Archive for Jack Kirby

It’s Good to Be the King!

Ladies and gentlemen, today would have been Jack Kirby’s 95th birthday. Shall we pay tribute to his awesomeness?

He’s still the King of Comics.

Comments off

Happy Birthday, Jack Kirby!

Jack Kirby was born on this date in 1917.







All hail the King of Comics.

Comments off

The Return of Smilin’ Stan and Joltin’ Jack


Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure

Here’s something that completely got away from me for several weeks. A “Fantastic Four” story that should have been published in the 103rd issue in 1970. Artist extraordinaire Jack Kirby had turned in his pencils for the issue, but writer Stan Lee apparently needed more time to work on the dialogue, and by the time the story got put back on the publication schedule, the issue needed to be chopped up and altered even more to make it fit in with extra continuity. The altered story was published in issue #108, but Marvel has now reconstructed Stan and Jack’s original story here for the first time.

And what is our story? New York City is attacked by an evil genius who calls himself Janus the Mega-Man. He has technology that allows him to knock the stuffing out of the Thing and the Human Torch, and Mr. Fantastic worries that his weapons may be powerful enough to destroy the city, or even the entire world! Reed remembers a classmate named Janus who resembled the Janus who attacked New York and visits him in Kansas. But he was injured in an accident years ago and can’t get around without his crutches. Besides, he’s a complete milquetoast — surely he couldn’t be the maniac responsible. And in fact, it’s a case of good twin/evil twin — Janus the Mega-Man is a bully and thug lording his powers over his good but weak-willed brother. Can the FF find a way to defeat the Janus brothers before New York pays the price?

And that’s not all — the rest of the book is a breakdown of Kirby’s pencils on this issue, along with a reprint of the altered story that appeared in Issue #108, in which Janus is revamped as the Nega-Man, who gets his power from the Negative Zone.

Verdict: About a dozen very enthusiastic thumbs up. You just can’t go wrong with classic Kirby artwork. The story is both goofy and glorious, as only the best Silver Age stories can be. If I’ve got any quibbles, it’s where Stan Lee, in getting this story ready to publish in 2008, decided to modernize some of the story. There’s really no need to add references to DSL Internet connections or to the “Doonesbury” comic strip — they come across as incredibly anachronistic and confusing. An original story by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby just doesn’t need to be modernized to be relevant and cool.

This one’s a bit expensive. Getting it will set you back five bucks all by itself. But man alive, is it ever worth it.

Comments off