JACK KIRBY

Real Name: Jack Kirby, changed from his birth name Jacob Kurtzberg

Identity/Class: Human/Icon, supreme being

Occupation: Illustrator, writer, and small-time actor

Group Affiliation: Marvel Comics

Affiliations: Captain America, the Distinguished Competition, the Fantastic Four, the Howling Commandos (Nick Fury, Eric Koenig, Reb Ralston, Pinky Pinkerton, Dum-Dum Dugan, Gabe Jones, Dino Manelli), Stan Lee, the Marvel Bullpen, Nan, Joe Simon

Enemies: Dr. Doom, the Impossible Man, Juggernaut, the Melter, Mole Man

Known Relatives: Rosalind (wife), Susan (daughter), Neal (son), Lisa (daughter), Barbara (daughter), Jeremy (grandson)

Aliases: Lance Kirby, The King

Base of Operations: Mobile, including New York City

Born: August 28, 1917

First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#10 (January, 1963)

Powers/Abilities: Kirby possessed an imagination and artistic ability that bordered on a superhuman level (See Comments).

History: (Fantastic Four I#10) - While developing the latest issue of the Fantastic Four comic, (in which they discussed a new character, "False Face"), Jack and Stan Lee were visited by Dr. Doom, who forced them to summon Mr. Fantastic to their offices, where Doom used an alien Ovoid technique to exchange bodies with him.

(Captain America: The Legend) - After Captain America finished defeating some thugs, Jacob Kurtzberg rushed out of his studio to praise the recently revived hero. Kurtzberg yelled for his partner [Joe] Simon to come meet Cap, but the skeptical Simon stayed indoors.

(Fantastic Four Annual#3) - As Gabe Jones rushed to tell Nick Fury of two party crashers at the wedding of Reed Richards and Susan Storm, Fury argued that no uninvited guests were to be allowed. Gabe and Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan escorted Stan Lee and his "partner-in-party crashing," Jack Kirby, off the wedding premises. The two vowed to get even once they returned to the Bullpen and began writing the next issue-- then they would show them!

(Fantastic Four Annual#5) - One day at the Marvel offices, Jack and Stan were overrun with fans of Marvel Comics, demanding to see their favorite super-heroes. Instead, Jack and Stan led them to several super-villains.

Indignant at them for the injuries they had suffered, Juggernaut and the Melter tracked down Kirby and Lee and put them in the hospital. Lying in full body casts, Stan declared they would continue their work from there, even as the Mole Man tunneled in through the floor...

(Iron Man I#85) - Jack, along with Stan Lee and several other Marvel staffers, encountered Iron Man, and marveled at the roller skates equipped in his armor.

(X-Men I#98) - Along with Stan Lee, Jack was present when Cyclops and Jean Grey of the X-Men publicly embraced and kissed each other, commenting on how things had changed since "their day." This touching, happy, and heart-stirring moment was then disrupted by an attack from the murderous, mutant-hunting Sentinels!

(Fantastic Four I#176) - Jack visited the Marvel offices and met with Stan Lee, George Perez and Roy Thomas, who were complaining that the Fantastic Four were unreachable, leaving them without a story to publish that month. Kirby suggested that Thomas and Perez make up their own stories, but Stan dismissed the idea outright. Suddenly, the Impossible Man appeared. Wowed by the comics he saw on their walls, he asked them to make a comic book about him. Kirby enthusiastically began to sketch saying, "Sure-- hold that pose, kid! I'll make you an Eternal-- no, I'll put you in '2001'--!" But then Stan observed that he and Kirby had already done a story about the Impossible Man-- one which readers disliked because he looked too silly.

Being called silly made the Impossible Man irate, and Kirby quickly fled the room with the others. On his way down the hall he was stopped by John Verpoorten, who wanted to tell Kirby how much he loved his art on 2001, but was interrupted when the Impossible Man fired an optic blast at them (mimicking the X-Men's Cyclops). Ultimately, the Fantastic Four calmed the Impossible Man down and Lee promised to give him his own comic-- although he had no intention of making good on that promise.

(Fantastic Four III#511) - Offered the opportunity to meet God, the Fantastic Four found themselves faced with Jack Kirby himself, who was communicating with an unseen "collaborator" (clearly Stan Lee). Kirby set the Fantastic Four on their way back to Earth, but first removed the scar Dr. Doom had given to Mr. Fantastic, and turned Ben Grimm back into the Thing in order to condense his sub-plot. As a parting gift, he gave them a sketch of themselves several years older, with the caption: "To Be Continued."

Comments: Created by his mom and dad!

Kirby also appeared as a godlike being in Alan Moore's Supreme: The Return#6, as "The King."

Kirby's cover for Fantastic Four I#176-- depicting the Impossible Man mimicking the abilities of various Marvel super-heroes-- inspired Perez to do the same in the actual story.

There are many hidden references to Kirby throughout Marvel titles. A few which come to mind include the "Stan and Jack's" ice cream in Avengers '99 Annual, and Kieron Dwyer's insertion of Simon and Kirby into nearly every issue of Captain America during his run (sometimes disguised as foreign letters!).

