Pg. 18; "The Merciless Puppet Master" Jack Kirby pencils, Dick Ayers inks; 1963; 18" x 24.5"
Featuring the Sub-Mariner, the Human Torch and the Thing
Jon Berk CollectionThe action in these classic Jack Kirby Fantastic Four panels portrays Namor squaring off against the Human Torch and the Thing; a direct result of the evil machinations of the Puppet Master, who is manipulating the Sub-Mariner to exact revenge on the FF. The thrilling battle is one of the preeminent examples of "King" Kirby in his prime. Two of Marvel's Golden Age powerhouses are showcased alongside the new fan favorite in a hyperkinetic piece that zings. It's pieces like this, this muscular, bruising display of a super-showdown that got the nascent Silver Age boom ba-DOOMING. Observant art lovers can almost witness the progression of Kirby's style on this page, drawing from his past glories depicting motion and power, but also foreshadowing his growing penchant for strange devices and the bizarre sci-fi tropes that would define his future work. ÿý
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Jack Kirby is called 'The King of Comics' for a reason, during his career that spanned six decades he gave us many of the most iconic characters the medium would ever see. From his introduction of Captain America at the height of World War II it was clear he wasn't your ordinary comics artist. But it was his creative explosion at Marvel Comics in the 1960's that cemented his legacy, over a short period of time Kirby would give us The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, The Hulk, The X-Men, Thor, Ant-Man and Nick Fury just to name a few. Kirby would then go to DC and create his Fourth World, introducing Darkseid, Mister Miracle, The New Gods and a host of cosmic supporting players. Long live The King.
Richard "Dick" Ayers was an American comic book artist and cartoonist best known for his work as one of the main inkers during the late-1950's and 1960's Silver Age of Comics, including some of the earliest issues of Marvel Comics' including Jack Kirby's The Fantastic Four. He is the signature penciler of Marvel's World War II comic Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, drawing it for a 10-year run, and he co-created Magazine Enterprises' 1950s Western-horror character the Ghost Rider, a version of which he would draw for Marvel in the 1960s. His career would span 7 decades until his death in 2014.