May 26, 2011

Comics Cube! Reviews: KIRBY: GENESIS #0

KIRBY: GENESIS #0 came out today. Well, actually, for me it came out yesterday, but I'll say it came out today because today is Wednesday. If you're unaware of the concept, it's basically that Dynamite Entertainment got Kurt Busiek, Alex Ross, and Jack Herbert (from whose site all the following scans come) to write a story featuring all of the characters created by Jack Kirby and still owned by the Kirby estate. Meaning, simply, all the characters Kirby created that aren't for Marvel and DC. Everyone.

Well, I did say "everyone."

Going at only a dollar, KIRBY: GENESIS #0 is, narratively speaking, really just an introduction to the story we're about to get. It starts off, fittingly enough, with Jack Kirby himself, at his drawing board, illustrating an image for the Pioneer 10 Space Probe. Fittingly enough, Jack's even on the cover, with The Silver Star just almost literally popping out of his head.

The probe goes farther and farther into space, being encountered by Kirby creations along the way, such as Galaxy Green, Tiger 18 (who apparently was just a Kirby sketch and was never developed), and Captain Victory, so there's not much of a story in this issue. It's all premise and art. And how excellent the art is.

With Alex Ross on layouts and paintings for selected pages and Jack Herbert doing the finishes for most pages, the pages are really dynamic. Are they as dynamic as Kirby's? Of course not — no one is as dynamic as Kirby, and more and more I'm convinced no one ever will be. But it absolutely captures the pure spirit of Kirby. Characters popping out of panels, varied and slanted layouts, the feeling that these characters are coming right at you, you name it, and Ross and Herbert do it. The climax of this book (if you can call it that) is a two-page spread just showing you exactly what it is you're in for.

The costumes for these characters also remain unchanged, and you get to see Ross and Herbert portray these guys in full Jack Kirby glory. This is perfect, because the Kirby designs are perfect. You even get to see some of them in the second half of the issue, where we go behind the scenes and see some of the original Kirby designs juxtaposed with these characters getting the Alex Ross treatment. And seriously, guys, it's a treat. Because seeing what is essentially pure Kirby juxtaposed with Alex Ross, well, it stirs up a feeling, and that feeling is wonder.

KIRBY: GENESIS #0 is only a dollar in comics stores. Go buy it, support the Kirbys, and watch two of our modern masters and a potential future master set the stage for what promises to be a very exciting story, and a very fitting tribute to The King of Comics.

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