Not Kirby, KO #1, Round Three

Star Spangled #7
Star Spangled #7 (April 1942)

Scholar Stan Taylor has added his own comment on the cover to KO Komics #1

I was always under the impression that the KO Komics cover was a swipe from a panel from Star Spangled #7, page 11. The lower left panel. I thought the swiper just redrew the right arm straight.

Unless two pieces of comic art are nearly identical or share some unusual feature, it can sometimes be difficult to be sure if we are dealing with a swipe or not. I provide an image of the panel in question to let the readers decide for themselves. Just scroll down to yesterday’s post to see the KO #1 and the SS #50 images.

Whether or not SS #7 was the original to KO #1 and SS #50, it does provide a good example of how Jack Kirby would handle some features. The first thing to note is the differences of how the figure’s left leg attaches to the hip. My interpretation of Jack’s rendition is that the upper thigh is brought only slightly forward but it is also brought out to the side. This provides a good pose to show the Guardian as crouching away from the light beam. But crouching is not correct for the slugging Guardian for SS #50 and KO #1. Perhaps because of this both show the left thigh brought much more forward and not to the side to provide a pivot for the swing. To me it looks like they made the attachment between hip and leg much too high, particularly in KO #1.

As Tom Morehouse pointed that in SS #50, or the original model sheet if it existed, the lower legs are cut off. When the KO #1 artist drew the legs he broke the form in a way Kirby would never do. This is particularly true with the figure’s left leg. Kirby’s example arcs from the knee to what I interpret as the start of the foot with the ankle just providing a minor deviation on one side. In KO #1 we find a similar arcing leg that suddenly deviates to the opposite direction (the ankle?), then reversing again for a short distance before meeting the foot. The right leg actually shows the same thing just not as exaggerated. But notice that Kirby does not show all of the feet. Could the KO #1 artist misidentified the feet as the ankles and then added feet to that? Actually this might be evidence to support Stan’s impression.