Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Medusa Effect...and the Prime of Ms. Jean Grey

We all know that Barry Windsor-Smith's early Marvel work was undeniably Kirbyesque, but here's more evidence that Marvel Girl aka Jean Grey was a Medusa manquée ;) 
They're both great, kick-ass characters--love 'em both!
Fantastic Four Annual 5-Medusa-Inhumans
1967 Fantastic Four Annual #5 Kirby
XMen53-Rageof Blastaar-ArnoldDrake-Smith
1969 X-Men #53 Barry Smith (Windsor-Smith) 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jack Kirby's 97th Birthday

In honor of what would have been Jack Kirby's 97th birthday, let's take a look at--ahem-- Fantastic Four #97 (1970), one of the later Lee-Kirby collaborations from that comic's historic run. 

FF #97's  "The Creature From the Lost Lagoon!" features a sympathetic alien "monster" who adopts a human guise for much of the story.  To illustrate the obvious, check out these panels (l. and r.) of that human form:

FantasticFour97-LostLagoonFantasticFour97-MonsterFromLostLagoonJack King Kirby-MarvelComics


But check out these pages from Fantastic Four #97, Kirby-Giacoia art: 
FantasticFour97-Page
FF97-KirbyArt
FantasticFour97-KirbyGiacoia
FantasticFour97-Kirby-FrankGiacoia
FF97-Lee-Kirby-Giacoia


To achieve freedom, he busts loose in true Kirby style.  
FantasticFour97-Kirby

Was  #97 Kirby's way of expressing his dissatisfaction and frustration with the House of Ideas? As we know, less than 6 months later and as officially announced in Fantastic Four #102, the King left Marvel (though he'd return in 1975). Why was the alien silent in his human form? Did Stan notice the resemblance? 
Jack "King" Kirby  
August 28 1917- February 6 1994

If you'd like to read more of FF #97, you can purchase it from an online vendor or check your LCS, they may have this classic issue. Plus the story's been reprinted in Essential Fantastic Four Volume 5 and Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four Volume 10. 

By the way, when this same alien creature made another appearance a few years later in Fantastic Four #124-5, in the flashback scenes John Buscema drew the creature's human identity with a longer, ess stocky body instead of the more compact Kirby physique shown in #97.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Black Canary, Brave and the Bold #61, and...

Here's Murphy Anderson's classic cover for The Brave and Bold #61 (1965) starring Black Canary and Starman. You know, this particular image of Black Canary reminds me of another sensationally sinuous femme fatale...

BraveBold-Black Canary


Yes, none other than the original Love Goddess herself:  Rita Hayworth! This famous publicity still is from Cover Girl, one of lovely Rita's biggest hits. 

RitaHayworthPinUp



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Medusa Effect...on Models, Movie Stars, and Musicals!

There's no doubt that Medusa's long beautiful shining gleaming streaming down-to-there hair was a major influence in the swingin' sixties look. Don't believe me? Just take a look at just a few of the pop culture icons who followed our Ms. Medusa's lead.

Medusa pin-up Kirby
The Marvelous Magnificent Medusa from Fantastic Four Annual #5 (1967), by Jack "King" Kirby, natch!


Life magazine 1968
Veruschka, top model; appeared in Antonioni's Blow-Up

Jean Shrimpton hair photo
Another icon from the '60s: model Jean Shrimpton


Raquel Welch
Raquel displays her best assets--her tresses ;)


Hair album soundtrack
'Nuff said

The preceding program has been brought to you in (mostly) living color by
Medusa Marvel Pop Art
Marvelous Medusa mashup!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Medusa: Off Duty!

Here's the lovely Medusa as she first appeared, way back in Fantastic Four #38. Even though she's hiding out from humanity and living in a cave in the middle of nowhere, she still makes sure her cute little outfit and gloves are color coordinated. It's attention to those sorts of details that make or break a look; Tim Gunn would approve.
Fantastic Four 36-FrightfulFour-Medusa
Fantastic Four #36

Boutique chic.

FantasticFour38Medusa
Fantastic Four #38


Gorgon, Karnak, and Power Gir--er, Medusa--in "human" garb.
AmazingAdventuresInhumansAdams
Amazing Adventures #7

Medusa in another bright yellow mini-skirted ensemble, enjoying a night on the town with Reed.
FantasticFourMedusaReed
Fantastic Four #142


Alas, as we all know Sue eventually returned to Reed, so Medusa's stint as Reed's arm candy was short-lived. Ever the loyal friend to both Reed and Sue, Medusa decided to play down her own charms and she adopted a decidedly less glamorous presentation. Dressed up or down, we still love you, 'Dusa!

And for even more pulchritudinous panels of the marvelous Medusa and her various cohorts--Frightful Four, Inhumans, Fantastic Four--be sure to check out my new Panelocity site!
FantasticFourMedusa
 Medusa ponders her post-Reed options in Fantastic Four #158


Friday, January 24, 2014

The Medusa Effect...and the Original X-Factor!

I'd like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and fun 2014!

Let's start the new year off with--yes, more Medusa! Over the years many have noted the similarity between Medusa's 1969 Spidey-bashing emerald ensemble and the early X-Factor costumes.

Spider-Man 62-Medusa
Go Green! Medusa and Jean Grey

And not only did Jean Grey and her fashionable Factor cohorts "borrow" Medusa's costume...

X-Factor costumes
Project Runway meets X-Factor: Cyke, Hank, and Jean strike a pose


...but later on Jean also swiped Medusa's fabulous follicles! Or is Ms. Grey's massive hair growth a by-product of that freaking Phoenix Force?

Medusa Jean Grey red hair


Silver Age snippet: A Kirby creation featuring Medusa and Jean and a few other familiar figures in between! Consider yourself no-prized if you can identify this extremely well-known classic cover. 

Medusa Fantastic Four Annual 3 Kirby cover

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