Monday, October 08, 2007

Jack Kirby's Silver Star

I recently recommended Jack Kirby's Silver Star (2007 Image Comics), but I didn't really give much of a reason why I enjoyed it so much. First, obviously, we have the talents of Jack Kirby on display, at arguably the peak of his strength. This is a new opinion for me. I myself didn't much care for Kirby's work at the time, so I didn't read Silver Star when it was first released, but this book has made a strong case for re-examining the King's 70's and 80's output.

At the time Silver Star was published, I think a jaded fandom of the time was ready to dismiss Jack Kirby as washed up, but as it turns out, he may have been too far ahead of his time, as we have modern creators aping his technique, often to profitable results. I remember thinking that his other series of the time, Captain Victory, was pretty bad, and a lot of his work back then was too far out for me, callow youth that I was. Times and tastes change, and whatever the case, this reads just fine, with quite a few brilliant bits of dialogue and characterization in the script.

I'd also been under the mistaken impression that Silver Star was an unfinished work, but this story does in fact have a beginning, middle and end, making it a true Kirby graphic novel. The text page explains that this story was all Kirby, as he'd grown tired of answering to editors at that point and refused outside input. His tale of warring genetic supermen and the ordinary humans caught in the middle was originally intended to be a movie script, but he eventually adapted it to comics, so this reads as a fast-paced, mind-blowing thriller with breathtaking graphics.


The color and art is stunning, lovingly restored by Erics Larsen and Stephenson. Well, look what they had to work with; Kirby's art crackles on the page without any help at all, but the Image guys created a beautiful package in which to showcase it. At this rate, I'm definitely on board for Captain Victory, whenever they can get it out. Jack Kirby's Silver Star is great stuff, and highly recommended.

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