Tag Archives: jack kirby

The Jack Kirby Museum is Hosting a Virtual Event: 3 Days For 103

Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center 3 Days for 103

Jack Kirby, the co-creator of Captain America, The Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, and many other pop culture icons, played an indispensable role in the emergence of comics as an art form. Kirby is to comics what Hitchcock or Spielberg are to movies, Babe Ruth is to baseball, or The Beatles are to rock n’ roll. Not only was Kirby incredibly prolific and influential, but he was an innovator whose work has come to define fantastic storytelling in comics and beyond.

To mark the 103rd anniversary of Jack Kirby’s birth, the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center will host a three-day virtual event, celebrating the life, legacy, and boundless creativity of the King of Comics. “3 Days for 103” will be streamed live to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter (Periscope) August 28-30, from 11 AM until 7 PM.

The ever evolving list of guests includes:

  • Tracy Kirby and Jeremy Kirby, two of Jack Kirby’s grandchildren
  • Ray Wyman, Jr., Author of The Art of Jack Kirby
  • Erik Larsen, Savage Dragon perpetrator
  • Jean Depelley, Kirby biographer
  • James Romberger, artist and writer
  • Tom Scioli, cartoonist, Kirby biographer
  • Bechara Maalouf, original art dealer
  • David Russell, concept and storyboard artist
  • Sydney Heifler, Romance Comics scholar
  • Rob Liefeld, Comic Book Artist, creator of Deadpool, Cable and more
  • Barry Ira Geller, Lord of Light producer
  • Kate Willaert, “Kirby without Words”
  • Abraham Riesman, Stan Lee biographer

…with more to be announced.

Special events:

  • Online birthday party at 7 PM Friday August 28th, with special guests
  • Dramatic reading of the Simon & Kirby classic Romance story “Different!” directed by Lois Dilivio
  • A peek into the Museum’s digital archive

ComiXology Delivers 7 New Digital Comics from Marvel and Harlequin

ComiXology has your digital hookup with seven new digital comics available for you right now. Check out new digital comics from Marvel and Harlequin. Get the full list here or the individual issues below.

Reform Of The Playboy

Written by Mary Lyons
Art by Mayu Takayama

Harriet can’t believe it when a handsome lawyer steals a kiss from her and tells her that her lips are sweet. How had this happened? Upon inheriting a mansion from her great-aunt, Harriet had considered selling it, but in the end she decided to renovate and rent out the upper floors. Her tenant is Finn, the man who kissed her. He’s a troublemaker, hosting one party after another with countless women coming and going. Harriet goes to tell him that enough is enough! But Finn has other plans…

Reform Of The Playboy

Psi-Force Classic Vol. 1

Written by Danny Fingeroth, David Michelinie, Fabian Nicieza, Steve Perry
Art by Bob Hall, Mark Texeira, Mike Vosburg
Cover by Mark Texeira

Collects Psi-Force #1-9.

Neither KGB nor CIA was a match for the power of PSI in the New Universe! Gathered together by the mysterious Emmett Proudhawk, five paranormal teenagers struggled against government operatives, renegade superhumans and, most importantly, each other! Telepathy, astral projection, telekinesis, psychic empathy and psionic detonation merge to form something even greater: the Psi-Hawk! But who he is – and isn’t – may be a secret that makes or breaks the team! It’s intrigue and action, eighties-style!

Psi-Force Classic Vol. 1

Rawhide Kid Masterworks Vol. 1

Written by Stan Lee
Art by Ross Andru, Dick Ayers, Don Heck, Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman
Cover by Richard Isanove, Jack Kirby

Collects Rawhide Kid (1955) #17-25.

Tame the wild, wild West with the one and only Rawhide Kid! Before Stan “the Man” and “King” Kirby spun stories of sensational super heroes, they told the tale of a young frontiersman who bore two Colt six-shooters! After his Uncle Ben Bart was killed at the hands of outlaws, Johnny Bart made it his personal mission to bring justice to the town of Rawhide. Packed full of shootouts and showdowns, renegades and rustlers, guns and girls galore, these Western yarns will be sure to please you in the Mighty Marvel Manner! So hold on to your ten-gallon hat when you read tales of the Terrible Totem, the Kid’s battle against the bank-robbing Bat, and the war with Wolf Waco!

