Jack Kirby is arguably the most influential comic-book artist of all time: In the early 1940s he cocreated Captain America and drew dozens of other superheroes, essentially creating the template for the genre. But his best-known work comes from the 1960s, when he and writer Stan Lee created the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, and most of the rest of the innovative Marvel Comics cast. Kirby's rough-and-tumble Lower East Side childhood and maverick approach to his art must have seemed a promising subject to Ronin, whose previous books have been on rap music. He paints a colorful portrait--the real-life analog of Kavalier and Clay
--of the comic book's early days, and his accounts of Kirby's acrimonious split with Lee and battle with Marvel over ownership of his original drawings show that the industry remained cutthroat. Ultimately, Ronin's treatment is more dutiful than inspired (oh, for some of Kirby's fervor!) and marred by minor errors. The definitive Kirby biography is yet to come; until it arrives, Ronin's is a useful, readable stopgap. Gordon FlaggCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"Compellingly depicts the codependent relationship between the charismatic Lee and the rough-edged Kirby.The story packs as much pathos as any of the duo''s signature supersagas." (Entertainment Weekly
"Ro cleanly lays out Kirby''s story.He does well by the facts." (The Onion
"Ro deftly handles Kirby''s relationships.Tales to Astonish celebrates the stubbornness that kept Kirby, a superhero of comic books in his own right, creative as if against his will." (San Francisco Chronicle
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