I found myself thinking about Jack Kirby today. Kirby was a legend in the comics field, an man whose creativity and artistic style have never been copied, but I often found myself wondering about those legendary 70's works of his.
Oh sure, we all remember the Fantastic Four's early years, not to mention all the other stuff Kirby did in the beginning of Marvel's Silver Age. How he and Stan Lee redesigned how superheroes were handled, making them human and fallible, instead of unbeatable giants of good like those found at the Distinguished competition (DC didn't really pick up on this for awhile it seems).
But that was the 60's, it wasn't until the 70's that we would see some true work that was completely and totally Kirby, writer and artist. New Gods, Mister Miracle, Kamandi, Eternals, they were works of great vision and creativity. And they all got cancelled before they were done.
It was this I was thinking about today, what caused this flaw in someone who is so rightly revered among the comics industry today? I often wondered this, but I think I finally have an answer. Kirby had a vast creativity, a great mind for ideas, but his ability to put down those ideas into workable forms was limited. His writing style seemed more suited for Golden age/early Silver age then the 70's, which is why his most fondly remembered work is done in tandem with a writer. Both of these worked against him in attempting to create his great saga of the New Gods.
Is this a strike against Kirby? Perhaps a tiny one, he's still the legendary "King" Kirby, a man worthy of the highest respect. But I wonder what he would have accomplished if he didn't have these two strikes against him?