Tag Archives: Leonard Kirk

The End is FOURever Begins in FANTASTIC FOUR #642!


This January, the countdown begins…and the end of Marvel’s first family is upon us in FANTASTIC FOUR #642 – the first chapter in The End is FOURever! Blockbuster writer James Robinson and artist Leonard Kirk’s epic endgame begins as the Invaders crash headlong into the Fantastic Four and the hunt for Reed Richards and the missing Future Foundation kids takes a dangerous turn! Meanwhile, the mastermind behind the systematic dismantling of the Fantastic Four reveals his ultimate plan. But how does Franklin Richards and his unchecked powers factor in? And why are Jim Hammond, Namor, All-New Captain America and Doc Green hunting the remaining members of the Fantastic Four? Nothing lasts forever. Don’t miss the beginning of the end this January in FANTASTIC FOUR #642!

Friends Become Enemies in FANTASTIC FOUR #6


This June, the fall of the first family continues in the explosive FANTASTIC FOUR #6 – a tie-in to Original Sin! From Eisner-award winning writer James Robinson, fan-favorite artist Leonard Kirk and the peerless Dean Haspiel– they’ve been a family ever since that fateful day they ventured into the cosmic unknown, the day the Fantastic Four were born.

Bonded together as family, Johnny Storm became the hot-headed Human Torch while Ben Grimm became the hideous monster known only as The Thing. Try as he may, super-scientist Reed Richards was never able to reverse the process and return Ben to his normal form. It is a failure that has haunted him to this very day. But what does Johnny have to do with Ben’s irreparable condition? And why has he lied about it all this time?

Now, thanks to the events of Original Sin, Ben Grimm is about to learn that his closest ally has condemned him to a life sentence as a monster. And he won’t be happy about it! Bruised, beaten and broken both emotionally and physically, is this the end for the Fantastic Four? The dismantling of the first family continues as Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben crash headlong into Original Sin this June in FANTASTIC FOUR #6!

A Team Divided in FANTASTIC FOUR #6 – an ORIGINAL SIN tie-in!


This June, witness another nail in the coffin of the first family, as they are torn further apart in FANTASTIC FOUR #6 – an ORIGINAL SIN tie-in! From Eisner Award-Winning scribe James Robinson and fan-favorite artist Leonard Kirk comes the next blockbuster chapter of the world’s greatest comic magazine that will have you gasping!

They were the best of friends since that fateful trip into the cosmic unknown. The day the Fantastic Four were born, they became a family. Cosmic explorers – forever united. Johnny Storm became the high-flying, hot-headed Human Torch. Ben Grimm, the hideous monster known as The Thing.

Super-Scientist Reed Richards has tried time and again to reverse Grimm’s condition. Each and every time was met with failure. But there was a time when he possessed a device that held the key to permanently curing The Thing – until Johnny inadvertently destroyed it! Reed has kept Johnny’s secret for as long as he could – but now it’s about to get out!

“Something I always loved about the relationship between Ben and Johnny was how much it was like brothers, bickering, poking fun of each other, pranks…great moments that felt like real family,” said editor Mark Paniccia, “The secret that gets out will have a major effect on the two. It’s brilliant emotional stuff. Hard hitting and heart breaking.”

What will Ben do when he discovers that one of his closest friends and steadfast ally condemned him to a life sentence as a monster? It won’t be pretty. The fall of the first family continues as the Original Sin of the Fantastic Four is revealed in FANTASTIC FOUR #6!

Marvel ‘Ending’ ‘Fantastic Four’ & ‘FF’ in January


One of the biggest mysteries at the NYCC was whatever happened to the announcement that James Robinson and Leonard Kirk were going to be taking over Fantastic Four in February?  The stage for the announcement was set when Marvel Comics announced at its Inhumanity panel that Fantastic Four by Matt Fraction and Mike Allred was being cancelled with issue #16 in January and would be relaunched (as a #1 no doubt) with a new creative team.

Earlier IGN had reported (in an article that has since been removed) that writer James Robinson and artist Leonard Kirk would be taking over Fantastic Four in February.  Marvel also announced that the FF comic book series would be ending January with #16, and that Senior Editor Tom Brevoort would end his record-setting run of 141 issues of Fantastic Four in January.  But through the rest of the Marvel panels at the NYCC, there was no mention of Robinson and Kirk taking over Fantastic Four.
Robinson himself had been
tweeting about a new Marvel project for which he had already received 7 "mind-blowing pages," but when asked why his stint on Fantastic Four was not revealed at the NYCC, Robinson tweeted "The reasoning was that there were so many announcements at NYCC with pros who were there, they are going to wait a week or two," and then followed up with "So it has it’s own moment.  I’d be surprised if it isn’t announced before the end of the month."
So we can say confidently that both Fantastic Four and FF will be ending in January.  It appears likely that Fantastic Four will return in February with a new #1 issue written by Robinson and drawn by Kirk.  The fate of FF remains in limbo, but don’t be surprised if it too is revived later in 2014.

