This week, we’re journeying to the Fourth World to talk about Jack Kirby’s The Forever People #3, which sees radical extremist Glorious Godfrey preaching the good word of Anti-Life, and helping the brainwashed masses justify their hatred, all in service of Darkseid.
Comics have always mirrored American culture back at the American reader, but no single character in comics seems to reflect back as much as Captain America. Created to fight the Nazis, and draped in the colors of the flag, the iconic figure carries an extra significance in his portrayal no matter what the political climate, and he has frequently been a source of controversy. Even in his debut, on December 20, 1940, Captain America was showing Americans something not everyone wanted to see.
On December 9, 1965, a shining man flew down from the sky, looked around for a bit, and then doomed the Earth. Or at least he meant to at the time. This was Fantastic Four #48, by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, and of course the shining man from the sky was the Silver Surfer.
On December 10th 1963, Marvel Comics published Tales of Suspense #39 by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Don Heck, which introduced the world to the cool exec with a heart of steel, Iron Man.
Throughout his comics career, Iron Man has always provided an opportunity for creators to tell more complex and mature stories within the superhero genre, and the character has emerged as a household name thanks to a number of successful feature films.
This week, as I occasionally do, I’m shifting focus to a project that’s actually happening. After years of talk about a movie, the announcement has come that the Inhumans are getting a television series on ABC, with a premiere in IMAX theaters for some reason. The show, to the relief of fans, will focus on the Inhuman Royal Family, aka the original Inhuman characters created by Jack Kirby. And to the surprise of nobody, Vin Diesel, long-rumored for the role of Black Bolt, is probably not on board.
So what does an Inhumans TV show look like?
It feels almost too clichéd to be worth saying: whether you're naming a favorite superhero or a favorite comics monster, the Thing is no surprise for the top of either list. In fact the archetype of the monster as member of a superhero team started with him, and with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, who introduced the character in Fantastic Four #1. He wasn't exactly the first superheroic monster, but he was the first one who wasn't a loner, and the first whose gruff but self-conscious demeanor contrasted with the sunnier dispositions of his non-monstrous teammates.
Q: Can you explain the difference between the Black Racer and the Black Flash and why DC needs both? - @CoreyInformin
A: Oh, this one's easy. Black Racer has skis. All right, cool, see y'all next week!
Okay, fine, it's a little more complicated than that. Despite the obvious difference in appearance and the fact that one of those characters tends to only show up around the Flash, they're actually pretty similar characters, both in terms of powers and in terms of what they represent. In the DC Universe, they're both aspects of capital-D Death, and I don't just think DC needs both of them, I think it could probably use a whole lot more.
When Jack Kirby came to DC Comics, darkness followed after him. He arrived ready to build his own mythology, the interlocking Fourth World, a saga of gods locked in an eternal interplanetary war, with Earth caught in the middle.
And Kirby wasted no time introducing the villain of that saga, a gray-skinned god of evil named Darkseid. What Kirby didn't see coming was that he'd created such a great villain that he would grow larger than Kirby's saga and become perhaps the most important villain of the DC Universe.
On this day in 1913, one of the most influential creators in the history of the comic book industry was born. Joe Simon --- best known as the co-creator of Captain America alongside Jack Kirby --- helped establish superhero comics as one of the most exciting and dynamic storytelling forms of the 20th century, and created a host of iconic characters alongside Cap.
Sci-Fi Week is ending on ComicsAlliance, but I couldn't resist doing one more special Cast Party. This time I'm focusing on one of DC's all-time greatest sci-fi comics, Jack Kirby's OMAC.