682 – The Creature From Planet X

In late 1950s, Atlas Comics had not yet transformed into Marvel Comics, but its fantasy and sci-fi titles started featuring more outlandish covers replete with fantastical creatures in both shape and names. In Strange Worlds #3 (January 1958), we get a nice early example of this with “The Creature from Planet X”. The cover features […]

Read More »

681 – Not Quite Negative Man

In House of Mystery #84 (Jan 1959), a one-off story called “Negative Man” drawn by Jack Kirby has a scientist accidentally get a near-fatal dose of radio energy which causes a being made of pure energy to come out of his body. The being is eventually defeated by coming into contact with first water, then […]

Read More »

670 – Challengers Traveling in Time

In Challengers of the Unknown #4 (August 1958), it’s hard not to see Jack Kirby angling towards complex, fantastical world-building alongside and team-building between characters, as the Challengers find themselves traveling through time in a scientist’s “time cube”. Very Fantastic Four! And what I love the most are those giant, single-page splashes, like this one […]

Read More »

653 – Challenging Family

In Showcase #12 (Nov 1957), the Challengers are starting to feel like a well-seasoned team, complete with villainous Jack Kirby characters like Karnak the beret-wearing criminal and his “gang of international espionage agents”. Being pursued by the Challs, Karnak lands on an island where he discovers an archaeologist who had uncovered the secrets of an […]

Read More »

650 – Sardor the Collector

In Tales of the Unexpected #18 (Aug 1957), Jack Kirby brings us another one-shot story introducing an alien being that goes about collecting planets of our solar system, reminiscent a bit of the Superman villain Brainiac. The story has some great examples of intricate technological backgrounds as well as more early Kirby Krackle.

Read More »

647 – The Magic Hammer

A nice little archaeological find in DC’s Tales of the Unexpected #16 (June 1957): Jack Kirby brings us a short story called “The Magic Hammer”. In it, a nasty prospector discovers Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, and uses it to summon rain and build himself a crooked fortune. Eventually Thor comes to claim the hammer, telling the […]

Read More »

636 – The Challengers of the Unknown

In November 1956, DC introduced a new group of heroes in Showcase #6: The Challengers of the Unknown. Most folks credit Jack Kirby in some way with the creation of this group, which consisted of four daredevils: Rocky Davis, Prof Haley, Red Ryan and Ace Morgan who, after miraculously and inexplicably surviving a plane crash […]

Read More »

633 – UFO, the Lightning Man

Jack Kirby continues to lay the groundwork for the Marvel era. In Yellow Claw #3 (October 1956) an alien named UFO from Alpha Centauri is befriended by the Yellow Claw and turned against Americans. He has the ability to manipulate tremendous cosmic energy, which he yields against the Americans until he is shown the error […]

Read More »

630 – Yellow Claw Inception

In Yellow Claw #2 (Aug 1956), Jack Kirby takes a crack at Marvel’s latest super-villain, the Yellow Claw. More examples of early “Kirby Krackle” as well as wonderfully intricate layouts like the above Inception-like warping of space. In “Concentrate on Chaos”, the Yellow Claw has kidnapped six mutants with powers that can skew people’s perceptions […]

Read More »

370 – Young Romance

In July 1947, Young Romance #1 debuts. Young Romance was created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon for Prize Comics and is widely known as the first romance comic, which are distinguishable from teen comics of the day in that these stories are usually devoid of any humor, anthological, and make an attempt to take […]

Read More »