The Eternals face an assortment of villains from across the eras!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

When Jack Kirby returned to Marvel in the 70s, he came back to a mix of old favorites like CAPTAIN AMERICA and BLACK PANTHER as well as all-new comics like MACHINE MAN and ETERNALS. We discussed the latter to some extent with artist Mike Allred months ago. ETERNALS, about the titular race of super-powered beings defending humanity against the evil Deviants, allowed Kirby to tell huge, sweeping stories.

In ETERNALS ANNUAL #1—which “The King” also wrote and edited—Thena and Zuras realized the threat that Deviant Zakka the Tool-Master posed. In an effort to find and stop his machinations, Thena asked for help from a pair of Deviants who switched sides in ETERNALS #11: the fierce warrior Reject and the gentle giant Karkas. As she led these unexpected heroes to the big city, we got a glimpse of Zakka’s nefarious invention, the time beam projector! To wreak havoc on humanity, he used this device to pluck individuals from their own time and bring them to the present before they would transport back to their respective eras.

Upon arriving in their temporary digs, Thena and Reject quickly encountered one of Zakka’s unwitting pawns: Jack the Ripper. Just as the infamous murderer slid his sword from his cane to attack a young woman, Reject leaped into action and held the rogue off until he returned to his own time. Karkas fared about equally as well when faced with the might of Atilla and one of his Huns. After dispatching the villains, he showed his true, monstrous form to others in the hotel and they ran in terror. He then encountered Zakka himself, but failed to overcome his ultimate foe.

Eternals Annual (1977) #1

Eternals Annual (1977) #1

  • Published: January 01, 1977
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: July 30, 2008
What is Marvel Unlimited?

However, another succeeded in taking Zakka down. Instead of a hero, though, the assailant turned out to be another Deviant bent on destruction: Tutinax! Their first meeting left Thena, Reject, and Karkas on their backs, but after regrouping, the good guys chased the living wrecking ball down to stop his rampage.

Thena teleported them to an abandoned alley before they began their battle. Though Reject proved adept at dodging his opponent’s blows, he soon realized that Tutinax would be very difficult to harm and also possessed enough strength to lift an entire building off of its foundation! Luckily for them, Thena stuck around keeping track of the villain with her Psycho-Band. Just as Reject and Karkas moved to rush their target, he disappeared! It turned out that he’d been brought to this time by Zakka’s machine, meaning he could only last a short time before heading home.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

Read More

The King's final year with Marvel included the launch of Devil Dinosaur and Machine Man.

In celebration of Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday, we’re been reviewing the man’s legendary creations with a year-by-year examination of his unparalleled career at Marvel Comics. Read on for our final installment of the History of Kirby and witness more of the work that made him comic book royalty.

Though wrapping up what would be his last year of work for Marvel in 1978, Jack Kirby’s creativity reached an amazing new plateau as he debuted two new series as well as two singularly fantastic standalone projects.

Jack kicked off the year with his last cover for perhaps his greatest co-creation of all time. FANTASTIC FOUR #190 showed off the team surrounded by symbolic shots of their major arch-enemies, a fitting illustration for the artist to end on. Later, seemingly not done with the idea of the Fantastic Four, Jack wrote and drew WHAT IF? #11, a fun take on the first family of super heroes that replaced Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, the Human Torch, and the Thing with the real-life Marvel Bullpen staff of Stan Lee, Flo Steinberg, Sol Brodsky, and Jack himself.

What If? (1977) #11

What If? (1977) #11

  • Published: October 10, 1978
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Writer: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Stan and Jack also collaborated on an immense project, their last as a duo. The SILVER SURFER graphic novel of 1978, written by “The Man” and illustrated by “the King,” took readers on a far-flung “Ultimate Cosmic Experience” with the Surfer to pit him once again versus the world-eating Galactus. One of the very first graphic novels ever, the tome ended up in bookstores, bringing Marvel into a whole new arena.

Jack brought his two series from the previous year, ETERNALS and BLACK PANTHER to an end in 1978, or at least to a stopping point for himself. In ETERNALS #19, he drew the climax of a gigantic, sprawling battle between the various races in the saga, and over in BLACK PANTHER he fit in T’Challa’s origin story, a new team called the Musketeers, a first-time villain called Kiber the Cruel, and new psychic powers for the titular hero.

