Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kirby Kovers #2

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This time around, I'm starting off with Tales of Suspense #94, featuring this epic battle with Captain America vs. AIM! THe composition on this one is great... the eye is drawn first to the AIM soldier being knocked ass over teakettle by Cap (spotted next), and you can see the power behind Cap's punch! Then there's Sharon Carter here in the background, her then ever-present beret flying off of her head... and then there's MODOK in the bottom left-hand corner... you almost don't even notice him, because of the figures of Cap and the AIM soldier! In fact, at first glance, I didn't notice MODOK at all, and was all set to write about how only Kirby would've considered not putting MODOK on a cover proclaiming, "If This Be... MODOK!" But then, of course, I did spot him. I don't recall if the original coloring of MODOK featured crimson and purple instead of the standard gold and orange... but that's probably why I didn't spot him at first.

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Next, it's an earlier TOS cover, for issue #40, one of the earliest Iron MAn appearances. It is rather odd to me how some of Kirby's earliest Marvel Age covers could be so static... I mean, Gargantus is just standing there (reminding me a lot of the 1970s GI Joe "Intruder" action figure) while Iron Man is shooting his chest beam at him... the closest civilian to the action is just standing there, unconcerned (as are most of them, except for the guy just behind Iron Man). What I would like to point out, however, is the use of blacks on Iron Man's golden armor... I have to wonder if a reworking of the armor was already being thought of at this point, as it's rather difficult to make this uniform-colored bulky armor look all that awesome instead of ponderous!

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Next up, it's Journey Into Mystery #122, probably from near the time that Thor would replace the title with his own name. Let's look at the three figures here, from front to back! First, there's the Absorbing Man, obviously ready to take on Odin, given his ball and chain are already in action! Even though you can't see his face, any Marvelite would recognize Crusher Creel! Then there's Odin, sitting on his throne, looking all Father of the Gods and all. The only signs that he's got any concern about the Absorbing Man at all is the raised eyebrow and one hand set to deliver a blast of Asgardian Whoop-Ass! And then, almost as an afterthought, there's Thor rushing in from behind... he's the lead character, yet he's the smallest figure there! Thor's position looks somewhat awkward to me... almost as if Jack hadn't planned on putting him in there at all, but Stan told him to add the Thunder God, and there just wasn't enough space! The figure of Thor looks even weaker compared to the power of the Odin figure (I mean, weaker by comparison than normal).

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The last cover this time around is for My Own Romance #62! It's all too easy to forget that Kirby drew pretty much every genre of comics -- and with Joe Simon, created a few as well! Romance Comics were one of the Simon-Kirby created genres. It almost doesn't look like Kirby did this one at all... there's no muscle-bound heroes or villains, no energy bursts, no technology... in fact, I'd say that the background items are probably the biggest giveaway that this was Kirby, although Marie in the background does resemble a Kirby woman! What's really fascinating about this cover is the emotions seen on the faces of the three people here... Jerry's pleading, the blonde woman's doubt, and Marie's confidence... Jack's art was not normally known for its subtlety, but look at this!

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