When monsters ruled the Marvel Universe, the wildly imaginative brain and pencil of Jack Kirby brought dozens upon dozens of these creatures to life. Monster comics may be a thing of the past, but Marvel is celebrating their legacy this October with over twenty-five KIRBY MONSTER VARIANTS coming to some of Marvel’s biggest new titles! Featuring some of the industry’s most legendary and iconic artists, witness the inimitable imagination of Jack Kirby brought to life by Geof Darrow, Paul Pope, Art Adams, Eric Powell, Simon Bisley, Cliff Chiang and many, many more!
“Before helping to create the Marvel Universe we all know and love, Kirby lent his genius to creating all manner of creatures for titles like Tales to Astonish, Journey Into Mystery, Strange Tales and more,” says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. “We’re beyond thrilled to celebrate him and bring these characters back to the fore this October for the KIRBY MONSTER VARIANT program.”
Editor Jon Moisan, responsible for spearheading the project, said the idea came from Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. After Alonso presented the concept at a meeting, Moisan chased him down the hallway to ask if he could head up the initiative.
“For me, Jack Kirby represents a huge part of what got me into comics,” Moisan says. “I grew up reading old Silver Age reprints, so Jack Kirby’s art has been permanently burned into my brain and still gets me excited to this day. And being able to work on the monsters he created is icing on the cake. I’m a huge monster nut, so being able to go to my favorite artists and tell them, ‘Hey, wanna draw a Kirby monster?’ is absolutely nutso fun.”
Groot! Fin Fang Foom! Orrgo! Lo-Karr, Bringer of Doom! Look for these exciting Kirby Monster Variants coming later this year:
· A-Force #5 The Crawling Creature Variant by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
· Avengers #0 Devil Dinosaur Variant by DAVID MARQUEZ
· All-New, All-Different Point One #1 Nezarr, the Calculator Variant by PAUL POPE
· All-New Hawkeye #1 Elektro Variant by JEFF LEMIRE
· Amazing Spider-Man #2 Infant Terrible Variant by PAOLO RIVERA
· Ant-Man #1 Scarlet Beetle Variant by TRADD MOORE
· Captain America: White #3 Jinni Demon Variant by GLENN FABRY
· Civil War #5 Lo-Karr, Bringer of Doom Variant by JOHN CASSADAY
· Contest of Champions #1 Xemnu the Titan Variant by DAN BRERETON
· Doctor Strange #1 Awesome Android Variant by ERICA HENDERSON
· Extraordinary X-Men #2 Yeti Variant by PHIL NOTO
· Groot #5 Quonian Variant by CHRISTIAN WARD
· Guardians of the Galaxy #1 Groot Variant by MIKE ALLRED
· House of M #4 Kraa the Unhuman Variant by DAVE JOHNSON
· Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 Orrgo Variant by MICHAEL DEL MUNDO
· Invincible Iron Man #2 Fin Fang Foom Variant by MARK BROOKS
· Karnak #1 Rommbu Variant by ERIC POWELL
· Ms. Marvel #19 Wrecker’s Robot Variant by CLIFF CHIANG
· New Avengers #2 The Blip Variant by SIMON BISLEY
· S.H.I.E.L.D. #11 Poker Face Variant by JAMES STOKOE
· Sam Wilson, Captain America #2 Zetora Variant by TONY MOORE
· Spider-Gwen #1 Hypno-Creature Variant by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA
· Spider-Man 2099 #2 Ulvar Variant by CHRIS SAMNEE
· The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 Thorr Variant by CHRIS BACHALO
· Uncanny Avengers #1 Mangog Variant by GEOF DARROW
· Uncanny Inhumans #1 Vandoom’s Monster Variant by ART ADAMS
Moisan presented the artists with a list and them pick the monster they wanted to draw.
“The most surprising thing was seeing which artists gravitated toward which monsters,” Moisan relates. “I thought for sure I would get 26 people wanting to draw Devil Dinosaur and Fin Fang Foom, but lots of people jumped at the chance to draw monsters like Infant Terrible and Xemnu.”
Even with 26 monsters on the list, it still only scratches the surface of all the creatures Kirby created. Moisan said there were a few more he wished he could have included”
“Goom! Googam! Gah, too many to name! The hardest part about narrowing the list of monsters to 26 was just the sheer number of monsters that didn’t make the cut. Because each letter of the alphabet only gets one monster, it really becomes hard to have to pick between Groot and Goom and Googam and others. I honestly think we could’ve done 100 of these covers and still have monsters that people would want to see, myself included."
The sheer quantity of monsters created—along with the caliber of artists who wanted to participate in this project—both stand as a testament to Kirby’s talent.
“I think the thing about Jack Kirby is that everything he did, he threw all of his creative energy into,” Moisan says. “Despite creating such a vast number of monsters, they’re all unique and interesting, which really speaks to how great an artist he was. And the fact that they look unlike anything we see today really helps them to stand out. For me, I think they represent a fun, goofy era of comics and media that doesn’t really exist anymore.”
No fan can afford to miss out on these exciting variants featuring some of Jack Kirby’s unforgettable creature designs. Be there when the KIRBY MONSTER VARIANTS explode into comic shops beginning later this year!