The Marvel Legacy of Jack Kirby

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Jul. 17—Stan Lee is the name usually associated with the creation of Marvel Comics.

But Jack Kirby is a name that — depending on the source — deserves equal, nearly as much or more credit.

At the very least, Kirby deserves co-creator/development credit with Lee for characters ranging from the Fantastic Four to Dr. Doom, Galactus to the Hulk, Thor, the Avengers, original X-Men, etc. As much as Steve Ditko deserves equal credit with Lee for Spider-Man and Dr. Strange.

With "The Marvel Legacy of Jack Kirby," Kirby gets his due in a deluxe coffee-table volume filled with colorful reprints of his artwork and insightful words and tributes from various Marvel creators.

Sections delve into Kirby's life from personal developments to the development of the Marvel characters he co-created. The book includes big moments for the artist as well as big moments for the characters.

Readers can easily return to "Legacy" again and again to read a few pages or marvel at the collection of Kirby's art. There are big splash pages with characters overwhelming a page as well as reprints of character posters and looks at his mastery of panel work.

Given the book is Kirby's "Marvel Legacy," it mentions but doesn't include the work and characters he created for DC Comics. The absence of Apokolips and the New Gods, etc., for example, are important parts of the overall Kirby legacy, and given the stature of those characters in the DC Universe, the absence makes a reader realize how pivotal Kirby has been not only to the comics industry but the superhero movie catalogs of several film companies.

Unlike Stan Lee who made regular cameo appearances in the Marvel movies, Kirby was gone before his characters became movie stars.

Jack Kirby died in 1994 but his legacy lives on in comics and movies.

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