The last new project Kirby initiated during his 1970s stay at DC was KOBRA (originally KING KOBRA). Unlike the trio of concepts thrown into FIRST ISSUE SPECIAL, this one was given an on-going book, with the first issue Kirby delivered (with Steve Sherman co-writing and D. Bruce Berry inking) re-scripted, re-arranged and partly re-drawn(the faces of some of the characters). It lasted an impressive six more issues post-Kirby.
Pretty much all set-up this issue. Kobra is the head of a criminal cult, and we find out that he was born with a conjoined twin, kidnapped by the Cobra Cult shortly after being separated and presumed dead, while his brother Jason Burr grew up unaware of his brother’s fate. Now, years later, they find that they have a psychic link to feel the other’s pain. Kobra attacks his brother, who’s also been contacted by the police.
It’s an okay start, nothing special. I’m sure that given a few issues and a free hand, Kirby could have done some interesting stuff with the concept, either as presented here or, ideally, as it was originally written, and Kobra does have a neat design.
THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #22 had several pages devoted to KOBRA, with an article by Steve Sherman on the evolution of the character (note that Sherman’s timeline doesn’t quite jibe with the version in the text page of #1), the original splash page and some some other unaltered pages (showing that the brother was originally a much older Philip Snow, Interpol agent, rather than Jason Burr, university student) and Sherman’s first tries at an outline and script for the first issue (not the script for the actual art Kirby drew).