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Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:27 pm
by TheButcher

Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:12 am
by TheButcher

Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:26 am
by TheButcher
June 21, 2014: Jack Kirby, Jimmy Olsen, and the Silver Age Superman
T. Kyle King wrote:
Virtually every fan of superhero comics is familiar with the Silver Age, and the vast majority of readers have strong opinions about that innovative and often wacky era. After the Comics Code Authority was established in 1954 to respond to Fredric Wertham's assault on the excesses of crime, horror, and romance comics, superheroes experienced a resurgence in print, beginning with the introduction of the new Flash in 1956 and blooming with the dawn of the Marvel Age in 1961.

Deserved praise for the Silver Age was offered by Brian Cronin, who recognized that, by limiting artistic options, the Code compelled creativity, much as budgetary restrictions demand cleverness from filmmakers. Cronin correctly credits comics creators for "the crazy inventiveness that went into these comics when it was necessary to give the superheroes busy work when they couldn't be shown fighting violent super criminals instead." Nowhere was that Silver Age sensibility more evident than in the pages of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen.

The redheaded young reporter debuted, then flourished, in other media outside of comic books, initially appearing in the Adventures of Superman radio program in 1940 and attaining greater popularity when played by actor Jack Larson on the 1950s television show of the same name. The character's on-screen success prompted DC Comics to give Olsen his own title beginning in 1954, the year U.S. Senate subcommittee hearings on comic books and juvenile delinquency prompted publishers to create a self-policing content code. The series ran for 163 issues over almost 20 years.

Initially shackled by the need to follow the lead of the low-budget Superman television production, DC was able to unleash the creators of its comics involving the Man of Steel after the live-action series went off the air in 1958. Within the strictures of the Code, ingenuity and inspiration were given freer rein under the guiding hand of editor Mort Weisinger, and, as Glen Weldon approvingly observed, "writers and artists embraced what they were doing with an unself-conscious and profoundly imaginative glee."

The Silver Age then began truly to come into its own for the Last Son of Krypton, with Jimmy Olsen being among the biggest beneficiaries of this blossoming. ComicsAlliance's Chris Sims stated the case plainly when he wrote: "In a lot of ways, Jimmy Olsen is the Silver Age, all of its excesses and strange rules and metaphors and inspirations brought together in a perfect snapshot of the time." Consequently, Sims dates the end of the Silver Age from the start of Jack Kirby's run as writer and penciller for Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen in October 1970.

That demarcation, however, represents less an alteration of the destination than an adjustment to the direction by which it was approached. As Sims himself admits, the new author/artist's takeover of the title didn't mean the stories "were any less crazy - just that they were crazy in an entirely different way." Moreover, though Kirby used Jimmy Olsen as a vehicle for introducing new ideas by making Superman's Pal the starting point for the Fourth World saga, he began by reviving old ideas, bringing back the Newsboy Legion and the Guardian from the Star-Spangled Comics of the 1940s.

At the dawn of the Bronze Age, therefore, Kirby reworked familiar totems to make them weighty rather than whimsical, sublime instead of silly, and epic as well as absurd. The loopiness was retained yet imbued with a mythological dimension. For instance, Superman's 1968 comic book crossover with Jerry Lewis intrinsically is of a piece with Don Rickles's Jimmy Olsen cameo three years later, with the former depicting slapstick hijinks involving the blue suit and the latter playing for laughs the insult comedian's overreaction to otherworldly events.

By the same token, it is not difficult to see the airy "balloon beasts" of the futuristic Action Comics #300 made more substantial, both literally and metaphorically, in the form of Transilvane, whereas Kirby's adolescent super-race of "Hairies" capped off with high-tech hippies DC's decade-long progression through '60s youth culture, which previously had seen the Man of Steel tangling with tough teens in 1962's Superman #151 and Jimmy Olsen famously bringing Beatlemania to Old Testament Judea in Superman's Pal #79.

