KING OF THE THRILL
The Fantastic Four’s cocreator Jack Kirby always saw the big picture
King of Comics
by Mark Evanier
$40.00 List Price
Though he lacks Will Eisner’s urbane, insouciant spirit and Jack Cole’s sensuous, ever-surprising plasticity, comic-book artist Jack Kirby (1917–94) more than deserves the royal sobriquet with which he’s been crowned. King Kirby embodies the drama of his medium as well as the drama of its history—how, starting on the eve of World War II, a bunch of mainly working-class, first-generation Jewish kids created a garish, subliterary mythology of fantastic supermen. Kirby’s first such creature, created with Joe Simon, was Captain America: The premiere issue, which appeared nearly a year before Pearl Harbor, has the masked and star-spangled hero using his shield to deflect Nazi bullets even as he knocks Hitler off his feet with an explosive right hook to the kisser.
In a general sense, Kirby’s is the saga that Michael
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