In recent years, we’ve seen a boatload of comic books and graphic novels make their way to the silver screen, from “big two” stalwarts like Spider-Man and Batman to independent titles like Scott Pilgrim and 30 Days of Night. Among the various adaptations, though, some creators have emerged as magnets for Hollywood types — and one artist rules the roost when it comes to movies inspired by his hand: Jack Kirby.
Often referred to as the King of Comics, Jack Kirby was on the ground floor for many of today’s biggest comic-to-screen blockbusters: Iron Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, The Hulk, Thor, Captain America. His primary collaborator was Stan Lee, but he also created Captain America with Joe Simon. The late-’80s He-Man flick Masters of the Universe was inspired by Kirby, and Kirby himself worked on several cartoons such as Thundarr the Barbarian and The Fantastic Four TV series. Heck, Kirby’s own life could be fodder for numerous films — from his relationship with Marvel and Stan Lee to a standalone movie about the little-known C.I.A. operation “The Canadian Caper,” where his artwork was used trick Iran in 1980.
Here’s a list of some stand-out creations from Jack and where we think they’d be a good fit.
by Cullen Bunn
This is an exercise in nostalgia for me. My collaborator on The Sixth Gun, Brian Hurtt, suggested this topic, and he said he could probably guess the projects I’d mention. Anyone who talks to me long enough will have a pretty good idea of the books that meant a lot to me during my formative years. Hell, you might think most of my comic book influences came out of one of those Whitman 3-packs so prevalent in Piggly Wiggly and Stuckey’s in the 70s. Well, you might be right. I think every comic creator has a list of a dozen or so books they’d love to work on. Here are just a few of the titles I’d love to take a crack at reinventing or re-imagining. I could easily create a second (and maybe a third) list of six projects I’d love to tackle. Rom: Spaceknight … Scare Tactics … Blackwulf … Warlock 5 … The list goes on and on … but the following list are the dream jobs that pop most readily into my skull.
Keep in mind, this isn’t about blowing anyone away with these notions. It’s about daydreaming.
Easily my pick for favorite comic book of all time. I credit The Micronauts with getting me into collecting comics … not just reading, but really collecting. I can remember the first day I stumbled onto an issue of the book very clearly … from picking it up at the grocery store to reading it a dozen or so times in the back room of my dad’s office. For a comic about a line of toys, The Micronauts (like ROM: Spaceknight) tore past its humble origins into something really special. Of course, I would almost kill to write their story.
With the school year ending and summer arriving faster than you know it, now’s the time to update your summer reading list — and there’s no better place to find some good stuff to read than right here in our weekly What Are You Reading? column. This week our guests are Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt, the creative team behind The Sixth Gun, published by Oni Press. You’ll be seeing a lot of Cullen and Brian over the next few weeks here at Robot 6, so here’s the perfect opportunity to find out what comics they’re into.