Bonus!: The Return of the Giant Intelligent Commie Ape Slaves!
Double-page spreads from Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #11 (February 2007),
script by Warren Ellis,
pencils by Stuart Immonen,
inks by Wade von Grawbadger,
colors by Dave McCaig,
letters by Joe Caramagna
(Click picture to Ellisize)
Acute readers of "Comics Oughta Be Good!" (not to mention the cute ones...you know who you are!) may have noticed that all the entries this week have been about the artwork of Mister Jack Kirby. You never need an excuse to post art by The King, but there is a more-than-random reason why you've been treated to Kirby's Kartooning: today is Jack's birthday. And to celebrate, what better time than to post, look at, and admire two of my favorite early 70s Kirby pages, from Fantastic Four #95:
Pages from Fantastic Four #95 (February 1970), written by Stan Lee, pencilled by Jack Kirby, inked by Joe Sinnott, lettered by Artie Simek
Click images to King-size
Look again at that guy in the lower right-hand corner for a moment:
Hi everybody! Sue Storm here, reminding you of the importance of good nutrition and having a sensible, balanced breakfast! Why, we here at the Fantastic Four get together each and every morning around the kitchen table to start the day out right! We all need our vitamins, and Ben needs his minerals, so take a clue from our happy family: don't skip breakfast! You need to be in your best shape to fight Doctor Doom, explore the Negative Zone, and fit into Reed's patented skintight unstable molecule uniforms!
Here at the Baxter Building I make it a point to make sure every member of the Fantastic Four gets breakfast. My brother Johnny burns a lot of calories, so he thinks a morning meal of toast is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Careful, Johnny: as it says here in The Jack Kirby Cookbook, care must be taken while toasting bread to avoid burning toast unless it is desired in that state. Burnt toast is possibly carcinogenic, due to elevated levels of benzopyrene! Gosh!
Ben is the hardest to cook for. His appetite is usually so enormous! But take a hint (and a recipe) from Aunt May Parker and cook that hungry man some hearty, filling wheatcakes! Served up with butter and syrup, they'll satisfy even Ben!
And what about Reed? Oh, that man o' mine! He's always in such a hurry to get back to his lab that he never has time for much more than a cup of coffee! Well, let me tell you a secret: what Reed doesn't know is that I've liquefied an entire ham in every cup of coffee he drinks! He'll get his hearty breakfast by hook or by crook, or my name's not Susan Mary Storm Namor Richards!
Of course young Franklin enjoys his assortment of cold cereal. The store was out of his favorite brand, Kirby Krackles, so he'll have to make do with these:
...and for me, a healthy and nourishing whole grain cereal:
So take a hint from your happy and radioactive housekeeper, me, Sue Storm: make sure your family gets a healthy and nutritious breakfast every morning! There's no need you have to set off to fight the Mole Man feeling as hungry as Galactus! Hee hee!
So, who's your favorite mutant in the Marvel Universe? Ask that question of a cross-section of fans and many of them will say Wolverine (unless, of course, Logan's the one who cross-sectioned them in the first place). Other perfectly respectable answers include Storm, Nightcrawler, The Beast, or Namor. Less acceptable answers: Gambit, Adam X, Maggott, Sam Guthrie's sister (what was her name? Cornhusk?), Krakoa, or former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Absolutely no one would answer "Cyclops."
My favorite mutant? Well, he appears in Captain America Annual #4, pulled straight from the way-out, wacky, and weird mind of Jack "The King" Kirby. And no, my fave mutant is not Magneto...
All panels from Captain America Annual #4 (1977), written and pencilled by Jack Kirby, inked by John Tartaglione and John Verpoorten, coloring by George Roussos, lettering by Jim Novak
...It's this guy:
The heck with another Wolverine or X-Teens spin-off...it's high time to give Tiny Mutant Who Lives In a Wristwatch Guy his own series. Bring him back as the new Professor X. Bring him back as the new X-pionage Secret Weapon. Heck, bring him back as The Beast's fashion consultant, I don't care. Just bring him back.
Jack Kirby's world: holy cow, it's amazing. I'm not certain I wanna live in The World of Kirby, but it's a heckuva place to spend a holiday, isn't it? Or, to paraphrase J. B. S. Haldane: "Not only is Jack Kirby's universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine."