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Back Issue #131 October 2021 (magazine review).

October 26, 2021 | By | Reply More

Editor Mike Eury points out in his editorial that TwoMorrows other publication, ‘The Kirby Collector’ deals with Jack Kirby’s comicbooks. However, after 130 issues they are going to look at the King’s legacy and what happened to the characters he created at DC Comics after he moved back to Marvel.

The Demon was the most popular with a shift to ‘Swamp Thing’ and Alan Moore giving him his rhyming dialogue and grew out of that. Robert V. Conte interviews many of the people who used the character. Although I didn’t read all stories, the Demon really was a move away from the type of character Kirby was associated with for so long.

The look at Kamandi by Bryan Stroud is equally in depth, rolling a little off the success of the ‘Planet Of The Apes’ films but with different talking animals and kept going long after Kirby left and went back to Marvel. When you have a whole world to explore, a good chunk of it was by other writers and artists.

I remember the gasmasked Sandman, largely because of the Jules Feiffer book. Here Ed Lute looks at Kirby’s second resurrection of the character, something I missed on its original run. I’m not sure if a yellow and red costume looks eerie enough for someone who lives in dreams but could be regarded as a typical Kirby costume when you consider how he would have dressed Spider-Man.

I did pick up on ‘OMAC’ when I returned to comics back in the 1970s but as a short run comic title, it wasn’t hard to get all the issues. Brian Martin points out all the things that Kirby did that since become reality although I think the boxed female robots hasn’t happened yet. In some things, I’m surprised Martin never drew any comparisons to Captain America. After all, both characters were enhanced combat soldiers. OMAC’s continuous use does tend to neglect a lot of the aspects of Kirby’s future just to use the character. Of all of Kirby’s DC creations, OMAC’s longevity seems most assured. Brother Eye is watching you.

Carmine Infantino got Kirby to do some one-offs for ‘1st Issue Special’, too early in their run for me to have seen and James Heath Lantz fills me in on Atlas, Manhunter, the Dingbats and later with Kobra, The Losers and Kung-Fu Fighter. Looking at them, with that odd cowl on, I’m not sure how Atlas would have survived without his peripheral vision in that cowl.

Looking as a whole and objectivity full on, its obvious Kirby was not a good fit returning to DC Comics. I’m not wholly convinced by his desire to both write and draw, which put him outside of DC’s other characters, which were far more editor controlled anyway and unlikely to be let lose on, more so as he didn’t catch Superman’s likeness when he was in ‘The Forever People’ and ‘Jimmy Olsen’. Inker Mike Royer kept to Kirby’s lines with none of the polish Joe Sinnott provided over at Marvel.

When it came to other people doing their own thing with his characters, it was more of a refined line with modern graphics. OMAC under Starlin could still be seen as a Kirby character, Kamandi certainly still older than a teen and the Demon didn’t really change. Oddly, although not covered here but in an earlier ‘Back Issue’, the New Gods and Darkseid themselves did become integrated with the DC Universe so there is some Kirby legacy there. There’s a lot to learn from this ‘Back Issue’ so don’t miss it.

GF Willmetts

October 2021

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ (US))

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and https://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_54&products_id=1621

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Category: Magazines, Superheroes

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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