Jack Kirby: (1917-1994)

Above:

The 1962 debut of Thor. Cover art by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.

Worked for:

Timely Comics, National Comics Publications, DC Comics, Atlas Comics, Marvel Comics

Known For:

Comic book artist, writer and editor, co-creator of the characters Captain America, the Fantastic Four, X-Men and the Hulk

Jack Kirby, (born Jacob Kurtzberg) was an American comic book artist and illustrator who was the creator or co-creator of hundreds of original and iconic comic characters, including Captain America, the Incredible Hulk and the Fantastic Four.

Kirby left high school at age 16 and worked in an animation studio where he animated Betty Boop and Popeye before teaming up with fellow artist Joe Simon in 1941. He then worked for  for Timely, which later became Marvel Comics, where he and Simon created Captain America. Kirby and Simon continued to work together until 1956.

By the late 1950s Kirby was working for with National (which later became DC Comics) and also for Marvel (then known as Atlas Comics). In 1961 Marvel editor Stan Lee wrote the story of an ill-fated trip into space and its super-heroic consequences. Using the “Marvel Method,” this scenario led to the creation of the Fantastic Four. Kirby’s artistry and Lee’s dialogue came together in this series, creating epic characters who had a balance of super-powers and human flaws. The pair then worked on The Incredible Hulk, which had its basis in the tale of Jekyll and Hyde. Other Kirby Creations, included the X-Men, Silver Surfer and Galactus appeared during the late 1960s

In 1970 Kirby left Marvel over creative differences with Lee and joined rival DC Comics. He briefly returned to Marvel in 1975, then worked as a freelance animator until his retirement in 1987.