new
archives
comments
faq
links
contact
X
X
CHAPTER TWO of FIVE
X
Our quest to find history's judgment on Jack Kirby continues! Kirby created the visual appearance of Xmost of the characters in the Marvel Universe, including Thor, Captain America, and the Silver Surfer (all seen on Kirby's cover of Marvelmania Club Catalog #1, pictured right)

But when I think of Jack, I think first of the Fantastic Four. Of all Jack's Marvel books, I loved the FF the best. Like most fans, I thought his run on the book would never end, because Jack drew the FF for 100 consecutive issues plus annuals and specials! (This is an amazing feat that has been surpassed only by Eric Larsen on Savage Dragon.)

I love SO many of Stan and Jack's FF stories, particularly "The Sub-Mariner vs. the Human Race," and "This Man, This Monster!" One of my all-time favorite COVERS is FF Annual #3, the wedding of Reed and Sue. This scene is just an all-out orgy of superheroes such as DC had never known! The entire Marvel Universe is exploding off the book's cover (pictured above).

Who among us can ever forget Fantastic Four #40, "Battle of the Baxter Building." To save the world from Doctor Doom, Reed is forced to turn XBen back into the Thing (cover seen left, page of original art pictured below). What comes next is one of the greatest moments in comics!

The Thing doesn't blame Reed, instead he turns his anger on Dr. Doom and gives the good doctor the beating of his life. The Thing rips the circuits right out of Doom's armor, then casts him aside like a harmless rag doll.

But why am I describing what happened? You read the story, and you will never forget it! By the way, if you haven't read the story, there may be something seriously wrong with you.
X
BELOW, page 43 from Fantastic Four Annual #6. While Sue lies in critical condition, the rest of the team goes flying through the Negative Zone in search of a cure. Story by Stan, pencils by Jack, inks by Joe Sinnott.
X
I loved Joe Sinnott inking Kirby's FF. To me, Joltin' Joe was Jack's best inker ever. Each issue was a gem, and each issue the scope of the stories got bigger and bigger until Stan, Jack and Joe achieved a cosmic scale that has never been topped! BELOW: Joe and Jack.
X
T he Marvelmania poster BELOW is my favorite single image by Jack Kirby. It hung in my bedroom for many years, and I spent countless hours admiring its flawless composition, its kirby-tech machinery, and the sense of excitement it projected.
X

Skipping ahead in time a bit, the Silver Surfer "Graphic Novel" featured 114 pages of all-new material by Stan and Jack. Kirby did a cover, pictured above left, but Marvel decided to use Earl Norem's painted reinterpretation of the scene, as seen above right.
X
The epic-length Surfer "Graphic Novel" omitted the FF's role in the Galactus saga, but introduced the golden Ardeena, a new love interest for the Surfer. Kirby's pencils, inked by Joe Sinnott, were in fine form. The Surfer never looked better!
X
The Silver Surfer graphic novel represented a milestone in Kirby's career, at least to the King himself. His photograph was shown in the back of the book -- just like a "real" novel. To accompany the photo, Jack wrote a short auto-biography in the third person...
X

Jack's world changed for the worse when Marvel Comics was bought out by another company that would become known as Cadence. The new owners treated Jack like absolute crap. It was time for him to "bust out" of Marvel, and move on to new stories, new challenges, and new WORLDS...
X
X