The cover of Kirby's fourth issue of Superman's Pal depicted a giant green Jimmy Olsen in a novel twist on the shopworn tradition of transformations by the redheaded reporter that previously had seen him turned into a giant green turtle man. Accordingly, the reader chuckles knowingly, but is not fooled, when, in that selfsame edition of his title, Jimmy tells Superman, "I'm just not ready to come face to face with campy bug-eyed monsters!"

Thus, in many respects, the Bronze Age was merely the continuation of the Silver Age by other means; had DC intended to authorize a wholesale overhaul, after all, the publisher wouldn't have commissioned Murphy Anderson and Al Plastino to re-draw Superman's face in Jimmy Olsen using the accepted house style. Unsurprisingly, the final issue of Kirby's brief run on Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen "proved to be a refreshing combination of both the old and new Olsen styles".

Kirby managed to bridge this gap between eras by bringing to superheroes a sensibility from other, more serious comic book genres. With collaborator Joe Simon, Kirby had created the romance comics concept and formed Mainline Publications, which produced the Western and war comics Bullseye and Foxhole, respectively. As Kirby confessed in his first issue of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen, his background included stints generating My Date for teenagers, turning out Justice Traps the Guilty for crime readers, and "dabbl[ing] in witchcraft with Black Magic."

Perhaps most notably, the giant monster stories Kirby had been drawing for Tales of Suspense were imported into the superhero arena through 1961's Fantastic Four. Accustomed already to offering audiences more mature material in other comic genres, Kirby was able to add sophisticated layers underneath Silver Age superficiality, figuratively building new spires extending skyward by fortifying the existing foundations below the surface as he erected the Wild Area, Habitat, and the Zoomway in the vicinity of familiar Metropolis.

Nevertheless, Kirby was influenced by more than just his experience in different types of comic books, and there likewise was more to the Superman family bequeathed to Kirby in the aftermath of Weisinger's guidance than only obligatory oddness. In addition to the studied strangeness of stories by Otto Binder (who launched Jimmy Olsen's solo title), Weisinger's editorial oversight also provided "Brainiac, Bizarro, the full terror of kryptonite, [and] a gorgeous sprawl of Superman mythology" including the "survivor's guilt" that confirms author Larry Tye's observation that, "[w]hen a name ends in 'man,' the bearer is Jewish, a superhero or both."

That Binder, Weisinger, and Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, then recently returned to DC from the industry equivalent of exile, were ethnically Jewish is no coincidence; as noted by such observers as Danny Fingeroth and Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, the response of worldwide Jewry to postwar revelations about the extent of the Holocaust's horrors profoundly affected the Last Son of Krypton. Kal-El's status as the final survivor of his people formed the basis for such stories as Superman #141's "Superman's Return to Krypton" and the mythology-enriching and tragedy-deepening introduction of the bottle city of Kandor, confirming that the Silver Age already was delivering Punky Power and pathos well before Kirby joined the DC masthead.

Kirby, too, was Jewish, though he had his name legally changed from Jacob Kurtzberg after using Anglicized pseudonyms from an early age. As importantly, he also was a World War II veteran, having drawn the dangerous duty of serving as an advance army scout sent ahead of his fellow soldiers to draw reconnaissance maps for use by the troops who came in behind him (many of whom read comic books as easily portable distractions while wearing olive drab overseas). This experience likely made much more of an impression on Kirby than did the military service of such fellow comic book professionals as Weisinger, whose wartime years were spent stateside writing scripts for army radio programs.

Hence, Kirby's background gave him the same cultural heritage on which Binder, Siegel, and Weisinger drew at their best, while his harder-edged experiences in uniform and in non-superhero genres enabled him to perform the delicate balancing act of staying true to the bigness and boldness of Silver Age ideas while deepening and enriching their symbolic significance. Maintaining that equilibrium was a daunting task, which since Kirby's day has seldom been sustained for any duration longer than the time it took for Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman to finish its publication run.

