Scans of original art are from the Kirby Museum's Original Art Digital Archive.
Scans of pencil art photocopies for the Kirby Museum's Pencil Art Photocopy Archive courtesy of the Kirby Family, with thanks to TwoMorrows Publishing.
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...or did Abel Stack look a LOT like Stan Lee? Lee sported a beard throughout most of the seventies, and Jack's depiction of X-51's 'father' bears a striking resemblance to Smilin' Stan.
Nice to see this page, though, since this was such a fine origin story -- in spite of the appearance of a Stan Lee lookalike!
No, I thought the same when I posted it. Or does he look like Funky Flashman?
Putting aside Stack's resemblance to Lee, this page is a great example of one of Kirby's greatest attributes, and the one which was most often dulled in the inking by artists not as faithful as Royer. Kirby was the best, the best I've ever seen in comics, at capturing nuanced emotions as seen in panel three here. And Kirby's ability as an actor was not limited to faces, the body language and gestures of his characters are "very eloquent."
The insane geometric design of this page is stunning.
I agree with Ken, and what he's talking about is the reason Kirby's '70s and '80s art is my favorite Kirby art.
It's as if Kirby had opened a door and passed through to the other side. While I certainly understand why people like the more illustrative (closer to what might be called "realistic") art at Marvel 1966-68, the later material, and particularly his mid-'70s and later work has gone to another level. It works as pure design. The way Kirby arranges shapes, light, and dark, result in the page itself, as a whole, working as a pleasing abstracted image. Yet Kirby is pulling this off, while at the same time having honed his storytelling graphic language to a razor edge. He's just a beast during these years, other artists aren't following in his wake, they aren't eating his dust, Kirby is gone, he's passed over the horizon.