|Images copyright MARVEL COMICS|
Friday, 9 May 2014
LEE & KIRBY'S FINAL FLING - THE SILVER SURFER GRAPHIC NOVEL...
It was the last-ever collaboration between STAN LEE & JACK KIRBY for MARVEL COMICS, and was published in 1978 - the year Jack's Marvel contract ended and he entered the TV animation industry, drawing storyboards for cartoons and pitching concepts for new shows. He'd been back at the company he helped build for only three years, but was not a happy chappie and was eager to move on. First though, he had to fulfill his contractual obligations before he could wipe the dust of Marvel from his feet forever.
Isolated from its FANTASTIC FOUR context, the SILVER SURFER graphic novel is a not entirely successful 're-imagining' of GALACTUS' first visitation to Earth with the intention of devouring the planet's energy in order to sustain his existence. It's clear that Kirby is following his original premise of the Surfer as a created being with no history before Galactus brought him forth, but Lee superimposes his own vision of the character (NORRIN RADD, SHALLA BAL, ZENN-LA, etc.,) onto the story by means of his expository dialogue and captions. It actually comes across more as a self-contained, illustrated idea for a movie treatment than a 'canonical' fragment of the wider Mighty Marvel tapestry.
As great as MIKE ROYER had been in faithfully reproducing Kirby's pencils in some of his other Marvel mags of the period, it was refreshing to see JOE SINNOTT assume his rightful place as inker on Jack's Surfer pages for what would be the final time. However, something still doesn't seem quite right in many places throughout the book. True, there are occasional welcome reminders of past glory, but Jack's figure-work had deteriorated beyond the point of even Sinnott being able to completely disguise, despite his potency with a brush.
However, it's a noble effort, and not quite as bereft of worthiness as I've perhaps made it sound. Diehard Kirby fans are bound to love it, as are fans of Lee's mastery of the written word. It's not quite up there with the original 'Galactus Trilogy', but as the last outing of the co-creators of the Marvel Universe, it deserves to be on every true Marvel fan's bookshelf. Seek out a copy on eBay now! In the meantime, enjoy this brief glimpse of some of the contents below.
Below is Jack's original cover idea, on which EARL NOREM's
1978 published version was based. Which one do you prefer?
Posted by Kid at Friday, May 09, 2014