Unfortunately, after Kirby, the pendulum he held in harmony swung too wildly in the opposite direction following its release from Silver Age campiness and constraints. Brutality and vulgarity became cheap narrative shortcuts for faking adult-oriented and edgy storytelling, prompting such necessarily Superman-centric rebuttals as Alex Ross's and Mark Waid's Kingdom Come and Action Comics #775's "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?"

There are welcome signs, though, of a return to more suitably Silver Age-style storytelling. One of the defining conceits of the Silver Age, the so-called "imaginary story", has undergone a revival of sorts in such non-continuity books as the recent (albeit sadly short-lived) Adventures of Superman, which featured lighthearted tales in which Clark Kent served as a babysitter and Superman overheard two boys playing at being a superhero and a supervillain.

This departure from the confines of continuity allows artists the breathing room that produced the best work of the Silver Age, enabling creators to get superheroes and their supporting cast down to their essentials. Morrison expressly undertook this precise objective in All-Star Superman, and the best Adventures of Superman tales used this approach to turn offbeat stories into lessons about quintessence, as evidenced by Jeff Lemire's "Fortress" and Josh Elder's "Dear Superman".

For all the stylistic differences between the Silver, Bronze, and Modern Ages of Comic Books, then, the Superman family of titles retains a distinctive thread that runs throughout. Whether Jerry Siegel is sending Kal-El back to Krypton to deepen the sadness of the coming cataclysm, Jack Kirby is using Jimmy Olsen to launch a fundamental explication of the nature of good and evil, or Grant Morrison is revealing Superman's basic nature by examining the last days of the Man of Steel, the building blocks still stay the same, and there remains room enough for wild inventiveness to coexist with poignant profundity. By remembering the first principles of the Last Son of Krypton, comics creators can continue mining the most precious metals of every animated age.

Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:05 pm
by TheButcher
How The Supreme Court And Jack Kirby Could Change Everything

Hollywood Guilds Want Supreme Court to Hear Marvel Characters Dispute
The Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America are rallying behind efforts by the heirs of Jack Kirby to terminate rights to Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four and the Avengers.

Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:36 pm
by TheButcher

Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:45 pm
by TheButcher

Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:19 am
by TheButcher

Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:59 am
by TheButcher

Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:01 am
by TheButcher

Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:35 am
by TheButcher
Comic Creators #WakeUpAndDraw For Jack Kirby's Birthday
The man behind your favorite superheroes gets some much-deserved recognition
Graeme McMillan wrote:August 28, 2014 would have been the 97th birthday of Jack Kirby, a fact marked on social media during the day with a special hashtag devoted to the co-creator of Iron Man, Captain America, X-Men and countless other Marvel and DC characters, #WakeUpAndDraw.

Jack Kirby: A ‘King-Sized’ 97th Birthday Tribute Spectacular, Part One!

Let’s take a look at a few pages from The Mighty Thor # 166 (July 1969)
“Trail May Lead to the Ends of Infinity”

Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:48 pm
by TheButcher
Marvel, Jack Kirby Estate Settle Superhero Rights Dispute

Marvel and the Jack Kirby estate have settled a long-running legal dispute.

“Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have amicably resolved their legal disputes, and are looking forward to advancing their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history,” read a joint statement from Marvel and the Kirby Family.

More to come.

Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:51 pm
by TheButcher
Marvel & Jack Kirby Heirs Settle Legal Battle Ahead Of Supreme Court Showdown
“Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have amicably resolved their legal disputes, and are looking forward to advancing their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history.”
Dominic Patten wrote:Just days before the Supreme Court was set to take the matter into conference, Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have settled their long running legal dispute over the comic legend’s rights to the characters he created or co-created. Here’s their joint statement:
“Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have amicably resolved their legal disputes, and are looking forward to advancing their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history.”

