Best Kirby Cover

By | Tuesday, September 26, 2006 Leave a Comment
I was reading through some back issues of Jack Kirby Collector and saw they once ran a "What's you favorite Kirby cover" feature on the regular contributors and various comic professionals. This was shortly before I became a regular columnist for the magazine and, consequently, I wasn't asked at the time.

But I started wondering about what my favorite Kirby cover actually is. The only ones that really stand out are things like Fantastic Four #1, Amazing Fantasy #15 and Avengers #4. Not so much for the actual cover designs, but for the contents that are contained inside.

So I thought some more and realized that most of the Kirby imagry floating around in my head are interior pages. Sometimes a figure or a panel, but mostly full pages of story art. It dawned on me that I was reacting to Jack's art in pretty much the same way he created it: he put all of his power and dynamism in the story itself, while the covers were largely afterthoughts. The man was a storyteller, not an artist. It wasn't (in Jack's mind) his job to come up with an iconic image that represented the whole of a story he just wrote. So his covers aren't quite up to the levels of power that were seen in his stories.

That said, I took a more conscious look through many of Jack's covers to see if I could find one that I really thought worked better than others. I eventually decided that Tales of Suspense #80 is pretty cool. I like the way the lightning (or whatever) is eminating from the Cosmic Cube there, and the torrent of activity in the background is well-designed to make for a relatively neutral backdrop that still conveys significant information.
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