Two key characters make their debuts in Annihilus and Franklin Richards!

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.

After seven years of super-heroics, exploring, and witnessing many a previously unseen wonder, Marvel’s First Family experience something brand new with FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #6 in 1968: kids! Stan Lee and Jack Kirby seeded the story the year before in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #5 when Reed and Sue learned of her pregnancy.

This issue began with Johnny and Ben barging into Reed’s lab, wondering why he continued working on experiments instead of standing next to Sue in the delivery room. Richards explained that the cosmic radiation that turned them into the FF remained in Sue’s body and could have an adverse effect on the baby. He further exposited that an anti-matter element in the Negative Zone could help save mother and child and wanted to get it on his own. Of course, his two teammates refused to let him fly solo and backed him up. They had no idea that a new threat, one known as Annihilus, had started making life even more dangerous in the Zone!

Kirby showed off his amazing pencil work as he rendered the Negative Zone and then a pair of mindboggling collages to demonstrate just how different this locale looked and felt. Almost immediately, the Zone also proved how dangerous it could be as unseen forces snatched Mr. Fantastic up with a quickness. Soon reunited with his teammates in Annihilus’ jail, Richards and his fellows did their best to survive against giant robot boots, gyro-saws, and sonic sponges. Soon gaining the upper hand, the heroes attacked their captor and made off with his Cosmic Control Rod.

Fantastic Four Annual (1963) #6

Fantastic Four Annual (1963) #6

  • Published: November 06, 1968
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: March 20, 2009
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Incensed at the effrontery, Annihilus sent monsters after the male FF members who had also stolen his Rail Plane to make their escape. Reed realized he could use some of the Rod’s powers to knock the beasts back, but the trio soon stood stranded in space. After another battle with their new foe, Reed made a deal with the bad guy to trade the Cosmic Rod back in exchange for their Repellor Units, which they used to get back home, but only after Mr. Fantastic siphoned off some of the energy to help Sue and the baby. The gents made it back to the positive world and handed off the energy to help Sue, who had the real hard work to do in giving birth.

Though they spent excruciating time waiting to find out what happened, Reed, Ben and Johnny soon heard the good news from Crystal: it’s a boy! The whole family then made their way into the room to meet the baby, who we’d eventually know as Franklin Richards, a kid powerful enough to create an entire reality for his folks and their friends when it seemed like they’d perished at the hands of Onslaught several decades later!

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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Captain America and The Falcon take a wild ride to different dimension!

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.

In the 1960s, Jack Kirby worked with Stan Lee to start building up the Marvel Universe. Many fans rightfully think of that era as truly magical, a fount of creative energy focused on the task of making heroes and villains that would stand the test of time. But it’s also important to look at the 70s work of “The King,” when he wrote, drew and edited a batch of books that included DEVIL DINOSAUR, MACHINE MAN, and BLACK PANTHER as well as his return to the character and title he launched, CAPTAIN AMERICA.

Kirby kicked his latter day run on Cap’s book with an epic story called “Madbomb,” a tale filled with many of the hallmarks of his work from the krackle to the positive social message. Seemingly hard to top, he tried with the story starting in CAPTAIN AMERICA #201, which pits Steve Rogers and his partner Falcon against a mysterious group called the Night People of Zero Street!

The Night People not only wanted to recruit Cap as their own hero, but also launched a crime wave that hit everything from grocers and jewelers to pet and costume stores! They even swiped projectors from late night movie houses! After talking to one of the Madbomb makers, Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson thought they’d have a chance to relax, but then heard about the mysterious new group from Sam’s girlfriend Leila right before those very same denizens of Zero Street kidnapped her in an effort to bring Falcon and Cap to them!

Captain America (1968) #201

Captain America (1968) #201

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

Falcon flew off in a hurry, but accidentally hit an oncoming plane flown by Texas Jack Mudloon, a wealthy adventurer. After thanking Jack, Falcon flew off again, this time right into the portal to Zero Street! On the other side, the Night People grabbed him, put Falcon and Leila on trial, and then gave them shock treatment.

Back on Earth, Captain America heard about Falcon vanishing and got to work finding him in issue #202 which led the Star-Spangled Avenger to also meet Muldoon. While they figured out how to find Wilson, Sam himself—now brainwashed—moved to fight a huge, craggy, fire-breathing monster on behalf of the Night People. At the same time, Cap waited for another portal to Zero Street to open up so he could leap into action. Unbeknownst to him, Texas Jack followed him through as well!

