Captain America faces a ferocious force in his first Avengers mission!

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.

By now, just about everyone knows what happened in AVENGERS #4 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby: After Namor threw something of a tantrum, he accidentally dislodged an iceberg holding World War II hero Captain America. While flying home from their own battle with the Sub-Mariner as well as Hulk in the previous issue, the Avengers spotted this odd shape, saw a man inside, and were shocked to find who thawed out on their ship.

At the end of that installment, Cap noted the similarities between Rick Jones and his now-deceased—or so he thought—partner Bucky Barnes and also officially became an Avenger! His first official outing among Earth’s Mightiest Heroes actually took place in yesterday’s Kirby 100 spotlight, which saw both the Avengers and Fantastic Four taking on the Hulk. Returning to their tossed headquarters in AVENGERS #5, the team cleaned the place up and then went their separate ways.

Of course, the world has a tendency to bear witness to problems springing up that need the attention of our heroes! In this case, a Transistorized Artillery Computer at a Stark factory blew up because of high-pitched sonics. Individually, the other Avengers also experienced strange sounds that caused other kinds of problems. We soon learned that the Lava Men caused the disturbance, emitted by their Living Stone weapon. One of their number had fought Thor in the pages of JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #97 and suggested against causing trouble with the surface dwellers. The rulers moved ahead anyway.

Avengers (1963) #5

Avengers (1963) #5

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

After a tussle with Iron Man, the Lava Men explained to Thor that the Living Stone exploded on impact. It had grown to such a great size, that they planned on sending it to the surface, smashing it, exploding it, and taking all the crust dwellers with it! Back up top, the Avengers did their best to keep their foes from flowing out onto the surface before heading down under themselves and joining back up with Thor. The reunion proved short-lived as the Lava Men’s witch doctor used his own magic to turn the Thunder God back to Donald Blake. Making matters worse, Hulk showed up to cause his own brand of trouble!

Luckily, Hulk’s presence gave Captain America an idea for a plan. The remaining Avengers all worked together to get the Jade Giant up on top of the Living Stone bubble and Wasp got him to punch at exactly the right spot. The resulting implosion sent the force downward instead of outward. With the threat gone, Blake turned back into Thor and sealed the Lava Men back inside the Earth, warning them not to return. Not far away, Betty Ross found Bruce Banner and took him back to the military base he worked at nearby and the Avengers went off to answer a Condition Red emergency from the Teen Brigade!

Clearly, Lee and Kirby liked the idea of building their shared universe of titles at this time. In addition to the title team, which now featured a legacy character, they also brought back the Lava Men from the earlier Thor story. Though published not even a year apart from each other, it’s fun to look at both tales and see how much the already amazing Kirby got even better as an artist!

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.

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Can the combined Avengers and Fantastic Four halt a Hulk-Thing fight?

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.

An old philosophical question once asked, what happens when the unstoppable force meets the immovable object? Well, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby didn’t answer that one, but they sure dug into what takes place when the Incredible Hulk comes to blows with the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing! The two titans came to blows in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR #25 and #26 from 1964 and the very Earth shook! It all started with Thing refusing to take an accidentally discovered serum that could have cured him of his rocky visage because he didn’t know if Alicia Masters would still love him as just Ben Grimm.

Fantastic Four (1961) #25

Fantastic Four (1961) #25

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

Meanwhile, The Hulk wanted peace and quiet after his fight with his old teammates in AVENGERS #3. The group quickly replaced him with Captain America, but still wanted to find their errant ally. The Jade Giant decided to get rid of every trace of Bruce Banner and smashed up his secret lab. He then saw the newspaper about Cap’s return and Rick Jones palling around with him. Feeling jealous and spurned, Hulk decided to hop to New York City and “destroy the Avengers forever.”

With Earth’s Mightiest Heroes actually near the old lab looking for Hulk, he jumped right past them and wound up causing such a ruckus that the FF took notice and moved to stop him. With Reed Richards out of commission and both Johnny and Sue Storm quickly felled by the emerald brute, Ben Grimm took it upon himself to stop the rampage. This duo had come to blows previously in FANTASTIC FOUR #12, but this time they tore through buses, buildings, and even the street to clobber one another. Thanks to some help from the Yancy Street boys, the pair wound up fighting underwater and then on boats before moving on to the George Washington Bridge!

