Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kirby Kovers #8

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First up this week is the cover to Fantasy Masterpieces #4, one of Marvel's reprint titles of the Silver Age. What makes this an unusual entry in this series is that it is a reprint title, which typically just used reproductions of panels or splash pages from the stories within (look at the Cap panel on the lower left corner -- definitely more of a vintage style to it). I recall reading somewhere the reasoning for having Kirby do a new piece of art for this cover, but forget the details. One of the great things about this is that I've looked at this cover over and over again in the past, but this is the first time I've noticed that Cap's body is contorted into what should be an extremely painful position! If you don't see it, look at the legs compared to the torso and Cap's belt buckle. The thing is, the image is just so dynamic, you don't pay attention to things like that!

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Next, here's the cover for Young Love #71, and it's another of Kirby's romance covers. I've read articles where some people complain about Kirby's comic book women not looking very attractive (everyone's entitled to their opinion, naturally) but I have to say, these woman are babes! Note that there's no thought bubbles or word balloons, yet just from the expressions and body language, you can tell what's going on... or at least, make your own interpretation! Looks to me like the one guy is trying to decide between the two women in front of him. Dude, go for the blonde!

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Next, it's the cover to Fantastic Four $76! Kirby was definitely hitting his stride in the FF by this time, with the character looks all set (reading the earliest issues of the FF, it's interesting to see how the Thing evolved over time in appearance). Since the FF are stuck in Sub-Atomica, I can only imagine that Psycho-Man was the villain of the issue. I'm not sure why the Invisible Girl is missing from this cover, not having the original or a reprint of this issue handy. Anyway, let's look at this: Monstrous menace? Check! Although the coloring is a bit odd -- I'm not sure why there were so many green-and-purple (or is that magenta) villains in Marvel Comics -- it's appropriately threatening, especially when you see that it's already knocked out the Thing (shown in the foreground so you can't miss it -- if the Thing's out, it's a major threat!). It doesn't even seem to be affected by the Torch's fire blasts, and is unconcerned about Reed's flying fist, so you know it's going to be an epic battle! I especially like how you can see the curvature of Reed's arm even though it goes off the cover at one point... completely consistent!

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I've featured the cover to Adventure Comics #90 before, but it's still a fun picture, with Sandman and Sandy posing while they're being drawn (by Kirby? It's possible, but without being able to see Kirby's trademark cigar, one can only guess). Note that the Sandman is pretty much sitting ramrod straight, while Sandy is more relaxed and comfortable... a nice touch!

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