In #203, Cap and Jack learned that an Earthly asylum had been transported to another dimension years ago, creating Zero Street and the Night People by extension. More surprises came when Rogers ran into Leila and Falcon, neither of whom recognized him! The local leaders offered the new arrivals the choice of either death or a change like the one Sam and Leila went through. While they thought on that, a small army of monsters like the one Falcon previously fought attacked. Cap got the information and equipment he needed and used a portal to Earth to get everyone to safety before blowing the machinery up, leaving Zero Street to the invaders.

As he tended to do when left to his own devices, Kirby not only offered up a super-fun super hero story with cowboys and monsters and alternate dimensions, but also social commentary on African Americans’ treatment in the justice system and also the status of those who had been institutionalized.

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 Kirby and Stan Lee reunite on a seminal Silver Surfer story!

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 worked together to create one of the finest collections of characters ever assembled. Sometimes these creations came from bouncing ideas off of each other before actually working on the comic while others sprouted from different places of origin. Take The Silver Surfer for example. Everyone knows he first appeared ahead of his master Galactus in the pages of the classic FANTASTIC FOUR #48, but the genesis of the character proves an even more interesting story. In his intro to MARVEL MASTERWORKS VOLUME FOUR, Lee remembered how they nailed down the concept of Galactus and then recounted seeing Silver Surfer for the first time.

“After the story had been hammered out, when Jack Kirby delivered the artwork, I noticed some panels featuring a strange-looking guy on a flying surfboard,” Lee wrote. “’Who’s he?’ I asked, not recalling any mention of such a character in our previous discussions. Jack simply said that he felt that anyone as powerful as Galactus should have his own personal herald who searched the skies looking for planets for his master to devour. Well, needless to say, the idea grabbed me. But even more than that, I loved the way the Surfer had been drawn. Something about him looked so pure, so guileless, so noble that I felt I couldn’t let him speak like any other typical comic book character. His personality had to be as special as his demeanor. And so, I decided to let the Silver Surfer become the voice of Marvel’s conscience. He mouthed all the philosophical thoughts and observations that I myself had always harbored and dwelled upon. Within a short time he, more than any other of our creations, came to symbolize all that was good and true about life and the human condition.”

Silver Surfer (1968) #18

Silver Surfer (1968) #18

  • Published: September 01, 1970
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: January 01, 2000
What is Marvel Unlimited?

The Surfer kicked around FANTASTIC FOUR for a while after his debut, but earned his own series in 1968 by Lee and artist John Buscema, who would draw every issue of the title except the finale, #18, which saw Kirby return to the character he helped create. The story kicked off with our hero zipping around a series of powered individuals  looking to attack him. Aireo, Stallior, Timberius, and Leonus did so at the behest of their Inhuman leader Maximus the Magnificent—alternately known as the Mad.

Upon returning to their master, the Inhumans heard Maximus’ plan to get the Surfer mad at all of their kind instead of his group specifically. The ploy worked, as Norrid Radd flew to Attilan wondering why its denizens had attacked him. Quickly Black Bolt went to meet the visitor, but Medusa and Karnak set upon him as an intruder and knocked him unconscious! Waking up, Surfer lashed out against his captors. At that same time, Maximus attacked his brother’s people, sending Attilan into a panic. After wrestling his board away from Lockjaw, Silver Surfer flew off only to be attacked by more Inhumans.

Sick of the battle in every way, The Silver Surfer zoomed out of there to get some quiet and think. Instead of cooling off, though, he found himself overtaken by his anger. All this time of playing conscience to a world that didn’t seem to want him had taken its toll and he swore to be “the deadliest one of all!” However, with the cancellation of the book after this issue, readers never quite got to see that version of the character. Still, it would have been wild to see a Jack Kirby-drawn series with the man formerly known as Norrin Radd going crazy on the Earth!

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 puts his stamp on another standard of Marvel’s Golden Age!

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.

Timely Comics knew how to put an anthology comic together that would attract plenty of eyeballs. They’d done it before with MARVEL COMICS and many of their other titles and continued the trend with 1941’s patriotically themed USA COMICS. Of course, it helped that Timely hired a pair of comic-making juggernauts—and CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1 creators—by the names of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby to get the book out. While they didn’t take on the entire periodical like they did with Cap’s debut, but they certainly put their stamp on it!

