First up today is Avengers #2, and I have to say, I feel like this wasn't Kirby's best Avengers work. Giant-Man barely seems to fit his name (maybe if there had been zoom lines indicating that he was growing, instead of just being about 10 feet tall here). I've always been fond of the Space Phantom, but I can't imagine him ever having an on-screen part in any Marvel Cinematic Universe movie (maybe we could get a mention of him somewhere, or at least a cameo in the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie?).
Next, we have Rawhide Kid #30... and this is probably the most sedate cover Kirby did for any western... certainly the most sedate cover of any Marvel book with the "...Goes Wild!" blurb on it! If the Kid's guns were blazing already, it would've worked better, but I'm guessing Kirby had no idea what the blurb was going to say when he drew this.
My understanding is that the cover of Fantastic Four #85 went through a few revisions before getting to this point. No, the configuration of the FF members makes no sense (the Thing's shoulders would've been crushing Reed and Johnny), but it does work for me!
I have to say, one of the things I really like about the cover of Fantastic Four #44 is that not only do you have the FF cornered by three -- count 'em, three! -- menaces, you've got the newly-introduced Gorgon with his back turned to you, so you have no idea what he looks like! You can't even see his feet are hooves!
Machine Man #3 is the first cover with Ten-For, and this time there wasn't the preponderance of blues and purples as in the later issue's cover, given the other colors, making it a much more effective cover. Love the Kirby Krackle on this one!
Tales of Suspense #11 features another great Kirby monster, this one is called "Sporr," and certainly that name fits! Again, we're dealing with a building that's not quite to scale with the people, but it works because it helps make the menace more menacing. I can't see how those people are moving that massive piece of wood to block the doorway, though!
Strange Tales #139 shows that even Kirby's splash pages make great covers!
The later days of Kirby's run on the FF were greatly enhanced by better coloring, as seen on the cover of Fantastic Four #93. The coloring here really makes the Thing and his opponent, Torgo, really stand out, unlike what we've seen with most digital coloring in the past ten-plus years!
The cover to The Mighty Thor #141 is really unusual... just having Thor throwing Mjolnir would be effective enough (if a bit poster-like), but the addition of the three inset panels really adds to it, if you ask me! I don't know if those were added in production from stats of the interior pages or not.
Kirby's cover to Sgt. Fury #11 shows he could do gritty covers with the best of 'em (well, of course, because is is one of the "best of 'em"!). Even though the style of the book was sort of superhero war stories, Kirby still remembered how dirty war really was, and did what he could to add that to the stories. Did I ever tell you guys my idea for how a Sgt. Fury movie could have been done, before they used the Howling Commandos in Captain America: The First Avenger?
You know, the cover of The Mighty Thor #152 wouldn't take a whole lot of manipulation to make it into a Thor Vs. Kalibak cover, would it? I'm pretty sure this was Ulik the Troll Thor's fighting here, and it's an epic battle to be sure!
More Kirby Kovers tomorrow!