April 25, 2012

Jack Kirby omitted from Avengers credits

This, frankly, is a crime:

During an interview to promote The Avengers, as well as the documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story, Moviefone asked the legendary writer and editor (Stan Lee) about concerns — more like complaints, actually — that his co-creator’s name appears nowhere on the $220 million movie. Lee seemed genuinely perplexed, replying, “I don’t know how to answer that because in what way would his name appear?” before offering that “it’s mentioned in every comic book; it says ‘By Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.’”

As Robot 6 notes, it's not entirely fair to ask Lee, but you can tell he's uncomfortable by the whole issue. I mean, c'mon -- "in what way would his name appear"?? How 'bout "co-creator," maybe? Y'know, like, because Kirby co-created the characters and the concept of the team?

Lee gets a certain percentage of the take on Marvel flicks mainly because he's been alive to negotiate such deals. No such luck Jack Kirby. But in my opinion, the very least Lee could do was demand Kirby's name appear in the freakin' credits as, mentioned above, "co-creator." That'd be the decent -- and right -- thing to do. Especially since Kirby was much more responsible for the storytelling of Marvel's titles in the 1960s than Lee ever was.

Posted by Hube at April 25, 2012 04:27 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

And I continue to lose respect for Stan Lee...

Posted by: Carl at April 26, 2012 01:55 PM

Kirby co-created SOME of the characters, not all of them. Cap, the Hulk, Thor and Nick Fury (race change aside) are his, yes. But Don Heck co-created Iron Man, and all the characters who first appeared in his strip (Hawkeye, Black Widow, Pepper). It's nice to give the King some credit, but let's not shaft Dashing Donnie in the process.

As for Avengers not in the movie (to my [unspoiled] knowledge), Jack gets credit for Hank Pym & Janet Van Dyne, Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, Hercules, the Black Panther, Crystal, Gilgamesh and Sersi. (And various FF members, but we won't speak of that.)

Donnie gets credit for the Swordsman and Mantis.

Wonder Man would be a disputed case; Heck did the art for issue #9, but the costume screams "Kirby". Did Jack get a "breakdowns" credit on the issue (I don't own it) as he did on some later ones?

John Buscema gets credit for the Dane Whitman version Black Knight and the Vision.

Jim Starlin gets credit (blame?) for Moondragon and Starfox.

Gene Colan gave us Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Justice and the Falcon, although they were all wearing different outfits by the time they joined the team. (It's not even the same Vance Astro that Gene drew for Marvel Super-Heroes, [and Carol Danvers was a support, not a superhero when Gene drew her] but IMO he still deserves the credit.)

Who gets credit for Tigra? Linda Fite? (But that was The Cat, the Tigra mutation was later. Does this mean Linda gets credited for Hellcat, or do we give that one to George Perez?) Was Stingray a Marie Severin design, or was John Buscema still drawing Sub-Mariner then?

One of the Romitas gave us Monica "Photon" Rambeau, Quasar is I guess Sal Buscema (although the original costume goes back to the old Marvel Boy comics of the '50s), Billy Graham did Luke Cage, I believe Gil Kane did the original Iron Fist strip, and so on.

And, of course, Sub-Mariner is Bill Everett, the Original Human Torch is Carl Burgos, Spider-Man is Steve Ditko, and Wolverine is Herb Trimpe.

And Firestar belongs to a team of animators somewhere, I guess.

(But, yes, Jack deserves *a* credit.)

Posted by: Dan at May 3, 2012 10:11 PM

Dan: We're talking about the creation of the team and its characters, not the entire history of the team and all its characters. Kirby co-created the team, and created (or co-created) just about all the members featured in the film: Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, Capt. America. Yeah, Heck co-created Hawkeye and the Widow, but so what? Then give him credit too!

But your attempt to diminish Kirby's influence and outright creations is just silly.

Posted by: Hube at May 4, 2012 08:39 AM

Update: Kirby was listed in the credits of the Avengers movie, which I saw today. And it was awesome, by the way, and I look forward to your take on it, Hube.

Posted by: Carl at May 5, 2012 05:38 PM

Re: "Who gets credit for Tigra? Linda Fite? (But that was The Cat, the Tigra mutation was later. Does this mean Linda gets credited for Hellcat, or do we give that one to George Perez?) "

Presumably Roy Thomas and Linda Fite get co-credits for creating the Cat. Hellcat was created by Tony Isabella, with input from Roy (again). If you give George a credit for the art in Avengers #144 (where Hellcat debuted), you'd probably also have to credit Marie Severin and Wally Wood for the art in The Cat #1.

Hope this helps!

Posted by: Darci at August 4, 2012 11:52 AM