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: 

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

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...

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.

So the question remains: is Starman Kelly or Astaire? ;)

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

Raquel Welch
Raquel displays her best assets--her tresses ;)
'Nuff said ;)

The preceding program has been brought to you in (mostly) living color by

Marvelous Medusa mashup!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Medusa: Off Duty!

Here's the mighty Medusa as she first appeared, waaaay 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.
Fantastic Four 38 Frightful Four
Fantastic Four #38
Gorgon, Karnak, and Medusa--in "human" garb.
Inhumans Amazing Adventures 7
Amazing Adventures #7

Medusa in another bright yellow mini-skirted ensemble, enjoying a night on the town with Reed.
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!

Fantastic Four 158 Rich Buckler
Medusa ponders her post-Reed options in Fantastic Four #158

Friday, January 24, 2014

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

Let's start the new year 2014 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...
Cyclops Beast Jean Grey X-Factor
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?

Jean Grey Medusa Inhumans XMen

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. 

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