Jack Kirby is…The Joker!

Jack Kirby is best known as the creator of beloved Marvel characters like Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, and the Fantastic Four in the 1960s. 

Twenty years later, though, at the end of his career, he was making promotional comics for DC’s new line of toys. 

The 1984-85 Super Powers comics, as they were called, were not Kirby’s, or really anybody’s, best work. 

They’re interesting though as a semi-unintentional commentary on the relationship between comics, creativity, commerce, and King Kirby himself. 

Kirby had left Marvel because he felt (with much justice) that the company had stiffed him on royalties. 

He’d moved to DC and created the Fourth World epic around his purple arch-villain Darkseid and the New Gods. By the mid-80s, Kirby was trying desperately to get his original pages of art back as Marvel stone-walled him.