The faux 1963 version of Marvel Age magazine seen in Marvel Age Annual#2 included an editorial by Jack Kirby written in the style of Stan's Soapbox.

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were supposed to have made another appearance together in a Marvel comic, but the story was changed according to Madison Carter:

The Jack Kirby Collector [#13]...had an article on a horror story Jack drew for Marvel involving two sorcerers [that was originally slated for Chamber of Darkness#4]. At the end, he drew the sorcerers to reveal themselves to be Kirby and Stan Lee. However, without his assistance, Marvel redrew the last panel to have the sorcerers vanish without revealing themselves.

The credits for the story according to the GCD:

The Monster [title]
( Sequence 1, 7 pages )
Credits: Jack Kirby (Script), Jack Kirby (Pencils), John Verpoorten (Inks), Artie Simek (Letters).
Reprinted: In Giant-Size Chillers#3 (August, 1975)

Jack Kirby had at least one non-canonical Marvel appearance:

(Patsy and Hedy#88 [June, 1963]) - Jack arrived in Centerville, scouting for a local girl to use as his model for the next cover of the comic book Love Romances. He befriended Nan, while Nan's friends Patsy Walker and Hedy, in hopes of making the cover, mistakenly befriended another man, believing him to be Kirby. Jack chose Nan to be his cover girl since she was the only person in town who had been nice to him.

This would have to be non-canon because the events seen in Patsy Walker comics are meant to be a comic book written by Earth-616 Patsy's mother.
(This) Features a cameo by Jack Kirby in Millie#107. Is Millie's series canon?--John McDonagh

Kirby appeared as Jacob Kurtzberg, in Captain America: The Legend -- it was one of the four "Secret Files" style specials that came out just before Heroes Reborn. Kirby is in the 'Lost Pages' story, and takes place not long after Avengers I#4 (perhaps between that issue and Sentinel of Liberty#5-6). It is, to the best of my knowledge, the only time Kirby appeared in a Marvel story under his birth name. And though it's not Marvel...the Superman Animated Series take on "Terrible" Turpin [was supposed to be a nod to Jack Kirby]...as well as the occasionally-proffered theory that Oberon in Mister Miracle was supposed to be Jack's mouthpiece. Kirby may also have an unnamed cameo in Silver Surfer I#15, as a cigar-smoking TV viewer startled by the Human Torch's inadvertent flight through his apartment.--Omar

Mike Sangregorio found two more non-Marvel Kirby appearances:

Jack also makes an appearance in the alternate reality seen in What If I#11, wherein he, Stan Lee, Flo Steinberg and Sol Brodsky gain the powers of the Fantastic Four. In that reality, they became the Thing, Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, and the Human Torch, respectively, when they received a box in the mail that released mutating Cosmic Rays. The package was from "The S People," who turned out to be the Skrulls, who had planned to use similar boxes to turn humanity into mindless zombies. The Fantastic Four kept their own minds and defeated the Skrulls, natch. Presumably Jack had comparable powers to that of the real Thing, including superhuman strength and durability.
  Jacob Cundiff pointed out that this reality (or a similar one) appeared in Paradise X: Heralds#3 as one of the Earth's where a Watcher was exposed.

But the character Jack Kirby may have actually had superhuman powers himself, as hinted at in the Powers/Abilities section. Not unlike Stan Lee (the comic character) Jack may be a representation, or avatar, for the Marvel Universe, which is also known as the abstract entity Eternity, seeing as how Jack had so much influence and impact on the creation/formation of the Marvel Universe. If this is the case, then Jack Kirby IS the Marvel Universe and possesses any and all powers contained therein.
And now we know as of Fantastic Four III#511 that Kirby was in fact the supreme being of the Marvel Universe. --Prime Ed-ternal

As a testament to his creative power, the Appendix has a list of entries for Jack Kirby creations.

There are a number of websites dedicated to the work and life of Jack Kirby. Here are a few noteworthy examples:

Long live the king, baby!

by Kyle Sims, Madison Carter, Omar Karindu, Prime Eternal, Snood and Stunner

Profile updated/edited by Kyle Sims

CLARIFICATIONS:
Jack Kirby should not be confused with:


images: (without ads)
What If? I#11, Cover (Marvel Bullpen as Fantastic Four)


Other appearances:
Patsy and Hedy#88 (June, 1963)
Fantastic Four Annual#3 (1965) - Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Fantastic Four Annual#5 (1967) - Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Frank Giacoia (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Iron Man I#85 (April, 1976) - Len Wein & Roger Slifer (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Marie Severin (inks), Len Wein (editor)
X-Men I#98 (April, 1976) - Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum (pencils), Sam Grainger (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Fantastic Four I#176 (November, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer), George Perez (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
What If? I#11 (October, 1978) - Jack Kirby (writer/pencils/editor), Mike Royer, Bill Wray, Scott Shaw & Dave Stevens (inks)
Captain America: The Legend (September, 1996)
Paradise X: Heralds#3 (February 2002) - Jim Krueger & Alex Ross (writers), Steve Pugh (artist)
Fantastic Four III#511 (May, 2004) - Mark Waid (writer), Mike Wieringo (pencils), Karl Kesel (inks)


Last updated: 09/22/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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