Nearly three years ago, Dynamite Entertainment began the process of licensing the original characters still owned by the estate of Jack Kirby. The long-gestating project culminating from the publisher's pitch will hit comic shops in three months as Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross present "Kirby: Genesis."
Dynamite today announced the May start date for the launch miniseries of what they plan to grow into a full line of superhero comics based on Kirby's characters. The series will include "Black Terror" artist Jack Herbert completing finished art from Ross' layouts. The #0 issue kicking off the affair will retail for $1.00.
In a press release, Dynamite described the story for the project, saying, "The Pioneer 10 space probe carried a message to the stars. Now an answer's on the way -- but not one we expected! When it arrives, the lives of three ordinary people -- and the entire world -- will be changed forever. Featuring Captain Victory, Silver Star and more of Jack Kirby's greatest concepts, with finished art (from Alex's layouts) by Jack Herbert."
CBR News spoke first with Busiek and Ross during their initial planning for the "Kirby: Genesis" series in an interview published late last month. "We have an over-arching concept that will link everything from a central creative point," Ross said then. "Things will explode out from that and start to reveal themselves in the series."
"Most of those expansive universe projects involved looking back. In this, we're lighting the fuse," Busiek added. "This is the beginning of something. There are ways in which this project will be like 'Marvels.' Our lead character is a normal guy who is witness to the amazing changes happening around them and is a human's eye view to it. But while somebody like Phil Sheldon is a witness to the beginning of something everybody knows in its final form, our guy gets to see the world happening at the same time as the readers."
Read the full CBR interview and then check out the following newly released art from Ross and Herbert along with Dynamite's official press release.
Official Press Release
KIRBY: GENESIS BEGINS THIS MAY!
You marveled at Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross' Marvels! Now, prepare to be blown away by Kirby: Genesis!
Coming this May from Dynamite, Kurt Busiek will be re-teaming with Alex Ross for Kirby: Genesis, their first full collaboration since 1993's Marvels! With Kirby: Genesis, Busiek and Ross are primed to expand on the vision of the legendary Jack Kirby with the same dynamic and unique perspective on superheroes that made Marvels such an original and successful story, allowing a new generation of comic book readers to become acquainted with the genius that is Jack Kirby!
Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce that Alex Ross is not only co-plotting and laying out pages, but working with Kurt and Jack Herbert for special interior painted pages in the series.
The Kirby Event of the new millennium begins here, brought to you by the best-selling and award-winning creators of Marvels! The Pioneer 10 space probe carried a message to the stars. Now an answer's on the way -- but not one we expected! When it arrives, the lives of three ordinary people -- and the entire world -- will be changed forever. Featuring Captain Victory, Silver Star and more of Jack Kirby's greatest concepts, with finished art (from Alex's layouts) by Jack Herbert (Black Terror). Don't miss this tantalizing prelude to Kirby -- a bold, explosive adventure debuting a universe of wild Kirby creations! This is the beginning. This is THE Genesis!
This 32-page book with original story and art as well as additional bonus material will have a $1.00 Suggested Introductory Price!
"I'm delighted to see how the artwork's developing, from Kirby's designs to Alex's layouts to Jack Herbert's artwork. Jack's a terrific draftsman and storyteller, and he's doing a really sweet job bringing the story to life," says writer Kurt Busiek. "His work also meshes well with Alex's, which goes beyond just layout, since there are various sequences in the story where Alex is doing fully painted art, including some where Jack's line art and Alex's painting are merged together. It's a terrifically effective combination."
"Working with Jack Herbert is an absolute thrill," says legendary artist Alex Ross. "I've been so knocked out by his recent work on Black Terror, and now we will work side by side on Kirby: Genesis. I'm satisfying my desire to get inside the story more by doing some full pages, panels, layouts, and even some figures that will only be seen as paintings by me. The excitement is that much greater when you're working with such an amazing artist as Jack. His stuff is just beautiful."
"I'm very honored to be able to be part of this project. It's such a huge honor for me, who grew up seeing the King's art," says artist Jack Herbert. "Not to mention the opportunity to work with such talented Comics masters as Alex & Kurt. I hope that with this series the new generation of comic-readers fall in love with such amazing universe of characters that only the fruitful mind of Jack "The King" Kirby could create. It's gonna be a wild and unique ride, gang!"
"Alex is so excited about the project that he wants to work hand in hand with Jack to paint as many interior pages as possible, which thrilled us all to no end," says Dynamite President and Publisher Nick Barrucci. "Having Kurt and Alex together again collaborating on one of Dynamite's most important projects to date is nothing short of amazing. Alex is making time in his schedule by turning down other work to make time to ensure that every page he paints be the best it can be. Fans will be impressed with this series. Jack Kirby's memory and work will be remembered by his fans and thanks to the creative team involved, will be brought to a new generation of comics fans."
"Having worked with Alex for the last several years, on a variety of projects, has been a personal high point in my professional career," says Dynamite Editor Joe Rybandt. "Now, adding Kurt to the mix takes it up from the fantastic to the incredible. The work these two men are doing, with the able help of Jack Herbert, is unparalleled in the world of pop culture... and Kirby defines - and now re-defines - pop culture."