Simon not only edited the book, but also inked the cover as well as the intro page and a splash page for a story called “Rockman: Underground Secret Agent and the Tunnel That Lead to Death.” Kirby’s role in this particular issue also revolved around penciling the cover as well as the aforementioned introduction on the first page and that splash page in the Rockman story, which writer-artist Basil Wolverton drew the rest of.

“The King” may have also had something to do with “The Hideous Dame Kackle.” No one’s quite sure because the story’s credited to Charles Nicholas, which happened to be a house alias as well as a real artist’s name, making it all the more confusing. Anyway, while his contributions to this specific issue might not seem all that huge, think about this: Kirby drew the first images of new characters like The Defender and Rockman that readers ever saw between the cover and splash page.

USA Comics (1941) #1

USA Comics (1941) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The intro page also offers some interest for Kirby fans because it’s actually an ad for the upcoming ALL-WINNERS COMICS featuring the first group shot of Human Torch, Toro, Namor, Captain America, Bucky, Black Marvel, and Angel running into action.

After that initial offering, USA COMICS readers wouldn’t see Kirby’s work in the book until issue #5 in 1942 when he seemed to ink many of the stories under the alias of Charles Nicholas. He also penciled the “Hills of Horror” story under the same pen name. He would do similar work on the sixth installment as well. Also of interest: by that point, Simon no longer edited the title, but a young guy by the name of Stan Lee did! It wouldn’t be the first time they worked together, but one more step to them becoming the architects of the Marvel Universe during the Silver Age!

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 take on a fiendish foe in Transylvania!

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.

If there’s a better way to celebrate Halloween than by traveling to Transylvania with Marvel’s First Family, we don;t know it! That’s the basis behind 1964’s FANTASTIC FOUR #30 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby! In true FF fashion, the trip acted as a mix of business and pleasure for the team. The vacation began with Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben wandering through a forest that, according to Mr. Fantastic, seemed like it intended to trap them within.

Just as the group reached a clearing with an old, decrepit castle, a group of villagers appeared behind them, warning the heroes not to enter for fear of upsetting Diablo. Led by Mayor Baron Hugo, the party brought the FF back to town where he explained the legend of Diablo to them. A hundred years ago, the villagers had had enough of Diablo’s evil alchemy and sealed him up in the castle itself. While some thought he must surely be dead after a century, others believed the villain had figured out a way to extend his lifespan.

Fantastic Four (1961) #30

Fantastic Four (1961) #30

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

That night, Ben found himself roused from sleep by a melodious voice that seemed to put him in a trance. It called him to Diablo’s castle and he answered, using his strength to open a massive crypt and free his new master! The next morning, the rest of the Fantastic Four followed Thing’s trail and found him changed. He agreed to work for Diablo for a year in exchange for a new form that left him still orange, but more human in appearance. If Ben followed through, Diablo would give him the rest of the serum to turn him fully human again.

Grimm sided with the newly released prisoner over his longtime friends, even getting into a fight with his allies! Reed, Sue, and Johnny decided to leave Thing to his new life, but kept an eye on him. So did the rest of the world as Diablo started selling immortality chemicals. At around the same time, Reed discovered that Diablo’s chemicals truly caused more harm than good and Ben realized that he’d been tricked! The rest of the FF didn’t waste any time before attacking Diablo’s castle. He had amassed a small army to help defend his lair, but they couldn’t stand up against the heroes, especially Ben rejoined his teammates!

In the end, Ben Grimm may have turned back into The Thing, but he never would have been able to re-entomb Diablo without the strength and durability that came with that form! In other words, Kirby and Lee offer a spooky story with a nice message about being who you are on this Halloween 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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Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. confront an evil combo of science and magic!

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.

Over the years, Nick Fury amassed quite a number of enemies. Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and breakdown artist Howard Purcell introduced us to one of the more unusual ones in the pages of 1966’s STRANGE TALES #144145: The Druid. A threat potentially more suited for series mate Doctor Strange, Druid debuted while conjuring up an image of Fury to his coven-like followers and calling for the S.H.I.E.L.D. leader’s death!

However, we quickly learned that at least some of Druid’s methods came from the world of technology instead of magic as he had a team working behind the scenes for him like a stage magician. Using these tools, the villain called for an “Egg of Satan” and sent it off to kill Nick Fury. The egg almost didn’t need to bother as the super spy had donned a protective suit to crawl through the wreckage of a plane from the previous issue in order to find the reactor. Of course, Fury would never let a little thing like potential immolation stop him and succeeded in his task!