Moving into issue #26, Hulk continued to call for the Avengers, but Thing still stood to fight another day, or at least a few more rounds! A battered Human Torch even got back in on the action, but the Fantatsic twosome didn’t stand a chance. Hulk messed them up and then went to Tony Stark’s mansion to visit his old friends.

Fantastic Four (1961) #26

Fantastic Four (1961) #26

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

Hulk tore into the Avengers who gave as good as they got. A rejuvenated Reed Richards soon led his own team to attack Jade Jaws as well, but all those heroes together proved more calamity than anything else. After figuring out how to actually work together, both crews converged on Hulk who had perched himself on a skyscraper construction site. Though the combined might of the Avengers and Fantastic Four could barely stop the rampage, Rick Jones wound up saving the day by tossing an “emergency gamma-ray treated capsule” that Banner had supplied him with months prior.

Hulk ran off, jumping into the water and soon turned back into Bruce, floating along to his next adventure. With that, both teams pledged to work well together in the future and returned to their own lives with an unspoken promise from Kirby and Lee that, when that happened, it would be just as exciting and groundbreaking as this time!

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.

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The King gives Black Panther a new series, introduces Machine Man, and more.

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

As the world grooved to the space opera glories of a little film called “Star Wars” in 1977, on the comics scene Marvel reminded readers that one of the original creators of “cosmic” worked under their roof. In the Second Marvel Age of Kirby, Jack added another title to his repertoire, bringing the count up to four ongoing books that year.

Black Panther (1977) #1

Black Panther (1977) #1

  • Published: January 10, 1977
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Writer: Jack Kirby
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Returning to one of his most important co-creations, Jack launched BLACK PANTHER to spotlight the amazing character of the same name he introduced with writer Stan Lee back in the halcyon days of FANTASTIC FOUR. Wasting no time, Jack tossed fans down the rabbit hole for a wild ride alongside T’Challa with the mystery of the Brass Frogs beginning in BLACK PANTHER #1 and a subsequent visit to King Solomon’s tomb in BLACK PANTHER #2, a fight with a yeti in BLACK PANTHER #5, and a the revelation of the first Panther and the origin of Wakanda’s vibranium in BLACK PANTHER #7.

Jack flew his patriotic hero down to a small South American nation in CAPTAIN AMERICA #206 and a battle with its dictator the Swine. One of the craziest Kirby designs ever reared its strange head in CAPTAIN AMERICA #208 with the debut of the evil Arnim Zola, and Jack came full circle with the return of the Red Skull in CAPTAIN AMERICA #210. Alas, despite these successes, he wrapped up his third tenure with Steve Rogers in CAPTAIN AMERICA #214.

Captain America (1968) #214

Captain America (1968) #214

  • Published: October 10, 1977
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Over in Jack’s ode to “ancient astronauts, ETERNALS, he continued to roll out some of his most incredible, mind-blowing concepts, such as the space-spanning Celestials, the devious Deviants, the thought-provoking Uni-Mind, and even a combat-ready Hulk robot in ETERNALS #14.

Though 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY closed its pages for good with issue #10, Jack still managed to introduce a character in the series that transcended his first story and went on to become a star, Machine Man.

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Johnny Storm tries a secret identity in another classic from The King!

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.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby broke a lot of super hero molds when they debuted the Fantastic Four in 1961. It didn’t take long for the team of super adventurers to become so popular that people wanted more and more out of the team. So, with STRANGE TALES #101, the duo decided to give the FF’s young heartthrob his own solo adventures!

Human Torch began anchoring the series in 1962; at that time, Johnny Storm didn’t want his Long Island neighbors knowing he moonlighted as the Torch, so he took traditional precautions to keep his alternate identity a secret. And yet, he still lived with his sister, Sue Storm, whose super hero identity remained public knowledge. To help Johnny live in suburbia, Reed Richards outfitted their house with a variety of Torch-specific additions like asbestos furniture and a room for him to work on his hot rods.

