Posts Tagged With: Pacific Comics

Review: Jack Kirby’s Galactic Bounty Hunters Paperback Collection

jack-kirbys-galactic-bounty-hunters-tpbTitle: Jack Kirby’s Galactic Bounty Hunters Paperback Collection

Publisher: Marvel Comics’ Icon Imprint

Cost: $19.99

Storytellers: Jack Kirby (concept), Lisa Kirby, Michael Thibodeaux, Steve Robertson and Richard French (developers and writers) with Michael Thibodeaux, Karl Kesel & Scott Hanna with Jack Kirby and Mike Royer (artists)

A love letter to Jack Kirby, this series focuses on Mainframe, a retired member of the Galactic Bounty Hunters who becomes a comic creator and starts a family. Jack Berkley is a famous comic creator, using his previous adventures with the GBH as fodder for his comic stories. When one of his former enemies seeks out Jack’s evidence on his mother, Jack’s son Garrett is kidnapped and whisked away on an intergalactic journey, learning that his father isn’t a “joke” and that he was once the hero Mainframe. Suiting up and getting his old team back together, Jack seeks out his captured son and goes all out in order to defeat Slugg and stop the evidence keeping Slugg’s mother in prison from being destroyed!

A very short synopsis, but one that sums up this amazing tale. While some of Kirby’s art is used in this collection, most of it is not Jack’s but the artists do an amazing job of coping his style and giving the whole trade a great feel. I wish this collection had been in hardcover, as that is my preferred way to collect trades, but just having this is great. I really love the Kirby esthetic, which includes his writing style, which this does a fine job of mimicking, and his character designs, with their unique costumes and color pallets. The story here is great, allowing all of the members of the GHB to shine and giving us some father-son realizations in the process. We even get a cameo from Captain Victory, which is amazing!

Each of the six collected issues is massive, allowing the story to breath. Also included is a bunch of art and interviews with the creators behind this collection, which adds more depth, if reading that stuff is your thing. All-in-all, what can I say, I’m a Jack Kirby fan and even though he didn’t writer or draw this entire collection, with his daughter at the helm, if fells as if he had!


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Review: Jack Kirby’s Silver Star Hardcover Collection

silver-star-hcTitle: Jack Kirby’s Silver Star Hardcover Collection

Publisher: Image Comics (hardcover collection), Pacific Comics (original issues)

Cost: $34.99

Storytellers: Jack Kirby (creator/writer/pencils), Mike Royer (inks/letters, issues #1-4), D. Bruce Berry (inks/letters, issues #5-6).

Truly Jack Kirby’s wildest concept, Silver Star tells the story of Morgan Miller, a name who is the next evolution of human: Homo-Geneticus! During an engagement Viet Nam, Morgan displays a feat of incredible strength, by lifting a throwing a tank, and afterward discovers his true potential, as a super-powered being. Wearing a silver suit, designed to contain his powers, Morgan becomes the Silver Star, a man with the abilities of atom rearrangement (think Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen), he can teleport, astral project and create with a thought. He becomes aware that his father, a doctor and scientist, had experimented on many subjects, including his own son, while they were in the womb, in order to create a version of man who could withstand the atomic bomb. Morgan is connected to these “Others” and wishes to seek them out in order to stop one of their own, the villain Darius Drumm, a powerful Homo-Geneticus who was raised by a cult, which has given him many mental scars (to match his outward ones) and seeks to remake the world as he sees fit. Drumm and Morgan seek the “Others”, with Drumm killing off most but Morgan is able to find a few, one of which is a female stunt woman named Norma Richmond, with whom he starts a relationship and helps him defeat Drumm.

My synopsis on this one isn’t great, because there is a lot going on here, but if you liked anything that I mentioned, then you must read this, because I absolutely loved this story! I love, pretty much everything that Jack Kirby has created, so I can’t tell if I’m biased or not, but I thought that there were some very interesting concepts here, that could have been explored, had this been written in a post-Watchmen era. Jack’s art is fantastic and the new coloring makes each page stand out, especially Jack’s double-paged splash pages. The story is good, but most of the dialogue is a bit dated by now, but that’s to be expected. This collection also includes a copy of Jack Kirby’s original screenplay, because this story was meant to be a movie with the ability to expand into other mediums.

I picked this one up on a whim, not knowing what to expect from it and I’m glad that I did! This was the last series that Kirby did and I think that he ended his creative and professional career on a high note!


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Tales from the Bargain Bin…Jack Kirby’s Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers

Captain Victory Collage Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers is an independent comic series published by Pacific Comics. The series was bimonthly and was published in the early 1980’s, with the first issue releasing in November of 1981.  Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers is set in the modern day (of the 1980’s) and follows the adventures of the titular Captain and his army of Space Rangers as they battle the Insectons, an bug-like race, led by their queen, the Lightning Lady. The series starts out among the stars, but the Lightning Lady and her Insectons soon discover the existence of Earth and head to the blue planet to consume its natural resources. Captain Victory (who looks human, but it’s not determined what race he actually is) and his alien crew follow the scavengers to Earth and help the citizens of the planet fight back against the Insecton menace. This storyline covers the first six issues of Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers (the only issues I own).

I recently discovered these issue while at Intervention, the INTERnet conVENTION! I was there helping some friends demo their new board game, Cache Me If You Can. While taking a break from gaming, we walked around the con and found one booth that actually had comics for sale. The comics were separated by title, as usual, however one longbox was separated by artist and it had a Jack Kirby section. Looking through the Kirby section I found mostly a bunch of Captain Victories and a lot of the Topps comics from the 1990’s. Wanting to read something actually written and drawn by the King, I snatched up a small, complete run of Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers, issues #1-6 and the Special.

I waited until I finished everything else on the docket, but eventually I got to reading these issues, and I must say, they’re pretty good. While the dialogue is cheesy and the plot is a little hokey, Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers is good, classic science-fiction with a superhero twist. Everything I love about Kirby and his art is here: Kirby-tech, Kirby Dots, double splash pages and his over-the-top action. While Kirby isn’t known for being a great writer, I love the stuff he’s done (mostly his Forth World stuff) and this series feels like it could belong in the Forth World…and that’s one of this series’ downfalls. Some of the characters and plots feel like they were meant for Kirby’s New Gods stories, which he never got to finish: Captain Victory feels like Orion, Lightning Lady like Mantis and the Insectons are the Bugs. Heck, Captain Victory uses a device to defeat the Insectons that uses “Anti-Death”…”Anti-Death”! I really wish Kirby had gotten to finish his Forth World Saga, because I would have like to know what he had planned for it all. All-in-all, Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers is a good series and is pretty cheap to find. Give it a shot if you love all things Kirby and/or weird science-fiction stories.

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