13 COVERS: A JACK KIRBY Birthday Celebration

The King was born 102 years ago…

All things considered, isn’t it kind of strange that the only times the late Jack Kirby — born Aug. 28, 1917 — really got to dig into the Justice League is through the Super Powers toy tie-in series?

I mean, it’s not weird when you consider how his career played out, but it is odd in the big picture.

Anyway, it’s Kirby’s birthday, so it’s time for a 13 COVERS salute. And for no reason other than it’s an offbeat itch to scratch, this year we’re highlighting those 1980s series.

Now, thing is, Kirby only did 11 covers because there were only 11 issues spread across the two miniseries on which he worked. (He plotted the initial 1984 series and pencilled the final issue. He pencilled the second, 1985-86 series.) So to fill out the gallery, I’ve included two interior pages that I dig — especially the rare instance where the King got to draw Batman in action.


And long live the King!

Greg Theakston inks

Mike Thibodeaux inks

Theakston inks

Mike Royer inks

Theakston inks

Theakston inks

Royer inks

Theakston inks

Theakston inks

Theakston and Bill Wray inks

Theakston inks

Super Powers Vol. 2 #6

Super Powers Vol. 2 #5. Kirby and Theakston


— The Monster Movies That Inspired JACK KIRBY. Click here.

— JACK KIRBY: Comics Pros Pay Tribute to the King. Click here.

Cover images and credits from the senses-shattering Grand Comics Database.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. The Super Powers minis were when I started coming around to Jack Kirby. I was 9 when the first one came out. Before that, when I saw Kirby’s art of the time, I found it off-putting and hard to follow. Around that time I first saw the Marvel Super Heroes cartoons of the 60s, with actual Kirby art on screen. I began to see the evolution, and understand where he was going, which led to me eventually becoming a huge fan of ALL his periods of work!

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  2. Happy birthday to the late Mr. Kirby. And also, happy 35th anniversary to the Super Powers™ brand.

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  3. Just to clarify, Kirby both wrote and penciled the final issue of the initial 1984 series. And while he penciled the entire second series (including those covers) he’s not credited with either plot or writing. Considering this, it makes for a somewhat iffy entry in the Kirby omnibus collections by DC, though it has to be said he was significantly involved throughout both series. And while one has to settle for just his pencils on the final series, that’s the number one thing most of us would ask for from the King anyway.

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