Following a nice, concise recap of the Fantastic Four’s origins, we met the villain of the piece: a green and yellow clad individual calling himself Destroyer who looked out over the local amusement park.

Strange Tales (1951) #101

Strange Tales (1951) #101

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Later, while walking to school, Johnny used the smoke from a nearby lighter and cigarette to cloud his own transformation into The Human Torch so he could save a man trapped on a runaway roller coaster at the same park. Storm saved the hapless victim, but the ride still broke in the process. The next day, something similar happened with the parachute drop ride. This time, Johnny shot out small fire pellets into the sky to distract the people around him so he could run into the fun house to transform.

With two of his schemes broken up by the young hero, Destroyer publicly challenged the Torch to a battle in the newspaper. Seeing this, The Thing showed up to back his little buddy, but Torch told him to kick rocks. Though Destroyer played Torch with this ruse, Johnny did eventually return to the amusement park and realize the villain’s game. Though it seemed like he wanted to simply destroy a fun place, Destroyer actually intended to take out the higher points of the park in an effort to keep prying eyes away from his dealings with a ring of Communist subs not far away!

Under the mask, Destroyer turned out to be local newspaper publisher Charles Stanton. With this first solo mission behind him, Johnny would go on to continue trying his hand as a secret identity-sporting hero for a while.

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.

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The Simon-Kirby team produces one of the Golden Age’s great heroes!

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.

These days, everyone knows The Vision as Marvel’s number one synthezoid hero with more than a few family issues to work through. However, before the Android Avenger, another Vision walked the halls at the House of Ideas.

A few months before creating Captain America, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby teamed up to present the very first appearance of The Vision in 1940’s MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #13. This series debuted Golden Age heroes like Namor and the original versions of Angel, The Human Torch, and Ka-Zar.

The story kicked off with Dr. Enoch Mason showing three of his friends a new machine called The Dimension Smasher. As he put it, “The purpose of my demonstration, tonight, is to prove that the so-called ghosts and spirits are actually inhabitants of worlds and universes whose dimensional spheres are co-existent with our own.” Unfortunately for him, an intelligence-hating mobster by the name of Brain had bought Mason’s promissory note and intended to either collect or take his equipment that very same night.

Marvel Mystery Comics (1939) #13

Marvel Mystery Comics (1939) #13

  • Published: November 01, 1940
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: August 19, 2011
  • Writer: Ben Thompson
  • Penciler: Bob Oksner
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The hoods busted into the laboratory in the middle of the experiment, telling the doc that he either had to pay up right then or get an impromptu renovation. As he floundered for an answer, the green-headed Vision appeared behind one of the gunmen in a cloud of smoke sparked by his own cigar. The visitor froze the mobster, introduced himself as Aarkus, Destroyer of Evil, and then took off after Brain’s other thug. After taking care of business, Aarkus returned to Mason, this time in a more human form.

Aarkus remained in that form when Brain’s mob showed up for further revenge. Knocked unconscious for a time, the otherworlder asked for one last cigarette before death and used the ensuing smoke to unleash his more powerful side. The Vision made short work of the crooks and even used their pants to tie them up!

While Vision clearly didn’t become Simon and Kirby’s main contribution to the Timely era, it’s interesting to note the similarities between his origin and Captain America’s. Both came about thanks to an experiment interrupted by bad men with guns.

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.

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Jack helps to introduce another of Marvel’s most vile villains!

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.

Jack Kirby maybe be best known as a super hero artist, but he loved making war comics. A military man himself, “The King” put his crown aside to serve his country during World War II as an Infrantryman and put plenty of those experiences into books like SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS with his collaborator Stan Lee.

Though still thrilling adventure stories, these issues feature some of the hard truths that came with war, like losing members of your squad as the Howlers did when Junior Junipe got injured in issue #4. They carried that sadness and anger with them into the next mission, which introduced them and the readers to a new Nazi threat: Baron Strucker! The villain debuted dueling with another man and easily winning before receiving his latest orders from Hitler: kill Nick Fury. Thinking his prey beneath him, Strucker thought of the mission as nothing more than a game.

