Sunday, November 7, 2010

Marvel's Founders share a lost title

After nine issues writing, editing and drawing his last work at Marvel, Machine Man, Jack Kirby, co-creator with Stan Lee of blamed near the entire early Marvel Universe, left the comics field for animation. Funny thing is, when the title came back the next year, the artist was now Stan's co-creator of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, i.e., the rest of the early Marvel Universe!

Marv Wolfman was going for a pure literary tone mixed in beneath the images of an adventure, so while he wasn’t sure where to take MM maybe, he could focus on one and done stories with some philosophy adults might appreciate, since it’s science fiction in origin. It was the fact that it wasn’t more of a “super hero” comic and didn’t have any guest appearances by other Marvel denizens ‘till the book was nearly through that contributed to MM remaining a bimonthly B-lister in sales until its cancellation with #19. Whereas Kirby tended towards larger panels and splash pages spread throughout, Ditko's always been an economy guy, regularly depending on his nigh-trademark nine panel grid, sometimes, even more. This is only one point of difference between these two early masters.

from Machine Man #16. Art: Steve Ditko
The agility of Spider-Man comes alive in Ditko’s Machine Man, whose telescoping limbs did so at every opportunity. It’s just fascinating to read the one comic featuring the primary artists of elementary Marvel.

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