Devil Dinosaur (1978) #1

Devil Dinosaur (1978) #1

  • Published: April 10, 1978
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: April 08, 2009
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Never content with resting on his laurels, Jack also launched DEVIL DINOSAUR and spun MACHINE MAN out of his 2001 series. DEVIL DINOSAUR related the ongoing plight of Moonboy, an early relative to man, and a crimson dinosaur called Devil as they made their way through a prehistoric landscape to clash with fiends and foes along the way. In MACHINE MAN, Jack told the tale of X-51, a self-sentient robot that searched for his identity and his place in the world while fighting various factions that would end his quest.

As the year came to a close, Jack Kirby looked beyond comics to new horizons and, for a time, left the industry to pursue work in the ever-growing animation business. Eventually, he returned to his first love, comic books, and continued to build upon the legacy he crafted at Marvel with projects at new companies just starting out on their journeys.

Machine Man (1978) #1

Machine Man (1978) #1

Read More

Mike Allred makes the discovery of the Eternals for the first time!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us this month to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

A few days back, SILVER SURFER artist Mike Allred remembered how a childhood accident lead to his first exposure to Jack Kirby’s amazing creations. As time went on, he continued absorbing as much of the King’s work as possible and continues to cycle back through his comics even now.

Right now, he’s re-reading Kirby’s 1976-debuting series ETERNALS. One of Jack’s late-70s return to Marvel projects, this one introduced the world to another race of super-powered beings, this one created by the Celestials to fight against their enemies, the Deviants. Like many of Kirby’s other books from that time, ETERNALS felt like pure creativity on the page, partially because he wrote, edited, and drew the comic himself.

“So wild,” Allred recalls of his first exposure to ETERNALS. “It was the mid-to-late-80s when [I was] in Colorado Springs where [I] discovered several comic book stores there and Denver. I crash coursed spending all my disposable income and trading sculptures, my main art hobby at the time, to complete my comic collections. It was around this time I discovered ETERNALS.”

As the 19 issues of the series progressed, readers learned more and more about Ikaris, Sersi, Makkari, and the others. On further readings, Allred notes that his relationship with the characters themselves remains the same, but other interactions have changed.

Eternals (1976) #1

Eternals (1976) #1

  • Published: July 10, 1976
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
What is Marvel Unlimited?

“They all have a timeless consistency for me,” Allred shares. “But I certainly relate differently to Kirby the man, Kirby the creator as I contemplate and appreciate the path he carved for those who follow in this thrilling profession.”

With ETERNALS, part of Kirby’s path involved asking big questions posed on the first page of the first issue: “Is man alone in the universe? Every myth and legend to emerge from the distant past points to a strange visitation from the stars!! Beings of great power have been on this Earth—and then departed! Who were they? What did they do here? Where have the gone?”

In other words, Kirby made this series his own at all points and that same kind of feel permeates much of Allred’s work.

“You just simply know that Jack Kirby loved being in that creative space,” Allred sums up. “You just don’t put that kind of time and effort into something unless it lights you up. It’s exciting to imagine how much fun he had making comics and telling stories. It enhances the enjoyment of absorbing everything he did.”

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

Read More

Pay homage to one of the greatest creative forces of all-time with 10 of his classic comic works!

By Kiel Phegley

97 years ago, a cosmic force in comics was born.

That’s because today marks 97 years since the birth of Jack “King” Kirby, one of the greatest artists of all time and a driving force countless Marvel heroes and villains. During his unbeatable run with Marvel in the 1960’s, Kirby helped define characters ranging from the Avengers to the X-Men to the Fantastic Four and beyond. But aside from his titanic run during that first major “Marvel Age,” Kirby also made his Marvelous mark during the Golden Age of Captain America and later on in the 1970’s as well.

To celebrate the everlasting impact “The King” had on the Marvel Universe, enjoy 10 can’t miss Kirby-drawn comic books you can read right now as part of the Marvel Unlimited digital comics platform!

Captain America Comics (1941) #1

Captain America Comics (1941) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1
Start where the legend began! Kirby’s first work for Marvel saw the groundbreaking introduction of Captain America and Bucky in this patriotic powerhouse of the Golden Age. Created alongside legendary writer/artist/editor Joe Simon, Kirby’s smashing work on the first Cap comic had all the rough-and-tumble, Nazi-smashing earmarks of the legend that Steve Rogers would become.

Tales to Astonish (1959) #13

Tales to Astonish (1959) #13

What is Marvel Unlimited?

