YMMV / Jack Kirby

  • Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: Just imagine Kirby at his height drawing and plotting out comics with his detailed panels and pushing them out weekly during the golden age of the Marvel comics. That's a rate of productivity and creativity that is still the stuff of legends. Remember that it takes far more time to draw and lay out comics than it is to write them and as per the Marvel Method, Kirby more or less came up with the plots, character designs and action entirely on his own.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Stan Lee wasn't the one who originated the creator cameo appearances in live action Marvel adaptations. Kirby beat him to it. He appeared in a 1977 episode of The Incredible Hulk TV series. He was a police sketch artist drawing a witnesses description of the Hulk. Naturally, Kirby's drawing looked more like his version than Lou Ferrigno. Stan Lee didn't get his chance until 1989's Trial of the Incredible Hulk.
    • Everyone assumes that superhero Deconstruction and revival of forgotten characters began with Alan Moore but "King" Kirby did it first as Moore keeps pointing out. It was Kirby who brought back forgotten golden age characters like the Sub-Mariner in the Marvel Age, where in the early FF issue, Johnny Storm runs into an alcoholic hobo with a beard who after a shave turns out to be an amnesiac Namor who remembers his past and gets a Darker and Edgier upgrade (which is where Miracleman comes from). Likewise, Kirby was the one who decided to bring Captain America to the modern age in the famous Avengers issue where he was thawed out of ice and became a superhero out of time in a world vastly different from the Golden Age.
    • Mark Hamill himself acknowledged the Star Wars Space Opera was to a great deal foreshadowed by Kirby, and more than a few noted that Darth Vader-Luke Skywalker are quite similar to Darkseid-Orion and the concepts of the Force is similar to The Source while the quest to bring balance to the Force anticipates Darkseid's quest for the Anti-Life Equation. Vader's costume also looks a great deal like Doctor Doom with a darker palette. Kirby himself was flattered by the similarities and he merely lamented that the success of Star Wars vindicated his beliefs, over that of his editors, that his concepts and ideas were profitable and commercial.
    • In The New '10s many noted that O.M.A.C. is more or less the original Cyber Punk before there was any cyber to be punk about.
  • Too Good to Last: Most of his DC work. It was one of the main reasons he left the company, as his promising books kept getting cancelled while comparatively mediocre ones survived. Much as he would have grumbled, he really needed someone like Stan Lee to pitch and more or less invent a demographic for his highly original work which is more or less what happened with the Marvel Universe, which in its early years didn't have the big audience that people now assume it did, but survived because Lee managed to create a fan community and Vocal Minority base among the teen and college demographic. Had someone like Lee worked at DC and had Kirby's back, perhaps his work there would have lasted longer. Original work in DC in the eighties, under Karen Berger's Vertigo worked and achieved success on the same principle.
  • Vindicated by History: The man had been a Butt-Monkey of the industry thanks to Stan Lee getting the majority of the praise for their collaborations. It's only as time went on that true appreciation for his artwork and high influence on the medium began to grow. It helped that he was pretty ahead of his time, as noted in Older Than They Think.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Kirby started designing the New Gods in the late '60s at Marvel, where they would have been a post-Ragnarok continuation of Thor. What's less well-known is that OMAC started life as a Captain-America-in-the-future pitch.
    • During The '70s, Kirby was the conceptual art designer for an aborted attempt to produce a film based on Roger Zelazny's 1967 novel Lord of Light. His art was later re-used for the CIA's fake movie "Argo". He even gets a split-second cameo in the film! (The art actually seen in the film, however, isn't his, or even much like it.)
    • Kirby produced the first 17 pages of an adaptation of one of his favourite series, Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner. Unfortunately, the series never materialised, but some art can be found online.