The Wing Commander of the Fuehrer’s Death-Head Squadron flew his plane over the Allies’ post, blasting away at Dum Dum Duggan and Izzy Cohen before throwing a tube with a note down challenging Fury to a death duel on Norsehaven in the English Channel. Enraged at Strucker’s taunts, the sergeant requested transport to the Channel from Captain Sawyer, who flatly refused. After dining with his girlfriend Lady Pamely Hawley, Fury called in a few favors and snuck his way to the meeting with Strucker.

Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos (1963) #5

Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos (1963) #5

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

Neither man wasted any time getting into the spirit of the duel itself, which they fought with plywood swords as part of Strucker’s beloved tradition dictated. However, the villain also drugged Fury’s pre-fencing drink and had his lackeys ready to literally trip Nick up. The future S.H.I.E.L.D. chief did his best to fight, but inevitably collapsed. With his opponent down, the Baron called out his photographers and videographers to record the Amerikaner’s defeat. They strapped Fury in a parachute and dropped him out of a plane near the base he had been stationed at.

Upon returning, Captain Sawyer busted Fury down to a private and dismissed him. Still a part of the Howling Commandos, Nick joined his crew as they went out for another big push. The Howlers got the drop on a tank squadron, stole their vehicle and used it to destroy a rocket base before busting into an enemy base that happened to house Strucker!

The nefarious Nazi didn’t stand a chance in a fair fight with the furious Fury who knocked him unconscious after punching him through a wall! Upon returning, Sawyer saw the error of his ways in demoting Nick—mostly because a general said how lucky he was to work with the Howlers boss—and returned him to the rank of sergeant!

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.

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Jane Foster finally travels to Asgard in another Kirby classic!

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.

Meeting your betrothed’s dad can be a nerve-wracking and tricky situation. Now imagine you’re getting hitched to a guy who happens to be a Norse god with none other than the All-Father, Odin, for a dad! That’s the strange life Jane Foster found herself living as THOR #136 launched in 1967 thanks to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. At that point, Odin had finally approved of Thor’s relationship with Foster and she knew all about Don Blake’s secret identity, so the time seemed right to visit his homeland.

Upon their arrival on the Rainbow Bridge, the lovers saw the Calvary of Asgard running off to battle trolls and then one of the captured enemies brought back for interrogation. Jane met Heimdall and Odin, saw the Asgardian war room, and then received garb worthy of a god and the ability of flight from the All-Father! Foster then took off into the skies and enjoyed her new powers for just a few moments before doubting that they might remain consistent. As she plummeted, Thor flew to save her, but wondered why she lost faith in Odin so quickly.

All of this turned out to be the road to Thor and Jane marrying which would include her evolution into a goddess herself! As another test of Jane Foster, the All-Father requested the presence of The Unknown and sent Jane in after the mysterious being. Paralyzed by fear, Foster called for Thor’s help, which he quickly provided his beloved, seemingly sending the creature away. Convinced that Jane had not proved herself prepared for godhood, Odin reminded them that The Unknown fed on fear, an emotion that no immortal on Asgard could hold in their breast. Speaking for herself, Jane said that she wanted no part in godhood and left for Midgard alone!

Thor (1966) #136

Thor (1966) #136

  • Published: January 10, 1967
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Angered with his father, Thor lashed out, claiming that all of this had been Odin’s plan from the beginning to get Jane out of his son’s life! The accused denied these claims, put Thor in his place, and then ordered him to the Glade of Crystals to keep an eye out for the still-loose Unknown. Once there he found a Troll summoning the creature!

The Odinson soothed his inner turmoil to some extent by trying to destroy The Unknown. Heart-sick and off his game, our hero nearly fell to his foe, but regained himself thanks to the help of an unseen ally. After vanquishing the beast, Thor got a good look at the one offering assistance and recognized Sif, sister of Heimdall. As it happened, she had romantic feelings towards him dating years back and he seemed quite taken aback by her, all of which proved part of Odin’s master plan to help move his son along.

