5 More Kirby Characters Who Should Appear in Young Animal
Bug!: The Adventures of Forager #1, the fifth comics series from Young Animal, debuts this week [...]
Bug!: The Adventures of Forager #1, the fifth comics series from Young Animal, debuts this week and we could not be more excited.
The Allred family (Mike, Laura, and Lee) are setting out to tell the tales of a cult favorite creation from none other than Jack "The King" Kirby. Forager first appeared in the pages of New Gods #9 in 1972. He was one of the titular gods, but had been raised among another race and was looked down upon for it. Despite other's opinions, Forager proved himself to be one of the bravest and most endearing of the many characters from New Genesis. His continued popularity amongst creators led to a highlight in the DC Comics event Cosmic Odyssey that ended with Batman and Orion both honoring Forager in their own ways.
In addition to being a great idea from a team of modern legends, Bug! also represents an ongoing opportunity for the Young Animal imprint.
Jack Kirby's time at DC Comics represents some of the most interesting and bizarre output of his entire career. He left behind a slue of ideas waiting to be explored in series like Kamandi, The Demon, OMAC, and the entire Fourth World Saga. Young Animal presents a chance for creators to take minor characters and intriguing ideas, and then add their own spin. We hope that Bug! is an enormous success and that DC Comics supports some more oddball, Jack Kirby inspired comics.
Here are 5 of our favorite concepts for expansion.
Mister Miracle and Big Barda (at Home)
First Appearance: Mister Miracle #1 and #4
Miracle and Barda are the best known characters on our list by far, but we're advocating for a very specific take on them. While the rumored new New Gods series is likely to tackle epic confrontations and superheroics, we want something more down to earth from this pair. A Young Animal series about Mister Miracle and Big Barda should focus on their marriage and life together, not the universal conflicts in which they find themselves regularly embroiled.
This couple has one of the richest and most successful romances in all of superhero comics. While battles, traps, and prophesies are bound to still be part of their background, emphasizing the romance is a great way to show off what makes them a classic duo. Imagine a book where they have to plan dinners while beating back a horde of Parademons or argue over whether they should invite Orion to dinner after a cosmic triumph. It's funny, appealing, and connects in a very human way without losing any of the Kirby-inspired designs or oddities.prevnext
Klarion the Witch Boy
First Appearance: The Demon #7
There's a reason that Grant Morrison chose Klarion the Witch Boy (and his cat Teekl) to be one of his Seven Soldiers. While the young man was only a supporting character in The Demon, there was clearly an entire world of possibilities locked inside his glaring head. Klarion is a mystery box of a character, and one that is just as interesting without any explanation. His mismatch of age, appearance, and experience leaves readers questioning where he comes from and what he might actually want.
Rather than revealing that mystery, Young Animal could produce a series playing upon it. Klarion is a window into the strangest corners of DC Comics' mystical realms. Without a clear agenda for good or evil, he's capable of playing either side and taking readers along for a ride they cannot predict. There's a very real possibility that Klarion could be as potent and popular as John Constantine at the start of Hellblazer.prevnext
The Newsboy Legion
First Appearance: Star-Spangled Comics #7
The Newsboy Legion represent a lot of the same qualities of another classic co-creation from Jack Kirby and Joe Simon: Captain America. They offer endless enthusiasm, optimism, and a dedication to American ideals. This group of oddball youths endlessly pursue the truth and have plenty of bizarre adventures along the way. Rather than jumping back to their introduction during World War II, the Newsboy Legion might be better served by a tale of generations.
Walt Simonson and others have dipped into this idea before showing that this crew grows and changes as each set becomes adults. Setting a new pack of Newsboys (and girls) in the modern world where they must contend with accusations of being "Fake News" could be both hilarious and relevant. Looking at Mark Russell's work on Prez and The Flintstones, it seems he's overdue to write a Young Animal title, and this could be a perfect fit.prevnext
First Appearance: OMAC #1
The Build-A-Friend isn't necessarily a character in its first appearance. It's an artificial construct without functioning A.I. leaving it with more resemblance to those creepy sex dolls than a conscious being. However, that's what makes this idea brilliant. The Build-A-Friend's very existence plays on themes of dehumanization and gender inequalities. While that might not have been Kirby's intent, the reading is there and just as significant as ever.
In addition to forming the heart of a great metaphor, the Build-A-Friend also occupies the under-explored world of OMAC. It's a dystopian future that has become only more prescient (and scary) since Kirby created it in the 1970s. Exploring this world offers a wide variety of opportunities both in regards to plot and art. It's hard to resist the possibilities.prevnext
First Appearance: Mister Miracle #6
Jack Kirby introduced the character Funky Flashman into Mister Miracle as an obvious allegory for his former collaborator Stan Lee. The pair's relationship had soured and Kirby used his new stories at DC Comics to criticize Lee's personality and the publication model of Marvel Comics in a scathingly funny fashion. Flashman today presents an opportunity for new creators to again consider the shortcomings of the industry while still trying to push it toward a better future.
Flashman's style over substance manner and his legion of lackeys could be utilized in a broad manner of ways to address specific grievances or bigger concerns. In any case, it would give readers a glimpse inside and offer a clever creator the means to say something without trying to torch the entire industry. Kirby helped make comics great, but recognized there was still room for criticism. Young Animal could be a place to continue that tradition.prevnext
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