Friday, August 11, 2017

100 Days Of The King - Day 83

Way back in those wild and woolly 80's when I traded off a bunch of my DC comics, I kept my Kirby books, and among those were issues of DC's exceedingly fun Who's Who run. This handbook style comic made an attempt to document most of the heroes villains and some others much in the style of the Marvel Handbook. The major difference was that it tended not to be as detailed (often not feasible with heroes decades old) and it featured artwork by talents associated with the characters (for the most part). So we were treated to some of Jack Kirby's final published takes on his Fourth World characters and others he'd created for DC.

Among those creations were the Challengers of the Unknown. Here we see them in all their glory. Kirby had lost a step or two by the time he produced these, but they still are filled with charm.

Many folks prefer the style Kirby had when he was producing material for the Challengers and after early Atlas/Marvel. I like it too, though his later more mature style remains my favorite.

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  1. You know, I understand the importance of the Silver Age Kirby work - it did construct the Marvel Universe, after all. But I feel it was his 1970s work wherein the true artist came out and radiated with a strong drawing style and powerful stories that kept twisting his old concerns into newer, more interesting permutations. I'm starting to see with my reading the 4th World for the first time and now rereading the 1970s Marvel stuff that it was Kirby's DC work that was the great summit of all his accomplishments. That is just my perspective, and I have not at all read everything, but I'm starting to think the Silver Age work was there to pave the way for the even better work that was coming in the next decade.

    1. I concur with that. The Fourth World was the apogee of his skills. He was the height of style and power during that early 70's period and by the time he's leaving Marvel later in the decade you can begin to see a little of an edge coming off. By the time he returned to DC in the 80's his skills were diminished and it was painfully obvious.

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