This Kirby/Giacoia cover isn’t quite Kirby’s last for the FF (he’d do one more almost a year later, for FF #200), but it is the last one to feature the whole team. Plus a number of the major villains. I’m especially fond of the Thing on this one (to make up for the last post), and the Surfer and Galactus headshots are nice.
This is one of my least favourite Kirby drawings of the Thing. I’m not sure how this one got through. George Roussos inks this one, and he was also inking FF at the time, and while his version of the Thing sometimes leaned towards this kind of blockiness, but I don’t think it got this far. On the other hand, everything else on this cover is excellent. I especially like those fireballs, and the city in the background.
Kirby continued to provide layouts for the covers of X-MEN for a little while after leaving the interiors. This one was finished by Werner Roth and Dick Ayers.
That’s a creepy looking character, that Mimic. Though, for completeness sake, shouldn’t there be some visual indicator that he has Jean’s powers as well? Flowing red hair or something?
Kirby’s finishes up his stint on the adventures of T’Challa this issue, ending on a cliff-hanger to be resolved by the following creative team. Well, at least it’s better than OMAC’s “and then everything blew up” paste-up ending…
Pretty good story despite the lack of an ending. T’Challa still has his ESP powers as a result of exposure to vibranium in his previous adventure, and gets a message from his captured cousin Khanata about the villainous Kiber, a mad scientist type who is conducting strange experiments in matter-transmission and conversion of matter to energy.
The Panther goes to the rescue, allowing himself to be captured by Kiber’s minions so that he can lead a mass escape by the other captives while he goes to confront the real Kiber behind the image.
Kirby has a lot of fun with the effects of characters walking through walls and doing other highly irregular things thanks to their energy states this issue.
Mike Royer inks the 17-page story. The cover is one of those uncertain ones. The Kirby Checklist has Klaus Janson, which doesn’t seem implausible if the JUNGLE ACTION #18 from a few years earlier is also Janson, but there’s nothing really distinctive to make an identification easy.
This is the last of the THOR covers that Kirby did during his 1970s stint at Marvel. A shame, then, that it’s one of those where someone at Marvel decided that Kirby’s Thor didn’t look right. Say what you will about DC, but at least there’s a reference point for saying Kirby’s Superman and Jimmy Olsen look wrong…
Despite that, it’s a pretty good Kirby/Sinnott cover, with the stone texture really coming across nicely.
Kirby and Chic Stone team-up for this memorable little early Iron Man cover. I especially like the detailed work on the dragon over on the back wall. The steps that lead directly to the pit of doom are a nice touch, too.
Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia provide this cover to a quick spin-off super-team from the then-new INVADERS series. A nice piece, always good to see the Skull done by Kirby, and the retro-designs of the new heroes fits in nicely with Kirby’s style.
This is one of the covers that will presumably be in the upcoming INVADERS CLASSIC VOL. 1 collection.
This issue features a reprint of the 10-page Captain America story from TALES OF SUSPENSE #94 , the Kirby/Sinnott story that introduced the world to the glory that is MODOK.
More importantly, someone had the good sense to enlist recently-returned-to-Marvel Jack Kirby to do a new cover for the issue. The original featured MODOK as almost an afterthought, stuffed in a corner of the background. This one, though…
MODOK in all his big-headed, floating-chair, brain-blasting glory. Can Cap possibly hope to survive?
Frank Giacoia inks this cover.
This was a full issue reprint of the 1963 book where Iron Man was introduced. Kirby just did the cover, with Heck inks. Kirby is sometimes credited with doing more on the issue (plotting the Iron Man story, doing layouts for the art) but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Nice cover, anyway, Always thought it was interesting that Spider-Man was part of the hype on the cover, given that his first issue just came out that same month.
The Iron Man stuff in there has been reprinted in a lot of other places, of course, but this is still worth picking up for the less common Colan and Ditko stories included.
This issue reprints the 13-page Kirby/Ayers Torch story from STRANGE TALES #104 , “The Human Torch Meets Paste-Pot Pete”. Yes, Paste-Pot Pete, the villain whose name is three kinds of stupid (the Paste-Pot nonsense, giving your real name in your villain identity and the annoying alliteration).
Johnny first runs into Pete at a bank, where he’s unable to act openly for fear of revealing his identity. Yes, this was when he briefly tried to keep a secret identity. He does manage to send out a flame-double of himself to follow Pete, not a power (creating doubles that apparently can act with some independence) that you see him use much later. Clearly there were still feeling out the character at the time.
The Torch eventually catches up with Pete as he’s moved on quickly from bank robbery to theft of experimental military missiles. The Torch is briefly pasted to one as his flame fails, but escapes. Pete manages to escape before being captured, left to ponder where he went wrong. Surprisingly it would take a while before he figures out that his name is one of the place.
The early Torch solo stories are all over the map, and this is one of the weaker ones in terms of the story, but the Kirby/Ayers artwork is, by contrast, excellent stuff.