Rawhide Kid Masterworks Vol. 1

Rawhide Kid Masterworks Vol. 2

Written by Stan Lee
Art by Dick Ayers, Sol Brodsky, Gene Colan, Jack Davis, Al Hartley, Don Heck, Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman
Cover by Jack Kirby

Collects Rawhide Kid (1955) #26-35.

They’re not just the pair that created the world’s most-famous super heroes; Stan Lee and Jack Kirby prove they’re the kings of all comics, with a one, two-gun second Rawhide Kid Masterworks!

The man from the Texas town of Rawhide, Johnny Bart, is the fastest draw in the wild West, but that kind of reputation doesn’t come easy, and with the law on his trail it’s all for one for the Rawhide Kid. Every no-good varmit west of the Mississippi from Mister Lightning to the Barker Brothers to Jasper Jelko is looking to build his rep over the Kid’s dead body, and when you’ve got friends like Jesse James, who needs enemies?! So do yerself some good book learin’, reserve your copy today, and one day you might be just as good as the roughest, toughest, rootin’est, tootin’est cowboy who ever kicked back a glass of milk!

Rawhide Kid Masterworks Vol. 2

Shanna The She-Devil: Survival Of The Fittest

Written by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Khari Evans
Cover by Khari Evans

Collects Shanna The She Devil: Survival Of The Fittest #1-4.

Shanna the She-Devil returns in an all-new series jam-packed with jungle action, Hong Kong gangsters, dinosaurs, diamonds and cavemen! Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti reunite with super-hot artist Khari Evans (DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON) to bring you the story of modern-day pirates shipwrecked on the Marvel Universe’s deadliest island, where only Shanna can protect them from hordes of man-eating monsters!

Shanna The She-Devil: Survival Of The Fittest

Spider-Girl Presents The Buzz & Darkdevil

Written by Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz
Art by Ron Frenz
Cover by Ron Frenz

Collects The Buzz #1-3, Darkdevil #1-3.

When crime, cults, and clones collide, the result is Darkdevil, son of one great Marvel hero and heir to another! Peer into the future’s past to see Spider-Girl’s ill-mannered mentor face the mortal machinations of the Kingpin and the more mystical ones of Zarathos, one-time Ghost Rider! But the bold and bombastic Buzz has no time for legacies when he sets his brand-new super-suit against Doctor Octopus and his latest student! Twin tales of Spider-Girl’s strongest allies and harshest critics, guest-starring the one true Spider-Girl herself!

Spider-Girl Presents The Buzz & Darkdevil

Taming The Wolf #1

Written by Deborah Simmons
Art by Nanao Hidaka

While traveling with her servants, Lady Marion’s caravan is attacked by bandits. A group of passing knights saves her and she accompanies them to their home, Campion Castle. Her arrival marks the beginning of her life among the wolves with Lord Campion and his six sons. One day, eldest son Dunstan returns to the castle and Marion feels something stir inside her that she has never felt before…

Taming The Wolf #1

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ComiXology Delivers 7 New Digital Comics for You Today from Marvel and Harlequin

ComiXology has a mix of new and classic comics for you today in their digital store. Get digital comics from Marvel and Harlequin. Check them all out here or the individual issues below.

Marvel Masterworks: Ant-Man/Giant-Man Vol. 1

Written by Ernie Hart, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber
Art by Dick Ayers, Don Heck, Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber
Cover by Richard Isanove, Jack Kirby

Collects material from Tales To Astonish (1959) #27 and #35-52.

Burned under the magnifying glass of overwhelming demand, Mighty Marvel has given in to bring you our smallest hero in his first big Masterwork! Scientist Hank Pym invented an amazing growth serum and a cybernetic helmet, making him the Astonishing Ant-Man! Teamed with the winsome Wasp, the tiny twosome battle a sensational array of mini- and maxi-sized menaces from the Scarlet Beetle to the Black Knight! And if that’s not enough to occupy a man of science, he’s also defending the good ol’ U.S. of A.’s secrets from the Commie hordes! But we’ve got more than just miniature mayhem for you, True Believer — you can also look forward to the birth of the biggest Avenger there ever was: Giant-Man!