But what of Jane Foster? Of course, as we now know, Jane Foster would eventually return to Asgard, not as a potential goddess, but as Thor herself!

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.

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Devil Dinosaur allows the King to show off all his unique skills!

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 it came to artistic strengths, Jack Kirby had enough to fill a book—several in fact! Just off the top of the head, he excelled at monsters, aliens, heroes, villains, reaction shots, architecture, vehicles, fists, and, of course, krackle! If you want to see all of that in one place, feast your eyes on DEVIL DINOSAUR #46 from 1978!

In that three-issue arc—which Kirby wrote, drew and edited—the title beast and his pal Moon Boy investigated an awesome, huge-mouthed monster! According to the caveboy, his people foretold that this creature would not only eat the moon, but also act as just the first of many such devourers. The following two-page spread not only showed the true power of the invader, but also a great deal of the King’s aforementioned attributes!

Even though that initial scene proved just a dream, Moon Boy still stood wary of impending attacks, which came moments later as a space ship landed nearby. Upon revealing themselves with a blast of fire aimed at our heroes, the aliens then shared their mission to cleanse the area of all lifeforms! While they failed to kill Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur, they did succeed in capturing the former and taking him back to their ship for vivisection! Meanwhile, understanding the shared threat to their world a pair of Hill Folk called White-Hairs and Stone-Hand ally themselves with Devil to send the aliens packing.

After witnessing dinosaurs loading into the ship for chemical processing and Hill Folk disintegrated for rebelling, the unorthodox trio journeyed to The Tower of Death to save their way of life. It didn’t take long for the armored aliens to give chase and, even though the Hill Folk questioned Devil’s path, he soon proved adept at using the environment against their pursuers.

Devil Dinosaur (1978) #4

Devil Dinosaur (1978) #4

  • Published: July 10, 1978
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: March 04, 2010
What is Marvel Unlimited?

As DD and the Hill Folk witnessed the denizens of The Tower Of Death—giant ants called Swarmers—obliterate one of the aliens, the invader’s brethren continue their unspeakable experiments on Moon Boy in the ship. To retaliate against Devil for killing three of their own, the aliens unleash a weapon of destruction called The Land Crusher. They then used the giant laser to destroy the Tower which sent the Swarmers in all directions. More importantly, it left Devil Dinosaur nearly dead underneath all that rubble.

DD quickly recuperated in time to help White-Hairs and Stone-Hand save a female of their kind called Eev. Eventually, the Swarmers make their way to the ship and destroy it with their sheer, overwhelming numbers. Of course, the adventure for our stars continued on as they had not been reunited by the end of DEVIL DINOSAUR #6 and still needed to deal with the alien leftover called the Demon Tree…but that will be a story for another day!

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.

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The Fantastic Four investigates an empty house with startling results!

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.

New parents have a lot on their mind. From diaper changings and feedings to worrying about all manner of other potential dangers, making mistakes comes with the territory. Now, take all of that and throw in a never-ending train of super-menaces to deal with and you get an idea of where Reed and Sue Richards’ heads resided in FANTASTIC FOUR #8889 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Their son—not yet named in these issues, but eventually called Franklin—had been born not long prior in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #6, so after coming home from a mission, they all decided to look at an out-of-the-way home that would offer them privacy and safety. The fact that they didn’t think anything of a strange building in the middle of nowhere that no one had ever lived in and seemed to come out of nowhere should have triggered a few alarms, but let’s blame that new parent baby brain on that.

For us, though, we get to see “The King” do his thing, designing a domicile that would make Frank Lloyd Wright’s places look tame in comparison. The more the Fantastic Four and Crystal—a member of the squad at that point—looked around, the more they realized that something might be up. Still, they decided to buy the place and start moving in. They started regretting the purchase a bit when Reed tried drilling some holes so Sue could hang pictures and the security system shot stub bolts and trapped him in a clear jar. Still, not fully wary of the purchase, they continued to unpack.

