Friday, February 17, 2017

Top 5 Fridays: Top 5 Jack Kirby Characters

Welcome to another exciting edition of Top 5 Fridays! On Tuesday, the next series to carry the Young Animal brand was announced: Bug! To which a good majority of people probably went, "Who?" The Forager aka Bug was a part of the Fourth World Saga, the original story of the New Gods that was created by Jack Kirby. Now while I'm certain many of our older readers have heard of 'The William Blake of Comics,' many of our younger readers might be having a similar reaction to the announcement of Bug! To those who don't know Jack Kirby, he was a comic book artist, writer, and editor who basically shaped the look of comics for years to come. He created the New Gods, OMAC, Kamandi, and I'm not even going to get into how much he made for Marvel, but I will say that it shouldn't just be saying "Created by Stan Lee" in the Marvel Movies. With the announcement of this new miniseries, I felt it best to look back at some of Kirby's greatest characters. As always this is an opinion based list, so if you see someone you don't like, including a few Marvel Characters, I apologize. With that out of the way, let's dive into this week's list.

5: Captain America
Let's kick this list off with one of the most iconic, and until the recent series, my favorites Avenger, Captain America. The star-spangled man with a plan has survived over the years due to what he stood for and who he stood against. When people think of comics in World War II they immediately think of the hero who punched Adolf Hitler in the face. He fights for truth and justice, as well as being the beacon of hope to the marvel universe as Superman is to DC. The guy stared Thanos in the eye without fear and said he would never give up if it meant protecting the people of the planet. So why is this badass up at number 5? Well because that most of his story and personality comes from Joe Simon. Jack worked on the iconic costume of Steve Rogers and that same look has survived decades later.

4: Etrigan
You know what's completely unintentional? How many times I've brought the demon into the Top 5s. When I was younger, I never really thought him as anything more than the creepy c-list hero who would show up on occasion. As I grew up though, I began to realize how interesting of a character Jason Blood and his demonic partner Etrigan really is. A man who is bound to a powerful demon and has to make sure he is kept in check as this demon is a Rhymer, a powerful demon general who only cares about himself, yet still finds himself on the side of the angels. Jason Blood and Etrigan took the idea of Camelot and made it dark, but also made it epic at the same time. I will be perfectly honest when I say that I never expected him to be so awesome that he could take on Superman in the Injustice universe. THE DEMON TOOK ON SUPERMAN AND NEARLY WON! If that small fact didn't make you realize how cool this demon is, you might need to read a few more of his adventures!

3: Mr. Miracle and Big Barda
These lovebirds had to be on the list. Not only because they are two of the most iconic faces in the New God pantheon, but they are total badasses in their own regard. Big Barda is a mighty warrior from the planet Apokolips, that can stand toe to toe with people as strong as Superman. Scott Free, a.k.a. Mr. Miracle, is the ultimate escape artist, with a good majority of his adventures getting out of traps created by the more you evil denizens of The new god pantheon. However, I feel that they become more interesting characters when they are together. These two are one of the few superhero couples that actually stayed married throughout all of the reboots. Their love story remains one of the most iconic parts of the fourth world saga that carried throughout the years, even after the whole Superman/Barda adult film issue(I'm not even joking, someone allowed that issue to be printed). I hope to see these two fighting alongside one another as we make our way further into Rebirth.

2: Silver Surfer
During the creation of the Galactus story arc, Jack Kirby created this legendary character, to which Stan Lee originally showed skepticism for. Lee believed that it was a crazy idea, after all, it was an alien riding a surfboard, but Kirby was dead set on having the character be the Herald to the planet eater(Also he admitted to being sick of drawing Spaceships). This character would soon become one of the fan favorite fantastic four side characters, and eventually get his own comic series. It's no surprise why, considering his backstory and power set. Due to this background and his adventures, the surfer can be used in a variety of different roles. Ranging from a dramatic, tortured character or as a lighthearted "Doctor Who-like" space traveler. He can truly go anywhere and everywhere. Hang on!

1: Darkseid

Imagine a DC universe without the new gods. With all the crossovers and stories that happened over the years, it probably would feel weird. While many gods stay off to the side, there's one who stepped into the spotlight and stayed there, becoming the greatest enemy to the entire universe. Darkseid can be considered the true face of DC's villains. He's powerful, methodical, and a force to be reckoned with. The scariest part about him is the fact that, despite the justice league beating him time and time again, he just licks his wounds and comes back, as if they did nothing. He literally acts like he is a god among the "ants" that fight him. You might be able to imagine a DC Universe without the New Gods, but I don't think there's anyone who could imagine a world without The lord of Apokolips. HAIL DARKSEID!

That's it for this weeks Top 5 Friday! What is your favorite Kirby Character? Leave a Comment, and I'll see you next time!

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