the later two issues of this four issue run, but still not close to his early 1960s run inking Kirby. The cover is split for the two features, with Kirby just doing the Inhumans half, inked by Frank Giacoia.

Published 1970

12 years ago today...

12 years ago today, Jack Kirby passed away at age 76.

Kirby video on WWII experience at the Kirby Museum.

Kirby videos at TVparty.

Daredevil #43 - Cover

DAREDEVIL #43, 1968, inked by Joe Sinnott. I guess the Captain America guest appearance was the impetus for bringing Kirby back on DD covers for one issue several years in. Whatever the reason, that's a great action pose for the two characters. You can see why Kirby was so often employed to do covers for books he didn't draw interiors for.



Regular DD artist of the time Gene Colan did an unused cover to this issue, with DD more prominant than Cap (and giving Cap a whupping). You can see a version of it here. So presumably the Kirby version was commissioned either to give Cap a larger place or not having him as the underdog.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Spidey Super Stories #20 - Cover

SPIDEY SUPER STORIES #20, 1976, inked by John Romita. Kirby got tapped for two issues of this surprisingly long running book that spun off from the Electric Company TV show's Spidey segments. Both featured FF related characters (the other had the Surfer and Doom). Romita's inks are, as usual, pull the work a bit heavier towards his own style, but still a pretty attractive cover.

New Kirby - Marvel Romance TPB

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usThe MARVEL ROMANCE collection is out now. As mentioned before, featuring these Kirby stories:

"The Summer Must End!"
From Teen-Age Romance #84 (November 1961)

"By Love Betrayed!"
"Give Back My Heart!"
From Love Romances #102 (November 1962)

"The Dream World of Doris Wilson!"
"If Your Heart I Break---"
From Love Romances #103 (January 1963)

And other promising non-Kirby stuff.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Where Monsters Dwell #3

Three Kirby reprints in this issue. "Grottu, King Of The Insects" leads off the book, 6-pager by Kirby/Everett reprinted from STRANGE TALES #73 (1960), part of the giant-insect series. This time the beast is an African army ant, exposed to atomic radiation from a Russian test and quickly growing and gaining intelligence.

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Rumours of the creature spread to America, where one of those generic Kirby adventurers hears about it and goes to check it out, just in time for Grottu to make his move on a port city where he'll lead his ant army on a cruise of world conquest. He ends up getting one of the most embarrassing deaths of his species, as he's buried in sugar and crushed by his own army.

I think this is the only giant monster story Everett inked over Kirby, although he also did a few westerns and later worked over some Kirby layouts for the Hulk and had a very impressive run as inker on Thor. Looks really good on this short story.

STRANGE TALES #72 (1959) is the source for the 5-page "I Fought The Colossus" by Kirby/Ditko. Posted about it from another reprint here, I'll just add that I really like the futuristic architecture.

Finally from STRANGE TALES #78 (1960) is "A Martian Walks Among Us", a Kirby/Ayers 7-page story. Great splash page (and remember you can always find out more about these stories, including the splash pages, over at the MonsterBlog), one of the creepiest of Kirby's splash pages for the monster stories. The story is about a man who is attacked by a Martian invader who steals his form, and then pursues the alien for the rest of the story, somehow knowing how to make an infra-red detector to see through the disguise abilities. He's able to stop the impending invasion, and it turns out the "human" was actually a Venusian, sworn to protect the Earth from invasion.

The cover can just barely be called a reprint of the ST #73 cover, with the original Kirby/Everett Grottu figure preserved but the entire background redrawn by Marie Severin and Bill Everett.

Published 1970

Friday, February 03, 2006

Ghost Rider #22 - Cover

GHOST RIDER #22 - February 1977, inked by Al Milgrom. Another one of those odd choices of cover assignments for Kirby, he did three covers for GHOST RIDER in around this time. Looking at the series as a whole it looks like the intent was to give the book more of a super-hero flavour, playing down the super-natural stuff from earlier, so I guess having Kirby on the covers was a part of that.

Marvel Tales #145 - Spider-Man Tackles the Torch

This issue of reprints the contents of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 (1964), including the 6-page Kirby/Ditko backup story. Oddly, Spidey knows that Doris Evans is the Torch's girlfriend in this issue, but doesn't recognize her when he meets her a year later in ASM #21. Anyway, a great example of an early Marvel crossover story, with Spidey deciding to tease the Torch, quickly finding himself in way over his head before the rest of the FF intervene, finally being pacified by Sue. Nice artwork, too, except the reprint loses some of the finer linework, which especially makes the webbing and the Thing look splotchy.

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Published 1982

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Our Fighting Forces #153 - Devastator vs. Big Max

This is probably the silliest of Kirby's dozen Losers stories. In this European based story we begin with Hitler, Himmler and Rommel examining the new german super-weapon, a hundred-foot long gun with a 38-mile range called "Unser Max" (Our Max). An allied agent is detected among the german soldiers and killed, but mentions the allied weapon "The Devastator" before he dies.

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The Devastator turns out to be the idea of Private Rodney Rumpkin, aka Rocketship Rumpkin, a fan of sci-fi pulps and comics and the fanciful weapons in those stories. The allies build a hollow model of such a super-weapon in order to make the germans use Big Max in daylight, revealing its location for a waiting airstrike.

As I said, a bit silly, but with a lot of charm, and some great art, from the scenes of the Max-induced destruction to the fanciful pulp covers.

Mike Royer inks the 18-page story, as well as the 2-page feature on WWII uniforms and insignias. D. Bruce Berry inks the cover, and Kirby also writes a text page, "Before the letters begin..." talking about how the stories will reflect his own experiences and welcoming feedback.

Published 1975

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Marvel Premiere #35 - Cover

MARVEL PREMIERE #35 - April 1977, inked by John Verpoorten (with background panels from the interior art by Jim Craig and Dave Hunt). Not a bad character to go with Kirby's style, though a bit bland, and the back-story and premise presented in this issue is truly mind-numbing stuff. And I'm not sure why you'd do a 3-D Man comic that, y'know, isn't in 3-D.