Not long after, officials spotted the egg, but didn’t know where it came from. Following its command, the object made a beeline for Fury who happened to be driving with Dum Dum Duggan at the time. Thanks to good, old S.H.I.E.L.D. tech, the former Howling Commandos kept in the fight as the egg started blasting them with lasers. To end this particular skirmish though, our pair of World War II heroes grabbed themselves some blasters and shot the Satan’s Egg out of the sky. In the second part, another brand of S.H.I.E.L.D. standby debuted to help confuse any future egg attacks: Fury Life Model Decoys!

Strange Tales (1951) #144

Strange Tales (1951) #144

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Though the LMDs attracted the eggs more than once, Druid seemed wise to the ploy and used his devices to gather information on his quarry. Not wanting the game to go on for too long, the evil mastermind revealed himself to Fury and challenged him to a fight! As Nick knocked out the leader, his fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agents used their superior skills and tech to stop the remaining Satan’s Eggs, which had been developed into tanks and other weapons.

In the end, our heroes succeeded in not only capturing their opponent, but also putting an end to his immediate threat. The man known as Dredmund the Druid would eventually return to torment Captain America, even playing a role in the classic “Cap Wolf”storyline! While not exactly the kind of adventure you’d expect Nick Fury to get tangled up in, the story Lee, Kirby and Purcell worked beautifully together on offered a mighty Marvel espionage melee that must be seen!

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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Thor and Absorbing Man clash in a fight spanning NYC to Asgard and back!

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 put Marvel’s mighty Thunder God through more than a few epic battles during their time as collaborators first on JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY and then the THOR ongoing series. One of wildest came in the pages of JIM #121123 from 1965. The first part of the story kicked off with a splash of Thor just barely dodging Absorbing Man’s enchanted wrecking ball. The pair battled fiercely, with Crusher Creel constantly reminding everyone within earshot that he could absorb everything from the uru metal of Mjolnir to Thor’s very own strength upon contact.

Meanwhile, Loki watched on, having set Absorbing Man up to take on his half-brother. With the warlock Ularic assigned to watch over Loki as punishment, the son of Odin had usurped his intended master and hidden him in the floor unbeknownst to the other Asgardians. On Earth, Creel used every trick from turning into a massive colossus of steel and concrete to taking advantage of Thor saving a small child from the melee to finally knock him out in front of a huge crowd!

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #121

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #121

  • Published: October 10, 1965
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Of course, the blow simply stunned our hero who soon popped back up and showed Absorbing Man exactly how much he appreciated the sucker punch method of battle by pounding his foe. Just as Thor neared a complete victory, Loki used the Attractor Beam to bring Creel to Asgard in an attempt to take over. Still on Earth, the Thunderer checked on Jane Foster, held captive by a masked man. When Thor turned into Don Blake to see her, the mystery fiend snapped a picture, revealing himself as photographer Harris Hobbs.

After quickly demonstrating his complete power over Absorbing Man, Loki revealed his freedom to the skeleton crew of Asgardians still around and set Creel to attack those who opposed him. On his rampage he even managed to take on some of Odin’s own cosmic energy! Back on Earth, Thor showed Hobbs just how powerful of an enemy he had made by quickly taking him to both the ancient past and the far future. Understanding what little leverage he had, Hobbs asked a boon: for the Avenger to take him to Asgard. Thor made good on his deal, but the pair had no idea the trouble they walked into.

Witnessing the battle between Absorbing Man and his father, Thor intended to jump right in, but Odin surprised everyone by simply offering Loki his scepter of power. Almost immediately, Creel tried taking that very object from the god of lies, but after witnessing their petty squabbles, the Allfather banished them both from Asgard with a wave of his hand! Upon returning to Earth, Hobbs discovered that he would never remember the amazing things he just saw. Luckily for us, we live in a world where a master like Kirby put all of those moments on pages that we can continue looking at over and over!

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'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

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Track the evolution of one of Jack Kirby’s signature characters!

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.

As BLACK PANTHER enters the Marvel Legacy era this week with issue #166 by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leonard Kirk, it feels fitting to look back to Jack Kirby’s various dealings with the character over the years. Kirby worked with Stan Lee to introduce T’Challa, Wakanda, and The Black Panther to the world in 1966’s FANTASTIC FOUR #5254. In that first appearance, T’Challa brought the renowned team—and Johnny Storm’s college roommate Wyatt Wingfoot—to his homeland and challenged them to a battle of epic proportions. In fact, the only reason the FF wound up on top proved Wingfoot’s unexpected presence and feisty attitude.

