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This essay is a very belated response to a " part 1 " published in February 2015. The gist of that essay was a response to a corre...

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Fourth World is a good, if regrettably cut-off-too-soon,, body of work, but I don’t think of it as being “similar.” to the Marvel works. I think FW shows Kirby returning to the tropes he preferred in both his pre-Marvel and post-Marvel work: mostly balls-out pulp-action with occasional sentimental moments– nothing quite like the “epic soap opera” he worked on when collaborating with Stan Lee.
Yes, yes, Stan was no great shakes before JK and SD– although I don’t think anyone’s really fully evaluated all of his 50s work with Joe Maneely– but he was an editor first and a writer second, and Kirby’s talents were such that he needed some reining-in. I think the S&K studio provided some reins in the more realistic work– particularly the S&K romance stories, which might be the closest to Lee-Kirby Marvel in structure– but I’m just not seeing that JK could do it all alone, genius though he was.

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