Very big year for Kirby publications, with 49 publications of note, a handful trivial but a lot of major releases. Good mix of genres, as well, with some major war, western and romance releases in addition to the wide variety of super-heroes. Book of the year is a hard call. The complete ETERNALS in one book is pretty, if pricey. It was good to see Kirby’s FF run finished up in two different formats. But I’m going to go with ESSENTIAL THOR v2, for sheer volume of prime 1960s Kirby.
Most of note, a good year for TwoMorrows, with five big Kirby releases. The latest COLLECTED COLLECTOR has some great out of print issues and three big volumes of the current tabloid format, each one including one or two complete stories (like the first Boy Explorers story in #47) plus the usual assortment of delights. And the SILVER STAR book is a lot of fun, though it’s a shame that not every page was available to reprint from the pencils.
Two books from some other publishers. Not sure exactly what was in AC’s MEN OF MYSTERY book, but Pure Imagination’s COMIC STRIP book had some great early work by Kirby. The Socko the Seadog strips are a lot of fun, and it’s interesting to see Kirby’s early progression.
THE COMIC STRIP JACK KIRBY VOLUME 1
MEN OF MYSTERY: CHAMPIONS COLLECTION VOLUME 1
DC’s Kirby reprints for the year were confined to 1950s material in their new black and white Showcase Presents format, including all of Kirby’s 1950s Green Arrow and Challengers stories and one minor science fiction story. Each book includes a lot of other neat stuff.
Marvel was all over the Kirby this year, in just about every format.
A highly recommended book for those less familiar with Kirby’s career is the second MARVEL VISIONARIES – JACK KIRBY book. Good mix of stuff, mostly from the 1960s, all worth a look.
The 1970s at Marvel got a good trio of collections, with CAPTAIN AMERICA and BLACK PANTHER seeing volumes concluding Kirby’s run (and PANTHER going a bit beyond to finish a storyline) and ETERNALS getting a big hardcover volume collecting the whole series.
Two major Kirby ESSENTIAL volumes, with the FF volume finishing up Kirby’s run and beyond, and THOR coming a dozen issues from the end of that run. A few others had some stray covers.
ESSENTIAL CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 3 TPB (one reprint of a reprint cover inside)
ESSENTIAL CLASSIC X-MEN VOL. 2 TPB (a handful of covers)
ESSENTIAL DEFENDERS VOL. 2 TPB (one reprint of a reprint Hulk story)
ESSENTIAL MOON KNIGHT VOL. 1 TPB (one cover)
ESSENTIAL NOVA VOL. 1 TPB (three covers)
Huge Kirby year in the MARVEL MASTERWORKS series, with Kirby art in eleven volumes, only one of them really trivial, and several of them major, from throughout the Silver age period.
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: ANT-MAN/GIANT-MAN VOL. 1 (eleven stories, seven other covers)
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: ATLAS ERA TALES OF SUSPENSE VOL. 1 (eight stories, seven covers)
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: ATLAS ERA TALES TO ASTONISH VOL. 1 (eight stories, nine covers)
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 3 (ten Kirby issues)
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 10 (Kirby’s last nine full issues)
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: HULK VOL. 3 (layouts for five stories, plus some covers)
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: HUMAN TORCH VOL. 1 (nine stories, nine other covers)
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: IRON MAN VOL. 3 (a few covers and one story)
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: RAWHIDE KID VOL. 1 (first nine Kirby issues)
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: SGT. FURY VOL. 1 (eight Kirby issues plus five other covers)
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THOR VOL. 5 (eleven Kirby issues)
A few other collections had a comparatively small amount of Kirby among other contents. Of most interest is the MARVEL ROMANCE book, which had a number of stories never reprinted from the early Silver Age.
MARVEL ROMANCE TPB (about 30 pages of Kirby from circa 1960)
MARVEL MONSTERS HC (four monster stories, same as Oct 2005 one-shots)
MARVEL WESTERNS HC (various reprints, as the 2006 one-shots below had)
CHAMPIONS CLASSIC VOL. 1 TPB (one cover)
And off the bookshelf into the more classic format comics, first off are the three issues of the series by Lisa Kirby and friends, based on some Jack Kirby concept artwork, some of which was used on covers and inside:
JACK KIRBY’S GALACTIC BOUNTY HUNTERS #1
JACK KIRBY’S GALACTIC BOUNTY HUNTERS #2
JACK KIRBY’S GALACTIC BOUNTY HUNTERS #3
And various Kirby reprints were used in a pair of all-reprint books:
MARVEL MILESTONES – BLOODSTONE, X-51 & CAPTAIN MARVEL II (reprints MACHINE MAN #1)
MARVEL MILESTONES – RAWHIDE KID & TWO-GUN KID (first Kirby issues of each)
And Kirby reprints used as backups to new material in six other books (all of them have been or will be included in hardcover collections of that new material):
MARVEL WESTERNS – KID COLT AND THE ARIZONA GIRL (two back-up stories)
MARVEL WESTERNS – STRANGE WESTERNS STARRING THE BLACK RIDER (two back-up stories)
MARVEL WESTERNS – THE TWO-GUN KID (one back-up story)
MARVEL WESTERNS – WESTERN LEGENDS (one back-up story)
STAN LEE MEETS DR. DOOM #1 (reprints FF #87)
STAN LEE MEETS THE THING #1 (reprint FF #79)
And two odd ducks, a different style of reprint and a spotlight book:
MARVEL’S GREATEST COMICS: FANTASTIC FOUR #52 (single issue reprint scanned from a printed comic)
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT – STAN LEE/JACK KIRBY (interviews with Lisa Kirby and others, biographical information, previews of some upcoming projects)
Looking ahead to 2007, THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR should be reaching its 50th issue, so expect some extra special stuff from that. DC will have another KAMANDI ARCHIVES book and the first FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS. I don’t know what Marvel has confirmed, but I’ve heard tell of a second FANTASTIC FOUR OMNIBUS (logical, since it’ll include the Silver Surfer debut that the second FF movie is based on) and a DEVIL DINOSAUR book, plus the conclusion of GALACTIC BOUNTY HUNTERS and the “reconstruction” of FF #108. And no doubt a lot more, based on what the published this year. And Image has a SILVER STAR hardcover listed on Amazon, but the listing also lists it at 336 pages, more than twice the total pages of the original series, I’m not sure how reliable it is. Also, it’s from Image, so I doubt we’ll see it in 2007. As usual, we have a page for listing this kind of stuff as we get confirmation.