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Thanks to the massive success of the MCU, Jack Kirby's Marvel creations are more popular than ever. He co-created the Avengers, Captain America, Hulk, Black Panther, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and countless other characters. However, Kirby never felt that he got the credit he deserved at Marvel; that's why he left for DC in the '70s and created an all-new epic for comics: the Fourth World.
In the first part of our special episode of Behind the Panel, we're heading to New York City as we reflect on Kirby's Fourth World. That includes a trip back to Kirby's childhood home on the Lower East Side, which shaped his creativity and sharpened his legendary work ethic. Kirby was an amazing artist, but his creativity didn't stop with the imagery on the page. The Fourth World was Kirby's first chance to show off what he could do as a solo writer, and he launched three series in support of his vision: Forever People, New Gods, and Mister Miracle.
Kirby's former assistant, Mark Evanier, told us that Kirby saw a lot of himself in two of his Fourth World heroes.
"The main two characters he identified with were Mister Miracle and Orion," recalled Evanier. "Orion represented to Jack the fact that sometimes in this world, to put food on your table or your children's tables, you have to do some ugly things. A lot of what he was writing about when he was working on Orion was feelings of in the past where he wasn’t comfortable with what he had to do or the way he had to subjugate his ideas or philosophies to someone else."
"With Mister Miracle, he was talking about the way he felt throughout his career that he had to escape from something,” added Evanier. "A company he didn't like, a job situation he didn't like. It was all about escapes with Jack."
For more Fourth World details and Jack Kirby memories, check out the full video!