Comic Book Review – Captain Britain and MI13 #12

This title stars a unique group of heroes seemingly plucked from the history of the Marvel Universe.  Because of this and for those unfamiliar with this book, I thought I would give a brief rundown on our cast of characters.  The holes in my memory were filled by Wikipedia.

Captain Britain: Created by Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe in 1976 for Marvel’s UK line.  After being seriously wounded in an accident, Merlyn and his daughter Roma gives Brian Braddock a chance to become Britain’s defender.  Cap is most well known from his time in the popular 80’s series, Excaliber, as drawn by Alan Davis.  These days, Brian’s powers are directly tied to his confidence level.

Pete Wisdom: Created by Warren Ellis and Ken Lashley in 1995.  Pete is a former British Secret Service agent who has the mutant ability to create and throw energy knives.  Wisdom is the leader of MI13.

The Black Knight: Created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema in 1967.  After his villainous uncle’s defeat at the hands of Iron Man, Dane Whitman takes up the mantle of the Black Knight as a hero.  Whitman has at times wielded the Ebony Blade, a very powerful but cursed sword.  He recently discovered that his current sword is only a copy of the Ebony Blade.

Spitfire: Created by Roy Thomas and Frank Robbins in 1976.  After she received a bite from the original Baron Blood (the current Blood in this issue is actually her son), Lady Jacqueline Falsworth is given super-speed from a life saving, blood transfusion from the original Human Torch.  In this series, Jacqueline is revealed to have vampire traits left over from Blood’s bite although it is not clear if she is a full vampire.

Faiza Hussain: Created by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk specifically for MI13 in 2008.  Faiza is a doctor, a British citizen and a Muslim.  During the Secret Invasion, she somehow gained the power to deconstruct and reconstruct biological organisms on a sub-atomic level.  She now wields the legendary Excalibur and acts as squire to the Black Knight.

Blade: Created by Marv Woflman and Gene Colan in 1973. Blade is both human and vampire.  His mother was bitten by a vampire while giving birth to him.  He then trained to hunt vampires and has an ongoing battle with Dracula.  The success of the Blade movie from 1998 touched off the current era of comic book movies and was the first real success of a Marvel character on the big screen.

MI13: Simply called “the Department” by Warren Ellis in Excalibur, the group was renamed MI13 in 2006.  This follows the other, real British secret service agencies, MI5 (domestic – think FBI) and MI6 (external – think James Bond).  Its mission is to investigate “weird happenings” within the UK.

In this issue, Dracula advances his plans for the conquest of Great Britain and we are introduced to his team.  Spitfire speaks with her son, the current Baron Blood, on the moon and continues to sink deeper into Dracula’s thrall.  The remaining members of MI13 go in search of an artifact that will effectively keep Drac out of England.

Paul Cornell (Pete Wisdom/several Dr. Who novels) deserves high marks for this series.  He has taken a group of characters that almost seem like cast offs from other books and created an incredible group with them.  Although he is dealing with magic and mysticism, he never uses these elements as narrative crutches.  None of these characters, outside of Cap perhaps, would be featured in a series if not for MI13, but Cornell treats his heroes like they matter.  By giving the team upper level baddies to go up against, Cornell gives this book, a sense of credibility and weight.  Great writing and great characterization make this book shine.

Although Paul Cornell writing is astounding, Leonard Kirk’s (Supergirl/JSA) pencils are simply average.  His layouts are good and his backgrounds can range from excellent, to muddled – see the initial splash page and then the reveal of Dracula’s conveyance to earth respectively.  Kirk gives a kind of chiseled look to his figures and faces.  Because of this, they can come off a little stiff and sometimes body features can look disconnected.  His facial structures can also vary from panel to panel.  He excels when dealing with mystical elements and technology.  Softer textures seem to elude him as he lets his style override what he is drawing.

I did some research into Kirk’s previous comic work and only saw hints of his chiseled style.  His Supergirl work was actually rounded and softer.  At this point I am not sure if he is just maturing towards this look as an artist or if this book’s inker is simply accentuating the problem.  In any event, a little more flexibility in this book’s artistic palate would go a long way to making this book a more even read.

What to look for
The entire story is full of excellent moments and elements – you can’t choose just one

What might put you off
Dracula’s outfit is a little weird – I know they are going for royalty here but it looks like he has a dead possum on his shoulder!

This book is a fantastic read – keep it on your pull list.


Title Captain Britain and MI13
Issue Number 12
Publisher Marvel
Release Date 4/8/2009
Writer Paul Cornell
Penciler Leonard Kirk
Inker Jay Leisten
Colorist Brian Reber
Letterer Joe Caramanga
Editor Nick Lowe
Reviewed by Geoff Jolliff