What follows is a transcription of the undated note written by Jack Kirby that was used as evidence in the — thankfully now settled — legal action between Disney/Marvel and the Kirby heirs. Mark Evanier says the note was prepared in the early 1980s at the request of the Kirbys’ legal team, with Jack speaking and Roz writing (Thanks, Pat). Scans below! – Rand
Formulated in 1939 by myself + Joe Simon in Joe’s apartment _ submitted to “Atlas”
Published in 1941
Fantastic Four – Hulk – Spiderman – Thor – Sgt. Fury
When I arrived at Marvel in 1959, it was closing shop that very afternoon, according to what was related to me by “Stan Lee”.
The comic book dept. was another victim of the Dr. Wertham negative cycle + definitely was following in the wake of EC Comics, “The Gaines Publishing House”.
In order to keep working I suggested to Stan Lee that to initiate a new line of Super Heroes, he submit my ideas to Martin Goodman the publisher of Marvel.
The line that I came up with was
“Fantastic Four” a team of Super Heroes
“The Hulk” – which was a spin off of a single story I did for Marvel
“Spiderman” grew from a different script called “The Silver Spider” which was written by Joe Simon’s brother-in-law, Jack Oleck, who is now deceased.
Joe was out of the field at that time + I utilized the “Silver Spider” script to create a single new character. This was given for development to Steve Ditko after I drew the first cover with the original costume.
Thor quickly followed + was fleshed out with the character of the original legend.
Sgt. Fury a mixture of the “Dirty Dozen”, James Bond + my own war experiences became another successful book.
I created many costumes for new “Super Heroes” such as Iron Man, Ant Man + created all related characters such as “Silver Surfer” Galactus – The Inhumans + many more which are included in the enclosed list.
To insure sales, I also did the writing which I not credited for as Stan Lee wrote the credits for all of the books which I did not contest because of his relationship with the publisher Martin Goodman.
This was later changed to “Produced by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby” in some of the books.
Although I was not allowed to write the “balloon” dialogue, the stories, the characters + the additional planning for the scripts progress was strictly due to my own foresight + literary workmanship.
There were no scripts. I created the characters + wrote the stories in my own home + merely brought them into the office each month.
FF published 1961
The Hulk 1962
Spider Man 1962
Sgt. Fury 1963
– Jack Kirby