May 1, 2010

Thor vs. Hercules

This is one of my favorite Kirby Thor covers. From the Thor King-Size Annual #5 (1976). Art by Kirby/Verpoorten.I still probably have the copy of this book I bought when I was 9-years-old packed in a box somewhere. My family had a cat named Skipper who used to sharpen his claws on my comic book pile, so the bottoms of most of those old 70s comics look like confetti, but I saved some of them like this one, just for the brilliant cover.

Here's another Kirby Thor cover from 11 years earlier. Thor didn't even have his own book yet, he was a guest character in Journey Into Mystery, Annual #1 (1965). Kirby/Esposito. Hercules and Thor are still brawling, and comparing the covers from 1976 and 1965, you can see how Jack's style had evolved over the decade.

Here's one more Thor Annual cover that is terrific in terms of it's simplicity. From Thor Special #4 (1971). Kirby/Colletta.
This is a great example of how Marvel would reprint and re-use old artwork. The original version of this same cover appeared 5 years earlier on Thor # 131 (1966).