Marvel Masterworks: Ant-Man/Giant-Man Vol. 1

Marvel Masterworks: Ant-Man/Giant-Man Vol. 2

Written by Al Hartley, Leon Lazarus, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber
Art by Dick Ayers, Carl Burgos, Steve Ditko, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, Bob Powell
Cover by Jack Kirby

Collects material from Tales To Astonish #53-69.

Hank Pym and his ladylove, Janet Van Dyne, make their highly requested return to the Marvel Masterworks in the concluding volume of Ant-Man/Giant-Man’s Silver Age adventures! Penned by no less than “The Man” himself, Stan Lee, and illustrated by an unmatched cadre of Bullpen embellishers from “Dazzling” Dick Ayers and “Sturdy” Steve Ditko to Golden Age greats Carl Burgos and Bob Powell, you’ll need high pockets to hold onto the action and adventure that’s in store for you. Giant-Man and the winsome Wasp have the decks stacked against them as they go up against an array of antagonists from the wild and weird Human Top, Porcupine, Colossus and the Wrecker to the Incredible Hulk, Attuma and Spider-Man! Also presenting the debut of the world’s tallest Avenger’s new look and the Wasp’s own solo feature!

Marvel Masterworks: Ant-Man/Giant-Man Vol. 2

Avengers Epic Collection: This Beachhead Earth

Written by Harlan Ellison, Roy Thomas
Art by Neal Adams, John Buscema, Sal Buscema, Frank Giacoia, Sam Grainger, Herb Trimpe
Cover by John Buscema

Collects Avengers (1963) #77-97; Incredible Hulk (1968) #140.

Roy Thomas’ epic run continues with the origin of the Black Panther, the debut of the Lady Liberators, the return of the Squadron Sinister and the all-time classic Kree/Skrull War! Caught in a cosmic crossfire, Earth has become the staging ground for a conflict of star-spanning proportions! Two eternal intergalactic enemies — the merciless Kree and the shape-shifting Skrulls — have gone to war, and our planet is situated on the front lines! Can Earth’s Mightiest Heroes bring about an end to the fighting before humanity becomes a casualty of war? And what good are even a dozen super-powered champions against the vast military machines of two of the greatest empires in the cosmos?

Avengers Epic Collection: This Beachhead Earth

Britannia All At Sea

Written by Betty Neels
Art by Kuremi Hazama

Head nurse Britannia finds herself strangely attracted to the stone-faced and stoic visiting professor Jake Luitingh van Thien.

Getting a glimpse into his softer side, Britannia takes him up on his offer to visit his hometown in Holland to find love…

Britannia All At Sea

Marvel Adventures Iron Man Vol. 3: Hero By Design

Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Scott Koblish, Graham Nolan
Cover by Francis Tsai

Collects Marvel Adventures Iron Man #9-12.

The Armored Avenger blasts through the third arc of his solo title in the critically acclaimed, best-selling Marvel Adventures line! Featuring an army of gray Iron Man armor automatons; the Chameleon; the spectacular Spider-Woman; the Living Laser; Canada’s greatest super heroes, Alpha Flight; Kiber the Cruel; and the return of Tony Stark’s missing father!

Marvel Adventures Iron Man Vol. 3: Hero By Design

Marvel Fanfare: Strange Tales

Written by Mike W. Barr, Charlie Boatner, Chris Claremont, Steven Grant, David Anthony Kraft, Bill Mantlo, Roger McKenzie, David Michelinie, Sandy Plunkett, Roger Stern, David Winn
Art by Joe Barney, Dave Cockrum, George Freeman, Michael Golden, Luke McDonnell, Sandy Plunkett, Marshall Rogers, P. Craig Russell, Paul Smith, Charles Vess, Trevor Von Eeden
Cover by Michael Golden

Collects Marvel Fanfare #1-7.

