Obviously Jack Kirby is the greatest comic book artist of all time, but most will agree he's also one of the medium's greatest writers. He wrote the way he drew: Big and loud and primal, but with a surprising amount of intricacy and nuance waiting to be discovered amid the crackling explosions. We've put together a list of the ten essential stories that you should read if you want to get more familiar with the King.
Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen
For as long as there have been comic books full of men and women dressed in bright colors performing heroic deeds, there have been comic books involving giant mutant gorillas standing in their way. It was established in the Silver Age that if you put a gorilla on the cover, you would sell more copies of that comic, so there's a wealth of amazing covers with noble apes front-and-center. This gallery collects some of the best.
So let's talk about the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club for a minute.
I love Jimmy Olsen, and I will go to bat for him as being one of the single greatest comic book characters of all time, but even I am occasionally mystified by the fact that in the canon of the Silver Age, he had a worldwide fan club whose members thrilled to his every adventure, purely by virtue of just being Some Guy Who Knew Superman. I mean, Lois had a fan club, too, but that makes sense. She's an ace reporter and a go-getter. But I've read a lot of Jimmy Olsen comics in my day, and I don't know that I've ever seen any indication that he's actually any good at his job.
Perhaps the weirdest thing about the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club isn't that it exists, but that it once inadvertently caused Jimmy, Superman, and Supergirl to screw up so bad that it took a dozen tiny Supermen to fix it.
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.
So hey, you know how Jimmy Olsen sometimes runs into a mystical jewel called the Star of Cathay that sends his consciousness back in time to his past life as famous 13th century merchant and explorer Marco Polo, who also had a super-powered pal in the form of a genie named Korul? If you don't, that's fine, I'm pretty sure there are only five or six people who are obsessed with Jimmy Olsen to the point of paying attention to his past lives, and at least two of them work for ComicsAlliance.
The point is, that was a strange piece of DC's Bronze Age continuity, but maybe the weirdest thing about it was that it wasn't the only time Jimmy Olsen got sent back to a past life. So I guess the question I really wanted to ask was: You know how Jimmy Olsen used to be Spartacus?