Which creators deserve to be considered among the greatest in comics? With so many influential writers and artists from newspaper strips, underground comix, superheroes books, and everything in between, there are countless worthwhile contenders. However, one name stands above them all: Jack Kirby. Born Jacob Kurtzberg on August 28th, 1917, Kirby’s dynamic style and near-superhuman output of hand-drawn comic pages would earn him the rather apt nickname, “The King.” What set Kirby apart from his contemporaries (or current creators, if we’re being honest) was not simply his energetic, bombastic approach to art, but also the sheer number of beloved characters he created or co-created. Along with Stan Lee, Kirby would rewrite the book on superhero comics with his contributions to the Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Black Panther for Marvel, along with countless other characters who are even more popular today thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That would have been enough to cement his legacy, but in 1970, Kirby made the leap to DC Comics, where he created a series of books called “The Fourth World,” which introduced iconic characters such as Darkseid and Mister Miracle. You’d be hard pressed to find a current superhero film, TV show, or comic that is not hugely indebted to the works of The King. If you want to know how your favorite cinematic heroes started, check out these 10 action-packed books from one of the most creative and ground-breaking voices in the medium of comics.
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