Widely viewed as one of the Kings of Comics, Kirby created or co-created some of the biggest names on the page and now on the big screen in the superhero blockbusters that Hollywood has profited from in recent years. However, while his often partner Stan Lee was a Marvel employee, Kirby was a work for hire and had no rights to Captain America, The Fantastic Four, the Hulk, the original X-Men and the plethora of other other characters he played a part in bringing to life.

After failing repeatedly in lower courts, Lisa Kirby, Neal Kirby, Susan Kirby and Barbara Kirby petitioned the High Court on March 21 for a hearing on the matter. The heirs wanted SCOTUS to rule in favor of their assertion that they had the right in 2009 to issue termination notices on 262 works that the comic legend helped create between 1958 and 1963. Those 45 notices went out to Marvel, Disney, Sony, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century and others who’ve made films based on the artist’s characters under the provisions of the 1976 Copyright Act. Marvel sued in 2010, after failing to reach an agreement back then with the Kirby family to invalidate the termination notices. Jack Kirby himself passed away in 1994.

All things considered, and with the billions that Marvel/Disney have made off the films filled with characters Kirby created, this 11th hour deal should come as no big surprise. The bottom line and PR risk that the media giant was taking if the SCOTUS would have agree to hear the family’s petition would have sent a shutter through the market and the town As well, if the High Court had found for the Kirbys and their lawyer Marc Toberoff would have thrown Marvel/Disney into turmoil as they would have to negotiate with the family on everything from The Avengers and this summer’s big hit Guardians of The Galaxy, with the popular Groot character a Kirby creation. As well a wide variety of copyrights across the industry would suddenly be in play as writers, composers and others designated under a freelancer status could suddenly gain a piece of what they created in what would now be seen as a much more traditional employee/employer arrangement.

Despite initial indifference and then objections from Disney-owned Marvel, the SCOTUS agreed the take the case into conference to consider if they would actually hear it. That conference, where the nine Justices would ostensibly be sitting around talking about comic as well as copyright, was scheduled for September 29. The Kirby family and their legal point had a lot of support and not just among the fanboys. SAG-AFTRA, the WGA and the DGA back in June submitted an amicus brief to the High Court in favor of having the Kirby’s petition granted.

Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:10 pm
by TheButcher
Marvel, Jack Kirby Estate Settlement Brings End to High-Stakes Battle
Why a battle over Spider-Man, X-Men, and the Avengers was important
Eriq Gardner wrote:On Friday, Marvel ended a long and bitter feud with the estate of comic book legend Jack Kirby, announcing a settlement just days before the U.S. Supreme Court had scheduled a conference to discuss whether to take up a case with potentially billions on the line.

“Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have amicably resolved their legal disputes, and are looking forward to advancing their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history,” read a joint statement from Marvel and the Kirby Family.

The settlement, which will surely please shareholders of Marvel parent Disney as much as it will disappoint many others in the entertainment industry, brings an end to a contentious lawsuit that started after Kirby's family, represented by attorney Marc Toberoff, began sending termination notices to Marvel and its licensees Sony, Fox and Universal over such superhero characters as Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Iron Man, Incredible Hulk and others.

The case never got to trial after a judge — and later the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals — determined that when Kirby was doing most of his work in the 1950s and 1960s, he had contributed his materials as a "work made for hire." As such, Marvel was considered the statutory author, and Kirby (and his heirs) never had any termination rights under the 1976 Copyright Act.

The lawsuit seemed like it was headed to oblivion when all of a sudden, the Kirby estate's attempt to get high court review gathered steam. Most petitions for cert are denied, but after some respected intellectual property veterans weighed in with amicus briefs, the Supreme Court ordered Marvel to respond. The studio eventually did just that, but the dispute was also commanding the attention of both Hollywood labor guilds as well as the respected lawyer who founded Scotusblog.

