A to Z Challenge - K is for...


Jack "King" Kirby is one of the single most important people in comic book history. Unfortunately, many people still haven't heard of him. I hope to rectify that here.

Marvel Masterminds

What do The Fantastic Four, Uncanny X-Men, Hulk, Thor and Iron Man have in common?

You are correct if you said they are all Marvel comics. If you said they were all created by Stan Lee, you're only half right.

The legend goes...

Stan Lee would come up with ideas, basic outlines and tell them to Jack Kirby. Kirby would then go away and draw a comic book based on that idea. Once he was finished, he'd give the comic back to Lee who'd fill in the dialogue and speech as he saw fit. Often Lee would have no idea what he'd get back from Kirby and has been quoted as saying it was like doing a crossword puzzle, trying to figure out what story the pictures were telling him.

Later, the idea of credit became the subject of bad blood between Kirby and Marvel and, after his death, his family pursued the rights to their father's creations. Ultimately, the family settled out of court and Marvel does credit Kirby as co-creator for the books he worked on.

Aside from creating the bulk of what became the Marvel universe with Stan Lee, Kirby also created Captain America with Joe Simon. And, after moving to DC comics in the early 1970s, he also created The Fourth World which included the character of Darkseid (who is rumored to be the bad guy in the upcoming Justice League movie.)

Kirby's art style

Jack Kirby not only helped create many of the characters we know and love today, but he also created a new style of graphic storytelling that became the blueprint for Marvel artists and an exciting new visual chapter in comic books.

While Batman and Superman looked like this:

Kirby was pushing the depth of the page. Making the characters more dynamic and more powerful.

His style led the eye to the next image, and the characters never simply moved from panel to panel, they leapt, swung, flew, dashed, and battered their way from one page to the next.

Kirby's legacy is undeniable. Both he and Stan Lee changed comic books forever and since we're still discussing many of the characters they co-created, it feels right that he is still celebrated today.

Movie Trivia: In the movie Argo (based on a real story), the CIA mission to rescue Americans from Iran relied on the creation of a fake sci-fi movie. The storyboards for the movie were drawn in real life by Jack Kirby. In the movie, Kirby is played by Michael Parks.



  1. I remember Jack Kirby well from as a kid collecting Marvel comics. John Ramita was my favorite. He drew Spiderman.

    I’m exploring different types of dreams and their meanings.
    M is for Movies
    Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs

  2. This is a really cool theme.

    Hope to catch you next year!

    Heather M. Gardner / @hmgardner
    Co-Host, Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
    The Waiting is the Hardest Part

  3. Thank you for presenting Jack Kirby. Although I read the Marvel comics, especially Batman and the Fantastic Four, I did not know all of this. It was very informative.

    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

  4. So much great art comes from a collaboration of some sort, and Lee and Kirby are among my favorite collaborators.

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

  5. I hadn't heard of him. Really interesting read learning a little about him

  6. I'd never heard of Jack Kirby before. Interesting stuff!
    Carol at My Writing Journal


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