Today marks the 99th birthday of Jack Kirby – often called The King of Comics for his many significant contributions to Marvel and DC. Here are his best creations…
Created in 1970 for Kirby’s space opera series ‘The New Gods’, Darkseid has grown to become the ubervillain of the DC universe and a constant threat to the Justice League. Unlike the others on this list, the big blue bad guy has not yet appeared in the movies but we assume this will be rectified shortly in the DCEU films.
4. Black Panther
Not only a fresh idea for a superhero – a king who protects his people as a costumed crime fighter – Black Panther is also an important character in a sociological sense. After spinning off from a Fantastic Four guest-spot, T’Challa was the first major black superhero in mainstream comics. He is currently played in the MCU by Chadwick Boseman.
Though the X-Men’s biggest star – Wolverine – didn’t show up until years later, Kirby and Stan Lee are responsible for the other major tenets of the franchise e.g. Professor X, Magneto, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. The characters may have been heavily reimagined in the years since but they were all first given life by Kirby.
2. Fantastic Four
The Fantastic Four – Marvel Comics’ first big success story – are probably the group of characters most associated with Kirby as he poured many of his best ideas into their stories. As well as the central team, Doctor Doom, Silver Surfer, Galactus and Kang the Conquerer were all products of his pen.
1. The Avengers
On the whole, Kirby’s biggest contribution to comics has to be his hand in the creation of just about every one of the major members of the Avengers. Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Ant-Man, Wasp and more all owe their existence to Kirby, along with Lee. The dream team are also responsible for first assembling them in The Avengers team-up series in 1963.