|Copyright DC COMICS|
One of the things that disappointed (if not infuriated) a great many Jack Kirby fans was when DC Comics had Al Plastino redraw most of Kirby's versions of Superman and Clark Kent in Forever People #1. Why hire Jack to draw Supes and then make him look nothing like a JK drawing? It was certainly a step too far in that instance, but I think they made the right call when they got Murphy Anderson to ink the Man of Steel's (and Clark's and Jimmy Olsen's) head and face in subsequent issues of Jack's Fourth World series. The figures were as Jack pencilled them, but the characters faces looked as how they appeared in other DC mags, which was okay in my book.
Jack's main failing was in the way he drew Kent's/Supes' hair; it was seldom consistent from panel-to-panel and sometimes looked like a bad combover - or even a toupee! Also, he tended to draw character's eyes on an uneven level, though this could've been rectified at the inking stage, and I bet Mike Royer fixed that quite a few times when he took on the task of rendering Jack's pencils in indelible black, just as he did with the the hair and the 'S' emblem on Superman's costume. (Jack drew the 'S' in an 'abstract' way, which Alex Ross repeated a few years down the line.)
Apparently, Jack wasn't exactly happy with the way his drawings were being altered (when alerted by assistants Mark Evanier and Steve Sherman), but didn't complain to DC about it, preferring to keep schtum on the matter. Anyway, the matter wasn't an issue once Royer came on board, as he made whatever fixes were necessary to keep characters 'on-model' while retaining the distinctive Kirby style. However, to all those who resent Murphy Anderson's 'fixes', I feel bound to say that it was Jack's own fault that they were considered necessary.
Was it really beyond his abilities as an artist to take note of how Curt Swan drew Superman's hair and replicate it? (The same might be said when it came to drawing Spider-Man - just look at what Ditko's doing, for crying out loud.) He was capable of rendering good likenesses of TV and movie stars, as witnessed by the several cameo appearances at SM Studios in FF #9, so all he had to do was observe how Superman's hair and shield were meant to look and draw them like that. So then why didn't he, instead of inwardly resenting the changes that DC instituted? Give them what they want, Jack, and then they wouldn't have to change things. It's not as if he didn't know what DC wanted, as they asked Evanier and Sherman more than once to remind him.
Was Jack perversely refusing to draw on-model in order to inconvenience DC, who had to take extra time and effort to make things 'right' before publication? Frankly, I doubt it, because then he wouldn't have felt justified in resenting such changes to begin with. So, as big a fan of Jack that I am, the blame for any alterations that many of his fans objected to lay at Jack's own door, not DC's. And let's not forget that Jack often made changes or corrections to other artists' work at Marvel, so he was hardly being singled out at DC, who only altered Jack's pencils when he continually failed to give them what they were paying him to give them - they weren't doing it out of spite.
So if you're one of the fans who'd have preferred to see Jack's DC work untouched, just remember that the reason you didn't was mainly down to Jack, not his employers. Agree or disagree? The comments section awaits your worthy input.