Why the dispute was being closely watched went beyond whether Kirby could grab back a share of iconic characters. It even went beyond whether Marvel would have full control over profits from these characters as it launched new Avengers movies.

As those supporting Kirby's drive to the Supreme Court would tell it, the case represented the balance of power between creative contributors on one side and studios who manage production and distribute works on the other. It deal with how to interpret who is an "employer" under the 1909 Copyright Act — before copyright law got amended — and whether courts should go broad by adopting the "instance and expense" test and fitting all commissioned works under the umbrella, or whether the courts should go narrow, potentially allowing other iconic works like James Bond to be terminated.

The appellant believed that Congress created the termination provisions as a bargain — to allow authors and their heirs to enjoy the fruits of the latter part of the copyright term. Without wide birth, however, the terminators would never get to enjoy such rights. On the other hand, Marvel told the high court that this case was a poor vehicle to explore such issues.

The case now ends, with the terms of the agreement hopefully being told at a later date. Meanwhile, the Hollywood unions and IP observers who hoped for some legal clarity will have to wait for the next superhero involved in an epic struggle that only the nine justices of the Supreme Court can solve.

Jack Kirby’s Mister Miracle Artist’s Edition

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:37 am
by TheButcher
IDW Announces Jack Kirby’s ‘Mister Miracle’ Artist’s Edition So Just Mail Them Your Credit Card Now

In Shops: 1/7/2015
Following in the huge footsteps of the Jack Kirby New Gods Artist's Edition comes another classic collection of Kirby Fourth Word beauty-Mister Miracle! This latest Artist's Edition collects SEVEN nearly complete Mister Miracle stories, including issues 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and more! Mister Miracle was one of the core Fourth World books-a multi-generational epic that was one part Star Wars (before Star Wars) and another King Lear-and one of the greatest good-versus-evil storylines to ever be done in comics! One thing is for sure, you'll never have a better chance to see the King's cosmic opus any better than in the pages of this Artist's Edition!

The Spotlight Shines On Jack Kirby’s Mister Miracle
The Second Artist’s Edition Featuring The King Of Comics Arrives!
Furiousg wrote:Legendary creator Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, his revered multi-generational space opera, debuted in the award-winning Artist’s Edition format earlier this year with Jack Kirby New Gods: Artist’s Edition. IDW Publishing is now proud to announce a second title in this monumental series, Jack Kirby: Mister Miracle Artist’s Edition! Meticulously scanned from the original art, this Artist’s Edition presents the highest quality look inside an astonishing work by a comic legend. The Fourth World introduced a whole new pantheon into the DC Comics universe, igniting a fervor that continues to define storytelling in comics.

Inspired by the antics of fellow creator Jim Steranko, who spent some of his early years working as an escape artist and illusionist, Kirby created Mister Miracle in 1971 when he debuted in his own title, one of the four core books of the Fourth World epic. And while the original run lasted a mere 18 issues, the character has reappeared numerous times over the years, and the magic of those first Kirby stories continues to reverberate among creators and fans to this day.

“Jack may never have been creatively happier than when he was writing and drawing MISTER MIRACLE,” said Mark Evanier, Eisner award-winning author of Kirby: King of Comics. “There were so many autobiographical aspects to it, starting with his own feelings and fantasies of ‘escaping’ from some of the shackles of the comic book industry, as well as the way the Scott Free/Big Barda relationship mirrored aspects of his own long and loving relationship with his life partner, Roz. You can feel Jack bursting free, like Mister Miracle escaping a trap, on every page.”

IDW’s Special Projects Director Scott Dunbier has assembled a staggering seven complete issues of the series by Kirby, including issues #2, #3, and #5-9! With 192 pages measuring 12” x 17”, this is truly a book to behold! “The wealth of huge ideas and stunning visuals that poured from Jack Kirby’s mind is just staggering,” said Dunbier, “You want to find out why he’s called King Kirby? Get this book!”

