Tag Archives: jack kirby



During a “Secret Wars Kick-Off Event” that was held this afternoon at Midtown Comics in New York City, Marvel EIC Axel Alonso and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort proclaimed the end of the Marvel Universe as we know it. In fact the Secret Wars event will also mark the end of the Ultimate Universe, which will collide with the mainstream Marvel Universe. Alonso put it this way: “The Ultimate Universe and the Marvel Universe, they are gone to slap together. Imagine two pizzas, they’re going to combine toppings, some toppings are going to drop off–and this is the Marvel Universe going forward. It’s more than the Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe, it’s all the universes you can imagine.”

Once the Ultimate and Marvel Universes start to intersect in what Marvel calls an “incursion,” which will happen in issue #1 of Secret Wars, the heroes of the two worlds will have about 8 hours to figure out what do about it before both universes are destroyed–and according to Brevoort, “They won’t.” Brevoort explained the resulting chaos from the intersection will be known as “Battleworld, the detritus, the melting world from which the new Marvel Universe will be fermented… Once you hit Secret Wars #1, there’s no Marvel Universe, there’s no Ultimate Universe, it’s all Battleworld.”

The end of the Ultimate Universe has been widely forecast–the only ongoing Ultimate title after February will be the Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man book, and the way Marvel has been treating Miles, don’t be surprised if he makes the cut and becomes part of the post-Battleworld, newly reconstituted Marvel Universe.

At the press conference Marvel revealed an interactive map of Battleworld, revealing the different “countries” where surviving characters exist. The teasers released by Marvel so far only account for a portion of the Battleworld landscape and characters, so expect a series of major announcements over the next few weeks, since only “the tip of the iceberg” has been revealed so far. Marvel’s Chris D’Lando, who moderated the proceedings, noted that more tie-ins to the massive crossover event were in the works, stating “we haven’t even announced half of the titles yet.”

The question that naturally springs to mind is whether or not Marvel is rebooting all of its titles and essentially destroying 54 years of continuity that has marked the Marvel Universe since its creation by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, et al in 1961? Alonzo described Secret Wars “putting an endcap to decades of stories, and starting a new era.” There will certainly be opportunities for change–as Alonzo put it, “If we wanted to resurrect Gwen Stacy, this would be the place to do it.” As if to highlight the changes Alonzo pointed to a cover image showing a married Peter Parker with Mary Jane and baby daughter in tow, and said “If you’re an Amazing Spider-Man reader, this is going to be your book,” and adding “We’re launching a wealth of new series, both ongoing and minis, during Secret Wars.”

Kirby Family Friend Claims Kirby Museum Stole Photocopied Art


Here’s a pretty good sign Jack Kirby was one of the greatest comic book artists who ever lived, if not the greatest: The museum that bears his name and a historian who was also a family friend of the Kirbys are in a public spat over photocopies of his pencil work. Not the originals (many of which are more than likely lost). Photocopies.

Here’s the long and short of it: Historian and illustrator Greg Theakston says he gave The Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center the 3,000-plus copies as a loan, not as a donation. He has asked for it back. The museum isn’t giving it back, saying Theakston provided the art as a donation. So Theakston filed a stolen goods report with the Hoboken, N.J. police. Here’s Theakston’s initial Facebook post about the disagreement (which he called a press release):

The museum’s board of trustees responded with this post in which they state, “We are confident the Museum has done no wrong.” It also says:

Upon receipt of the first portion of his donation, we provided Greg with a gift acknowledgment letter. He declined our offer of same for subsequent portions. In written correspondence after the transaction occurred, Greg described the intent of his gift, where he used the word ‘donation’ a number of times and specifically named his set of photocopies as being among the items that he donated; there is no mention of any part of the donation being a loan, or that any of it is to be returned to him upon request.

So we were dismayed when the Museum was contacted by Mr. Theakston asking for the return of his property, now reclassified by him as a loan.

In another Facebook post, Theakston reasserted that the art was a loan for the purposes of the museum’s management scanning the pages. He argues that the museum is required by law to document donations, and has no such documentation.

He added this in a response to a comment:

I told [Treasurer Randolph Hoppe] that I would contribute all of my Kirby research to the museum when a real building housed it. In the meantime, I donated a box of Kirby-related items and got paperwork on the whole thing. That part was very professional.


Comic Book Review – Silver Surfer #1



A new take on Marvel’s iconic, cosmic philosopher – courtesy of Slott and the Allreds

Every comic book story is a combination, in differing proportions, of words and art. Sometimes it’s a bad mix. Egos come into play and each creator fights to assert his or her own dominance on the project. Sometimes those fights produce masterpieces, other times the partnership falls apart and the work suffers. In this case it seems that Dan Slott is able to work well within the deliciously offbeat Allred universe.

The Silver Surfer is almost a religious figure at Marvel Comics. He has been used in years past to wrestle with all sorts of large philosophical questions. Dan Slott gets right to the point with the Surfer’s first scene. After saving the life of an entire planet, our hero rejects their adulation. “I deserve neither praise nor glory,” he thinks. Is the author telling us he intends to stay far away from this aspect of the character’s past or is this just a quick reminder of the nature of the Surfer’s personality and place in the universe?

The rest of the issue reads like a fun romp through an issue of Madman. Our journey includes strange environments, bizarre aliens and hipster girls that somehow reject and yet fit right in with the weird surroundings. It seems like Slott is having fun here. He is as much a tourist as his audience and his protagonist. Even so, the author is keeping us on course. I particularly enjoyed how he engineered the introduction of what will most likely be the Surfer’s new love interest. This first issue kept moving yet also stayed dedicated to careful story crafting.

