8:19am PT by Graeme McMillan
The King Is Back: Marvel Announces Deluxe Oversized Collection of Jack Kirby's Work
With the lawsuit between Marvel Entertainment and the estate of comic creator Jack Kirby finally settled, it was announced Wednesday that Marvel will issue King-Size Kirby next year, an oversized hardcover collecting examples of the creator’s work for the company across four decades.
Running more than 800 pages, King-Size Kirby — the title plays off Kirby’s nickname “The King,” as coined by Stan Lee in early collaborations between the two — will feature material from 1940’s Red Raven Comics No. 1 — Kirby’s first work for the publisher — all the way through What If? No. 11, published in 1978. Included are the key issues of Fantastic Four, Avengers, Thor and Hulk, as well as lesser-known stories from series like Teen-Age Romance and western series Rawhide Kid.
“If there were a Mount Rushmore of American comic book artists, Jack Kirby would be front and center,” Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso is quoted as saying in the official Marvel release about the title.
During his long career with Marvel, Kirby created or co-created many of the company’s most famous characters, including Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Avengers, the X-Men, the Hulk, Black Panther and the Inhumans. In 2009, his estate — Kirby died of heart failure in 1994 — served notices of termination to Marvel parent company Disney, as well as 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures to regain control of the copyright to those characters, launching a legal battle that finally ended with a settlement in September. Following that settlement, Marvel started to credit Kirby as the co-creator of his characters inside the comics themselves.
In addition to King-Size Kirby, which will be released in July 2015, Marvel has also announced a free Avengers Magazine that will be released to comic book stores in March, promoting Kirby’s work on the series.