Kirby’s unrivaled vision can’t be missed in this unrivaled Artist’s Edition!

“Mister Miracle” is the Next Kirby Creation to Get His Own Artist’s Edition

Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:05 am
by TheButcher
The King Is Back: Marvel Announces Deluxe Oversized Collection of Jack Kirby's Work
'King-Size Kirby' will feature work from the creator's 38-year career at the publisher

Re: The Official Jack Kirby Thread

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:22 am
by TheButcher
Liam Nolan wrote:The Fighting American has had a complicated publishing history. Originally published with Crestwood Publications, the character has appeared in comics from several publishers, including Harvey, DC, and Marvel. Rob Liefeld’s Awesome Entertainment licensed the rights to the Fighting American in the late 90s, shortly after DC’s six-issue miniseries in 1994, after legal threats forced him to abandon work on Agent America, his Captain America rip-off. Marvel eventually sued Liefeld because of his version of the Fighting Amercian’s similarities to Captain America, which resulted in a settlement that forced Liefeld to change elements of the character.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

Re: Jack Kirby’s 100th Anniversary

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:24 am
by TheButcher

Deadline July 20, 2017:
Comic-Con: On Jack Kirby’s 100th Anniversary, Tributes To “The King Of Comics” From Stan Lee, Frank Miller, Kevin Feige, Geoff Johns & More
Dominic Patten wrote:Without Jack Kirby there would be no Comic-Con. Period, full stop.

On the 100th anniversary of the birth of the man now known as the King of Comics, no tribute can really do justice to Kirby’s vast impact and importance. Last week at D23, Disney boss Bob Iger made a pretty fine effort when he praised Kirby as “an industry icon who redefined comics.” With those words in mind, we reached out to Kirby’s most famous collaborator Stan Lee, DC Entertainment head Geoff Johns and Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, Frank Miller, Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker, Deadly Class creator Rick Remender, Calexit‘s Matteo Pizzolo and American Gods co-showrunner Michael Green for their takes on Kirby, his artistry and influence.

Having worked on almost every major comic character at one time or another until his death in 1994, Kirby created or co-created icons including Captain America, Iron Man, The Avengers, Hulk, the original X-Men, Magneto and Black Panther. Over his 40-year career, he also spawned the likes of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Nick Fury, the Fantastic Four and their foe Doctor Doom and the ravenous world-destroying Galactus, as well as Groot from Guardians Of The Galaxy and DC’s The New Gods, Darkseid and the efficacious Kamandi.

In fact, as part of its plan to honor Kirby’s centennial, DC is putting out a new Mister Miracle series and a half dozen one-shots.

After years of battling with Disney-owned Marvel over rights and credits to the characters he helped create (mostly as work for hire) for what have become multibillion-dollar film franchises, the studio and the Kirby estate settled their differences in fall 2014. Which is why now when the Ryan Coogler-directed and Chadwick Boseman-starring Black Panther comes out next February, like most Marvel movies the past few years, Kirby’s name will be there in the credits just like they should be.

Recently honored along with Kirby as a Disney legend, Lee was publisher of Marvel Comics and, of course, makes those cameos in the Marvel movies.
Well, Jack practically invented the visual language of American comics through his visceral sense of action and story. He gave vision to characters that are still beloved around the world seven decades later. His imaginative mind and skilled pencil work envisioned superheroes for the entire world to enjoy. I think it’s a safe bet that he’d be proud, as well he should. Excelsior!

Marvel Studios, President
I really hope he would be pleased that his work continues to be so influential, and is now seen and experienced by billions of people around the world. I’d love to be able to thank him.

DC Entertainment, President & Chief Creative Officer
Simply put, Jack Kirby re-created the visual power of comics. He made you actually feel the super in superheroes; creating larger-than-life heroes and villains, the massive worlds they come from and the uncanny power they wield. His impact on both Marvel and DC, and the generations of artists and writers in the field, is unlike any other because of that.