One of Marvel’s most unique anthology titles had a strong start with a classic Spider-Man/X-Men team-up saga in the Savage Land, presented here in its entirety, with more than a half-dozen additional tales! Mister Fantastic, alone against Annihilus! Captain America faces a forgotten wartime legacy! The Hulk vs. the circus! Christmas with Daredevil! Deathlok, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Ian McNee of MYSTIC ARCANA fame and more!

Marvel Fanfare: Strange Tales

Marvel Illustrated: The Last Of The Mohicans

Written by Roy Thomas
Art by Steve Kurth, Denis Medri
Cover by John Watson

Collects Marvel Illustrated: Last Of The Mohicans #1-6.

The first great hero in American fiction—in the first true American epic! Across the Eastern Wilderness rages the French and Indian War—with only a handful of English and Colonial troops standing in the path of the relentless army of General Montcalm and his fierce Iroquois allies. But arrayed against the invaders are Hawkeye, the fabled frontier scout, and his noble friends Chingachgook and Uncas, the only two survivors of the Mohican tribe. THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS is a tale of bravery and barbarism — of heroism amid the horrors of the final great war fought between the British and the French — and their Indian allies — for a land destined one day to seize its freedom in its own hands. James Fenimore Cooper’s famous novel has been adapted with all its legendary excitement intact by award-winning writer Roy Thomas, and artists Steven Kurth and Denis Medri.

Marvel Illustrated: The Last Of The Mohicans

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Review: Jack Kirby – The Epic Life of the King of Comics

Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics

Coming off his work on Fantastic Four Grand Design as judging by his art style and themes in comics like Super Powers, Godland, and American Barbarian, cartoonist Tom Scioli is an excellent choice to write, draw, color, and letter a graphic biography of Jack Kirby, who co-created Captain America, Hulk, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, New Gods, and characters too numerous to mention. In Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics, Scioli tells the story of Kirby’s life using a first-person narrative device drawing on a backlog of interviews and magazine articles about him while occasionally shifting the narrator to his beloved wife, Roz Kirby, and his collaborator/rival/general pain in the ass, Stan Lee to show their sides of Kirby’s life.

The main takeaway I got from Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics was that his life and vivid imagination were almost always linked, and Scioli shows this by drawing Kirby wide-eyed, almost like Astro Boy compared to his more realistic portrayals of the characters around him. There ends up being a big, emotional payoff to this technique, and it’s interesting to see Scioli’s art style shift with the time that Kirby was living in from the classic adventure and humor strips that took him away from gloomy New York to the power and pain of his war days where he escaped death so many times. This is followed up by the chameleon days of the 1950s where Kirby and Joe Simon tried to keep up with the latest trends in the industry like crime and Westerns and even invented a new one: romance, the 1960s where Kirby turned monsters into superheroes and created pop culture icons, the 1970s where he was freed from dialogue balloon fillers-in and could create a new mythology that was both epic and personal.

Finally, the story concludes in Kirby’s twilight years where he finally got things like health insurance and paid days off to take a trip to Israel with Roz and spend more time with his family while working in animation, getting royalties for his New Gods characters, and getting his greatest paycheck yet when the Image Comics founders inked some of his old, unpublished art to create Phantom Force. After Kirby’s death, Scioli does away with his usual six panel grid and uses smaller screens with photorealistic drawings of everything from Frank Miller eulogizing him to photorealistic style panels of stills from movies from 2000’s X-Men to the upcoming Eternals and New Gods, which draw almost solely from his vision.

But for every great idea or creation, there’s a reversal with Jack Kirby spending as much time in heated arguments in offices and occasionally court rooms as at the drawing board creating stories and worlds. However, Tom Scioli spends plenty of time showing Jack Kirby in the act of penciling or plotting comics drawing on everything from a documentary about Easter Island to the personality differences between conniving Stan Lee and affable Larry Lieber (Who was huge fan of Kirby’s Captain America as a kid) to develop the first bad guys in Journey into Mystery (And later, Thor.) as well as the relationship between Thor, Loki, and Odin. From early pages where Kirby is sprawled out with the full color Sunday comics section on his building’s fire escape, Scioli portrays him as sponge for stories and pop culture of all kinds, especially mythology and speculative fiction.

Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics

Instead of being a nerd and hoarding comics or toys in his room, Kirby combined these rich stories with his experiences as a member of a youth gang in New York or as a soldier in World War II to create stories that are both relatable and full of wonder even if a few like Stuntman and True Divorce Stories didn’t get made or got less hype than Captain America or Fantastic Four. Every movie, conversation, or story told to him became fodder for Kirby’s own work, and those around him realize this before him. For example, in the 1970s, DC Comics wanted him to do a horror story in the vein of Swamp Thing, which wasn’t his favorite genre, so after a pep talk from his assistants Mark Evanier and Steve Sherman, he created Etrigan the Demon by riffing off a scene in Prince Valiant where the protagonist disguises himself as one. Scioli’s grid darts from inspiration or conversation to penciled page and then success. (Or sometimes failure) However, that success is undercut by the exploitation that is a running theme throughout the comic, and it’s almost cathartic when the Ruby-Spears animators treat Kirby reverently as he works on the Thundarr the Barbarian cartoon.

Tom Scioli’s most visually compelling sequences in Jack Kirby are the portrayal of his war days where he acted as a scout going through enemy territory and using his talents that he previously lent to Captain America or Boy Commandos to maps of Nazi positions. There’s the uncertainty of the early days of training in Georgia and hiding out in buildings in France before being immediately drawn into combat during the heady post D-Day battles. Scioli’s bright or neutral palette goes dark or red as he realizes that his unit is basically on a suicide mission, and this tension continues to Kirby’s days as a scout with lots of lots of scarlet when he kills Nazis with a knife taken from an SS officer. It’s not dynamic and powerful like Jack Kirby’s superhero action stories; it’s just war. Kirby was just fighting to stay alive for another day and get home to see his wife, Roz. The most searing scene of all is when Kirby helps liberate a concentration camp, and Scioli draws a survivor like a living skeleton.

Kirby’s resistance towards fascism from basically telling the German American Bund that he would beat their asses if they showed up at Timely’s (Later Marvel) offices before World War II to his actions during the war and finally through some of his comics like Nick Fury and The Losers, which were based on his military service and the Fourth World saga, which was about freedom and resisting tyranny on a larger more epic level that would influence later creators like George Lucas. (Jack and Roz Kirby watching Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back together in theaters is one of the comic’s most smile inducing moments.) These Star Wars sequences are one of many ways that Tom Scioli looks at the bigger picture of the comics industry, pop culture, and current events to add background color and context to Jack Kirby’s life and work. For example, a depiction of JFK’s assassination immediately bleeds into Mr. Fantastic lying as if dead on the ground as part of Kirby’s big Hulk vs Thing epic in Fantastic Four. He immediately turned his emotions about this tragic event into great art.

Look Inside The Epic Life of the King of Comics and See the Early ...

In a more of an inside baseball way (And honestly, the comics industry of the Golden and Silver Ages is begging to be turned into a Mad Men-esque prestige TV show.), Tom Scioli traces the relationships between Jack Kirby and various comics industry figures over the years. Obviously, Stan Lee takes up most of the space, but there are also some smaller moments like Kirby having a friendly relationship with Bob Kane as yet another freelancer for the Eisner/Iger studio to seeing him as arrogant and obnoxious or the tension between him and his various inkers like Vince Colletta (Who showed his DC pages to Marvel staffers), Mike Royer (Who drew Big Barda like Cher and got chewed out), and Joe Sinnott (Who shows up for one panel with Kirby and a Thing cosplayer). Tom Scioli is interested in both the art and commerce side of making comics, and it shines through the loving touches he gives to both Kirby at his drawing table and Kirby in a shouting match with Stan Lee about credits on their books. His prose is zippy, and Jack Kirby’s dry as a bone humor comes out in his dialogue.

Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics is a carefully crafted, appreciative feast of a biographical comic. Tom Scioli cites his sources in the back but focuses more on trying to get in the mind of Jack Kirby and think about how he would react to everything from his parents’ deaths to another guy trying to date Roz or even Stan Lee trying to slyly steal his Mister Miracle concept art to use in Fantastic Four. With Kirby’s expressive eyes as a kind of spirit guide, the book is a heartbreaking, yet empowering experience, and by the end of the book, I thought that not only would this website not exist without Jack Kirby, that I probably wouldn’t either. And now I’m off to actually finish his Fourth World saga!

Story: Tom Scioli Art: Tom Scioli
Story: 9.0 Art: 10.0 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Purchase: AmazonKindle

Around the Tubes

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1

Things are ramping up and we’ve got some interviews coming at you over the next few days, reviews, and so much more! While you wait for that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Beat – RIP Martin Pasko – Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

The Comics Journal – Richard Sala 1955-2020 – Our thought are also with his friends and family.

The Beat – A YEAR OF FREE COMICS: Follow the comedic adventures of Basri and Hector in ELF & WARRIOR – Free comics!

Newsarama – KICKSTARTER’s Comics Outreach Lead CAMILLA ZHANG Laid Off – It’ll be interesting to see who, if anyone fills the role, if anyone ever does.

CBR – Did Jack Kirby Ever Draw Wolverine in a Comic Book? – Hadn’t thought about this, but now that it’s brought up…

Variety – The CW Acquires Rights to ‘Swamp Thing,’ ‘Tell Me a Story’ – Interesting.

Book Riot – Hmmm: How to Read The Witcher Books and Comics – For those wondering where to start and where to go from there.


The Beat – A Man & His Cat
Newsarama – Bad Karma #1
Newsarama – Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1

Captain America, Created by Stan Lee!?

From today’s Captain America: The End comes this interesting bit. Captain America apparently has now been created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Maybe this is a different Captain Americ than the one created by Kirby and Joe Simon? Yeah, that’s the ticket…

Captain America Stan Lee

Jack Kirby’s Dingbat Love Assembles the Famed Creator’s Final Unseen Comics Work

Dingbat Love

Now shipping is Jack Kirby’s Dingbat Love, a new full-color hardcover presenting the final unpublished stories by the co-creator of the Marvel Universe.

Produced by TwoMorrows Publishing (in cooperation with DC Comics), it compiles a tempestuous trio of never-seen 1970s Kirby projects intended for DC Comics. These are the final complete, unpublished Jack Kirby stories in existence, presented here for the first time, and include: 

  • Two unused Dingbats of Danger Street tales (Kirby’s final Kid Gang group, inked by Mike Royer and D. Bruce Berry, and newly colored for this book). One of these stories is shown alongside Kirby’s pencil art, for a side-by-side comparison to the finished art.
  • True-Life Divorce, the abandoned newsstand magazine that was too hot for its time (reproduced from Kirby’s pencil art—and as a bonus, Mike Royer was commissioned to ink one of the stories).
  • Soul Love, the unseen ’70s romance book so funky, even a jive turkey will dig the unretouched inks by Vince Colletta and Tony DeZuniga. It’s presented in full-color as originally intended, along with unfinished inked pages.

The book’s editor, Kirby historian John Morrow, provides an in-depth examination of why these projects went unused, along with concept art and uninked pencils from Dingbats of Danger Street. Also featured are deluxe fold-out pages showcasing Kirby’s two-page spreads, essays by 1970s Kirby assistants Mark Evanier and Steve Sherman, and a remarkable collaboration between Jack Kirby and superstar painter Alex Ross.

Review: For Real #1

For Real #1 dives into the life of Jack Kirby juxtaposing his cancer diagnosis with his time during World War II. Also featured is an essay about the comic great.

Story: James Romberger
Art: James Romberger

Get your copy in comic shops now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Uncivilized Books

Uncivilized Books provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Preview: Marvel Masterworks Pin-Up HC

Marvel Masterworks Pin-Up HC

(W) Craig Yoe (A) John Severin, John Romita, Wally Wood (CA) Steve Ditko
In Shops: Nov 13, 2019
SRP: $34.99

An incredible artbook showcasing some of the greatest comic artists of all time! Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Jim Steranko, Don Heck, John Byrne, Barry Windsor-Smith, John Severin, Wally Wood, John Romita, and many more!
As part of the tremendous fun of Silver Age comics, artists created pin-ups of the most popular Marvel heroes and villains! Now the greatest of those works of art are gathered for the first time in a beautiful large-format hardback book! Included are rare examples of original art of The Thing, Spider-Man, and Dr. Strange.