Fantastic Four (1961) #88

Fantastic Four (1961) #88

  • Published: July 10, 1969
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Unbeknownst to the new tenants, the build actually came from a surprise source, one who kept an eye on things while the Richards’ moved in: Mole Man! He’d been using the place to send out a signal that would make everyone on the surface world as blind as him! After robbing the FF of their sight and revealing himself at the end of #88, Mole Man really pressed his advantage in the following issue. Far more used to fighting in the dark than his opponents, the villain easily dodged their attacks!

However, Mole Man underestimated how much Reed and Sue loved each other and how fiercely they’d fight any foe to keep the other safe. After Mr. Fantastic wound up on the wrong end of the villain’s staff, The Invisible Girl lashed out, knocking off his glasses and exposing his overly sensitive eyes to light they could not handle. Enraged at the attacks on his friend and his sister and with sight renewed, Human Torch took off and melted Mole Man’s staff. As the subterranean tyrant blamed everyone but himself for his crimes, Johnny Storm corralled him and then, essentially, told him to stop being so whiny and take responsibility for himself.

With the immediate threat out of the way, the team could concentrate on reviving Reed, who seemed out for the count, but soon regained consciousness after The Thing administered mouth to mouth and CPR. In this story Lee and Kirby presented a thrilling tale that keeps you involved at every turn while also giving Jack plenty of room to play when it came to designing a house that just about any fan would love to visit—though maybe without the booby traps!

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.

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See how Hank Pym went from shrunken scientist to costumed Avenger!

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.

Jack Kirby drew hundreds of pages of anthology comics in the early 1960s—scientists ran afoul of aliens and monsters got loose across one-off stories. Most of the characters in those books never featured more than once…with the exception of Ant-Man.

But before he had his super moniker, he was just another protagonist in the 1962 anthology story “The Man in the Ant Hill,” found in TALES TO ASTONISH #27.

Tales to Astonish (1959) #27

Tales to Astonish (1959) #27

  • Published: January 10, 1962
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Steve Ditko
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

From the start—the cover featured giant green ants pulling a man into a dark hole—this story jumped right into the scares, especially for the myrmecophobes (people with a fear of ants) in the reading audience.

In the pages of this would-be one-off, the action moved back in time to show a scientist named Henry Pym using a newly developed formula to shrink a chair before restoring it to normal size. Moved by his success, Pym thought back to the derision he suffered from his colleagues for choosing to follow his own unique scientific interests.

In need of a human guinea pig, the wayward scientist used a few drops on himself—and shrank down much faster than expected. As he struggled to climb to the window sill where his growth serum sat, a nearby ant colony sent out its troops to investigate the potential intruder.

In an attempt to escape the insect onslaught, Hank jumped into a nearby ant hill, fell down a pit, and landed in a pool of honey. To his shock, an ant helped him out of the sticky (and potentially lethal) trap…but Pym saw no such compassion from the horde at-large.

After spotting a match, the microscopic scientist threw a pebble at it to ignite the flame. And thanks to a makeshift rope—and his knowledge of judo—Hank Pym escaped the ant hill and returned to the surface.

Unexpectedly, a single ant followed him out of the mound. Exhausted, Pym nearly surrendered to the bug—before realizing that this ant saved him moments before. Hopping onto the creature’s back, he rode up the wall to the growth formula. When he regained his usual size, Pym dumped his serums down the drain and—seemingly—gave the project up forever.

…Until TALES TO ASTONISH #35 came out a few months later! Turns out, Hank couldn’t get his diminutive friends off his mind, and—continuing his studies—developed a helmet that allowed him to communicate with the critters.

Tales to Astonish (1959) #35

Tales to Astonish (1959) #35

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Around the same time, the U.S. government tasked the scientist with making an anti-radiation formula, though a malevolent foreign regime wanted access to the study. When a team of agents came for the material, Pym donned a suit, put on the helmet, and used the shrinking serum to escape undetected—before defeating his foes one-by-one. And with that act against evil, Ant-Man was born.

His journey continued in TALES TO ASTONISH, where he soon welcomed The Wasp. The insectoid duo later helped form the original Avengers and began their decades of adventures together—all thanks to the minds of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

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

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