Monday, 9 April 2012

Devil Dinosaur

Devil Dinosaur
Pencil art by Jack Kirby
Inks: Frank Giacoia

Jack Kirby returned to Marvel Comics in 1976 and created the ongoing series Devil Dinosaur in 1978.  The comic lasted nine issues before cancellation.
Jack's return was not a happy one.  His Captain America run was poorly received at the time, fans were upset with the jarring change from Steve Englehart's contemporary political take on the character to Kirby's all out action and stiff dialogue.  However, I loved it and tried to secure any issue I could get my hands on.

Captain America by Jack Kirby in a double page spread from his return to Captain America
Inks: Frank Giacoia
Jack was still troubled by Marvel's reluctance to return his artwork and the focus on Stan Lee as the creator of the Marvel Universe.  All of these issues sailed over my teenage head, as far as I was concerned Kirby was back where he belonged at Marvel and I couldn't wait to read the Fantastic Four, Thor and the Avengers in the hands of the King.  I would scan the shops and spot Kirby covers but, disappointingly, no art inside.  This happened a lot with the Avengers.

Avengers #157 (March 1978)  Pencil art: Jack Kirby
Inks: Joe Sinnott

I didn't see Devil Dinosaur at the time, I was lucky to see the Avengers or Cap and so I completely missed this series.  I caught up with it when the omnibus was published in 2007 and it is packed with Kirby greatness.  Devil Dinosaur is a mutant with greater powers than other dinosaurs and superior intelligence, his constant companion is Moon-Boy a member of the Small-Folk.  The pair have adventures in a prehistoric world where humans and dinosaurs co-exist.

Devil Dinosaur #2 Pencil art: Jack Kirby
Inks: Mike Royer

Jack Kirby with inks by Mike Royer

I greatly enjoyed the omnibus and regretted not seeing this series at the time of publication.  Are there any Bronze Age series you missed and have grown to appreciate due to reprints?  Another Kirby series from his return that I missed was the Eternals, it is my destiny to blog about that in the future.


  1. I only ever had one issue of Devil Dinosaur, but that was more due to the vagaries of American Marvel imports at the time than lack of interest.

    I was, howevwe, a big fan of The Eternals. It had the same feeling of mythology and mystery as Jack's Fourth World titles at DC. Unfortunately, the series lost its way and never delivered on its early promise, but it was always a good read with loads of outlandish Kirby Koncepts...

  2. Second paragraph, third word should read "however" not "howevwe"...
    I think my keyboard's got a speech impediment :-(

  3. Who perfected the keyboard? Nxbody. :)

  4. The Avengers issues with Kirby covers but interior art by another artist were a typical bait-and-switch. DC did the same thing with Neal Adams on the Brave and the Bold. As for Kirby's late 1970's creations at Marvel, I remember buying Machine Man #1 and Devil Dinosaur #1 when they first came out. They were first issues and they were by The King, so I thought they would be worth millions someday. I'm still waiting. :)

    1. Better to have gambled on a #1 by Jack Kirby than a foil covered #1 by Rob Liefeld I'd say!