Kirby was known as the "King" of comics. He co-created Captain America in the 1940s, and went on to create or co-create the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man, the original X-Men, Doctor Doom, Magneto, and Black Panther among others. Kirby and Stan Lee acrimoniously split up in 1970. Kirby went to Marvel's rival publisher, DC where he created another pantheon of less-well-known, but wonderfully odd characters.
Read the rest
Some of Kirby’s concepts were beguiling. Mister Miracle, a warrior of Apokolips who flees to Earth to become a “super escape artist,” keeps a “Mother Box” up his sleeve — a small, living computer that can enable its user to do almost anything, so long as it is sufficiently loved. In Kirby’s world, all machines are totems: weapons and strange vehicles fuse technology and magic, and the Mother Box in particular uncannily anticipates the gadget fetishism that infects our lives today. (The Bluetooth headset may as well be a Kirby creation.)
But sometimes, his inventions were merely bizarre, driven by some opaque, unknown part of his brain. At one point, one of the Forever People, Kirby’s band of dimension-hopping flower children, gives a small boy named Donnie one of his “cosmic cartridges” — a device at once resembling a bullet and a large, mysterious pill.
“I — it feels warm — like it was alive!” Donnie says as his features blur into the cosmos.