Michael Allred’s art seems like a perfect fit for the Silver Surfer’s universe. He has taken a decidedly Jack Kirby take on our hero while immersing him completely into a universe filled with Allred goodies. For those unfamiliar with his work, Allred uses an amazing combination of art deco, pop art and 50’s kitsch. The boundaries of his imagination seem set a little further out than most artists. That being said his work in this issue is a terrific mix of outlandish elements and classic comic book components.

The book’s art also delivers a few wow moments as well. The reveal of the Impericon on the middle splash page is something that I could look at forever. Allred also took a very unique turn at retelling the Surfer’s origin (of sorts) by having scenes from his past appear as reflections on his silvery skin.

Laura Allred’s colors amaze as well. She seems to having fun with the Silver Surfer’s classic blue highlights. She uses a pleasing mix of colored pencil effect that boarders at times on water colors when smoothed out. Even so, the Surfer retains his sleek appearance. I also liked how she worked from a complementary palate for each environment but still managed to appropriately adapt to each world. Dawn’s coastal home, for example, has its blues and beiges but also contains a fun pop of pink, yellow and red as needed.

What to look for
Dan Slott’s humor and storytelling mixed with the beautiful Allred art.

What might put you off
Some of Allred’s work may seem too weird or out there for fans of more traditional comic art

This is a must read. These creators are an excellent combination for this character who at times can come off stiff and unrelatable.

Title Silver Surfer
Issue Number 1
Publisher Marvel
Release Date 3/26/2014
Writer Dan Slott
Artist Michael Allred
Colorist Laura Allred
Letterer Clayton Cowles
Editor Tom Brevoort

Reviewed by Geoff Jolliff




Mark your calendars, this Wednesday is a special day devoted to increasing the visibility of comics/sequential art, promote it as a legitimate form of art/expression and to celebrate general literacy as consumed by people from all walks of life.

Read Comics in Public Day was started up in 2010 by Brian Heater and Sarah Morean of indie comics site The Daily Cross Hatch, as a day to celebrate literacy and the legitimacy of comics as an artform. It was supposed to be a day when, on the date of the late Jack Kirby‘s birthday, comic book fans could take the individual and usually private act of comic book reading out into the world and make certain that they got seen by complete strangers. The idea was to push against the notion that comics aren’t popular or are only read by kids; that they’re not just bought to be cased in plastic and kept in a cardboard box in the basement of the ponytailed guy from The Simpsons; that they’re not just for founding multi-million dollar movie franchises on. They actually can be enjoyed for their content by ordinary people.

Read Comics in Public Day is not just an opportunity to show strangers that comics are read, but to show the comics industry who comics are read by. To show the Big Two who is willing to take time out of their day to participate in a communal effort to make their product more visible to folks who might be interested, and to show them that it’s a much wider group than they think."

So, how will you celebrate this comics holiday? What will you be reading in public?

Post a picture of yourself READING COMICS IN PUBLIC today, and tag GamersCircle Comics either on Facebook or Google Plus and get 15% off all comics and books* at GamersCircle Comics today [8/28/2013] and tomorrow! [8/29/2013] [*Any regular priced comic, Trade Paperback/Graphic Novel, New This Week and Pull Box items.]

Comic Book Review – Madman Atomic Comics #13

Allred wraps up his first large story arc is it possible to have a happy ending in comics?

Madman (Frank Einstein) is a former hitman that died in a car accident. A pair of mad scientists resurrected him and for whatever reason, the process endowed him with slightly increased physical and psychic abilities.

The title’s supporting characters include his love interest Joe (Josephine), a collection of oddball scientist types and the Atomics, a strange band of superpowered beatniks. Madman stories typically involve a mixture of 50s sci-fi, the supernatural and Madman’s quest for self discovery.

Allred has produced Madman comics through a number of different publishers including Dark Horse, Oni and now Image.

Reviewing an issue of Madman is like reviewing raw oysters or a Frank Zappa album. Either you like it or you don’t. Once you have decided to run away and join the Atomic Comics circus, then you can start thinking about things like story. This issue actually followed a firm plotline and story. It introduced new and unusual elements but the characters quickly explained them. No new mysteries unfolded here. This issue was all about closing the storylines that had been brewing since Issue 1 back in April of 2007.

In the end, this story is about friendship and love. Couples are reunited but only through their love for one another. Mike Allred (X-Statix) shows us that even with the ultimate in retro 50’s sci-fi technology, sometimes you just need patience and friendship to resurrect those thought lost to you. This entire arc has not been about saving the universe (although that was part of it) it was about finding who you really are through the trauma of loss. Who are we when the chips are down? Allred gives us a timely message in a weirdly entertaining and offbeat universe.

Allred’s art has its basis firmly in the pop culture of the past. Check out Issue #3 where Frank jumps from dimension to dimension as Allred runs his story through a history of comic art luminaries including Carl Barks (Scrooge McDuck) and Jack Kirby. The art uses pencil shades and thick exterior lines on objects. His backgrounds are painstakingly detailed when needed and provide emphasis to the story when needed. The colors can range from moody gray tones to garish 50’s combinations like yellow and magenta. This is not to say that this is an exercise in retro comic art. Allred deftly combines his retro elements with current comic tech to provide a look that is contemporary and unique.

What to look for
The last two pages contain something rare for comic book characters.

What might put you off
If you don’t dig words like “groovy,” the whole book may put you off.


I cannot recommend this to everyone as it is an acquired taste. This can be a fun and enjoyable read – if you want it to be.


Title Madman Action Comics
Issue Number 13
Publisher Image
Release Date 2/4/2008
Most Stuff by Michael Allred
Technicolor Splendor by Laura Allred
Security Courtesy of Jamie S. Rich
Typography Created by Blambot’s Nate Piekos
Finger Painting by Anakin Allred
Pin-Up by Barron Storey
Reviewed by Geoff Jolliff