This month, the “King”, Jack Kirby, would have been 100 years old. His world-renowned comic book creations (Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Fourth World characters, etc.), however, are ever young. They remain in print, re-reprint, reimagined and returned to the Kirby greatness that originally saw their inspiration.
Throughout the summer, the writers of Biff Bam Pop! have been celebrating #Kirby100 with a series of articles which you can find right here.
Throughout the month of August, DC Comics has been celebrating Jack Kirby with various comic book one-shots and series, aimed at drawing attention to the multitude of DC heroes and villains that the “King” had created. One also gets the sense that the publisher is setting them up for a renewed pop-culture push, putting them front and center in the DC Universe.
Today sees the release of the first issue of the highly anticipated Mister Miracle!
August 28th to be precise.
We here at Biff Bam Pop! are big fans of the “The King”. How could we not be?
If you’re a fan of comic books and all those movies they’ve produced over the last few decades based on them, then you’re a fan of Jack Kirby, whether you know it or not. The man created pretty much all of your favourite heroes – especially if you’re a Marvel Comics fan.
Captain America, Fantastic Four, X-Men and the Hulk are just a small smattering of Kirby’s imaginative pop culture creations during the middle part of the last century.
But for a time, he worked at rival publisher, DC Comics, as well – and created an entire world of heroes and villains and long-lasting characters that some say could have rivaled the ones he created at Marvel in popularity, if not for decades of poor marketing and company indifference.
DC Comics is celebrating #Kirby100 all month long with a series of special publications – the first of which drops today in the form of The New Gods Special #1.
Let’s get on it!
Status, ruling class, and sub species.
And “King” Jack Kirby.
The theme of social status was the starting point of Kirby’s New Gods comic book title when he strode across the publishing divide, walking away from Marvel Comics and turning his talents and ideas to rival DC Comics.
And boy did he bring ideas and characters that still reverberate nearly five decades later: Darkseid, the Anti-Life Equation, New Genesis, Apokolips, gods, monsters, destiny… and politics.
Not to mention the visionary publishing invention of interlocking titles that constitute one, finite story.
Still, social status was only one of the themes of Jack Kirby’s “Fourth World” series of those interlocking comic book titles that included New Gods, Mister Miracle, The Forever People and Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olson.
That story of social status continues, with a new generation of great creators in this week’s release of Bug!: The Adventures Of A Forager #1!
The uncharted ether of imagination.
That’s what brings us to today.
Over the last month and a half, we’ve begun unofficially celebrating the year of comic book legend Jack Kirby’s birth here at Biff Bam Pop! The “King” as he’s affectionately called, would be 100 years young this year…and make no mistake, his many pop culture creations live long and strong.
You know many of them: Captain America, The Fantastic Four, Hulk, Silver Surfer, X-Men, etc., etc., etc.
Without Kirby, you could argue there would be no superhero comics, no Marvel Cinematic Universe, no Wednesday Run!
But beyond those characters listed, did you know about Kirby’s early 1970’s Fourth World creations: his “Cosmic Odyssey”? It was a series of interconnected titles that would tell one complete story, a publishing revelation, far ahead of its time!
Well, look no further than today release of the Kirby-inspired, late twentieth century release of, Cosmic Odyssey: The Deluxe Edition – and discover the King’s imagination run rampant across the universe!
Ever since DC Comics implemented their “New 52” initiative wherein they rebooted all of their monthly titles as new first issues, nearly two years ago (God, “New” is not so new anymore is it?), a select group of hard-core fans have patiently been waiting for only one thing:
The return of the DC Comics Fourth World.
It seems that the Fourth World has been teased, periodically, within the pages of the Wonder Woman title. But today, those teases triumphantly end. Today, the Fourth World is finally in the here and the now, an integral part of the new and ongoing Wonder Woman mythos and part and parcel with DC’s (somewhat) “New 52”!
But what is the Fourth World, you ask?
Oh, it’s something special. Something with lots of history…