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Steve Replogle on Kirby: Genesis
posted August 11, 2012
I was skimming through some of your older pieces, and was struck by a recent-ish mention of the last issue of Kirby: Genesis. You wondered how you had missed it, or something to that effect. I think you weren't alone.
I thought Kirby: Genesis was very good, and in some ways excellent. I especially liked the way narrative brought together so many of Kirby's late-era characters in a way that was fun and and energetic - and interesting. But I was surprised that it did not generate more buzz. There was some nice coverage in Comic Book Resources, I remember, but nothing else.
Early on, I wrote Kurt Busiek to praise the series, but also to complain about the publisher's presentation. Dynamite packed each issue with distracting ads - and a lot of near-nudity, whether of the Red Sonja or Dejah Thoris variety. I'm a fourth grade teacher, and have all of Kirby's reprint books in my classroom, so my students are big Kirby fans. I was ready to buy extra copies of each issue for them, but then couldn't - the parents would have seen the Dejah Thoris ads and freaked!
Of course, Kurt understood, and of course he had no say in such stuff. I told him I would buy several copies of the collected edition, instead. And I will, if there are no ads...
There may be other reasons why the comic didn't catch on. Dynamite didn't put a lot of energy into promoting it, or rather, no more energy than into all their other properties (none of which are very interesting comics, to my mind). Ross created some fine covers, but I wished he would have done full inside art. That was a big strike against it.The ancillary issues for Silver Star, Captain Victory, and Dragonsbane were almost uniformly awful.
But here's the thing about the series that I think was absolutely brilliant. It promoted Kirby's characters in a project that directly benefited Kirby's heirs. It was a sort of end run around the current polarities in fandom about creator's rights, from Mike Friedrich to Before Watchman, from Siegel and Shuster to... oh yeah, to Kirby.
Like I said, brilliant. But I haven't seen any discussion of this, either. Busiek and Ross certainly both have ties to DC, and like Grant Morrison, seem to be trying to strike a balance. They found an elegant solution that Morrison has missed, though, at least in his recent interviews. I certainly wish Morrison had put all his love for the Fourth World into a new Kirbyverse story rather than upcoming Multiversity - it wouldn't be all that different, really. Except Kirby would, I bet, appreciate it more. Not to mention his children and grandchildren.
I'm sorry that was missed by the press. I'm totally with Alan Moore, as you might guess, and haven't been able to stomach DC or Marvel for a long time even before... Before Watchmen. But those turncoats who are creating Before Watchmen? They could erase all their sins, in my view, if they would next tackle After Genesis.
Thanks for listening -- sorry if I went on too long!