Many people cite Jack Kirby a source of inspiration, but he crafted many lesser known, or completely obscure creations outside the hallowed halls of Marvel and DC Comics. Does this attempt to merge the fractured worlds of Jack Kirby’s creations have what it takes? Take the jump, and find out!
Kirby Genesis #0
Story: Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Art Direction/Layouts/Covers: Alex Ross
Art: Jack Herbert & Alex Ross
Colors: Vinicius Andrade
Letters: Simon Bowland
Editor: Joseph Rybandt
Concepts and Characters Created by: Jack Kirby
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Story Pages: 12
Cover Price: $1.00 USD
Previously, in Kirby Genesis: Over the course of Jack Kirby’s life, he created many characters and concepts, some saw the light of day at Pacific Comics, and Topps, while others were only glimpsed at in The Jack Kirby Collector. Yet none gained the notoriety of his creations that were spawned at Marvel and DC Comics.
ALL THE KINGS MEN…
When the Pioneer 10 probe was launched, it was meant to be a galactic message from the people of Earth, but a cosmic fluke sent it ricocheting through the universe coming in contact with the people, and the landscapes of various Kirby creations. In the process, peaking their interest in the probe’s planet of origin, all the while as two kids sit on a stoop, and look upon the stars in the sky, wondering what lies beyond.
Being only a primer there isn’t a whole lot to go off of, this is really just supposed to give you a introductory taste of what the series will be like. After mulling it over the story, although a teaser offers nothing distinct.
Besides the conversation between Bobbi and Kirby on the stoop, the rest of the issue is mostly voiceovers, and snippets of character dialogue. Not enough for you to really get to know one character over another. Which is why they should have focused upon a single character, or group of characters. The bigger story to come seems to be leading towards that trope where: kid(s) meet(s) alien(s); bad guy(s) show(s) up; the world is in danger; the good guy(s) save the day. Maybe I am jumping the gun, and totally out of line, but this is what it really feels like.
The artwork for this issue is pretty good, and kind of reminded me of Brent Anderson, the artist on Astro City at some points, which I didn’t mind. As for capturing the artistic spirit of Kirby, Ross and Herbert weren’t even close. The characters depicted within didn’t have that raw power Kirby could imbue within even the weakest of his characters, and I have seen some weak ones, Goozlebobber anyone?
At the beginning of the story the page layout is standard, bland, but extremely easy to follow, but as the issue progresses, it became unnecessarily complicated, and eventually cluttered to such a extent to make me wonder what was going on. Page compositions faltered within the attempt to make the layouts look like Kirby style action. I picked up on their intentions, but that doesn’t excuse them. They are trying to harness what it means to be Kirby, but in doing so that is where their failing to be Kirby clearly shows.
The characters resemble the Kirby characters that I know, or I have seen via The Jack Kirby Collector, but to me it really just feels like fan art. Only Kirby could fully pull off his characters look, the effort hear just isn’t enough. As for the colors, they were not vibrant, and looked more like a rough draft of colors rather than a completed job. In the end the colors detracted from the artwork, giving it less of a impact.
THE VERDICT: PASS
The Kirby characters within are barely glimpsed, and even with the guide in the back of the issue it doesn’t really help. The characters are treated in a peek-a-boo way, here’s Galaxy Green! Who? There’s Tiger 18! Wha? If they’d have some sense of focus, some character to latch on to, like Silver Star, or Captain Victory the story wouldn’t be such a “Headless Chicken” .
Visually it’s as if they tried to stuff a one gallon bag with five gallons of comic, and the end result was it splitting at the seems spilling, creating a mess of a comic. The creators over reached, and Alex Ross’ “Art Director” title has nothing to show for itself in this issue.
With the inability to tell even a slightly enthralling teaser story, and artwork that only works when it’s not on topic, by tackling non-Kirby characters, I will have to give this a pass. If you liked “Project: Superpowers”, you might like this. In the end, when you boil it all down this comic is sadly, only Kirby fan fap material. Kirby Genesis #0 receives 2 Stars, out of 5.