Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Decent Comics: "Atlas the Great!" by Kirby and Berry

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! At long last, and 'cause you demanded it, here's Jack Kirby's Atlas, from 1st Issue Special #1(January 1975). Sort of a simplified New Gods, Ol' Groove has always thought of it as an exercise in Kirby getting a story out of his system, but there are hints in the editorial page of 1IS #1 that "Atlas the Great!" just might have started off as...Atlas #1! What makes Ol' Groove think that? Paragraph 6: "Which brings us to Atlas #1." If ya don't believe me, just look at this, Irving:

Hmmm? HMMMM? I know, big deal. This is the only Atlas story ever published until James Robinson brought him back in Superman a few years back. Mebbe so. But I think it's kinda cool...



















9 comments:

  1. The word that leaps to mind whenever I read this one is potential. It's brimming with it and it's a darn shame DC didn't nurture the talent they had hold of. They, like Marvel before them didn't understand what was happening while it was happening. We do now.

    Rip Off

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    1. Oh yes. All that talent that Marvel siphoned off of DC in the 70s showed they didn't have the slightest idea what to do with what they had.

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  2. I was always a bigger fan of Kirby' s storytelling than I was his art. (I know, I'm weird)

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  3. This emerged at the tail end of Kirby's sojourn at DC. It is uninspiring and hampered by all the weaknesses he had as a writer. No favors are done it by the substandard lettering of D. Bruce Berry (I find it interesting that none of the inkers he dug up after Vince Colletta did much comics work outside of his mags. It shows that the importance he placed on inkers outside of NYC was more important than the quality of their work).

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    1. More likely it shows that Kirby had enough sense to hang onto a reliably capable inker, and his output provided a regular gig so they didn't need to scuffle around for pennies elsewhere.

      -sean

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    2. But they were so substandard compared to the greats of the day: Sinnott, Palmer, Giordano.

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    3. Well, thats a high bar, which isn't quite what you were saying before...
      But I'll bite anyway. My favourite Kirby inker is Mike Royer - some might raise an eyebrow at that, but I would say if their fave is Sinnott that's a great choice too because he was very, very good. Either way, the quality of Royer's work speaks for itself.

      You have to like Kirby to like Royer of course, but great inking is linked to classic teams. Like Colan and Palmer. As it happens though, I'm not at all convinced Tom Palmer - or Dick Giordano - would have been a good fit with Kirby.
      Its all a bit academic though, because Kirby did sometimes work with more (I assume) regular NYC types at Marvel in the 70s, and I don't think say, Frank Giacoia was noticeably better - or worse - than D. Bruce Berry.

      Apologies for droning on - I promise to get out a bit more in future. (At least I didn't get on to the subject of Kirby's writing!:)

      -sean

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    4. I tend to agree with you that Palmer and Giordano probably wouldn't have worked well with Kirby. But it would have been nice to have seen once. There is a cover of Jungle Action that is the only teaming of Kirby with Klaus Janson, as far as I know. Like everything touched by the magical brush of Mr. Janson, it is a thing of beauty. Feel free to drone on in the future. I like what you have to say!

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  4. Another variation in the seemingly endless Kirby mythscape.
    Awesome. Thanks for posting, Groove.

    For the benefit of the doubters who say Jack kept doing the same thing - Atlas filled in the gap of OMAC's bimonthly schedule to go on sale alongside issues of Our Fighting Forces/The Losers and Kamandi.
    Staggering, when you think about it. Just another month in Kirby's working life...

    -sean

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