In the pantheon of comic book greats, there are few names as legendary and monolithic as Jack “The King” Kirby. Breaking into the industry in the ‘30’s, Kirby would work alongside creators like Joe Simon, Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, and more, revolutionizing the superhero genre and ushering in the “Marvel Age” of comics. While his work at Marvel saw the creation of countless iconic characters, and garnered record sales and critical acclaim, Kirby’s lack of creative control and authorship credits soured his relationship with the company. Kirby would ultimately leave for DC Comics in 1970, with the publisher heralding his arrival in ads across their line. It’s here that Kirby would finally debut a saga he’d been forming for years, with its first steps arriving in an unlikely, but fitting place…Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen. No, seriously. [Read more…] about SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN | How Jack Kirby Re-Invented the DC Universe
They say that the 60s ended when the Manson family killed a couple of celebrities. They say a lot of things that aren’t true. Certainly, the moment in history was one of horror and brutality that would come to define a lot of what was to follow. But the 60s were long dead by the time the Manson family entered 10500 Cielo Drive. One could more sensibly argue that the 60’s ended in May of 1968, when the youth movement of France was brutally slaughtered by the police, ending the young generation. You could also argue that it ended in 1969, but not with Manson’s family killing Sharon Tate, but with Ronald Regan ordering troops to open fire upon hippies at a public park. Or perhaps it died with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
The New Gods experiment was, in many ways, an attempt by Jack Kirby to keep the dream of the 60s alive and well into the 70s. That the core of this dream came in the form of The Forever People, the first of Kirby’s series to get canceled, speaks to how many people had faith in the dream. OMAC, in many regards, is Kirby reckoning with the 70s. And it’s a bleak picture.
But it’s not bleak enough. [Read more…] about The World That’s Coming: OMAC by Jack Kirby
George Tarleton was a lowly but smart technician for Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.) and was part of the team that created the Cosmic Cube. A.I.M.’s ruthless pursuit of scientific advancement led George to be transformed into M.O.D.O.K. (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing). M.O.D.O.K. is one of the more visually fascinating characters as the experiments resulted in having a massively oversized head (a side-effect of his super intelligence) and a body bound to a life support system ironically called a “Doomsday Chair.”
M.O.D.O.K.’s intelligence is matched only by his outlandish ambition and murderous tendencies, exemplified by his early career and his clashes against some of Marvel’s premier heroes. In recent years, M.O.D.O.K. has been uniquely positioned with his super intelligence being seen more as a commodity, making his bristling personality cast him as the outlandish foil for some of Marvel’s (almost) equally outlandish heroes. [Read more…] about M.O.D.O.K. Reading Order!
- 60s Marvel, the company’s first rebirth full of hope and wonder
- 90s Marvel, where Cates’ love for the medium seems to begin (or at least cement)
- And Cates’ own, personal story, with all of its second chances
These elements return again and again in Cates’ work. They’re also why he’s such a natural fit for Marvel’s cosmic lines; his voice is so big, he really benefits from that scale. It seems only right he have a tome to match: Marvel Cosmic Universe by Donny Cates. [Read more…] about Marvel Cosmic Universe by Donny Cates Omnibus | Nothing the Matter with the Stars
The Eternals – written, drawn, and edited by Jack Kirby beginning in 1976 – is visually stunning, a bombastic treat loaded up with the King’s singular creativity. For 20 issues (including one Annual), Kirby and his collaborators – John Verpoorten on inks and letterers Gaspar Saladino, John Costanza, and Irv Watanabe handling the first four issues, Mike Royer taking over both for the rest of the series, and Glynis Wein neé Oliver supplying colors throughout – have assembled a fun, if inconsistent, comic book epic that practically rattles with potential. The new Eternals: Complete Collection is worth a read, though best when taken on its own terms. [Read more…] about Should You Read Jack Kirby’s Eternals Before The MCU Movie?