Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Kirbyverse 2.0!

I took Dynamite up on the offer and sampled the Alex Ross and Kurt Busiek produced Jack Kirby zero issue. As such things go it was a fairly rich package with lots of sketches and designs along with a smidge of story to give you a glimpse into what's coming.

It of course involves nearly all the Jack Kirby concepts not already owned by someone else. Captain Victory, Silver Star, and many other creations from Kirby's drawing board are gathered into a shared universe.

The premise is simple. The Pioneer Probe left Earth many years ago, and on it was a plaque telling such folk out there who we are. The design for that plague was done by Kirby (which is close to real life but not quite) and it is indeed found and the invitation is accepted. The series will be about those that accept the invite, and others who have to deal with that.

Not bad really, but not something I'll be following. The artwork is vivid, but the storytelling is wanting. It's easy to lose your way in the complex and vivid pages. And Dynamite with its zillion alternate covers always makes me wince on these new projects. Add in that I'm not really getting new comics, and I have to say no to this.

I enjoyed the Kirbyverse comics years ago from Topps. But this new rendition leaves me a tad cold, despite Busiek's considerable attempt to make it warm up.

Maybe I'll change my mind. We'll see.

Rip Off


  1. I worked with Kurt Busiek a long time ago and I like him a great deal, and I've enjoyed the hell out of his writing, so I don't mean this as a slur against him. But in some ways…Kurt is the anti-Kirby. He's very thoughtful and methodical and acts like a conservator of character backstories and comics history. It's all very earnest and considered. You read Astro City or Avengers Forever -- one of my favorites, I'm not dissing it -- and it's like he's a responsible librarian or the curator of a superhero museum creating a beautiful, tasteful diorama. Kirby, on the other hand, would never have cared to devote himself to characters or concepts invented by other people, and he thought bigger than anyone. He didn't do carefully crafted miniatures. Kirby hit you with the thrills from page one. As a result, I'm afraid this project never made a whole lot of sense to me.

  2. Excellent observations. I'd have to agree with many of your points. I'm a huge Busiek fan (loved his Conan and Avengers Forever was truly an epic tale) but I do get a DC Challenge feel off this project, like the creators are having to work too hard to make everything fit.

    Rip Off

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  4. I'm gonna cut them a little slack, since it has to be daunting to pull together both established Kirby properties and snippets of ideas from unfinished material or unrealized projects.

    Don't forget that Alex Ross is also involved in creating the basic story framework here, and he at least appreciates the scope that King Kirby always captured.

    Two issues in and this series has definitely lived up to my expectations far better than what passes for superheroics at either DC or Marvel these days - for the most part


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