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->''"Right, the war. We've been at war with Apokolips since forever and then some. It's had its ups and downs, frankly. (...) Although, I have to admit it... that time also introduced those strange, glowing black dots upon which our society is built. Would'' you ''want to live upon a dotless New Genesis? Right, I didn't think you did..."''
-->-- '''Highfather''', Mightygodking's RemixComic of ''Death Of The New Gods'' issue #1.

Kirby Dots are a method of showing a crackle of energy such as a lightning bolt or a BattleAura. They've been widely used in US superhero comics ever since they were first developed by influential artist Creator/JackKirby in the 1960s. Sometimes referred to as 'Kirby Crackle'.

The technique consists of drawing a series of overlapping dots along the edge of the energy effect in question, forming a fractal-like edge. It is used primarily in print comics, but is sometimes replicated in animation by particularly slavish adaptations.

There now exists a [[http://www.theycamefromhollywood.com/octopusmotor/kirbydots/ CGI tool]] for automatically creating Kirby Dots, and even animating them. Interestingly, an analogous technique called 'particle emission' is used in VideoGame graphics for rendering fire, smoke, clouds and, not surprisingly, energy fields. This is, however, mostly because of technical limitations -- it's just really hard and computationally intensive to create a polygonal object that changes shape the way fire does. Particle emissions are merely the next best thing.

Not to be confused with [[Franchise/{{Kirby}} a dot named Kirby]] or the Nerdrock Band Music/{{Kirby Krackle|Music}}.



[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In Marvel Comics, Galactus' Power Cosmic is represented with Kirby Crackle, having been first created by Kirby himself. In ''Silver Surfer'' (Vol. 8) #14, it's revealed the time-travelling Silver Surfer arbitrarily chose the Power Cosmic's signature to be red with black dots in the memory of his late wife Dawn Greenwood, whose clothing of choice was red with black dots.
* Special mention goes to Kirby's renditions of {{God}}.
* Jack Kirby himself in the cover of ''Comic Book Comics'' #4 is holding drawing tools glowing with his signature crackle.
* ''Franchise/XMen'': Sunspot becomes solid black and is surrounded by Kirby Crackle when he powers up. (Originally. Lately, it's dark blue and mostly dotless.) ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'', despite not being a particularly slavish adaptation, ''especially'' visually, rendered the dot effect perfectly, much better than you'd think it'd work onscreen. According to the Official Handbook, the dots are his powers affecting the dust around him and turning them black. But yeah, the dots are basically there to offset his otherwise monochromatic and boring design.
* ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis'': Alexander [[ComicBook/LexLuthor Luthor]] Jr.'s powers tend to rely heavily on this. What they actually are is not elaborated on further than "dimensional abilities."
* Galacta ([[DistaffCounterpart daughter]] of ComicBook/{{Galactus}}) [[http://twitter.com/#!/Gali_girl/status/1873418623 reveals offhandedly]] on her [[CharacterBlog Twitter account]] that mere humans cannot perceive the Power Cosmic where it affects reality, and blanks it out in our minds. She further lampshades that some people call the visual result "Kirby Dots".
* The ''Franchise/SpiderMan''-''[[ComicBook/FantasticFour Human Torch]]'' miniseries hung a lampshade on it. In the second issue, Spider-Man and the Torch trade "beats" to see who has it toughest, and Spidey accompanies the rest of the F4 on a trip to another dimension.
-->'''Spider-Man:''' AAAAH! Did you see that? The whole world went trippy! And those lights! And what's with the big black dots everywhere?
* ''ComicBook/ImmortalIronFist'': Iron Fist's trademark attack involves charging up his fist with red or golden energy. It just looks ''wrong'' whenever it is shown without the Kirby krackle.
* In DC's ''ComicBook/New52'', this style of energy seems to be visual shorthand for things that tie into Fourth World stuff especially with OMAC and Earth 2's Al Pratt, characters whose powers are hinted at being consequences of New Gods tech. Perhaps only fitting, as it was Jack Kirby himself who originally created Fourth World and the New Gods.
* In ''ComicBook/GothamCityGarage'', a green-and-white Kirby Krackle surrounds Big Barda every time she starts up her cosmic rod.
* ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'':
** Kirby Crackle were often used in the ''Comicbook/RedDaughterOfKrypton'' storyline, when [[http://infinitecomix.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/SprGrl-28-2.jpg Supergirl's eyes poured sheer red energy]] or her BattleAura [[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-d7rt4OOOMBE/U0pMV4L3ugI/AAAAAAAACUk/zLSydgkM9Rc/s1600/Red+Lantern+%252329+%25284%2529.jpg flared up]].
** In ''Comicbook/ManyHappyReturns'', this effect was used when Kara was flying in the second-to-last-issue.
** In ''[[Comicbook/{{Supergirl 1972}} Supergirl Vol 1]]'' #2, masses of white and black dots are used to depict currents of sea foam when Supergirl swims.
** In ''Comicbook/YoungLove'''s second panel, masses of black dots are used to represent the space void.
** In ''Comicbook/TheSupergirlFromKrypton'', Superman and Darkseid are surrounded by masses of orange and black dots while they fight on the surface of the Sun.
** In ''[[ComicBook/Supergirl1982 Supergirl Vol 2]]'' issue #21 they show up every time someone powers up, gives off energy or fires energy bolts.
* In ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' story ''Comicbook/WarWorld'', masses of black dots are frequently used to represent nebulas and the space void.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* [[http://cyber-kun.deviantart.com/art/Silver-Age-Mega-Man-X-219202589?q=favby%3Aamayirot-akago%2F1081209&qo=10 This]] Silver Age style fanart of ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' contains it as a deliberate homage.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Wizards}}'' has these from time to time, most visible when [[WizardClassic Avatar]] shorts-out [[KillerRobot Necron 99]] after the latter [[spoiler:kills Elinore's father.]] It's very much in keeping with the movie's general worship of countercultural '60s Comics.
* Deliberately invoked in the Disney film ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'', especially for the massive energy discharges of the mechanoid beast that guards the undersea passage to Atlantis. The director discusses their use and origin by name on the commentary track.
* The Emotions in ''WesternAnimation/InsideOut'' all have Kirby Crackle on their skin, which gives them a distinctive grainy texture.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsLegendOfEverfree'': As part of Gloriosa's transformation sequence, there is an effect of black-and-white energy dots rolling over her clothes and turning them into Gaea Everfree's supervillainess costume.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* A rare live-action version of the Kirby Crackle appears in the film ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' whenever the Infinity Gem is used.
* ''Film/ThorRagnarok'', which was released during Kirby's centennial, uses the Crackle more blatantly. Most prominently in portals such as the one Hela first steps out of in her first appearance.

