Happy Birthday Jack “King” Kirby
Jack Kirby was the Einstein of comic books. The creator of almost all of Marvel’s iconic characters, from SPIDER-MAN to X-MEN, Kirby’s epic, dynamic, visual storytelling transformed comic history, with able writing assist from Stan Lee, making them an unbeatable team in the 1960’s.
To celebrate The King’s birthday, here’s my favorite comic book scene of all time for myriad reasons, from THOR #154, 1968, during the multi-issue “Ragnarok” saga, when a monstrous God (Mangog) is on a warpath to destroy both Deity and Man. This section occurs in a melancholy moment when Thor wanders the streets of New York, contemplating mankind’s unknowing fate. He comes across a group of hippies and you can view his Norse God-like response below…
I interviewed Stan Lee once for “Written By” magazine and told him this was my favorite comic book scene ever and he excitedly said it was one of his favorites and nobody had ever mentioned it to him. He sounded truly pleased and Lee was my home-boy. We had a nice discussion about the cultural subtext, as Lee and Kirby were clearly empathetic to the counter-culture since they were the ones buying the comics. Kirby particularly had a legion of admirers from all cultural arenas, including one Paul McCartney, who dedicated his song “Magneto & Titanium Man” to a special guest in the audience at his 1976 Los Angeles concert. In the 21st century, Jack Kirby’s influence is felt more than ever as his art and ideas continue to inspire.