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Comics Relief: It’s Jack Kirby’s Birthday!

Comics Relief: It’s Jack Kirby’s Birthday!

Happy Friday and welcome back to Comics Relief!

Today is a milestone in the comic book industry…because it’s Jack Kirby’s birthday! The late Jack “King” Kirby drew that awesome Avengers image posted above, and he was one of the key creators of the Marvel Universe as we know it. In today’s column, we celebrate Kirby’s life for a worthy cause and recall a very public argument that Kirby had with Stan Lee before checking on Marvel’s updated Secret Wars plans and a new Guardians of the Galaxy title. Plus we have the return of Cassandra Cain at DC, Mark Millar’s new comic, and… the world’s first pro-marijuana superhero?!

Kirby4Heroes

Kirby4Heroes 2

Jack Kirby was born on August 28, 1917. He would have been 98 years old if he had lived to the present. The King of comics has been gone for 21 years, but he will never be forgotten. In the early ‘60s, Kirby co-created several of Marvel’s most popular heroes including the X-Men, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and several others. In the early ‘70s, Kirby created the New Gods at DC Comics, and he went on to create several original concepts and comics before the end of his career.

To celebrate Kirby’s unmatched legacy in comics, his granddaughter, Jillian Kirby, is once again organizing Kirby4Heroes to raise money for The Hero Initiative, a charitable organization dedicated to helping comic creators in need. This year’s Kirby4Heroes fundraising goal is $20,000. [Nerdist]

Jack Kirby vs. Stan Lee

One of the biggest debates in comic book history is whether Jack Kirby or Stan Lee played a larger role in the creation of the Marvel Universe. It was hotly contested even during Kirby’s lifetime, but rarely in public!

28 years ago today, Kirby celebrated his 70th birthday by making an appearance on Earthwatch, a radio program on New York’s WBAI. The Jack Kirby Museum has posted most of the show online, but it is most notable at the 17 minute mark when Stan Lee is invited to join the discussion. His ensuing conversation with Kirby over who created what definitely gets… strained at times. [Robot6]

Guardians of Infinity

Guardians of Infinity included

Just when you thought that Marvel couldn’t add any more Guardians of the Galaxy comics to their lineup…they found a way! Wow… Marvel really does want the Guardians to be a big comic book franchise like the Avengers and X-Men.

The newest book is Guardians of Infinity, which features members from the original Guardians, the modern team, and a previously unknown team of Guardians from the past in a time travel adventure. Modern Guardians of the Galaxy co-creator Dan Abnett is slated to write Guardians of Infinity, with Carlo Barberi as the artist.

As much fun as that sounds, what I’m dying to see is the Thing and Rocket Raccoon backup story by Jason Latour and Jim Cheung that finds the duo trapped on a planet whose culture is based solely on Earth’s Professional Wrestling federations. December can’t come soon enough! [Nerdist]

Secret Wars

Secret Wars 9 Cover a

Do you like Marvel’s Secret Wars? And do you love waiting several extra months to see the end of an epic storyline? Well then, Marvel has good news for you! Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic’s Secret Wars miniseries has been extended by a single issue. But the much anticipated Secret Wars #9 won’t be released until December.

However, this will not affect the All-New, All-Different Marvel relaunch titles this fall. But it may prolong the speculation about the fate of Reed Richards and God Emperor Doom. [Nerdist]

Batgirl Returns

Batgirl Cassandra Cain

One of the complications of the New 52 reboot is that Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl successors, Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, were written out of the DCU for a long time. Stephanie, a.k.a. Spoiler, returned in Batman Eternal. And now it’s Cassandra’s turn in the upcoming Batman and Robin Eternal weekly series.

While speaking with Comic Book Resources, artist Tony Daniel teased Cassandra’s return and promised a new look for her. “I can tell you she has a very strong impact in the first issue. It’s going to be fun to see her again, but she’s Cassandra Cain. She’s not going to be wearing her Batgirl uniform or anything like that, but everyone knows who Cassandra Cain is. I think readers are going to get a real kick out of it and enjoy seeing her back in action. I hope people like the new design and the cool action that we have planned for her.” [CBR]

Huck

New Huck

Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kick-Ass creator has a new comic called Huck, coming this fall to Image Comics with artist Rafael Albuquerque (American Vampire). And unlike most of Millar’s main characters, Huck sounds like a charming throwback to some of the early superheroes.

Millar describes Huck as “Captain America meets Forrest Gump. He’s just a nice guy in a very classic mould.” Whether Huck makes it out of his initial storyline with his innocence and optimism intact remains to be seen. But I would bet against it. [Nerdist]

Buddie

Buddie

Meet Buddie, the world’s first pro-marijuana superhero! As created by ResponsibleOhio, this anthropomorphized character has been enlisted in its fight to legalize marijuana in Ohio. The opponents of that campaign are particularly furious that superhero imagery is being used, since they claim that Buddie is a little too kid friendly for their liking.

If Buddie was real, he’d probably be the first superhero who was destroyed by his own fanclub. It’s not that marijuana users are particularly violent, but who’s gonna look at Buddie and not want to spark the biggest J in Buckeye history?! [Robot6]

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