Jack Kirby was a font of creativity, from whose mind sprang forth most of the Marvel Universe and a huge chunk of DC Comics’ heroes. Kirby is often overlooked for his role in creating Marvel’s Fantastic Four, Thor, X Men, Iron Man, Avengers, Nick Fury and The Hulk.
While Stan Lee was the public face of his uncle, Martin Goodman’s company, the division of labor between Kirby and Lee is still a topic for debate. Lee must be credited with pointing Kirby in a direction and then getting out of his way, but it’s well-documented that many of their “co-creations” were a complete suprise to Lee, who didn’t see the pages until Kirby went off on his own and crafted penciled pages based (or not) on Lee’s suggestions.
For instance, Lee himself has often admitted that he had no idea who The Silver Surfer was before Kirby drew him into an issue of Fantastic Four. Kirby’s career pre-dated his work with Lee. As a partner to Joe Simon, Kirby co-created Captain America, The Newsboy Legion, The Guardian, Manhunter as well as the very first romance and horror comic books. After leaving Marvel and Lee in 1970, Kirby created The New Gods Saga, Kamandi, The Demon, The Eternals, Machine Man, Devil Dinosaur and Captain Victory on his own.
We lost Jack Kirby over twenty years ago, but we’ll never forget him. Above you will see a documentary about Kirby. Below you will see a half-hour of Jack Kirby, speaking frankly and unedited, at a comic book store appearance in 1993.