“I Died A Thousand Times” (k001)

Posted in K100.

“I Died A Thousand Times” is an 8-page science fiction story that appeared in DC’s MY GREATEST ADVENTURE #16 [1957], drawn and possibly written by Jack Kirby, one of 30 such science/fantasy adventures Kirby did at DC in that era, while also doing Challengers and Green Arrow stories.

Overall that body of work is pretty minor in Kirby’s career, partly because it wasn’t available outside of the original anthology comics outside of a few scattered reprints until a few years ago, when all of them were collected with some other 1950s Kirby work at DC. And in some ways they’re Kirby not really working in an environment that encouraged all of his strengths, with the short stories not conducive to the grand themes and character work, and the DC house style not as open to the explosive action.  Still, most of the stories are solidly entertaining, with the occasional resonance with other Kirby work.

In this story, a deep-sea diver named Bob Perry has an accident which actually manages to briefly kill him, until he’s revived by artificial respiration. Right after that he finds a mysterious invitation to join the “Lonely Adventurers Club”, where he finds a scale model of his own accident, and finds that they are predicting, or causing, other accidents around the world in detailed models. After figuring this out, he becomes determined to stop them.

Some entertaining locales seen briefly in this story, from the underwater bits to the mountain climbing disaster orchestrated by the club.


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