I hope he would be happy and proud to see so many people getting joy from it and that he would be receiving the accolades he deserves for his incredible talent in every sense of the word. It’s hard to believe Jack Kirby is underrated, but considering the number of characters and universes he created that are up on the big screen alone — he is.

The Dark Knight Returns, resurrected Daredevil for Marvel, Sin City, 300, directed The Spirit, and so much more
Jack created grammar of the superhero. If you look at this history of comics, there’s before Kirby came and after Kirby came and they’re two distinctly different periods. Everything in the look of comics was completely changed by this angry, supercharged, genius, World War II veteran Jew who’d lived through the worst anti-Semitism in American history. This is the point I make repeatedly. Some people get sick of hearing it. You can’t understand the history of superheroes without understanding the history of American Judaism because it starts with Superman, Siegel and Schuster. It climaxes with Jack Kirby and you see all of that in Kirby explode into the Fantastic Four and all the rest.

I mean the page wasn’t big enough for Jack Kirby. Who else would have come up with a character named Galactus? I mean the guy who eats planets. To be around Jack Kirby, the guy had so much energy you almost wanted to duck when he was around. When I knew him he was in his 70s at least. The man I knew was not mellow. I asked him once why when people got angry or agitated in his stories, he said, because they do.

Luke Cage, showrunner
Jack Kirby is to comics books what Jimmy Hendrix is to guitar or Rakim to emceeing. Sure there are many other influential artists and writers and my biggest influences (Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, Jeph Loeb and Brian Michael Bendis) came years after Kirby, but that’s the thing. Kirby was amongst the first to make comic book characters people. He expanded the possibilities of the kinds of stories you could tell on the page.

One of my prized possessions in my writing nook is Fantastic Four #52: the first appearance of the Black Panther. If Black Panther hadn’t been successful as comic, who knows if Luke Cage would have existed.

Deadly Class, creator
Jack invented an entire visual language that is used by most every comic creator today, the good ones anyway. He taught us to create, not to parrot. Jack got to his desk everyday and did the work, he was all of the most important things, a prolific and inventive craftsman and dynamic and clear storyteller. There were endless universes inside Jack’s head, we only got a small taste of them, but that sampling changed not only comics but our entire culture.

Jack famously said, “Comics will break your heart.” And when you look at the way he was treated, after creating so much that many so many other people rich, you can understand why. He didn’t get any of the public acclaim for his Marvel creations. I think he’d be happy to see the legal stuff finally settled with Marvel, and knowing that his family would be rewarded for his genius might make him enjoy seeing all of his co-creations in all their many iterations across media.

American Gods, co-showrunner/Logan and Blade Runner 2049 co-writer
There are prolific artists, and there is Jack Kirby. No one comes close.

One of the most fascinating things about his legacy is how readily his works have translated to the 3D space. His style and forms, his backgrounds and worlds, were all always striking. But it wasn’t until we saw them large on screen in the last decade that we could finally understand how alive it all was. His pages weren’t comics, they were landscapes.

Calexit, creator
ack Kirby is one of the chief architects of modern mythology. His characters and worlds have inspired millions of people to imagine the infinite possibilities of space and time while simultaneously urging us to fight the good fight here on Earth. He did more than just play a pivotal role in the creation of a storytelling medium — although that would be enough to make him King Kirby. He also played a pivotal role in expanding the dreams and aspirations of generations of people around the world and on into the future.

Being a WWII veteran and co-creator of Captain America, I imagine Kirby would be delighted that his characters are celebrated today as icons of resistance. But it’s no secret he was furious about the business of comics and intellectual property, so I imagine he would also be distressed to see his creations generating billions of dollars for massive mega-corporations, with some of that money actually supporting political figures he would most likely despise. Overall, though, I think the positives of providing a fresh pantheon of heroes we can all admire and seek to emulate would outweigh the negatives.