Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Discuss: Jack Kirby's Wildest Ideas

Doug:  Well, yesterday we talked about a red dinosaur.  What could be crazier than that?


Anonymous said...

How about an official group of World War II commandos who were all adolescent boys? That seems pretty crazy to me...

Inkstained Wretch said...

That first post was me. I hit the send button too early...

William said...

The example given isn't that crazy. I think Kirby may actually have been a visionary genius. For example, if you read the description of the "Executive" character, it sounds like "The King" might have foreseen the future widespread use of the cell phone.

Doug said...

If that is true, William, then the guys who wrote and animated The Jetsons are even more visionary than Kirby! Go back and watch that cartoon and see how many "futuristic ideas" have actually come to pass.

Hey, how about a silver guy flying through space on a surfboard? Or Mister Miracles costume??


Anonymous said...

His wildest idea was that he was a writer

Edo Bosnar said...

Yeah, much of the "futury" stuff the Jetsons seems pretty mundane now (well, except for the cool cities way up in the sky - I don't see that coming to pass anytime soon). The Flintstones actually had more far-out stuff: cars propelled by the driver's feet, a shaving razor consisting of a bee in a clam-shell, a small wooly mammoth as a vacuum cleaner... For a bunch of cavepeople, they were pretty inventive.
As for Kirby's wildest idea - sheesh, no idea. There's so many; maybe that big talking killer whale in Kamandi, or maybe Arnim Zola? There's so many to choose from.
By the way, what was that proposal for? I just love the "punk rockers," esp. the blue-skinned woman with the star on her forehead.

Doug said...

Edo --

No idea. That image on the main post is admittedly an Internet swipe perpetrated by me.

And I should say that "wildest" idea does not necessarily mean that it wasn't a good idea. The Surfer, after all, turned out OK.


William said...

Real quick, here's a link to a site that counts down Kirby's Top 25 strangest creations.


Garett said...

I love these characters! It's a combo of down-to-earth and exotic/futuristic. I'd read a Kirby story of them.

Doug said...

If anyone has The Jack Kirby Collector 5-0!, there were some lists in that book as well.

Thanks, William!


Edo Bosnar said...

Doug: don't worry, I'm not using wildest as a synonym for bad or silly or anything like that. Unlike, it would at times appear, the guy who drew up that list William linked to (who also seems to think Kirby created the Captain America & Falcon partnership).

Anonymous said...

Sadly, it seems that those types in that picture have become reality.

- Mike 'virtual realist' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Unknown said...

I'm going to go with Omac the One-Man Army, just because it seemed so ridiculous to me as a kid, and yet was so inventive at the same time. There were enough ideas crammed into the short-lived 70's series to fuel entire DC crossover epics years later, and they probably hadn't even started to scratch the surface. Plus...the Mohawk! (pre-dates UK punk fashion by a good few years. Would the Clash have happened without the King?)

Honorable runner-up; The Forever People. Did Jack catch the Mod Squad one night, reminisce about his own kid-gangs from the 40's, and wonder how to tie it all together with the Fourth World?

James Chatterton

Rip Jagger said...

It will always be The Black Racer for me. Somehow the Silver Surfer worked, just barely and now I don't think much about it.

But the image of death itself arriving at your doorstep wearing red and blue medieval armor (sort of) on skis, twin poles in hand is wacky beyond words. It's the poles which make me blink twice.

Rip Off

david_b said...

The Surfer worked on many levels, timing was also key here. He was a simplistic-looking being of emmense power, drawn not as evil but, like Galactus, a being residing outside of humanity and it's morals, feelings, etc.. The 'fallen angel' as Kirby described the Surfer.

Yet the simple idea is much better conveyed than the later heralds of Big G, like the hockey player, Stardust, Terrax, and all the rest. I actually like Firelord, though.

William said...

My Top 5 picks for Kirby's Wildest Creations:

5. MR. ONE
This little guy was just disturbingly freaky.

Only Jack Kirby could have come up with a giant floating head with little arms and legs, and actually made him seem menacing.

A guy in an orange and purple suit of high-tech armor with his face on his chest and a little box for a head. How cool is that? One of my favorite character designs ever. I have the Marvel Legend figure of this guy and he's totally awesome. (I also have MODOK and he's just as awesome).

I guess Jack figured if a silver guy flying through space on a surfboard worked-- why not a black guy on skis? If he'd lived long enough I'm sure we would have seen the "Cosmic Snowboarder" by now.

Just the name alone makes this one of the most bizarre comic book characters ever conceived. (What was Kirby smoking?)

johnlindwall said...

I'll toss in "Doughboy", one of Arnim Zola's creations that was essentially a huge blob of living dough. Aside from engulfing enemies in his glutinous mass, he could fly (somehow) and change has "skin" to be transparent. And he is mighty tasty baked at 350 degres with some butter and brown sugar...

The other original Zola creation was "Primus", who bugged me visually because he seemed basically to be just a gold version of the SIlver Surfer, with a slightly bulgy head. His character was cool though, as he was the cast as the unfavored "son" of his father Zola.

Did these characters make any appearances in later-day Marvel?

Anonymous said...

I was about to give it up to William and johnlindenwall for picking the wildest ideas, and then I remembered...Don Rickles.

James Chatterton

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