Four reasons to read Kirby: Genesis

I take it back.

The new Dynamite Entertainment series Kirby: Genesis might be worth following after all. The book achieves a lot in the first issue as it sets the stage for a strong first arc ahead.

This is how the publisher describes this new series by acclaimed creators, scribe Kurt Busiek and artist Alex Ross.

The Kirby Event of the new millennium begins here, brought to you by the best-selling and award-winning creators of Marvels! The Pioneer 10 space probe carried a message to the stars. Now an answer’s on the way — but not one we expected! When it arrives, the lives of three ordinary people — and the entire world — will be changed forever. Featuring Captain Victory, Silver Star and more of Jack Kirby’s greatest concepts, with finished art (from Alex’s layouts) by Jack Herbert (Black Terror). Don’t miss this tantalizing prelude to Kirby — a bold, explosive adventure debuting a universe of wild Kirby creations! This is the beginning. This is THE Genesis!

For some backstory on how the series came to be, check out this Comic Book Resources  article.

This series shows a lot of promise for the following reasons.

1. This book has a champion’s pedigree. Busiek and Ross – the team who brought us the groundbreaking, award-winning, and seminal series Marvels – are together again. This reunion feels a little bit like the first issue I own of Marvel Team-Up, one that stars Spider-Man and Human Torch taking on Speed Demon. Simply classic.

2. Kirby: Genesis starts with a bang. Ross knows how to pull off cosmic and this series is chock-full of big powers, shiny costumes and grand panels. There is plenty of gorgeous art to drink in between the covers.

3. A story within a story? Despite providing loads of evidence to the heroes’ “realness,” there’s a nagging feeling they might in fact be the stuff of an artist’s imagination within the story.

For the literary nerds, there are some post-modern storytelling techniques at play to keep things interesting by weaving an additional layer into an otherwise straightforward superhero story.

Busiek breaks the fourth wall with Kirby, deploying the device with the precision of surgeon.

Are readers being set up for a Grant Morrison-esque narrative turns in on itself while ruminating on the legacy of Jack Kirby and his generation of comic creators? Considering this is Busiek, probably not but one can hope.

4. Our protagonist, Kirby, is infused with lots of personality. Admittedly the hero characters, so far, are a bit lame and flat. But that’s actually okay. This issue very capably introduces readers to our protagonist, Kirby, and we quickly identify with him. Without a strong connect from the start of this race, the story would fall apart. Thankfully, Busiek gets it right.

Publishing #0, the debut issue, a few weeks ago before the official series kicked off was a smart move. The 32-page primer (only $1!) provided readers an explanation for what happens in #1 without actually telling readers what’s about to be revealed. Clever.

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