Tuesday, 17 March 2015


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Don't you just love it when a classic '60s cover design gets
used again?  Such is the case with The FANTASTIC FOUR
#12 and The MIGHTY THOR #404.  Of course, some people
might say it's a bit sneaky to swipe someone else's layout, but it's
an honest 'homage', not a rascally rip-off.  That makes a big dif-
ference, as homages are permitted and plagiarism isn't.  (Not
that Marvel cares as it owns the copyright on both images.)

However, the cover below may be a double - er, 'homage' (at
least), as it looks to me like RON FRENZ has based Goldilocks
and BALDER on figures from a JACK KIRBY Thor mag.  If I'm
correct and you recognise which one, then let me know the issue
number, frantic ones, and I'll add it to this post.  (I'm too lazy to
look through my MARVEL MASTERWORKS volumes.)


baab said...

Other than the setting,It is only Thor's hand that I recognise as a Kirby homage.


I get more of a John Buscema vibe from the rest of the art.

John Pitt said...

Homage covers are a joy. I collect scans of them - only yesterday I clicked another "AF#15"!
Together with Action Comics #1, they are mytwo favourites and I've got to admit that it was you who started me off with your very first " comics covers snap"!

Kid said...

Baab, I'd say that the Thor and Balder figures are as Kirby as you can get. There's a hint of Buscema in Annihilus's hands 'though.


Glad to know I'm helping spread joy and rapture on my journey through life, JP. I know you didn't mention rapture, but it comes through in your every word so I felt I had to acknowledge its presence.

John Pitt said...

I think you are right about the Thor and Balder part of the cover, as I definitely recognize it too. But I have been looking at the JIM/Thor covers and even the Fantastic covers and can't spot it, so perhaps it was a splash page?

Kid said...

It may well have been a splash page or even an individual smaller panel, JP. I was allowing for that possibility.

Colin Jones said...

Homage covers can be fun as long as it's not done too often as that just suggests a lack of originality. But those homages should still be in the artist's own style such as the FF cover where the She-Hulk is holding the car above her head spoofing the cover of Action Comics #1 - I greatly dislike what we see here where the image of Thor and Baldur looks more like Jack Kirby than Jack Kirby. This has long been an irritation for me - even back when I was reading The Complete FF as an 11 year-old I was irked by Rich Buckler's obvious copying of Jack Kirby...get your own style !

Kid said...

I'd imagine that Rich Buckler was either instructed or encouraged to draw like Kirby 'though, CJ, as that was the look that Marvel wanted. What I wasn't too keen on was when Ron Frenz sometimes mixed Kirby and Buscema figures together. That apart, I quite like his Kirbyesque art.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, if Rich Buckler was told to copy the Kirby style then it's not his fault obviously but I don't know why that would be "the look that Marvel wanted" - by then it had been 3 or 4 years since Kirby left and John Romita and John Buscema weren't asked to do a carbon-copy of the Kirby style when they replaced him on the FF.

Kid said...

Buscema admitted to swiping Kirby panels, CJ, but he was talented enough to duplicate the Kirby spirit of drawing without doing carbon copy imitations of his style. If Marvel didn't like or want Rich Buckler's Kirby swipes, they'd have told him so. As for John Romita, who drew only 4 issues of the FF, he admits that he tried to make his pages as Kirbyesque as possible.

Colin Jones said...

OK, if you say so - but neither Romita or Buscema looked remotely like Kirby to me.

Kid said...

Not because I say so, CJ, but because it's true. Stan Lee used to tell artists to draw more like Kirby. He didn't mean copy his style (squiggly muscles, etc), but emulate his story-telling sensibilities and sense of power.

If you look at Buscema's work (Hulk) when he first returned to Marvel, the story-telling style is similar to Curt Swan. Once he adopted Kirby poses (but drawn in his - Buscema's -style) his work took on a new life. There's an interview with him somewhere in which he admits that he virtually traced some of JK's panel compositions.

As for Romita, when he took over Spider-Man, he tried to make it as Ditko-ish as possible. He didn't succeed very well, but you can see the influence in his early issues if you look for it. In his FF pages, there are a few panels where the Kirby influence is apparent.

You can't see it? Ah, but I have the magic eye.

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