TALES TO ASTONISH #13
Before he declared himself a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, the alien plant known as Groot made his debut in this Kirby-drawn monster comic from Marvel’s fabulous Atlas Era. See how great the artist could be exploring the anxiety of the atomic age as his unforgettable design of Groot stomps over the earth on its way to Marvel immortality.

Fantastic Four (1961) #5

Fantastic Four (1961) #5

What is Marvel Unlimited?

FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #5
One of the very best early issues of Kirby and Stan “The Man” Lee’s epic run with Marvel’s First Family, this story serves up some can’t miss Kirby moments. Not only does it mark the very first appearance of arch villain Doctor Doom in all his metallic Latverian glory, it also features the FF traveling through time as The Thing dresses the part of Blackbeard the pirate. These stunning Kirby pages—ably inked by the great Joe Sinnott—offer a terrific glimpse at what would come across the next 100 issues from the FF’s creative fathers.

Fantastic Four (1961) #67

Fantastic Four (1961) #67

  • Published: October 10, 1967
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #67
For a more mind-bending taste of what FANTASTIC FOUR evolved into, readers can take a walk on the wild side with this later Lee/Kirby tale. When the FF gets whisked away to the Citadel of Science in search of Alicia Masters, the team encounters the “Is he a savior…or a destroyer?” anti-hero known as HIM. Later, the character would take his place in the Marvel pantheon as Adam Warlock. Aside from showing off his cosmic muscles, Kirby’s work here proves that even his strangest designs could form the building blocks of Marvel’s biggest hits.

Thor: Tales of Asgard by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby (2009) #1

Thor: Tales of Asgard by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby (2009) #1

  • Published: May 13, 2009
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: March 10, 2011
  • Rating: ALL AGES
What is Marvel Unlimited?

THOR: TALES OF ASGARD
The mythological origins of Thor’s world never looked better than when Kirby rendered the early days of the Thunder God and his Norse pantheon. For years, this tale could only be found as a back-up to Thor’s main adventures. But with the recent collected edition, the full might of Kirby’s lavish designs and intensive battle illustrations got the spotlight they deserved. Read the first three issues of this re-mastered Marvel gem now.

Avengers (1963) #8

Avengers (1963) #8

  • Published: September 10, 1964
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

AVENGERS (1963) #8
During his Marvel tenure, Kirby left his mark on almost every hero in the company’s stable including Iron Man, Hulk and more. But few things helped define the Marvel Universe better than the way Kirby could place all of the big guns on one stage in the pages of AVENGERS. Here you can witness the birth of one of the team’s greatest foes—Kang the Conqueror—in a time-bending tale bursting with the personality and power of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes at their best.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #17

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #17

What is Marvel Unlimited?

UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #17
And don’t miss the stranger side of classic Kirby as the master turned up both the teen angst and the social commentary in the earliest X-Men stories. Here, Kirby gives his farewell to the First Class of Marvel mutants with a story featuring the hateful, hunting Sentinels and the master of magnetism Magneto, all under a cover that can chill to the bone even decades later.

Black Panther (1977) #5

Black Panther (1977) #5

  • Published: September 10, 1977
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Writer: Jack Kirby
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

BLACK PANTHER (1976) #5
Kirby helped introduce the landmark Marvel icon known as the Black Panther during his FANTASTIC FOUR days, but the story of T’Challa really came into its own during this solo run in the 70’s. Kirby’s signature science fiction stylings clash with old school monster action as the Wakandan King takes on a yeti in a tale not to be missed.

Eternals (1976) #1

Eternals (1976) #1

  • Published: July 10, 1976
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
What is Marvel Unlimited?

ETERNALS (1976) #1
Kirby continued to innovate in his later years at Marvel by introducing waves of wild new heroes such as the hidden royalty known as the Eternals. Continue his birthday celebration with the start of one of his last full epics as “The King” introduces the likes of Ikaris, Makkari and Sersi and their strange Celestial overlords.

Captain America (1968) #193

Captain America (1968) #193

  • Published: January 10, 1976
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
What is Marvel Unlimited?

CAPTAIN AMERICA #193
Everything comes full circle with Kirby’s 1970’s return to CAPTAIN AMERICA. Here you can read a fast-paced adventure bristling with the energy and dynamism of the King’s best work as Cap and his partner Falcon fight against the force of the Mad Bomb. Cap’s greatest villain, the Red Skill, lurks just on the edges of this story which helped celebrate America’s Bicentennial as only Kirby could!

Read More