Maybe I'm just perverse but, as a kid, I always preferred Jack Kirby's 1970s' work to his output from the decade before.
Perhaps it was that I instinctively felt his all-action, OTT, fling-in-everything-with-the-kitchen-sink approach was ideally suited to concept-driven strips like Kamandi and The Eternals.
But then again, I also liked what I saw of his work on Justice Inc, which, being about one man's fight against crime, was cut from far less grandiose cloth.
This could be because I was always one for an old-style adventurer, or it could be because I felt Kirby's style was also ideally suited to depicting life in the 1930s and 40s.
In Justice Inc #2, a man called the Sky Walker has taken to floating around in the air and destroying things with a big gun that vibrates them to pieces.
The thing that first strikes you is what a complete and total Jonah the Avenger is. He's flying over a train when it promptly crashes. He's driving past a skyscraper when it collapses. Apparently, his wife and daughter were once murdered. You do get the feeling that, if you want to live a long life, standing next to the Avenger isn't probably the best of ideas.
The other thing that strikes you is the Avenger has one of the most unpleasant gimmicks in comicdom, which is that his face is basically made of Plasticine. This means he can rearrange it to make himself look like anyone. On the downside, it also means that, if someone punches him in the face, it leaves a great big dent his fizzog.
He's also what can only be described as a straight glass of water, displaying no signs of a personality whatsoever.
Having a personality is left to his sidekick Smitty who's a bit like Hank McCoy with the thesaurus removed.
The script's credited to Denny O'Neill but the whole thing feels like pure Jack Kirby. The dialogue bears little resemblance to the way anyone real has ever spoken and the plot's a string of events, owing a bucketload to random happenstance.
the Shadow. It even ends with the villain plunging to his death, as all Shadow villains seemed required to.
At least the Avenger didn't laugh at the demise of his foe.
But then, with the sort of luck the Avenger had, you get the feeling he didn't get to do much laughing even at the best of times.
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