Saturday, January 8, 2011

Forever Plastino!

One of the most peculiar editorial decisions I can remember in comics, is when DC Comics, specifically Carmine Infantino, went to great lengths to lure the dynamo creative talent of Jack Kirby away from Marvel and Stan Lee, and after securing his services with promises of sweeping creative control, beginning to nitpick his work and even altering it. Why would you hire someone of Kirby's magnitude and selling potential and then undermine them? It's always been a confusing issue for me to parse.

The result was that wonderful men like Al Plastino and Murphy Anderson were called upon to redraw Superman in issues of Jimmy Olsen and Forever People. The alterations by Anderson are stark, but the ones by Plastino are totally off kilter given the other artwork on display.

The most random of these "additions" is the page above from Forever People #1. The Superman figure drawn by Al Plastino is clearly a last minute add on, and perhaps intended to be only a symbolic image of the Man of Steel, but unfortunately it's placement makes you almost think Superman is supposed to really be in the background of this wonderful two-page splash.

It's jarring.

It's a pity that DC editorial couldn't see what a whirlwind they had on hand and unleash Kirby fully onto the public. It's possible their fortunes might've changed during the Bronze Age, and perhaps they might not be the eternal second banana to Marvel that they have become.

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