Let me tell you up front that Kirby: Genesis has been one of my favorite new comics of 2011. Written by Kurt Busiek (Marvels, Astro City) and illustrated by Jack Herbert & Alex Ross (Marvels, Kingdom Come, Justice), the Dynamite Publishing series blends together a plethora of characters, unused concepts, and forgotten character designs created by the late Jack "King" Kirby.
I've been entertained by the degree to which Busiek and his co-creators have integrated a wide variety of material into a seamless whole thus far, and the initial story arc hasn't yet run its course. Told through the eyes of Kirby Freeman, we've been witness to an event involving the original Pioneer 10 space probe that has inexplicably revealed the existence of fantastic beings, from ancient civilizations right here on Earth to far-flung galaxies populated by races with superpowers. The current issue is finally bringing this diverse group of characters into conflict over control of something called the Proto-Seed. Will Silver Star, Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers, the Glory Knights and Galaxy Green succeed in preventing Roag, the Lightning Lady, Sundance and Darius Drumm from accomplishing their nefarious ends or are we all doomed? What is happening with Kirby Freeman on the Phantom Continent and will Reptar & Thunderfoot be revealed as friend or foe? Which Kirby creations will be introduced next? Yikes!
Frankly, it has been equally bemusing to read established reviewers less than favorable comments about this really fun title. Although some like the overall tone of Kirby: Genesis, far too many take the title to task for having various perceived failings. Look folks, virtually all of those "critics", whether entrenched at AICN, Comic Book Resources or elsewhere routinely praise the shit-in-a-bottle that Marvel or DC spins on a quarterly basis, even as the "big two" publishing titans incessantly relaunch, reboot, rinse & repeat till hell freezes over generic-cyclic swill. Forget which version of whatever maligned former hero holds the field for the moment, their just gonna change it again in short order anyway.
The most obvious thing that stands out to me about Kirby: Genesis is the forgotten concept of four-color "fun". The book is just steeped in fun, and I have no doubt that Busiek and company are having a blast creating this series. All that I can say is that Kirby: Genesis takes me to my happy place, and increasingly that's the back issue boxes, OR this book. Recommended!