This month would have seen the “King’s” 100th birthday, you see, and his numerous creations are front and center, as they’ve touched so many lives during the seven decade-long working career of the artist/writer/creator.
Lucky for us, DC Comics has been publishing one-off Kirby specials all month long, featuring some of his most loved – and most obscure – comic book creations.
So far this month, this column has highlighted:
None of these characters share the convoluted history of the protagonist in today’s double-sized, wholly exciting, release of the Kirby-created Manhunter #1!
His artistry was, and remains, so innovative and influential in the comic book zeitgeist that the industry named awards after him. Heck, they even named a visual image after him: the affectionately known, “Kirby Krackle.”
How pervasive is writer and artist Jack Kirby in pop culture?
You can scan the litany of comic book characters that the man created or co-created and you’d be certain to find dozens that are your favourites. From the globally renowned Captain America, Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men series of characters, to the populace’s burgeoning awareness of Darkseid and Black Panther, to the more niche creations of Kamandi, Etrigan the Demon and Destroyer Duck. With Kirby, the list of great characters goes on and on and on.
Without him, pop culture and comic books wouldn’t be at all what we know it to be today.
This August marks the 100th birthday of Jack Kirby and we here at Biff Bam Pop! mean to celebrate that auspicious centennial with a plethora of written accolades all summer long!
This is your cordial invitation to our #Kirby100 party!
In the final moments of the last episode of the last season, The Flash did the unthinkable, the impossible, the only thing he thought he could/should do. He traveled backward through time and saved his mother from the murderous Reverse-Flash – he changed time. And when he returned home in the present, everything was different, and maybe not a good kind of different. Meet me after the time-bending jump for my thoughts on “Flashpoint!”
I, like many others, became familiar with the work of Darwyn Cooke through his DC: The New Frontier (2004), a six-issue miniseries that reexamined DC Comics’ stable of superheroes within the confines of the mid twentieth century and the changing political shape of America after World War II and into the Cold War era. DC: The New Frontier introduced readers to dozens of world-famous characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and even not-so-famous-but-beloved characters like the Challengers of the Unknown, meeting each other for the first time – in the same chronological order that they were originally published during the mid-twentieth century. It brought characters and ideas through the Golden Age of comic books (1930’s to 1950’s) to the burgeoning silver age (1950’s to 1970’s), with the story actually culminating in the foundation of the Justice League of America.
It was a brilliant idea. A tribute as much to the publishing history of comic books as it was a rollicking superhero adventure, the acclaimed series would garner multiple awards including Eisner Awards for Best Limited Series, Best Coloring and Best Publication Design. It also won Harvey Awards including Best Artist, and a Shuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist. DC: The New Frontier has been collected in numerous formats include a Deluxe and Absolute version, and was made into a direct-to-video animated film which preserved Cooke’s distinctive artistic sensibilities.
A comic book character created during the Golden Age of comic books, circa 1942.
You know, during wartime.
And, of course, war heroes were big in comics during WWII. What young American boy wouldn’t want to see an army, naval or air force officer put the hot-lead screws to the Axis powers? And so, Airboy was created by writers Charles Biro, Dick Wood and artist Al Camy in the pages of Air Fighter Comics #2, published by Hillman Periodicals, and he did just that.
But like many characters created during the Golden Age of comics, Airboy himself needed saving from obscurity. He needed dramatic reinvention. In 1986, Eclipse Comics produced new Airboy tales, starring the son of the original character.
But what do you do with Airboy for a twenty-first century audience?
Well, that’s exactly what the Airboy Deluxe Hardcover ponders. And it’s like nothing you – or even AIrboy – could ever imagine!
Follow me after the jump for a taste of the wild blue yonder!
When last we left “The Flash,” the West extended family was welcoming Wally into their home for the holidays, and the Harrison Wells of Earth-Two was secretly working with Zoom to steal our hero’s speed and/or kill him. And if that good news/bad news isn’t enough, in this episode the Flash faces the newly revamped television version of a Flash super-villain who dates back to the Golden Age of comics – the Turtle! Meet me after the super speed jump for my thoughts on “Potential Energy.”
In the comics, it’s usually the heroes who have complicated backstories and casts of characters. All you need to know about the bad guys is that they are, well, bad. Some villains do have that background, and some have families, loved ones, origins, backgrounds, and motivations. Captain Cold is a good example. He has friends and family. In this week’s episode of “The Flash,” we learn a bit more about Cold. We’ve met his partner, his sister, and now, his father. Join me after the super speed jump for my thoughts on “Family of Rogues.”
If there was one comics story I would never have thought would be brought to the screen, small or silver, or even adapted, it would be “Flash of Two Worlds,” one of the most pivotal tales in the history of the DC Comics Universe. I had been asked in the 102nd episode of The GAR! Podcast what I wanted to see in “The Flash” this season, and never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this. I am in nerd heaven. Meet me after the double super-speed jump for my thoughts on “Flash of Two Worlds!”
If you were a regular viewer of “The Flash” television series last season, or just a reader of my episode-by-episode reviews of that series, you have heard the word “Crisis,” usually mentioned with more than a bit of dread. You’ve seen that holographic newspaper from the future in the Reverse-Flash’s Braille room, that also talked about a “Crisis” and red skies. Crises in the comics are usually bad news for Flashes. Meet me after the jump and I’ll try to enlighten you on the legendary Crisis on Infinite Earths.