Saturday, February 10, 2018

Don't Make Me Angry!, Part 10: 2001: A Space Odyssey #1

 Rare Kirby goodness.

 Springing forth from Jack Kirby's adaptation of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY comes the short-lived Marvel series of the same name. On the surface, Kirby's bold, powerful, in-your-face style would seem to be the antithesis of the slow, quiet feel that Stanley Kubrick achieved in his landmark film, but Kirby pulls off the 2001 vibe quite nicely, for the most part.

 This is a Jack Kirby 1970 's Marvel comic, so, yes, there are a few moments of bombastic action. The issue opens in the prehistoric past, as a lone caveman is instructed by The Monolith in the fine art of spearmaking, enabling early man to effectively hunt game. Kirby goes nuts lovingly depicting the prehistoric animals as man fights saber-tooth tiger to the death.

 Much like the film, the comic makes a time-jump to the far-future year of 2001 after the opening scene, this time taking us to an asteroid, where two astronauts are stranded after their spacecraft crashes onto the surface and is destroyed. They stumble upon ancient ruins, which, of course, contains a Monolith. This being a Jack Kirby 1970's Marvel comic, it also contains a giant space octopus, which dutifully consumes one of the humans, enabling the other to be snatched up by The Monolith, and taken off to be evolved.

 I have no idea where Kirby is going with any of this, but I'm along for the ride. The art is spectacular, and you can almost feel the prose and images as they burst forth from Kirby's fired-up imagination. This book was clearly way ahead of it's time, and Marvel is to be lauded for taking a chance on it so long ago.

 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY #1 earns a spaced-out seven out of ten space octopi:

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