* Done with the playfield art for ''Pinball/BlackKnight2000''.
* Appears in the Williams/Bally pinball game ''Pinball/{{Firepower}},'' along with one or two character faces that appear very Kirbyesque. As Jack Kirby isn't known to have been involved in any pinball game artwork, it's suspected that this was a case of plagarism.
* In ''Pinball/{{Genie}},'' the ''jinn's'' manifestation is accompanied by a swarm of Kirby Crackle.
* The cryogenic machine of ''Pinball/{{Centigrade 37}}'' is adorned with lots of Crackle and {{Power Glow}}s.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Enclave of the Endlings in ''TabletopGame/SentinelsOfTheMultiverse'' is one big love letter to Jack Kirby, so Kirby Dots are shown all over the place, most prominently on Venox, the Last Mubbloxian.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* As with [[AffectionateParody every comics trope ever]], the ''VideoGame/FreedomForce'' games feature this, most notably for the [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum Energy-X]] that [[MetaOrigin gave the characters their powers]].
* The Power Flight travel power in ''VideoGame/ChampionsOnline'' surrounded the character with black Kirby Crackle. There was also the Krackle Aura, whose description explicitly mentions Jack Kirby.
* Various powers and weapons in ''VideoGame/DCUniverseOnline'', such as Hand Blasters, use Kirby Crackle.
* Shortly before it shut down, ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' added an aura that greatly resembled Kirby Crackle, called "Dark Matter".
* In ''Videogame/MarvelAvengersAlliance'', the Agent can acquire a set of Power Armor which grants a BattleAura of 'bursting' colored dots. Smaller, darker dots hover at the edge of the main aura to suggest this trope.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In [[http://evil-inc.com/comic/when-worlds-collide-part-one-8/ this strip]] of ''Webcomic/EvilInc'', Kirby Crackle are not only displayed, they're used as a measure of a monster's super-powers.
* They appear prominently in [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20100706.html this strip]] from ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' and they're even lampshaded [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20100713.html two strips later.]]
* ''Webcomic/JL8'', being an homage to old Franchise/{{Justice League|of America}} comics, uses them where appropriate. [[http://limbero.org/jl8/172 For example]].
* ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic'' uses them in the hand drawn Supers theme, [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/560.html here]] and [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/620.html here]].
* ''WebComic/AutumnBay'' features them around the mysterious being that [[http://autumnbaycomics.com/comics/4 follows Stephen in the beginning]].
* In ''Webcomic/LeagueOfSuperRedundantHeroes'' they are used, appropriately enough, [[http://superredundant.com/?comic=059-changes to illustrate the aura]] of a ComicBook/{{Galactus}} CaptainErsatz.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben10'' has a bunch of Kirby Crackle against a green background during most of Ben's transformations. Also, the 0 in ''Ben 10'' has a bunch of dots in the middle. This makes sense, as the series was influenced by comics. The main character's EmbarrassingMiddleName? Benjamin ''Kirby'' Tennyson.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' had Franchise/{{Superman}} attacked by an Apokolips war machine with animated Kirby Crackle on its front panel.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'', being heavily inspired by UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|OfComicBooks}}, features Kirby Crackle in several background instances, including ComicBook/BlueBeetle's power-up sequence. It's also very noticeable in the highly Kirby-inspired episode "The Last Bat On Earth!", as well as in Omac's transformation sequence. [[note]]Omac is a Kirby creation.[[/note]]
* Shego's energy powers exert this effect in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''.
* In the 2003 ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 TMNT]]'' series, they did a tribute episode to Jack Kirby, Kirby Crackle and all.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperHeroSquadShow'' Ms. Marvel calls Galactus's energy attack a "Kirby Krackle".
* All over the place in ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' The Hulk once saw a commercial for Kirby Kibble dog food, containing "Kirby Dots of real beef".
* The short-lived ''WesternAnimation/SilverSurfer'' animated series combined this with ConspicuousCGI with inconsistent effectiveness.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Sunspots appear on the surface of stars during periods of intense magnetic activity and appear as (wait for it) a series of dark overlapping dots. They may have been Jack Kirby's inspiration for this particular technique.