True believers, thrill to pulsating pinups of Spidey, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, The Avengers, Nick Fury, Daredevil, Millie the Model (!), and the ever lovin’ blue-eyed Thing-and many marvelous more!

Marvel Masterworks Pin-Up HC

Review: Fantastic Four Grand Design #1 is Sometimes Overwhelming, Sometimes Fun

Fantastic Four Grand Design #1

Tom Scioli is a cartoonist whose works owes almost everything to legendary creator, Jack Kirby, and he gets to pay homage to one of his and Stan Lee’s finest creations in Fantastic Four Grand Design #1. The Fantastic Four don’t even show up as a team (Time travel be damned) until page 14 of the book. Scioli spends the first portion of this extended length comic trying to create a grand cosmic narrative for the Marvel Universe featuring the Krees, Skrulls, Deviants, Eternals, Inhumans, and cities of Attilan, Lemuria, and Atlantis with a side of secret societies and Uatu the Watcher as a POV character in a similar manner to Ed Piskor’s X-Men Grand Design. This prelude is just a foretaste of the overwhelming as a narrative, yet satisfying on a style and individual panel level that this comic is.

Scioli definitely has some storytelling chops and cleverness up his sleeve. He doesn’t start with Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm stealing a rocket to “beat the Reds into space”, but by paralleling the Fantastic Four with the four Celestials that helped accelerate evolution on Earth with a nifty pink, green, yellow, and red color palette. Uatu the Watcher saving Taa (Later Galactus) from the destruction of his planet as his body dissolves and changes form is clearly inspired by the Thing changing from human to monster and is a beautiful meditation on divine intervention. In the early going, the comic also has a nice structure with one page, almost Sunday comic strips introducing major cast members like the Fantastic Four as well as supporting cast members like the Inhumans, Namor, Dr. Doom, and even Black Panther.

However, after these character introductions, the FF’s origin, and some strong storytelling showing how Fantastic Four went from a monster to a superhero comic (It’s all about the branding.), Fantastic Four Grand Design #1 becomes an episodic, 20+ panels on a page mess. Tom Scioli has the cram 46 issues of comics into 21 pages, and he includes each and every villain battle and plot development before ending the first issue on the great, logical cliffhanger of right before the Galactus Trilogy. (The little appearances of Silver Surfer are majestic so far, and I can’t wait to see Scioli’s take on Kirby krackle and the way he moves through the cosmos.)

Tom Scioli does nail the dysfunctional family dynamic, and his Invisible Girl and Namor have some searing chemistry, but the lack of transitions once he hits the “Fantastic Four go on adventures” part is overwhelming. For example, Daredevil shows up in the middle of a battle, and he is neither introduced or commented on as he just disappears once the brawl is over. Scioli pummels readers with plot summaries from the past, but with a fun art style and better one-liners than Stan Lee. His Thing is sassy as hell when he’s not being used as a plot device. In general, Scioli’s characterization is up and down as he joins the long list of creators to fail at making the Inhumans likable with the exception of Crystal’s West Side Story type relationship with Johnny Storm plus Lockjaw being his adorable self.

Tom Scioli shows his clear reverence for Marvel’s Silver Age comics, especially the work of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, in Fantastic Four Grand Design #1 with his powerful figure work, far out colors, and soap opera on speed plotting. He uses the beginning of the comic to try to place the Fantastic Four in an, er, grander cosmic narrative, but it all falls apart by the end. With its 20+ panel pages coupled with high attention to detail on each panel, Fantastic Four Grand Design is more hyper-caffeinated history level than an enjoyable comic, and honestly, would have worked better as a page a day webcomic in the vein of Scioli’s previous creator-owned work than a traditional floppy.

Story: Tom Scioli Art: Tom Scioli
Story: 6.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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