Another day, another post! And another great one from the ‘King’! No matter how many times I see an image of Captain America drawn by Jack Kirby, it still gets me pumped up about the star-spangled Avenger! It’s true, and in this adventure, Cap is searching for Falcon and Leila Taylor. He finds them, but they don’t recognize him. We then get a brawl between Cap and Falcon, and the following pages are some more Kirby magic! One splash page in particular sticks in my head, never to leave! It shows a scene of enthralled people (including Leila and Falcon), some of them sitting on a stone wall. Just the atmosphere alone is incredible!
Throw in a cowboy (Texas Jack), a fire-breathing rock monster, and the machinations of the Inquisitor, top it all off with some Kirby crackle, and you get more awesomeness from Kirby! This second coming for him on this title was quite refreshing, and it seems as though Kirby was really letting his creative freedoms flow right out on to the pages. Just look at these pages/panels, and I doubt you’ll disagree!
Any time I get the chance to grab some of the work of Jack ‘King’ Kirby at a discount, I do not hesitate. After his departure from DC, Kirby returned to Marvel, and did some great work. He wrote and drew Captain America, Black Panther, The Eternals, and more. I recently bought two issues of his Captain America run from this era (1975-1977), and can honestly say that this is trippy, but great work. It’s not that the story is something never written before (it’s basically a social commentary on racism), but the way Kirby writes and draws it, is absolutely endearing. Of all the qualities I believe Kirby had as not only an artist, but as a man, this is why I love his work so much. A man who took himself from very little and used his God-given talents to become a giant of the industry (maybe only second to Will Eisner?), and through comic book art/stories gives someone like me hope that maybe someday, I can meet such apotheosis. Thank you, ‘King’ Kirby, for being an inspiration to me and scores across this planet!
In this, the last installment of my John Byrne tribute, we’ll see some of his spectacular work on Captain America (with collaborator Roger Stern), his brilliant X-Men (with partner Chris Claremont) work, and a couple of nuggets from the mid-1970’s, in Marvel Team-Up! Whether it was Josef Rubinstein or Terry Austin on inks, you cannot deny the power of Byrne’s pencils. He really knew how to grab the readers eyes, and have them glued to the panels! So, get ready and strap on your seat-belt, because we’re getting cosmic and crazy with this post! Enjoy!
So far we’ve seen the master, Gene Colan, and his early suspense/horror work in some of the long-lost anthology titles of the 1950’s, and his Daredevil work from the 1960’s. Now, strap yourself in for his work on the Star-Spangled Avenger, Captain America! Gene’s time on the book was very special, and when he returned in 2009 for a grand send off (color pics at the bottom), who knew this would be his last work for Marvel (and in comics, I believe). This master of the medium will be missed, but in the meantime, check out his great work on Marvel’s WWII superstar! Enjoy!
Now that we’ve seen some of Gene Colan’s early horror work, lets shift gears, and check out some of his Daredevil work from his early days penciling superheroes! He was a master at telling a visual story with a character like DD, and he’ll always be my favorite Daredevil artist! Check out these incredible pages from the ‘Dean’, with some of his Daredevil work originally presented in 1967 (my copies are Marvel Adventure #3, 4, & 6, 1976)! An adventure with Ka-Zar, the wacky Leap-Frog, and a team up with Spider-Man, because you need a partner when you’re facing villains as nefarious as…The Masked Marauder and Stilt-Man? Enjoy!
To finish off the month of March, I let my favorite artist for last! Gene ‘The Dean’ Colan, has always been my favorite, and always will be. His style just jumps off of the pages to me, and speaks to me like no other. Over the years, he was an artist who could draw any genre, but he certainly excelled at the macabre! Just his Tomb of Dracula (with long time partner, Marv Wolfman) alone could be enough to push him into the hall of fame, but when you look at his entire body of work (Strange Tales, Daredevil, Captain America), you’ll be astonished! Let’s dispense with the verbiage, and get right down to the work of the master himself, Gene Colan! Here is some early work in the title, Strange Tales in 1952!
Well, here it is, time for the John Romita Sr. finale! You know, Jazzy John is most notably known for his romance work, and of course, Spider-Man. He did do a fantastic job though on everything he touched, as evidence showed in my first post. As we move further into his career, lets look at some of his other work for Marvel. His runs on Daredevil, The Fantastic Four, and Captain America, are also most excellent! Three cheers for Jazzy John Romita! Enjoy!
Well, after my tribute to Big John Buscema last week, I’m on to the next face on my Mount Rushmore of comic book artists, with Jazzy John Romita! This man is nothing short of a legend, from his early work at Timely Comics (a precursor to Marvel), then onto becoming one of the industries all-time greatest romance artists, then a return to Marvel that would see him follow the incredibly talented Steve Ditko on Spider-Man. This is where Romita would make his mark, but he also penciled Captain America, The Fantastic Four, and many other Marvel titles before being named Marvel’s art director!
Here are a few of his early pages from Menace, Strange Tales, Tales to Astonish, and more! Enjoy!
Instead of the usual one issue spotlight, I’ve decided to send off February and Jack Kirby with a bang! Here are four awesome covers by the ‘King’, on one of my favorite series, The Invaders! He did some splendid covers for this book, and with Roy Thomas and Frank Robbins on story and interiors, respectively, you couldn’t ask for a better team effort! So, thank you, Jack Kirby, for your monumental contributions to the comic book industry! Enjoy!
In this, the penultimate post of February, and of my month-long Jack Kirby tribute, I give you a gem of a story! Captain America versus the Black Panther! You’ve got to love superhero fights, as they are almost as cool as super villain fights! In these two reprints, Cap heads to Wakanda at the behest of the Black Panther, but when he arrives, he’s attacked by that very same hero! Moments later, T’Challa tells Cap that he attacked him to make sure he was the real deal, and not an impostor. Both men know there are some shenanigans going on in the jungle, so they leave to investigate. They find some crazy device, but it’s very heavily guarded. They manage to subdue just about everybody, but then a beautiful spy knocks them both unconscious with some energy weapon!
After Cap and Panther have been revived slightly, they are being held against their will, but by whom? It doesn’t take long for their tormentor to make his presence known. It’s the nefarious Baron Zemo, and he’s out for revenge against Cap, and also wants to take over the world or some nonsense. Can Cap and the Panther get loose in time to stop him? Who is this mysterious blonde super-spy that seems to be helping Zemo? You must read this story to find out!
This issue is one of those rare instances where you get such a variety of work from Kirby. The jungles of Wakanda, outer space, the Panther’s lair, and everything in-between! Yes, you really get to see Kirby at the height of his powers in this one, and as usual, you wont be disappointed! Enjoy!