Thursday, June 28, 2007

Jack Kirby's Demon at DC Comics

In 1970 the great Jack Kirby left Marvel Comics and went to work for DC. DC was to give Kirby almost complete creative control over the comics he created. He would edit, write, draw and, eventually, choose his own inker for his books. I can't think of any other comic book professional at that time who had this much creative control over his own work. Kirby leaving Marvel is one of the marker points for the passage of comic book's Silver Age into the Bronze Age.

The Demon was my favorite Kirby book during his 1970's DC days. The Demon comic lasted for only 16 issues. It began in 1972 and ending in 1974. The stories were full of old castles, monsters, supernatural beings and mad scientists. They were all drawn in Kirby's powerful, chunky style and inked by Mike Royer.

This cover for issue #11 of The Demon is a unique interpretation of a Frankenstein type creature. Where many artists would have borrowed too literally from the Universal movie monster, Kirby has only taken some of those stereotypical visual elements and he has amplified them. Look at those huge rods, not just bolts, jutting out of the monster's head, shoulders and forearms! There is definitely more energy and power in this monster than there ever was in Boris Karloff's version.

Kirby returned to Marvel in 1975. He left a rich treasure of characters and ideas behind him at DC, who is still profiting from them today.

@DC Comics

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