Friday, August 09, 2013


Today I landed a copy of FF #49 for my collection. I was reminded once more of the explosion of creativity exhibited by Jack Kirby over the course of less than one year on FANTASTIC FOUR. It is, in retrospect, nothing short of brilliant. If you want to narrow down the description of what he accomplished from comics in general to superhero comics, then it was about as close to genius as we see in the format.

And one of the ultimate story arcs to come out of this stunning series of issues was the three-part tale of Galactus and the Silver Surfer (FF #48-50). Keep in mind that all of this stuff was created by Jack Kirby. Despite the wealth of lies that have streamed endlessly from the corporate monstrosity of Marvel, there was no "co-creator". There was just Jack Kirby sitting at his drawing board creating, plotting, writing, and illustrating some of the best superhero comics ever done.

I think he would have kept up the tempo he had set between issues 44 and 52 if his editor had not ended up wrecking the story Kirby had written for his two-issue "HIM" epic. Lee twisted Kirby's study of selfishness so completely that Kirby's intent was lost in the wreck of what that bombastic idiot did to the tale. After that, it's obvious to me that Kirby just didn't want to continue creating such a vast wealth of property for his publisher. After that, he continued to produce wonderful work, but never again at Marvel would he concoct such a phenomenal flood of memorable (and endlessly marketable) characters.

My copy of FANTASTIC FOUR #49.


Dave Simmons said...

What's weird is, I can never see this cover now without seeing this:

And while from the dates it's obvious Chris Achilleos ripped off Kirby's cover, I saw the Doctor Who one first, so I always think it's the other way round.

James Robert Smith said...

I don't know of Kirby doing any swiping. He's one guy who just never had the need to do that. Too much talent and energy.

But people swiped from him. Plenty.