After enjoying a feast of epic proportions, The monarch of Wakanda asked his guests for help in figuring out a problem that wound up revolving around a new villain called Klaw who would go on to become one of Black Panther’s deadliest opponents. Following their eventual victory, the crew played baseball with T’Challa and his people before receiving wonderful gifts and returning home.

The Black Panther would appear here and there in the remaining issues of Lee and Kirby’s renowned FANTASTIC FOUR run, most prominently in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #5 where he teamed up with the title heroes as well as the Inhumans to battle an army of super villains led by Psycho-Man.

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?

In 1968, Lee and Kirby had T’Challa fly Captain America to Wakanda in a similar fashion as he had the Fantastic Four for TALES OF SUSPENSE #9799 and CAPTAIN AMERICA #100. After a bit of an initial brawl, the two heroes worked quickly to destroy a weapon called the Solar Heat Projector that happened to fall under Baron Zemo’s watchful eye. The duo, aided by Sharon Carter, battled their way through Zemo’s minions, The Destructron, and Zemo himself to eventually win the day. This adventure with Cap even led to Black Panther’s entry into the Avengers not long after.

Jack Kirby would eventually return to T‘Challa’s adventures with the character’s very first solo series in 1977 which “The King” wrote, drew and edited. This book framed the Panther as a globe-trotting adventurer of sorts, on the hunt for a wildly powerful artifact called King Solomon’s Frog. BLACK PANTHER also introduced the hero and the world to a variety of interesting and wild characters ranging from Mr. Little and Princess Zanda to a Yeti and a secret society of samurai!

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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Captain America takes on Batroc, Swordsman, and Living Laser!

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’s impressive battle scenes proved so captivating that he and writer Stan Lee would integrate them into comics even when they didn’t necessarily need to be there! Take CAPTAIN AMERICA #105 for example: it started with a one page splash of Cap, Bucky, and the Army rushing towards a Nazi contingent in the foreground before giving way to a gorgeous two-page spread of all the patriotic heroes smashing through the German line! The comic itself even told us that these images essentially existed because Kirby excelled in that arena. “We’ll admit this doesn’t have much to do with the stirring saga that follows, but we just couldn’t resist giving Jolly Jack a chance to let himself go on this sizzling scene…and we kinda suspect that no True Believer amongst you is gonna complain!”

By the next page we discovered that these snapshots of action existed in a presentation of combat films being shown to Steve Rogers in an effort to get him to narrate the project for TV. Instead of exciting the Avenger, though, these glimpses of his partner in patriotism simply reminded him that Bucky Barnes did not make it out of World War II alive. Rogers walked right out of the meeting without giving an answer to narration job. Instead, he thought about getting himself out of love interest Sharon Carter’s life for fear it would bring danger or even death to her. Instead, he chose to rush right into danger.

At that very moment, Batroc the Leaper met with his new partners in crime Swordsman and Living Laser to steal a Seismo-Bomb from a spy before the U.S. government could get their hands on it. Somebody must have heard Cap’s wishes, because we then cut to him getting a mission briefing about the same weapon. S.H.I.E.L.D. had gotten the man who brought it into the country, but he died before they could find the device itself.

Captain America (1968) #105

Captain America (1968) #105

  • Published: September 10, 1968
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: Jack Kirby
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Moments after leaping into action to find the potentially city-destroying explosive, the Shield-Slinger saw the trio of enemies also hunting for the same object. We then got treated to a multi-page Kirby-drawn fight between Cap and Swordsman while the other two continued looking for the Seismo-Bomb. Though the villain’s weapon featured far more tricks and surprises, Cap relied on his fists to take his opponent out! Next, the Avenger went up against the Living Laser and his chaotic energy blasts. Once again, Rogers used his honed skills as a hand-to-hand combatant and master tactician to disable LL’s weapons and get the information he needed to stop Batroc.

All of that led to a thrilling battle between two of the best fighters in the Marvel Universe as Manhattan’s fate stood in the balance. However, when Cap explained the potential devastation—and impending death—that would result from the Seismo-Bomb detonated, Batroc ran off leaving our hero to dismantle the device just in time!

This issue stands as a shining example not only of the battlefield scenes mentioned above, but Kirby’s absolute expertise in presenting action and super fights in a way that’s clear, concise, and packed with danger. In other words: this issue offers plenty of evidence as to why Kirby will always be King!

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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