Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kirby Kovers #4

Once again, we're starting out with a Golden Age Captain America cover by Kirby, aided and abetted by Joe Simon! This time around, it's Bucky who's in peril, obviously unconscious (you can just feel the weight of his body slumped there), with Cap once again bursting onto the scene, his shield (still not quite drawn the way we'd expect, looking almost like a slice of a solid sphere) deflecting a fired bullet. There's two villains about to plunge knives into Bucky (although the one behind Bucky should really be getting his sleeve burned by that fire, eh?), one shooting, and one just minding his own business, adding Bucky's name to the Hotel of Horror's registry of death! Some of the proportions seem to be off a bit... the stairway in the background doesn't quite seem to be in scale compared to the shooting figure, does it? It also looks like Cap's boot should be behind the potted plant, not in front of it... at least, to me. Still, those nitpicks aside, it's still a striking cover! This was the last Simon & Kirby issue of Captain America Comics.

Next up, we have Avengers #21... one of the kinds of covers Kirby was a master of was the defeated superteam with the villain standing there, and this is a prime example of one. First, let's look at the Avengers... Pietro is completely out, Wanda is trying to tend to him while barely holding on to consciousness herself! Hawkeye's giving in to unconsciousness himself, dropping on the spot... Cap's barely holding on, trying to stop Power Man's plan... and then there's Power Man himself! I always thought this was a rather different costume design, with the flowing sleeves (not typical for a strongman type, although I should note that Luke Cage also had the billowing sleeves). Careful observation tells you that none of Power Man's costume was really all that tight... the pants are tucked into the boots, the tunic into the belt. Really, if the costume had been colored differently, it would probably look much cooler than this! In later appearances, Power Man's costume would be altered slightly. What I like about Power Man's position here is that he's confident enough in his victory over the Avengers that he's not even concerned about them... his back is to them, they don't matter anymore! Obviously there was an epic battle, because there's shattered and torn Kirby Tech all over the place!

Next, we have Kamandi #26... most of Jack's Kamandi covers featured the Last Boy on Earth menaced by the evolved animals, and this one is no dofferent! The Kamandi pose here is probably the most awkward he's been shown on any cover Kirby drew, but you know what? I don't mind, because the image you're supposed to notice first is that amazing Kirby tech machine, tearing its way through the underbrush! Coincidently enough, like the last Kirby Kamandi Kover I presented here, once again the villains appear to be tigers... or are they lions? I honestly don't recognize what style of clothing they're supposed to be wearing, but I never worried about it before, so why start now?

Last, but not least, here's Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #18, with a variation on the floating heads cover! Here, we have the Commandos and some supporting cast members bookending the central image of Fury battling for his life underwater against a Nazi officer. Unlike the typical floating head cover, the heads here aren't looking over the situation and reacting... I almost wonder if they were statted in from interior art? If not, it's amazing to me how Kirby put different expressions on every one of them! And no, I won't tell you who dies in this issue!

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