Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Kirby Kovers #10

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This week's Kirby Kovers starts off with Fantastic Four #2! Now, this may not be a very popular opinion, but some of the early FF covers (especially the first three) are not quite up to what we'd typically expect from Jack Kirby. I'm not sure if it was Jack, or the inking. Let's look at this cover, for example: Johnny just looks odd... the flames around him without the usual sketchy lines over a red figure just looks weird, the Thing is completely misshapen (I know, the Thing evolved over time until he achieved his set look), the background is nearly nonexistent (aside from the floorboards, the window Reed's reaching through, and a few pictures on the walls), it's completely odd when you think about it that Reed is hanging so far back while Sue's coming forward (although invisible) brandishing a fire extinguisher... The best thing I can say about is that from a composition view, it's well laid out, with the Skrull being lifted up flowing to Ben hitting a Skrull flowing to Johnny to the other Skrull, and then following there through Reed's arm, making the number "6" on the cover. I wonder if there were any alternate cover ideas that were discarded?

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Now, this is an odd one to look at, really... Kirby's credited with the cover, but there's really not a lot of Kirby inherant here, aside from the paste-up. Did Kirby do the paintings, such as they are, on this cover? It doesn't seem to look like his style to me at all.

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Much more Kirbyesque is the cover for Thor #161, with the Thunder God caught between Ego the Living Planet and Galactus! I've got to say, there really aren't that many artists other than Kirby who can pull off either of those cosmic characters really well, because Kirby is a hard act to follow (no, I won't name the ones I think could do it, you can probably figure out most of them yourself!). The only thing I could possibly critique is the Thor figure, who almost looks as though he could be running instead of reacting to being struck by Ego's beams... but that's a minor quibble at most! It's a very well-designed cover that makes excellent use out of the space, and whoever did the coloring did an outstanding job.

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It's interesting comparing the cover to Eternals #3 to the Thor issue above... both are definitely Kirby, but you can definitely see how Kirby evolved his artwork to the next phase, becoming more stylized than before, and putting in details that don't really make sense if you analyze them too closely, yet the whole image "reads" great! The only problem this cover has is that Margo (I think that's the name of the woman on the plane) is entirely out of proportion to the plane itself (no way could she have ever fit into it) -- this is something that a few Kirby covers have as issues (witness the second issue of the two-part Thing Vs. Hulk battle that guest-starred the Avengers -- the building they're fighting on, under construction, is way too small for the figures).

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